Former Heisman Praises Dabo’s Changes; Says Tigers will Contend in 2023
It has been a busy offseason for Clemson Football to say the least.
After the dismissal of former offensive coordinator Brandon Streeter, Clemson promptly announced the hiring of TCU OC Garrett Riley. Riley will look to revamp a Tiger offense which has, for each the last two seasons, looked abysmal.
When featured on College Gameday’s coverage of the NFL Draft, former Baylor quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III praised Dabo Swinney’s decision to move on from Streeter.
"“Dabo Swinney realized that his offense was archaic, and that he went outside of his system, went and got a young offensive mind in Garrett Riley from TCU, and now they’re going to be able to build a system with the perfect quarterback for that system in Cade Klubnik.”"
While it is unfair to place total blame on Bradon Streeter–the players are the ones who compete on the field, after all–more often than not, it seemed the Tigers won in spite of their offensive scheme, rather than because of it.
Streeter’s system lacked innovation and creativity. Similarly, the simplicity of his play calling allowed opposing coaches to preemptively read plays, and adjust their defenses accordingly. Most concerning, there seemed to be little interconnection between the plays being called, nor was there much correlation to down and distance.
At times, watching Streeter’s offense was like watching my 12 year old cousin call plays on NCAA 14: deep pass, deep pass, quarterback scrabble, deep pass…
Streeter’s system didn’t work, at least not at the highest level of college football. Garret Riley, however, has proved his system’s proficiency against the best teams in the nation–for example, TCU’s 51-45 win over no. 2 Michigan in the 2022 CFP semifinal.
At Clemson, Riley will, for the first time in his career, have the opportunity to incorporate some of the nation’s top recruits into his innovative system, which many feel will lead to rewarding results.
RG3 believes the decision serves as a sign of Swinney’s further maturation as a coach.
"“I’m very excited for them. I think that is a growth moment for Dabo Swinney, who always tends to promote from within.”"
While Dabo’s commitment to those already on his staff has been viewed as admirable amongst Clemson fans, it has, in some ways, restricted the program’s capacity for development. Swinney’s decision to hire outside his bubble implies that he may have admitted the limitations of his ideology, and is now trying to adapt. This is a decision RG3 believes will translate to success.
"“So I think Clemson will actually shock the nation, and be in the run for a national championship.”"
While it remains to be seen if Clemson Football will return as national contenders, the Tigers have done well this offseason to lay the groundwork for such a resurgence. If Riley’s system can live up to the hype, perhaps RG3’s prediction will become a reality.