Clemson's Swinney talks defense during golf event - FOX Carolina 21

Clemson's Swinney talks defense during golf event

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Clemson University Football Head Coach Dabo Swinney puts during Tuesday's media golf event. (July 16, 2013/FOX Carolina) Clemson University Football Head Coach Dabo Swinney puts during Tuesday's media golf event. (July 16, 2013/FOX Carolina)
SUNSET, SC (FOX Carolina) -

While Dabo Swinney was swinging for the green, he was also focusing on the Tigers improving on the gridiron during his annual media outing Tuesday.

Swinney hit the golf course with his coaching staff and the media to talk about Clemson's preparations for the upcoming football season.

"Big plays are our number one objective this year," Swinney said. "If we can cut those in half, then we're gonna be a much better defense."

Giving up big plays plagued the Tigers in 2012. They're in the second year of Brent Venables' defensive system, who said they have to improve their pass rush up front - and grow up on the back end.

"We don't need Deion Sanders to show up," said Venables. "You just need guys to play at a consistent, Division One competitive level."

Swinney said last year he saw the recipe for a big play many times before the ball left the center's hands.

"Pre-snap issues, that ball ain't even snapped - and we're basically beat," Swinney said.

With all of training camp ahead of them, Clemson's coaches are going in with a keen eye on disciplining defense.

"We're gonna get better, one way or the other," Swinney said. "Iron sharpens iron, and I think we've got a lot of iron to kind of rub against each other on the back end. We got 15 to 16 guys that are gonna be competing for jobs, that's gonna get you better."

The Tigers have an open competition for many of their positions in the secondary.

Clemson hosts Georgia at home to kick the season off on Aug. 31.

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