With the Jacksonville Jaguars now seemingly tanking for a shot at the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and the presumed right to draft Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, one NFL analyst thinks there might be someone else in the Clemson-to-Jacksonville pipeline, as well. Former New York Jets and Miami Dolphins executive Mike Tannenbaum said Monday on ESPN's Get Up that he believes Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney could join Lawrence in Jacksonville and team up with his current quarterback in the NFL.
247Sports — “There's a lot of speculation that Dabo Swinney, who's been on the short list of multiple head coaching searches, could be a coach that teams want to talk about,” Tannenbaum said. “This would be the perfect storm and here's why. He's immensely popular in that area of the country and if he can go with Trevor Lawrence right down the road to Jacksonville, with all those picks and cap room, that's the ideal situation. I know from talking to a number of NFL general managers, they see Dabo in the same mold as Pete Carroll. A high energy guy. Pete Carrollhas been a coach in the college and the pros. If Dabo Swinney was going to do it, and that's a big if, this would be the perfect situation...If Swinney would ever go, this would be the perfect storm to do it with, following this season.”
I don't know where Tannenbaum is hearing this supposed speculation from, but as a staunch Swinney detractor, I would love to see this scenario, as it would almost assuredly end in a spectacular conflagration — if that's even possible with a franchise like the Jaguars.
Dabo's schtick is that he's just a little ole preacher man from Birmingham, Alabama who tries to teach kids the right way to go about things and if they happen to win some football games along the way, then that's great. And while I think Swinney is about the fakest guy you could find in a sport full of them, he at least puts on publicly that he believes what he's saying.
And regardless of whether it's real or not, what he's able to do with 18- to 22-year-old won't work with 33-year-old grown men. There's a reason Nick Saban did not succeed in the NFL: guys like that need the control a college program affords them. Swinney is judge, jury and executioner at Clemson and whatever he says gets done. Not that NFL head coaches don't have control of their teams, but it's just a different dynamic with college and pro players.
I'd be willing to say there is not a team Swinney would leave for at this point other than Alabama — his alma mater — and Clemson put a hefty buyout specifically for UA to prevent that from happening when Saban eventually retires.
It's going to take a lot more than Trevor Lawrence to get Dabo Swinney to jump from an elite program he built to the Jacksonville Jaguars.