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Tommy Bowden Press Conference

Tommy Bowden Press Conference

Sept. 19, 2006

Clemson Football Press Conference
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On North Carolina’s offense: “I know a little bit about Frank Cignetti (North Carolina’s Offensive Coordinator) because his father was my father’s offensive coordinator and succeeded him as the head coach at West Virginia before my senior year. So, I played for him (n 1976) and was a graduate assistant under him (in 1977), so I’ve kept up with that family and I’ve watched his (Frank Cignetti) offense at Fresno State. “They run, play-action pass, and are physical, and there is a tough-nosed aspect to his offense. I have not really watched him that much now because I concentrate more on the other side of the ball. It will be more like a Boston College like presentation from an offensive standpoint to our defense than what Florida State and Florida Atlantic showed.”

On playing well against North Carolina: “This has been our problem in the past. We mess up and lose a game the week after a big win. Just because you’re favored does not necessarily mean you’re going to win the game, but again a lot of the players will start reading where they are favored to win and pay a little less attention to detail during practice. There may not be as much intensity and emotion, and that’s when you get in trouble. “Some things that may indicate that this team may be different would be the Florida Atlantic game where we took care of business after we had some tragedies that happened this summer with the death of Jared Foster (Clemson’s track coach) and Antonio Clay’s sister passing away. ” Then we lost Tramaine Billie (linebacker who broke his foot), then Anthony Waters (linebacker who tore his ACL), and then Michael Hamlin (safety who broke his foot), but it seems like this team’s focus has been pretty well centered. It stays centered by our senior leadership; that makes me think we might perform at a pretty high intensity level this Saturday.”

On quarterback Will Proctor: “My concern coming into the game (Florida State) was that this was a school (Florida State) that he always wanted to go to, so you wonder with his anxiety level up another notch if it’s going to affect his performance or not. He has really done well. Rob Spence has done a good job with him. Will’s attention to detail and his ability to work and his feeling of a sense of urgency to be productive is good. The last two environments that he has been in gives you every indication that he can do it. He has a really good demeanor.”

On Vic Koenning (Clemson’s defensive coordinator): “His management style is kind of relaxed. He can be pretty vocal and intense when necessary, but he’s got a pretty calm demeanor on the sidelines and players see that. It creates a comfort zone. He’s been really productive and I have been pleased, especially with the injuries we have had this season.”

On middle linebacker Antonio Clay’s: “We knew he was a pretty good football player when we signed him. Anytime we put a guy out there with a personal tragedy, you wonder how he is going to respond. I have been real impressed with his maturity, as he has been able to handle a family tragedy and then still come out and perform at a high level. Again, it shows his maturity. And also a lot of the credit may go to Vic Koenning, his coaches, and how they’ve prepared him.”

On the injuries and tragedies surrounding the team: “I think it can go in two different directions, with one being a distraction or you can rally behind. The next guy can step up and take the place of the injured player. In our particular place, it has been a positive effect. A lot of the credit should go to the senior leadership on the team, and then the staff as they have prepared younger guys to go out and perform.”

On cornerback Duane Coleman’s performance against Florida State: “He played really well and was named MVP of the game and then his special teams if you watched were really good. The challenge to him this week is that we’re not playing Florida and he’s from Florida. I hope he plays with the same level of intensity as he did against Florida State. Being a running back his whole life and never playing defensive back and making the transition last year, he has shown a lot of maturity on and off the field. “He has a strong desire to graduate and behaves himself off the field. I think it’s going to be a great story when he graduates from here as a young man who has overcome adversity and having success. It has really been a pleasure to watch him perform and have success.”