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Quotes From Tommy Bowden After First Orlando Practice

Quotes From Tommy Bowden After First Orlando Practice

Dec. 16, 2002

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“We just had a light workout this morning. This afternoon we’ll be in pads, so there will probably be a little more intensity. We don’t want to play the game on the practice fields. We’ll be down here for more than a week, so we have to pace ourselves in our preparation. Anytime you’re practicing twice a day, you have to be careful not to hurt your legs. Especially when you play a type of team like Texas Tech, that likes to throw the ball around, you need to be sprinting around on the field.”

On running ability of QB Charlie Whitehurst: “Charlie has pretty good running skills. He moves around in the pocket, going east and west, but he’s not Woody (Dantzler) or the kid at Iowa State (Seneca Wallace) or the kid at Iowa (Brad Banks). He had a good run at South Carolina (in Clemson’s last game), but he’s looking to throw first.”

On four players (DeJuan Polk, Tony Elliott, Matt Watson, Nick Black) graduating this week: “We’ll fly them up for the ceremony, so they won’t be here on Friday. The NCAA allows you to do that. That will give us 12 guys on the team with their degrees. I’ve never been around anything like that before. I’ve been around teams with a walk-on that had his degree, or a third-team guy, but nothing like this. Most of those 12 guys are starters and playing for us. I think that says a lot for the job Joe White and the Student-Athlete Enrichment office does.”

On difference between bowl game in Orlando and Boise: “I think the weather helps. It makes it easier to have fun at practice and it helps the effort. When you’re a skill player, it’s no fun running around with ski hats and gloves and sweaters, trying to make plays.”

On balance of fun and work during bowl week: “The players know that when it’s time to go to work, we need to work. After the whistle blows and we head back to the hotel, they can have a good time. We’ll give them some free time, but when we come out here (to practice) we need to work.”

Afternoon Practice Quotes

“We had a good practice, but we have to make sure we don’t take a lot out of (the players). I thought we had good effort, there was better intensity than this morning, but we obviously weren’t as sharp as we need to be. But that will come around by the end of the week.”

On team’s conditioning: “Well, we had a two and a half hour practice today, so they’ve pretty much stayed in shape during the down time. Conditioning hasn’t been a big problem for this team, but we still need to get in shape this week. We’ve got to try to get back into game shape while trying to get our legs back and keep them for the game. We’re going to have to run around that field (in the Mazda Tangerine Bowl) to make plays against (Texas Tech).”

On daily routine / free time for players and coaches: “We met last night at 6 and had position meetings. We met this morning after practice. Last night, we got out of position meetings at 8, and I had to call prospects, so there wasn’t much free time on my part. The guys have a curfew every night, but they’ll have some free time to see the things around the city. There will be more fun time for the players and the families and the wives, but we’ve got some things scheduled later in the week that the coaches will get to go to. Some planned activities after Thursday.”

On practice vs. fun: “There’s definitely a line that has to be drawn. I know the schedule that Florida State has used and was so successful with. We do something similar to that. You have to make sure the players have fun, but know that we have a job to do.”

On younger players: “We haven’t had a lot of time to do that. During two-a-days, we’ll focus on the older players and getting ready to play the game. After Wednesday, we’ll take a look at the other guys. We plan on seeing the younger guys get after it sometime this week.”