CLEMSON - There are several good reasons why Tommy Bowden has never put
together a long-range, on-field plan for his Clemson Tigers. Chief among
them is the fact that he's entering his third season as head coach at the
same school for the first time in his career.
Bowden, who Tuesday hosted the media in a golf outing at Seneca's Cross
Creek Plantation, followed by dinner at his home, said his method of
operation has always been more immediate in nature.
"I've never gone to a job with a four or five-year plan," said Bowden. "Then
you only have (the program) ready for somebody else. My personality's more
of a jump-start personality anyway. It's pretty intense, and you'd better
get it quick. If the plan is initially pretty sound, all you have to do is
maintain it, upgrade it, fine-tune it, tweak it, like everybody does. That's
what we'll do.
"I think initially what we did offensively and defensively, kicking game,
staff-wise, things we've asked for from a facilities standpoint, is a pretty
sound plan. Let's just maintain it and elevate it."
One area the tweaking may be most noticeable is how physical practice is in
August. With Clemson's lack of depth on defense, the amount and type of
hitting may be different.
"The second year at Tulane we had a lot of players coming back," he said. "I
felt like if I didn't beat them up in August and got them to the game then
we'd be all right. I might do something (here) because of how thin we are on
defense...might do a little less hitting in August, or do it in confined
areas instead of a scrimmage-type situation where you can't get hurt. We
might change that way..."
Bowden addressed several different issues from the comfort of his own living
- His facilities plan:
"I do have a long-range plan for facilities. I hope it isn't too long-range,
because like I said then you're getting it ready for the next guy. There are
some things we need to address, administratively. But those are things
between me and (President James Barker)."
- The likelihood of a battle at quarterback between senior Heisman Trophy
candidate Woody Dantzler and sophomore backup Willie Simmons:
"It's going to be interesting because we put in some new things this spring
and Willie got every at-bat (due to Dantzler's recovery from off-season
ankle surgery). When you put in something new, and all of the sudden you get
pressure and Willie now knows where to go...Woody's got to grow, and there's
not much time to grow. (Willie's) closed the gap simply because he was
there. It could be (interesting), but it depends on how hungry Willie is."
- On having the third-longest tenure of any head coach in the ACC:
"That's very unusual. I'd like to be a legitimate contender, but I think
it's a gift right now."
- On Roscoe Crosby playing both college football at Clemson and professional
baseball for Kansas City:
"That's kind of in my background with my father, and I had some guys at
Tulane who played basketball and track. It's not a big deal. Deion (Sanders)
missed spring practice (baseball at Florida State)...I'd rather have
(Crosby) here missing spring practice than somewhere else missing it."
Freshmen report to Clemson Sunday, Aug. 5. Workouts begin the next morning.
Dan Scott is the host of SportsTalk (10AM-Noon) on 104.9 FM in Upstate SC and
Managing Editor of Seneca Daily Journal/Clemson Daily Messenger