Tigers Hit Field For Off-Week Workouts

by - Correspondent -

CLEMSON - Tommy Bowden has maintained that he, his staff and his football team can't work any "longer or harder" to try and solve serious special teams issues. Turns out they can, at least during an off week.

Clemson held the first of three off-week workouts Tuesday afternoon. And with no immediate game for which to prepare, Bowden put his team through an extra 20-25 minutes of work on special teams, or roughly double what he does in a normal practice.

Special teams has been an issue for much of Bowden's tenure at Clemson, and in the last two weeks mistakes and that area have heavily contributed to a pair of losses. Most recently, Virginia Tech returned both a punt and a kickoff for scores last Saturday in a 41-23 win at Death Valley.

So after analyzing the game tapes, Bowden and his staff have forged a plan of attack for this week's practices - all of which will include extra special teams work.

"After looking at the film we need to be concentrating on the personnel moreso than the schemes," he said. "Especially on the kickoffs."

Bowden said on the Hokies' kickoff return score, there were coverage team members in place to make a tackle. They didn't. So next on the agenda, he said, is finding players who will.

Meanwhile, punter Jimmy Maners is being asked to sacrifice a bit of distance in exchange for better hang time on his kicks, an attempt to give the coverage team more time to get into place.

"He's averaging 44 yards per kick right now," Bowden said. "I'll take 40 with better hang time."

Elsewhere Tuesday, 12 Tigers were in yellow jerseys (no contact) for the workout, though none of them are expected to be ruled out for the Oct. 20 Homecoming game with Central Michigan.

Among the newest injured were Jacoby Ford (sternum), Scotty Cooper and Rashaad Jackson (shoulders), Michael Hamlin (shoulder and ankle) and Chris Clemmons (thigh bruise).

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