Bowden Wants More Big Hits

The Tigers returned to the practice fields for the final time before tomorrow's scrimmage in Death Valley earlier this afternoon. Head coach Tommy Bowden addressed the media on several pressing concerns afterwards.

High School Coaches in Attendance
Bowden and Sports Information Director Tim Bourret said Friday evening that approximately 250-350 high school coaches were in attendance for today's practice as part of a coaching clinic.

"It was pretty enthusiastic and spirited practice because we had a lot of high school coaches out there and everybody likes to perform in front of an audience," said Bowden.

"It was close to 300. It was increase from last year I know that," added Bowden with a laugh.

Bowden Looking for ?
When asked what he would be looking for from his defense during tomorrow's scrimmage, Bowden mentioned several key areas. But mostly, he wants to see more big plays.

"I wish they would come out and dominate the scrimmage. Offensively, we do a lot of things that really challenge you and that's kind of hard, but we've been shutdown by a few teams," said Bowden.

"John (Lovett) is experimenting with a few looks, and experimenting with different things defensively, so it's kind of hard to focus on a gameplan for us. Still, you'd like to see them come out there and create turnovers and create collisions. We haven't had enough of that right now."

"We haven't had the kind of hit that when the other guy gets up, he's kind of wobbly."

Other Areas for Tomorrow
Defensive improvement has been the main topic of conversation this spring, but for tomorrow's scrimmage, Bowden also said that he'd like for some of his reserve players to step up.

"You'd like to C.J. Gaddis get out there and make a little improvement at corner, Robert Reese to have another good day out there."

Toughness is also a reoccurring theme that continues to be preached by the Clemson coaching staff this spring.

"We've got some guys out there that are a little banged up, and they took today off. That just shows you their sign of a lack of mental toughness. I won't mention them by name, but you'd like to see guys fight through the pain."

Linebackers Improving
After some harsh words earlier in the week about his linebackers, Bowden said today that he's starting to see some improvement.

"Steven Jackson had a good day on Wednesday after we looked at the film on Thursday. He's doing some instinct things at linebacker. Toughness isn't a problem with him," said Bowden.

Bowden also added that Anthony Waters and Nick Watkins have been practicing at a higher level this week.

The Tigers will hold another scrimmage tomorrow at Death Valley. The scrimmage is scheduled to begin at 12:00 and will be open to the general public. Airese Currie and Tye Hill will miss Saturday's scrimmage due to another track and field meet.

Bowden said that he wasn't concerned that both players missed consecutive Saturday scrimmages.

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