Orange & White Game Insider was able to pick up several interesting items in talking to players, recruits, and coaches Saturday afternoon at Riggs Field. Find out what we learned this spring about Tommy Bowden's approach to improving his team across phases of the game in this report.

Interesting Tidbits
* One of the main points of emphasis this spring was making the team "tougher," especially the defense. The coaching staff really felt like the team as a whole needed to become more physical if they are going to reach the next level at any point in the near future. The extensive focus on the running game was just one of the primary ways to help achieve this goal.

While some experts are quick to suggest that this may be a monumental change in Tommy Bowden's philosophy, don't be too quick to jump on board that bandwagon. The Tigers' head coach simply wanted to give his defense a more realistic look of what to expect on gameday next season by avoiding the continual use of 5-wide sets during practice.

By showing more I-formation and running the ball more than 60% of the time during most scrimmages, the defense faced something similar to what they'll see during their 12 regular season games this fall.

* With Tommy Bowden taking more control of the offense this fall, the Tigers' offense will more closely resemble what we saw at Tulane during his last season there as the head coach. During that undefeated year, the Green Wave averaged over 300 yards passing and 200 yards rushing a game, becoming the first school to ever eclipse that mark in one season. So what does that exactly mean? It means we'll see the no-huddle attack, as well as the quick huddle near the line of scrimmage, but don't pencil in every play coming from the I-formation. Bowden still likes his one-back sets and he'll likely run most of the offense out of that formation next season.

* Tim DeBeer spent Saturday afternoon on the sideline, however he indicated that his injury was nothing to be concerned about heading into the fall. "I didn't break anything, there's no tear, so everything looks good for this fall," DeBeer said. DeBeer suffered through an ankle injury last week.

* Former Tiger linebacker Eric Sampson spoke with several fans Saturday afternoon. Apparently, Sampson is doing everything in his power to get his grades in order and get back on the football field next fall. Officials from the athletic department declined to comment on his situation, but Sampson seems extremely optimistic that he could return.

* While it appears that back up quarterback Willie Simmons hasn't beaten out Charlie Whitehurst this spring, it still remains unclear as to what direction he'll take next season. Simmons is scheduled to sit down with Tommy Bowden as soon as this week to discuss all of his options- one of which could include Simmons transferring to a Division I-AA school. It is believed that the Tallahassee native wants some sort of guarantee from the coaching staff that he'll see action in every game this fall. Tommy Bowden has hinted on more than one occasion that he would consider using a "platoon" quarterback system- meaning both Tiger QBs could see action in each and every game. Top Stories