After the first week under the new helmet rule, we hear that many coaches are tweaking their game plans and sideline procedures to make sure that when a player has to come off the field, they aren't necessarily losing a down because the backup isn't ready to go.
Dabo Swinney is one of those coaches.
“I understand the rule, but for us it’s a little bit of a challenge when you run your quarterback, he gets hit and sometimes he gets in some piles, and sometimes helmets find their way from getting of their head.”
Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd lost his helmet three times last week, which has Dabo making adjustments to keep their backup quarterback fresh on the sidelines throughout games in the future.
“The big thing for us is you better have your backup ready to go. One of the things we’re going to do moving forward is to make sure our backup is getting some snaps, throwing the ball, staying loose and being ready."
“I don’t know how we can get the helmet on any tighter. We’re basically about to cut his circulation off trying to keep it on." Swinney explained.
Positions other than quarterback are obviously a little easier to substitute for. Rotating a receiver or bringing in an offensive lineman in on third and long, in a crunch time situation, is much different from having to substitute your star signal caller.
"It’s definitely an issue, especially at that position. It’s not like at wideout or something else, that is such a critical position. ... It’s definitely something everyone is going to have to continue to adjust to.”