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A Humble, Confident Steve Spurrier Is a Terrifying Presence for the SEC

Marvin Gentry/USA Today
Barrett SalleeSEC Football Lead WriterJuly 15, 2014

HOOVER, Ala. — A humble Steve Spurrier is a dangerous Steve Spurrier, and the head coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks was certainly humble when he opened Day 2 of SEC media days on Tuesday afternoon.

Sure, he took some thinly veiled shots at some people and teams. 

A lot of them, in fact.

Spurrier cast shade on: Big Ten rivalry games Texans at the Alamo Gene Chizik The media Texas/Texas A&M Clemson Northern weather

— Paul Myerberg (@PaulMyerberg) July 15, 2014

Fresh off three straight 11-win seasons, Spurrier is pleased with where his team is, but he won't raise the expectation bar too high heading into 2014.

"We've got a team that's capable," he said. "We're not a whole lot better than most people—or anybody, really. But we can play with 'em—just about everybody we play."

South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier
South Carolina head coach Steve SpurrierButch Dill/Associated Press

When it comes to his Gamecocks, Spurrier took a more passive approach to the 2014 season.

Senior Dylan Thompson will take over at quarterback in place of Connor Shaw this season. He's been impressive during limited time as a backup and spot starter, throwing for 1,827 yards, 14 touchdowns and five picks.

"Dylan's a fifth-year guy," Spurrier said. "Dylan's actually started three games. He came in the first quarter against UCF and was the only quarterback to beat UCF. He can do it all. He can run a little bit, and he can throw. He probably won't run as much as Connor did."

While the quarterback may steal headlines, the real question facing the 2014 Gamecocks is the defensive line. Three starters, including first-round draft pick Jadeveon Clowney, are gone up front, and in order to help out an inexperienced secondary, they have to get pressure with four.

"We got some young guys who are ready to play," he said, "but they have to prove that they're SEC-caliber defensive ends. Darius English is a young man who came around well in spring ball. We got a lot of good players. We know we have to live without Clowney."

Butch Dill/Associated Press

Coach speak? Yes.

Informative? Not really.

Purposefully evasive? Absolutely.

When asked about actual football-related or personnel issues, like the defensive line or wide receivers, Spurrier routinely dodged the question by referring to this as "talkin' season."

Spurrier: We think we're going to be ready to play, but we don't really know. This time of the year, it's just talk. #SummerTalk #SECMD14

— Russ Mitchell (@RussMitchellCFB) July 15, 2014

Spurrier had some one-liners regarding things outside of the confines of his program, but when it came to real football talk, Spurrier came to media days to put on a show but not say too much about where his team is.

I actually can learn how good South Carolina is every year by seeing how many shots Spurrier takes at other teams.

— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) July 15, 2014

That should terrify other coaches. 

Spurrier is a master motivator, and if he talks up players during the biggest media event of the summer, it's on purpose, to add extra motivation for them. If he's quiet, it's because he wants his team to sneak up on the rest of the SEC.

He did his best to get through talkin' season without saying much about his team, which means he thinks their play on the field will speak loudly once toe meets leather in August.

 

Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer for Bleacher Report. Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats are courtesy of CFBStats.com, and all recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports.


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