CLEMSON - The final week of a seemingly long spring seems to be wearing on
Clemson's football team.
One day after a full scrimmage - the first of four workouts this week, not
including Saturday's spring game - the Tigers appeared a bit lackluster in
Head coach Tommy Bowden obviously noticed the same thing. He capped off an
especially vocal day for himself at practice with a good chewing out of his
players in the post-workout huddle.
"We had a long scrimmage yesterday. We've got a lot of young guys (and) the
tendency is for them to come out here and feel sorry for themselves," he
said. "You can't do that. It's typical. It's just football. You're (media)
just not out here often where you can hear it."
"In fact," he added with a laugh, "if I'd know you were listening I'd have
gone a little further (away)."
Asked how the players were feeling sorry for themselves, Bowden again smiled.
"Got to practice tomorrow, got five practices this week, got a strained
eyelash, this is hurting me this week...," he said. "You've got a lot of
young guys who are used to getting away with it. But you can't do that. You
just can't show up with toughness. It doesn't develop overnight."
Bowden cited usually sure-handed receiver Derrick Hamilton as an example.
Hamilton, he of the bevy of freshman receiving records set in 2001, dropped
"three or four" passes across the middle during drills.
"You couldn't have paid him to catch one," Bowden said.
But not all was lackluster.
Redshirt freshman running back Tye Hill, practicing with a fracture in the
non-weight bearing bone in his right shin, still showed off his speed by
busting what appeared to be a trap play for a long touchdown run against the
And defensive lineman J.J. Howard, who was taken off the field Monday by an
ambulance with an apparent neck injury, was back and participating in full
workouts Tuesday. Ditto for offensive lineman Cedric Johnson, whose banged-up
knee proved not to be serious.
- Bowden said Saturday's spring game will follow a similar format to last
seasons, but without a scoring system.
"We'll do it like a regular scrimmage, but there will be points where we'll
stop and work on things," he said. "We'll work on punts and punt coverage,
but there won't be any other live kicking."
- The game with be televised on a tape-delay basis by Comcast (Charter
Communications), though an official air date has not been set. The game
originally was scheduled to be shown live, but that idea was nixed Tuesday.
- Bowden said the fact that the game will be shown on television won't change
his play-calling Saturday.
"It would have been generic anyway," he said.
- Bowden will leave the sidelines Saturday to join the broadcast booth for a
brief period of time.