Wednesday Clemson Practice Notebook

by - Correspondent -
Bowden had high praise for tailback Reggie Merriweather and the way he's handled taking a backup role.

CLEMSON - With the official announcement Wednesday that Clemson and South Carolina's annual football game will be played the Saturday after Thanksgiving starting in 2006, opinions about the move have been flying from all directions.

Except Tommy Bowden's office.

Asked his thoughts on the rivalry's new yearly date, the Clemson head coach politely declined to address the issue.

"I'll let the (Clemson) administration and the conference handle that," he said. "(Clemson) has had some strong feelings in the past, and I'll let them be explained by the administration. The field's the same size and the game's the same length. It doesn't make any difference to me.

"I know our school has taken a strong stance in the past, and I'd rather our administration comment."


Day Two of the Duane Coleman experiment went along without a hitch, Bowden said. His move to cornerback from tailback seems to have taken hold quickly.

"He's a little more natural there than I anticipated, to be honest with you," Bowden said.

Coleman apparently is wasting little time trying to learn his new position. After practice he and defensive coordinator Vic Koening walked the entire way from the Jervey practice facility to the shower area, discussing aspects of the position.


Bowden said he's still looking for more from junior punter Cole Chason.

Chason's per kick average through two games is 31.7 (30/6 net), well below his 2004 average of 40.2 (36.2 net), with five kicks over 50 yards. His season long this year has been 42 yards. Of course, not all of the problems can be directly attributed to Chason. His first two punts of the season were rushed after he had to retrieve high snaps.

And Bowden said this week's game vs. Miami might not be a good indicator of any progress Chason might make.

"I expect more out of him, but this will be a hard game to gauge because we ain't kicking to (Miami return man Devin Hester). I understand that," Bowden said. "But up to date I've not been satisfied.


On the other hand, Bowden had high praise for tailback Reggie Merriweather and the way he's handled taking a backup role to true freshman James Davis.

"In this day and time these guys watch the NFL and see what they're allowed to do as far as entertainment, bringing honor to themselves, and all the sudden some of that filters down," Bowden said. "Kids nowadays want the ball, they want to be the main guy, they want their name in the paper and their picture in the paper. When they don't get it they pout, they sulk, they don't give good effort.

"Reggie's totally the opposite. Great leader, great personality, sense of humor, team guy...He's a great ambassador for the kind of attitude you should have."

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