Bowden Spring Practice Press Conference Transcript
What do you want to emphasis on during spring practice?
Bowden: Finding the top eleven guys on offense then the next best eleven
defensively. So from a personnel standpoint making sure we've got the best guys
on the field especially with new coordinators. Which is always important but
might take a little longer with both these guys are unfamiliar. That's good and
that’s bad. It’s good in the fact that if there was a guy who had been
discouraged then its like new light for that type case. Then I think it’s going
to be understanding schemes and understanding offense and defense and that’s
pretty much normal, again a little more different because we are a little more
unique because we are changing some terminology. Both schemes are fairly
similar. Then it’s finding leadership, seeing who going to assume leadership
roles based on finishing up our next to last 5:30 in the morning workout, we
went five days last week, going into the third day you can kind of see some of
the chemistry and moral and personality of the team starting to gel a little
Have you spent more time in meetings with staff due to terminology changes?
Bowden: No, the schemes are offensively similar and defensively there are some
carryovers. That's kind of good. It breaks monotony after being together for
eight years offensively with the same terminology. We really needed that from a
Would this allow you to get into light scrimmages quicker?
Bowden: I don't think that will make that big a difference from a scrimmage
standpoint. We are allowed three full scrimmages and we utilize those within the
same time frame as we did last year or the year before. It may get us a little
later with some situation scrimmages. We are allowed two half scrimmages, but it
really won’t affect it. Spring game counts as one and that’s locked in and we're
allowed two more and that's us using Saturdays because they are little more
extended. So I really don't think it will affect the scrimmages that we do.
Have you already scheduled those other two?
Bowden: Yes, pretty much. Rain would dictate or injury. We have scheduled them
based on a normal schedule, with rain not being a factor or injury.
Do you start any differently how you approach the first couple of days?
Bowden: Not really, other than the fact that there may be more teaching
involved. That's normally the case when you have freshman coming in. If we had
not replaced coordinators we would have turn overs as far as starters and
freshman so we would go somewhat slow in the spring anyhow. We'll probably go a
little slower because of the different terminology.
Do you need more meeting time than you did in the past?
Bowden: Well, the four hours a day is four hours a day. Most the time its been
one and three, one hour meeting time three hours practice, and that’s what we
have going into spring. That might change after a few days of practice, say we
might need to add thirty minutes of meeting time and take thirty off practice,
but right now we are going into spring pretty well normal, with three hours of
practice and one hour for meeting.
Will Charlie do more work due to the new offense?
Bowden: Unless, under normal circumstances we were using the same terminology
and everything. The line of scrimmage procedure will be a little bit different
so its important from a timing standpoint that your offensive lineman are used
to hearing from Charlie to Will and the two young quarterbacks use the same
timing, voice fluctuations and things of that nature so for Charlie that’s going
to be changed so he’s going to have to spend a little more time than less time.
If we had kept the same line of scrimmage procedure we might be able to work
those other guys in a little sooner.
Is that backup job wide open at this point?
Bowden: It's Will's to lose. No, it’s not wide open, he's been here too long and
done too much, and established some creditability.
Can you keep to your guns in regards to keeping your hands off the offense?
Bowden: I have been this road before. I have honed myself off of Rich. I have
been in this environment before.
Is the stadium off limits?
Bowden: We need to do our Saturday scrimmages in there. It’s the best film and
it will create a little bit of environment, even though there are no fans. Right
now, as far as I know, the spring game and Saturday scrimmages are going to be
Roman Fry is a center now, what was the reason for that change?
Bowden: Well, we lost an experienced guy and Dustin has played some and we
wanted to make sure that you go in with two or three steady guys. Clint LaTray
has not played much. Roman has been in the heat of battle but not so much as a
center. So that is one position you don't want to get caught short on because
everything starts there with the center. You would like to get four guys ready,
try to work four in the spring, because when those guys go down first and goal
the center quarterback exchange, those things are awful important. Sometimes you
have a hard time getting six inches if you don't get the snap up there. We liked
some things he's done athletically to give him a chance to play that position.
Is Bobby Hutchinson penciled in as a center?
Bowden: He'll get a little bit of center, but initially he'll get guard work. He
may get some center work. He may be the fourth guy.
How is the line of scrimmage going to change?
Bowden: I mean, down set blue eighty eight, blue eighty eight hike, that
terminology is going to be something else, so that's the terminology not so much
the looking over. He'll be schooled to look a operate a little more from the
line of scrimmage as far as receiving and relaying information to the sideline.
I was talking more about the verbiage used that the center and the guards are
going to have to learn.
You have four wides, it looks a little thin, are you going to look at the
Bowden: Yeah, I think we were going to do that anyway. We have signed some guys
we are real pleased with from a talent standpoint, those guys will get an early
look in August regardless. And like I said, we'll be utilizing the tight end a
little bit more and the two back a little more so it does look thin initially but
you go back to you only have one ball. I think Rob has a guy that made 101
catches or something like that. So we have the one guy we can move around like
we did in the past.
Could you move some other guys over there, I had heard maybe Sergio.
Bowden: He needs to stay locked in the corner, that's something we would
entertain if the numbers got so thin that we had to. But at this point in time
we do not anticipate doing that.
Do you notice any changes in Grant going into the spring?
Bowden: Probably the biggest change is we meet once a week with academic support
staff and go over a list of pretty good academic performance this week and his
name was on there, which was unusual, good instead of bad. That's a difference.
What's the point of Bobby moving back to offense?
Bowden: The need is going to increase over there. Ben played for so long and
Bobby, other than that Zach Green, Thomas Hunter have not been a starting tight
end, so at times we plan on that being a pretty important piece of the offense.
He'll be starter from day one on offense.
Could he go back to defense?
Bowden: He could go back.
Do you feel comfortable about the defensive line?
Bowden: Yeah, right now. The numbers and that we stay injury free, which is
important, then with a freshman or two going in there I think we can plug the
holes we might have. But we'll have to see how we are coming out of spring how
much help we'll need from freshman.
How confident are you in the new coordinators?
Bowden: They are both proven and experienced guys at the 1A level, so I don't
have any reservations in that regard at all. They both have track records.
Does that make spring ball more important for the coaches?
Bowden: Its always important with the goals that we just talked about. With
regards to where you are and what you've accomplished or how you finish a
season, I think every coach goes into spring with those goals. In the past
couple of years its been running the football better, its not so much that I
have eliminated that from one of our goals its taken care of during the hiring
process. So I think those goals are important and the fact that we have new
coordinators want minimize that.
You have wide receivers at A and W, is that what H and Y used to be?
Bowden: It's just terminology, I thought it was a good idea for Vic and Rob
changed terminology. That's the verbiage you'll have to pick up early in the
spring, if you call a play what is A what is W, now its all changed. We still
have a Y but its a different guy.
Will any players miss the spring academically or physically?
Bowden: Academically no, physically no.
Do you expect Littleberry to be back in the fall?
Bowden: Yes, if he handles himself appropriately I anticipate him being back.
How much is lost when you don't have the extra bowl practices?
Bowden: I don't think its that much. Surely we would have liked to have it, it
wouldn't have been beneficial to us because we were doing something different on
both sides of the ball. There are a lot of teams that consistently go there
because it gives you thirteen to fifteen more practices and it keeps you skilled
and more finely tuned. Its probably four or five weeks of workouts that you
How does Charlie bounce back from last season?
Bowden: If you look at Rob's background in this particular case with going to a
new place and having a senior going to a new place and a freshman going to a new
place, having a senior and the next year having a freshman. I think it has
always had immediate productivity with passing percentage and completion
percentage and completion ratio. That's why I think that Charlie being a senior
and pretty stable guy, ya'll have interviewed him for a long time now, he's a
pretty level headed constant guy and I would be disappointed if he doesn't have
a pretty productive year.
Who would be your nickle back?
Bowden: Fifth defensive back? You'll have to ask Vic. I know we have safety,
boundary corner, field corner, i know we have those, and there's a lot of
flexibility in his scheme to go without a nickel.
Will you do much with special teams?
Bowden: We always do field goal and punt pro every single day year around. First
day first thing we field goal an extra point and the second thing is punt pro
and that is pretty much the same thing every day spring and fall. I don't
believe we've had a field goal extra point block in six years and punt we've had
three maybe in six years and that's because the work we do every day.
What duties will the new assistants have with special teams?
Bowden: Well, right now, what we did last year, David Blackwell has punt block
and he's got kickoff coverage Jack's got punt pro and Burton has kickoff return
and we'll just plug those guys in. The biggest difference will be punt pro,
where Thielen and John and David assisted Jack now it will be Vic, probably Ron
West and David assisting Jack.
What are uniforms going to look like this year?
Bowden: A dumb down version of what we had, a generic uniform, a little
different material, there are new materials that they are making that's a little
more light weight. Every year they improve on weight of uniforms, with speed and
quickness being such a big factor that's always taken into consideration. But as
far as the uniform itself it will be fairly generic.
Which player or players wowed the coaches during weight training?
Bowden: We just finished our eighth day of that 5:30 in the morning workout and
we had some pretty good performances, Sergio Gilliam. Tye Hill, Chansi Stuckey,
Chip Myrick, Trey Tate, Steven Furr, Kyle Browning, Roman Fry, Jamaal
Fudge, those are some of the guys that jumped off the radar at weights and early
morning condition, Charlie Whitehurst too.
Who is your strongest player?
Bowden: Dustin Fry was at one point in time, based on 225, the number of times
you did 225. But as far as total lifts I'm not sure who would be the all around
Are there guys that you set the bar higher for?
Bowden: Anthony Waters I think would be in that position because of losing Leroy
Hill and Trey Tate. Charles Bennett, Tye Hill just thinking of some guys coming
back. Chip Myrick, Nathan Bennett, Dustin Fry and Kelvin. His performance needs
to match his potential.
What is the plan for Friday?
Bowden: The schedule will be a one hour meeting, and a three hour practice, 3:30
to 6:30 will be practice.
Are any practices open?
Bowden: We have not talked about it. The scrimmages we always have open.
Do you feel rejuvenated with the changes?
Bowden: spring is always a fun time because you don't play a game. You have new
freshman coming in and you're excited to see how the seniors will respond to the
senior position which they've never had before. Also, there will be new schemes
that will be fun to see. Its more relaxed, just let the guys play.
Do you have any new players coming in?
Bowden: We have a certain amount of walk-ons out there. We have McKissick and
Could those two guys help the team?
Bowden: I am excited to see, they are both young and have a lot to learn but
again, they are coming in on the ground level of something new. So they are not
far behind in the terminology standpoint or scheme standpoint, that's to their
Did you say there was wideout transfer?
Bowden: I thought we did. I thought he transferred but he would have been