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Dabo Swinney stands by calling Deshaun Watson “Michael Jordan”

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Clemson coach Dabo Swinney raised eyebrows when he warned the Browns last month that if they pass on quarterback Deshaun Watson, they’re passing on Michael Jordan. But Swinney isn’t backing down from that lofty comparison.

Swinney said at Clemson’s Pro Day that he sees no reason he shouldn’t compare Watson to Jordan because he thinks they’re both special athletes.

“Some of the media folks got mad at me because I said if you pass on him you’re passing on Michael Jordan. But I don’t know how to articulate the type of greatness that’s inside of him. And for me that’s what Michael Jordan represents because that’s what I grew up with,” Swinney said, via the Charlotte Observer. “I’m sure when Michael Jordan was coming out of North Carolina his 3-pointer wasn’t very good. And he probably had some flaws, whatever, when you start poking holes on him,” Swinney added. “But it’s who he was, that will, that drive. You can’t coach that and that’s what I want to make sure I articulate. This guy is brilliant between the ears and he’s special in his heart.”

Comparing a football player to Michael Jordan is suggesting that he’s poised to become the greatest player in NFL history, and it might be slightly premature to say that about Watson before he has ever played in an NFL game. But the coach who knows Watson best sounds awfully confident that he’s going to be a great one.

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45 Responses to “Dabo Swinney stands by calling Deshaun Watson “Michael Jordan””
  1. waynefontesismyfather says: Mar 16, 2017 8:13 PM

    Seems Mr. Swinney has continued to drink heavily since winning the NC by making that original statement and then being foolish enough to double down on it.

  2. TheCommish says: Mar 16, 2017 8:17 PM

    He’s going to be the Michael Jordan of INTs.

  3. artliedtocleveland says: Mar 16, 2017 8:17 PM

    Didn’t Dabo say something similar about Tajh Boyd a few years back?

  4. internetcommenter7 says: Mar 16, 2017 8:21 PM

    Watson has more in common with tebow than jordan. He will fail miserably in the NFL. Happily for him, he will make some money in the process.

  5. ronfai says: Mar 16, 2017 8:26 PM

    Sounds fair , just a stand-up coach looking out for his players. Watson does seem to have the IT factor.

  6. RandyinRoxbury says: Mar 16, 2017 8:26 PM

    Didn’t we hear this about RG3 as well?

  7. thegreatgabbert says: Mar 16, 2017 8:29 PM

    Where was Jordan taken in the NFL Draft?

  8. Francis_Dolarhyde says: Mar 16, 2017 8:35 PM

    No, maybe Scottie Pippen

  9. maust1013 says: Mar 16, 2017 8:54 PM

    Of course he does. What’s the point of going all Baghdad Bob/Rex Ryan if you’re not willing to double down on it?

  10. vancouversportsbro says: Mar 16, 2017 8:54 PM

    What’s he supposed to say? That the QB that helped win his team a title isn’t that good?

  11. 'boys4life says: Mar 16, 2017 8:55 PM

    D-Wat is going to create a winning environment if he goes to a team without one, if he slips to a winning org. he’ll light it up. The thing about championship caliber qb’s is they don’t always have to be on target all the time but they always seem to be when its most important. D-Wat is a winner, there’s no quit in him, he will study and work harder than anyone else, he will lead both by example and vocally when needed, he’ll create a system of belief in his teammates. I go with that every day of the week and twice on Sunday. I was hoping the boys would get him two years ago before Dak arrived, I like Dak but I am more familiar with D-Wat, I’ve known him much longer. He came back from a season ending injury 3 years ago. He’s a winner, any team will be lucky to get him, regardless of what the so called experts say (Mel). D-Wat is a franchise qb, he has the immeasurables similar to Dak, he’ll be great.

  12. aliveguy24 says: Mar 16, 2017 8:58 PM

    Give him standing by his guy

  13. bills72284 says: Mar 16, 2017 9:01 PM

    Donavan McNabb but better

  14. halasfan says: Mar 16, 2017 9:04 PM

    Hopefully he is more Jordan playing basketball verses Jordan playing baseball.

  15. bobthebillsfan says: Mar 16, 2017 9:05 PM

    The coach is clearly drinking too much of his own cool-aid.

  16. aballinhighgrass says: Mar 16, 2017 9:11 PM

    Bill Russell is the greatest basketball player ever. 13 NBA titles, including like 8 in a row, numerous MVPs, a college national title and an Olympic gold medal. He was always the best player on the best team.

  17. QB Film Room says: Mar 16, 2017 9:28 PM

    Coach Dabo is also the guy who picked to start an athlete at QB over the best Passer in the Draft, Chad Kelly. Dude picks qb’s based on athleticism not their ability to be a good QB

  18. ibillwt says: Mar 16, 2017 9:33 PM

    No idea if he has the accuracy for a big time NFL QB, but the kid can sure play big in the biggest moments. And that’s what separated Brady from the Manning types – the choke factor. Watson is at least like Brady in the no fear factor, the rest, we’ll see.

  19. tonebones says: Mar 16, 2017 9:34 PM

    Right on Dabo. Recruit. Recruit. Recruit. When you’re done recruiting, recruit some more.

  20. codythao35 says: Mar 16, 2017 9:51 PM

    Jordan playing football? Not happening, maybe a retire Jordan.

  21. GenXJay says: Mar 16, 2017 10:01 PM

    No worries or concerns for the Browns passing.
    The Rockets & Trailblazers, both, passed on Jordan.

  22. firstdownbrowns says: Mar 16, 2017 10:03 PM

    isnt that Ball guy in LA the greatest BB player ever ? come on Dabo know ur NBA history.

  23. gtrav says: Mar 16, 2017 10:13 PM

    oh come on

  24. blah773 says: Mar 16, 2017 10:28 PM

    Tip of the cap to Coach for supporting his player, but man… this is Tajh Boyd 2.0

  25. 1historian says: Mar 16, 2017 10:35 PM

    With not a lot of time left – enough for one drive – and the NC on the line, Watson drove Clemson down the field and on the last play of the game he threw the pass that won it all.

    What more do you want?

  26. fordbw says: Mar 16, 2017 10:37 PM

    Michael Jordan is sacred! How dare he make that comparison!

  27. holidlove says: Mar 16, 2017 10:51 PM

    Does he mean the “retired-from-basketball-then-played-baseball” Michael Jordan?

  28. Grugenhagen says: Mar 16, 2017 11:56 PM

    I’m thinking Watson is going to be the next Vince Young.

  29. loudpackmatt says: Mar 17, 2017 12:31 AM

    he will be like a vince young that kept doing good after his rookie year

  30. bchap17 says: Mar 17, 2017 12:34 AM

    Watson will be a stud if he’s drafted by the right franchise.

    He won’t fall past Buffalo at #10 and I’m hoping he makes it to #10.

  31. trollaikman8 says: Mar 17, 2017 12:35 AM

    He’s more B.J. Armstrong than M.J.

  32. tourismsean says: Mar 17, 2017 5:50 AM

    Tha k god he did t comlare him Larry Bird or all the democrats would be in an uproar.

    Probably will be a snowflake protest because he comlared him to a black basketball player and was inferring that there are no great black quarterbacks…what a racist! Why didnt he compare him to Neymar or Messi and include Latin America! Oh my god protest Clemson!

    Lmao this is the world we live in….

    Props to the coach for standing up for his player and showing support for what seems like a great kid…as. bucs fan i hope watson turns out great too…winston is that tyoe of player as well

  33. tourismsean says: Mar 17, 2017 5:51 AM

    Spellcheck oops

  34. golions1 says: Mar 17, 2017 7:55 AM

    Dabo on Tajh Boyd: “I describe him as a bigger Russell Wilson. Everyone knocked Russell coming out. ‘Well you better go play baseball. You are not this and not that.’ He’s a third round draft pick, and now he is a Super Bowl champion. It is the same thing with Tajh Boyd. I think Tajh Boyd is going to be a great NFL quarterback. His skill plus his intangibles that he brings are special. And he is still developing. It’s all still out in front of Tajh Boyd”

  35. Footballfanz says: Mar 17, 2017 8:14 AM

    The higher the draft picks that Clemson players get the better recruits they bring in………maybe someone who doesnt have as much invested in Watson’s draft position should be commenting.

  36. avanderlay says: Mar 17, 2017 8:17 AM

    +1 Vince Young

  37. TheDPR says: Mar 17, 2017 8:25 AM

    You can’t call a guy who hasn’t played professionally yet “Michael Jordan” or anyone else who is an all-time great. You could say something like, “He works really hard, and we know the all-time greats in their sports like Jordan, Brady, and so on wouldn’t have gotten there without that work ethic, and Deshaun has that.”

    Communication has fallen to a low in this country. Sad!

  38. xxsweepthelegxx says: Mar 17, 2017 8:30 AM

    I just think of Debo from the Friday movies with Ice Cube every time I see this guy’s name. Maybe it’s a generational thing, I dunno.

    Regardless, Dabo is sounding like Debo when he says stuff like this.

  39. campcouch says: Mar 17, 2017 8:42 AM

    every national title winning quarterback is awesome until they get into the NFL.

  40. meximyke says: Mar 17, 2017 8:44 AM

    Let’s hope that he is going to play basketball! He is not an NFL QB! Period!!

  41. meximyke says: Mar 17, 2017 8:47 AM

    No maybe the water BOY!

  42. butlers91 says: Mar 17, 2017 9:33 AM

    Football is different than basketball in that, one player can change a basketball team. In football, the team who drafts Watson (or any QB) will be important. How is the fit, is there any talent on the team? Deshaun can make ALOT of team better, but there are a few teams out there where he won’t fit. No offense, but I hope he doesn’t go to Cleveland.

  43. silvernblacksabbath says: Mar 17, 2017 10:23 AM

    What is a Dabo?

  44. jjackwagon says: Mar 17, 2017 10:42 AM

    For Watson’s sake, I hope he is drafted by a team that will make him ride the bench for a year or too, otherwise he will fail.

  45. patsfan4lifesbchamps says: Mar 17, 2017 12:54 PM

    ibillwt says:
    Mar 16, 2017 9:33 PM
    No idea if he has the accuracy for a big time NFL QB, but the kid can sure play big in the biggest moments. And that’s what separated Brady from the Manning types – the choke factor. Watson is at least like Brady in the no fear factor, the rest, we’ll see.


    Actually what separates Brady from the Manning types is the Patriots system. Put the Manning types in the Patriots system and they too can play big in biggest moments.

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