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Tommy Bowden Press Conference

Tommy Bowden Press Conference

Sept. 26, 2006

Clemson Football Press Conference
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On the offensive line: “There is no doubt that the key to the offensive performance is the offensive line. If you have protection problems, then you can’t throw it. If you have inability to block, then you’re going to have running problems. Any efficiency on offense is generated by the performance of the offensive line. “Defense is now so complex that it takes multiple blocking schemes and multiple calls to put those five guys on the same page. It’s the only unit in football that operates as a team with that many guys. The secondary usually has four guys that operate together and linebackers have three. The point of contact is so minimal that the smallest misstep creates problems. So there are several things that count for experience being a huge part of success. So these guysŠthey have the experience. “Obviously Brad Scott (Assistant Head Coach) and Paul Hogan (Graduate Assistant Coach) coach them well. Through experience, there techniques are good. They’re calls are accurate. I’ve got some pretty tough guys. It gets contagious, and that’s a mean position. There are a lot of things that are legal that aren’t legal outside the tackle box that you can do.”

On being focused for the Louisiana Tech game: “There are plenty of examples from week to week where teams can learn a lesson. Colorado, for example, who was 0-3, trailed Georgia 13-0 late in the game. When you lose your concentration, focus, interests, or intensity, then that’s going to happen. Four games into the season, there have been some I-AA teams upsetting I-A teams. So those are the things you try to teach your team. “In the past, I have not done a good job of making them understand the sense of urgency of showing up from week to week. The first four games we played this year have been a good that they are taking each game as it comes and showing full concentration. We don’t actively recruit against them (Louisiana Tech). Our players don’t know any of those guys as far as bragging rights going back home in the winter or spring. There is none of that from a motivational factor. But there is plenty to be motivated about.”

On the gameplan against Louisiana Tech: “I’m going to try everything possible to beat Louisiana Tech. We’re going to take the best players we have and formulate the best game plan to beat Louisiana Tech. Every ounce of preparation is going to go toward beating Louisiana Tech with no new wrinkles or experimentation.”

On the reasons for success of the team so far: “We have more seniors than I’ve ever had since I’ve been here and that includes 14 fifth year seniors. Leadership has been good. Just because you have a lot of seniors does not make you a good leader. Past experience has helped. All of these things are indicators that these guys can reflect on. I think because of the experience on the team and the leadership, more is being absorbed than in the past.”

On the offense: “Recruiting has helped. C.J. Spiller has the longest reception for a running back in the history of the school. A lot of the offensive statistical success we’ve had is the players and coaches. We’ve only played four games, but we’ve played some really good teams: Florida State, Boston College, and then North Carolina.”

On the defense: “The guys are making a lot more progress. We have eight young sophomore and freshman defensive lineman and defensive ends who are getting better every game. Those guys are definitely making improvements, which you hope they do. Health is the key. We’ve got to stay healthy and we have to have a little bit of luck.”

On sophomore running back James Davis: “He got a little stronger in the off season. He made a couple of runs in this game that I watched on tape that showed him running through arms and over people, which I think is a direct indication of his work over the summer in the weight room. He is a little more knowledgeable at picking his holes and recognizing defensives and anticipating before the ball is snapped, where the hole is going to be based on the defensive front.”

On sophomore wide receiver Rendrick Taylor: “He catches the ball well. He practices hard. He’s a good solid citizen academically and off the field. He’s the complete package. His parents did a good job with him. He has good work ethic on the field. I’d take a few more of him.”