Steve Spurrier doesnt get too hung up on trash talk from his players or opponents. But there are some words the South Carolina coach doesnt want to hear his team called.
We dont really pay much attention to what the other guy says unless he says were a bunch of losers and a bunch of quitters, Spurrier said Thursday at his annual media golf outing. Those are two words that would fire me up if the other team said that.
The topic has percolated over the last week after star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney declared at the SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala., that Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd and Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray were scared of him and the USC D-Line during last seasons games, both won by the Gamecocks.
Boyd and Murray insisted they arent afraid of Clowney, but they do respect his ability. The issue is likely to remain a point of discussion until the two games.
But Spurrier isnt going to silence his players. Thats not his style.
I wish he hadnt said it, but I dont put a muzzle on guys talking, he said. I realize were all different. Were not all like Marcus Lattimore. He never said a bad word about anybody. Players grow up now days in junior high and high school talking a little smack. As long as it doesnt get out of hand, I dont have too much trouble with it.
There are times, however, when Spurrier will draw the line with a player who gets too talkative.
The problem is if youve got a loudmouth guy that doesnt play worth a crap. Then youve got a problem, he said. Some of them, we do have to say, You dont need to be talking until you can play a little bit.
He also doesnt want too much chatter to distract his players or perhaps annoying the officials. Sometimes, the coach would have to get verbose defenders such as D.J. Swearinger and Victor Hampton to ease up on the verbal barrages.
It seems like almost every game, the referee would come over and say, Coach, you need to tell your No. 36 and 27 to keep their mouth shut, Spurrier said. So coach (Lorenzo) Ward and those guys bring them over there and say, Would you guys just play football for a while? Its sort of something they all grow up with, and hopefully, they control it better.
Spurrier didnt remember as much trash-talking during his playing days with Florida in the 1960s. Of course, he joked that the media attention wasnt quite like it is today.
When I played, I dont even know if we had press conferences before the games. So you didnt worry about anybody saying anything, he said.
But Spurrier did remember a game when he coached Florida and defensive lineman Ed Chester predicted that he would force a fumble against Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning a boast Chester made good on.
In the end, Spurrier said, its all about playing the game of football and not talking about it.
When that balls kicked off, nobody gives a dang, he said. As long as nobody plays dirty, talk is cheap. Talk is really cheap.
Production always wins out over conversation for him.
We dont want to be a mouthy team, he said. Wed rather be a good-playing team.