Weather or Not, Spring Practice Underway


by - Correspondent -
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<font class=caption>New defensive coordinator John Lovett directs his defensive backs.</font>
New defensive coordinator John Lovett directs his defensive backs.

CLEMSON - On Day One of the next big football season at Clemson, Tommy Bowden
had but one disappointment as spring practice finally opened.


"The weather," he said. "It's really limited as to what you can do when the
wind's blowing, it's cold and you're in shorts. But we didn't really lose
anything. Had we practiced Saturday when it was wet footing would have been a
problem. But footing was okay today."


Bowden looked for the usual first-day signs from his team - enthusiasm,
correct alignments and recognizing assignments and terminology.


The latter was of particular interest where the defense was concerned. New
defensive coordinator John Lovett got his first on-field look at his new
team, and came away relatively pleased with what he saw.


PRESS CONFERENCE AUDIO
Tommy Bowden on the first day of practice. - Real | Windows Media


"I noticed some kids today...we're going to watch some film and make some
corrections," Lovett said. "I was pleased with how well they picked some of
the things up. I'm a stickler for little things, and we'll get the little
things as we get going. That's why you practice."


Lovett installed two fronts - including an eight-man front - and two
coverages Monday, and planned to add another of each Tuesday. He also got his
first look at several players in new positions, including Terrence Huey
(cornerback) and Todd McClinton (defensive line), both of whom are making the
transition from offense to defense.


In other first-day notes:


Todd McClinton practices with the DL.

- Bowden said he was pleased with the way his quarterbacks - starter Willie
Simmons and backup Charlie Whitehurst - threw the ball despite the wind and
cold, sticking mostly to 10-15 yard patterns on the blustery afternoon.


Bowden again said the quarterback job was "Willie's to lose," and expects
both to have a productive spring.


- Bowden reiterated that wide receiver Roscoe Crosby will practice only on
days the team is out in shorts, though he will "throw in a new wrinkle or two
to keep him involved.


"We want to make sure the (Kansas City) Royals get their $2.5 million worth,"
he joked. "We got ours August through January."


- Both Bowden and Lovett said they were happy with the early leadership signs
from the new group of seniors taking over that role.


"Their roles have changed," Bowden said. "For the first time they're in the
leadership position, so you can kind of see those things take place. That's
one of the exciting things about the spring."


The team will practice again at 4 p.m. Tuesday. The workout is open to the
public.


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