Tommy Bowden Weekly Press Conference

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Tommy Bowden Weekly Press Conference, Windows Media, (33:19)

Dan Scott interview with Dustin Fry, Windows Media, (12:03)

Tye Hill, Windows Media, (7:53)

Aaron Kelly, Windows Media, (4:53)

Bowden Quotes

"So far our team has played four games and in all four of those games they have played hard for 60 minutes, and in two cases longer (overtimes with Miami (FL) and Boston College). It looks like after four games that our guys are pretty serious and they bring their 'A' game every week.

" In evaluating where we are as a team I look at how smart we are playing, and I believe we are third in the nation as far as the least penalized teams. I ask if we are turning the ball over? We are second in the nation in fewest turnovers committed (one). I also think that with the 60 minute games we have given good effort.

"You continue to go down the pecking order and you look at assignments. Well, yeah we have had some missed assignments, but that is a part of college football. If you look at the history of the game you will never find a game that was play without them. We haven't had a lot of them, because if were having a lot of missed assignments then we wouldn't be playing 60-minute games. To be undefeated right now then we would have had to minimize our missed assignments."

"As I told the team yesterday, when I looked on the field in the fourth quarter when we are trying to win the game I saw freshmen Phillip Merling, Jock McKissic, Rashad Jackson, Michael Hamlin, Chris Clemons, and Haydrian Lewis. On offense we have true freshman Rendrick Taylor, Tyler Grisham, and James Davis. I bring that up to say thisŠ those guys are no longer freshmen, but sometimes there are missed assignments. In this conference, if you want to go out and win games, don't use that as an excuse (playing freshmen). You walk a fine line, because it's not like we haven't accomplished anything this year. We have opened with three top-25 teams in our first four games and have played them all down to the wire.

"If I had to ask this team to go out there today, in full pads and go for 30 periods, which is roughly about three hours, and do live goal line scrimmaging for 20 minutes, followed by some half-line and inside drills, then they would do it. This team would do anything we asked them right now. Mentally, I think we are in good shape, but we still need to be careful in what we ask them to do. We have to put them into the best possible position to win the game Saturday.

"I am confident after four games, that whether we have a true freshman or a fifth-year senior out there that they are going to play hard, and fight you for 60 minutes. I am also confident that we will have some more mistakes down the road, but I am confident they will play hard.

"I tried to make it clear to the team yesterday, that no NFL receiver makes every catch. There isn't a quarterback in the NFL that hasn't missed a throw. There isn't a linebacker or secondary guy that hasn't missed a tackle. We can't have the same guy missing a bunch of tackles."

"Jim Grobe is a good coach, and Wake Forest is a well-coached team as a whole and they play hard. They play sound fundamentally, and they don't have many busted coverages or those type of things. I saw in the game last night between LSU and Tennessee that there were some guys running free. You won't see that when you play Wake Forest.

"In man coverage for example, a corner playing man gets run off by the wide receiver and is out of the play. Also, if the right man doesn't cover the pitch, then the running back is gone. Playing zone could be an advantage against an option type team. There are plusses and minuses to both zone and man coverage when playing an option attack."

More Quotes

Are you concerned with the team mental state?

Bowden: I think the mental frame of mind is good. To be undefeated right now we would have to minimize the missed assignments that we've had, and that's what were working on right now.

How high is your confidence level with the freshmen?

Bowden: From a coaching perspective, when those guys are on the field against good competition, there are going to be errors, and with new coordinators there is going to be a learning curve. I am confident after four games, based on what they have done I think they'll go out Saturday and play really hard for sixty minutes.

What problems does Wake Forest present to you?

Bowden: I think the problem is going to be that they are a well coached team and you have to earn everything you get from them.

Does the zone defense work best against that kind of offense?

Bowden: There are certain aspects of zone coverage that increase your odds in the option game. Most people who play an option team use zone more so than man.

How has your running game been so far?

Bowden: I would like to have more running yardage. I think you have to be smart with it. I would like us to be more productive, we are better than we were. Hopefully we can improve and increase our actual run yardage.

With Rob's offense do you have any of the wide receivers that you may highlight as playmakers?

Bowden: Right now there is not a whole lot of separation between the guys. There is the capability in offense but I don't think there is any solid reasoning to highlight a guy right now based on the first four games.

Could Curtis Baham be that playmaker?

Bowden: Doesn't have the speed or quickness as Chansi, Curtis is a dependable , reliable, technique of route, good hands, tough player, and there is a place for that player on everybody's team.

Does the last time at Wake Forest stand out to you?

Bowden: No, that's the part of the profession, and luckily we are family within the profession. It was the first time I had experienced that, I watched my dad and brother go thru it, but it doesn't really stand out to me.

Have you changed anything to cut down on the number of penalties?

Bowden: No we really haven't. A lot of the credit other than to the players would go to Vic and Rob.

Did the brawl with South Carolina last year contribute to a lack on penalties this year?

Bowden: No, we have never had a lot of unsportsmanlike penalties, never in my career, never since I have been at Clemson. I would say that would be a non significant factor, because I have never had that problem.

Seems like you have avoided some penalties with timeouts to help your freshmen lined up?

Bowden: We have always had timeouts to manage a field goal in the fourth quarter in every game we played. It has cost us one or two, it doesn't bother me in the first half, but they are precious in the second half. We have always had timeouts to help us with clock management, so we have had one or two.

Are you getting the collision you wanted to see on defense?

Bowden: I think those collisions will come as soon as we can mature a little more up front with some of those guys and apply more pressure and learn more familiarity with our zone drops.

Do you think the surprise of your new offense has worn off some?

Bowden: I would say it has worn off but we have been in every game against the nation’s toughest schedule. There is some familiarity with it.

Is Charlie going down field as much as you would like to see?

Bowden: Right now I think as much as we need to, we are doing it. Just like anything else, the further you go in your season as teams chart you and you develop tendencies then you need to have tendency breakers. From an offensive philosophy standpoint we put ourselves in a position to win every game.

Is there a fear that this weekend will be to laid back atmosphere for your team ?

Bowden: That is always the fear. Our type of environment is one that motivates you and excites you to do your best because it’s the best of college football.

You had said that Leroy Hill might be the toughest position to replace, it seems Anthony Waters has done a good job.

Bowden: Consistency is the name of the game, and he has put three games together that have been really impressive. He is putting himself in a position right now to do some things like Leroy Hill was doing. Now he's only done it three games. He played good in the first game, but these three games were another level and he has shown the consistency against quality competition.

Did you think at his size he would have speed to make plays?

Bowden: He's a bigger guy, 6'2" and has been as high as 240lbs. I have seen him in the weight room doing quickness drills working on getting his weight down and he has worked really hard at it.

How do you determine which running back has the hot hand?

Bowden: The coaches are a little older, little more wisdom and know that running style would feature better than the other one. We pretty much make the decision based on our feel as opposed to theirs, I think if one guy has the hot hands that's pretty obvious.

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