Nov. 5, 2002
Clemson Football Press Conference Media Player Downloadthe Free Real Player.Tommy Bowden(31:13) Download the Free Real Player.AltroyBodrick(7:48) Download the Free Real Player.Gary Byrd(6:34)Download the Free Real Player.BernardRambert(3:54) Download the Free Real Player.CharlieWhitehurst(8:07)
Tommy Bowden Quotes November 5, 2002
What does Charlie Whitehurst give this team? “The original move from Willie to Charlie was made because of the amount of turnovers (committed by Willie). I know Charlie still had one turnover against Duke, but with that performance (420 yards passing) we will try to correct that and go from there. As a 6’4” guy in the pocket, he has better vision, but we did not make the change because of that. And of course you saw Charlie’s performance at Duke. He brings a pretty productive package to the table. “
How is Willie handling all of this? “He is still going to compete for the job. I would not expect anything less. He can speak for himself, but that is what I have evaluated the way he has handled it in practice and around his teammates.”
How difficult a decision was it to have to replace Willie? “It was a very difficult decision. He has been an outstanding backup guy for three years and has done an excellent job. I think if a guy waits this long and you make a knee jerk reaction after the second or third game it is not the right way to handle it. That is why after the Georgia game we wanted to continue to play and improvements were made. He made improvement for four straight weeks.
“Turnovers continued to happen so we made a change. I think there is a fine line in how you handle that. Hopefully we handled it right as a staff. You feel disappointment because of what he has invested. It is a high profile position to quarterback a school like this and also in the style of offense like this, but this is not the first time this has happened either in the NFL or college in a scenario like this. He has responded like I thought he would and surely it is not the end of the line for him. I hope he does not see it like that.”
Is Charlie’s pocket presence his best attribute? “Height, arm, and his composure are his best attributes. Pocket presence is something every quarterback must have and he has it. “
What do you see from North Carolina’s defense? “They lost a lot of good players from last year. They have a very attractive place and they have some very talented players. They blitz a lot more than Virginia and Wake Forest do. They are big. Usually their secondary has very good coverage players. They put them in a lot of man situations because they blitz a lot. They probably play more press man than anybody we have seen up to date.”
Their free safety and their cornerback are the guys who have the best reputation as cover guys and the free safety is a run stopper.
Are those the guys you are worried about? “Their free safety, Reid, has 120 tackles and the next closest guy has 66. Their safety is a very active player and you can tell a couple of things by those statistics. They are getting him involved in the running game so the safeties are a factor. They are up there with a linebacker mentality so that means blitz and they bringing a lot of people up to stop the run. It is very unusual to have a team that has a safety leading the team in tackles by double the margin. “
Do you think North Carolina is going to try to put more pressure on Charlie because he is only making his second start? “Charlie hung in there this past week and hit Hamilton and Youngblood on touchdown passes against the blitz. Now it was not press man, but it was man coverage where Charlie had to make a quick decision. That is a decision that they will have.”
Will fifty passes be the norm for the rest of the year or will you just take what the defense gives you? “If the defensive structure is the same it would be. Unless our backs were more physical and they could make the defense miss. The easiest thing to do is just hand the ball off and run it, but that is just not always the case. If a team plays us the same way as Duke, we could throw 50 passes again.”
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