Garrett Riley Has His Homework Cut Out for Him

Anytime a head coach makes a change at coordinator there is always a learning curve from the way things were done–terminology, calls, formations, etc–to the new hires way of doing things. That is exactly what the Clemson Tigers will be dealing with this spring, as they transition from the Brandon Streeter led offense to the Air Raid, Garrett Riley led offense.

But even though there will definitely be some new things to learn, some things will always be the same.

“I mean, obviously there’s a lot of collaboration. We’ve had a lot of success here for a long time and there’s a lot of good coaches in the room and so you got to get on the same page. I mean, four verticals is four verticals is what I was meaning,” head coach Dabo Swinney said. “Inside zone is inside zone. The counter’s the counter, the power’s the power, slants are slants, digs are digs, curls are curls, screens are screens.

“But how you get to those things, how you procedurally do certain things, cadence, formationing, motions, just verbiage. There’s a lot that goes into… We can get on the same page quick as football people because we know, okay, that’s the power. We know that’s the zone. We know that that is a counter. We know that this is a drive concept, a mesh concept, bang eight.”

Swinney acknowledged that just because everyone, basically, has the same plays at their disposal, the way they call them is going to be different. And that is where Riley has his homework cut out for him.

“We know these things as football people, but everybody calls things differently. So we’ve got to collaborate, get on the same page so that we can shorten the learning curve for everybody involved. We all have backgrounds in offense. So starts with Garrett though being comfortable with what he wants to keep, what he wants to change,” Swinney said. “There’s going to be certain things that he’s going to learn here that’s going to help him and obviously he’s going to bring a whole fresh way of doing certain things, and again, procedurally to get to some of the things that we’ve done for a long time.

“Again, football’s football. If you break it all down, you’ll see a lot of similarities to be honest with you. But how you do those things and maybe how you game plan those things, how you install those things, how you practice those things, again, how you drill those things, your cadence, et cetera, et cetera. Those things is where you really got to get on the same page and collaborate so that you’re all together there.

“So that’ll be his big task coming up over the next month of February and really studying. And then you got to learn the personnel too, as he said. I mean we got a really good roster, a very talented roster, and there’s been some years where they probably had no tight ends and we obviously got some pretty elite dudes there. So it’s using your personnel and putting it all together from a staff standpoint.”

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