July 24, 2005
ACC Football Media Day Clemson Player Quotes
Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst: ” If we could’ve figured out what was happening (offensively) last year, we could’ve turned it around. I don’t think we ever did. I don’t think anyone on the offense was very good. Nobody had a big year for us. That was pretty obvious on my part. No position really stood out. This year, I think it will happen. We’re a little more experienced at some vital positions. We’ve been through the ups and downs and we know how to handle just about every situation. Of course we’re extremely hungry, coming off a bad year.
“Individually, I didn’t play very well in 2004. Again, I don’t think we were very good as an offensive team. I think after last season, everybody on offense has to look in the mirror. I think we’ve done that this offseason.
“I appreciate Coach Bowden taking responsibility for my struggles last season. But I think everybody needs to take responsibility. He does, I do, and everyone on the offense does. It’s a team effort. We took it as a learning experience and now we just need to move forward. We need to store it in the back of our brain so it doesn’t happen again. You have to move forward, and I think we are.
“We showed some improvement coming out of spring ball. A lot of the procedures and formations that Coach Spence brought in, we already knew. We had to pick up the new terminology quickly, of course. We still have a lot of work to do, that’s pretty obvious. We were better offensively this spring than at any time last season.”
Cornerback Tye HillOn what’s new with this year’s defense: This year will be more zone oriented. Last year was more press-man coverage, but we’re going to have a totally different defense this year.
On why he switched from running back to cornerback two years ago: I wanted to continue running track and if I would have stayed at running back, I would’ve had to put on some weight. I enjoy track, but I’m not sure how much more track I will run. It depends on how the football season goes this year.
On the up-and-down 2004 season: They were a lot of what-if’s in the back of our mind in the offseason, and we want to eliminate the what-if’s this year. Our goal is to start hard and finish strong.
On the large crop of first-time starting quarterbacks in the ACC this season: Some rookie quarterbacks come in and are very capable in their first season, so I don’t think there is really a freshman factor. They are football players and they are on scholarship too. They’re going to come in and be very competitive, so we have to be ready.
On Georgia Tech sophomore receiver Calvin Johnson: I was very impressed by the way he played. He showed the ability to stay composed under pressure. We didn’t know anything about him last year. He wasn’t on the scouting report and we went into that game blind.
We know about him now. His name will be highlighted everywhere on this year’s scouting report. We’ll probably have arrows pointing every which way at him. I’ll probably know his favorite movie by kickoff.
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