Tommy Bowden Press Conference

Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden met with the media this morning for his weekly regular season press conference. The main topic of discussion today: the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

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Tommy Bowden Audio

Opening statement regarding family tragedy:
Bowden: Anytime something like that happens, especially the first death in the immediate family, it re-introduces you to your priorities. My Christian faith helps me and that is the most important thing. I think a person in my position at this point in time has to compartmentalize my situations. I think the funeral is going to be on Thursday, so there's a chance that I'm going to miss Thursday's practice.

What does Georgia Tech do well defensively up front?
Bowden: They are really complex. They give you a whole bunch of looks up front. They give their players a really good chance of being successful by creating a lot of movement. They probably even do more movement than Wake Forest.

How do you combat that?
Bowden: You have to be careful, you can't do a lot of man blocking, and you can't get too complex or you'll have missed assignments. Right now, things are cloudy and unclear, but they'll be a little more solved the next four hours before practice. It will get a little less cloudy on Wednesday and on Thursday and on into the week.

How impressed are you with Chansi's performance after looking at the film from Saturday's game?
Bowden: Yeah, just the intangibles like blocking a punt, then getting 40-yards up field and throwing a block on another punt. He had some critical catches, then ran really well after the catch. He's got three years left, hopefully. As we said all along, we kind of thought that he could be an exciting player. Everyone's asking can he step into Derrick? Looks like Derrick made the right decision.

Is Browning being held back because of his size?
Bowden: No, he was as big as that guy on TV the other night (UNLV) just maybe not as fast. Kyle, is a redshirt junior, maybe this is his year. He should have got more carries. I'll see to it this week that somebody gets more carries.

Is there a chance Duane Coleman could play in this game?
Bowden: He's going to try and go, but even if he does, he's a distant fourth right now. I had trouble playing three, now we've got four. He's always set this (this game) as a goal, but it doesn't look good.

Are you concerned with your short yardage productivity?
Bowden: Yeah, some, but I think we can correct it. We didn't have that much of a problem last year. We scored when we got down there, but we had to throw it on the two-point play. I think we can get it done.

How did you feel your wide receivers performed on Saturday?
Bowden: We had no drops in the first game which was pretty good and we had some third down catches. Airese Currie had 150 yards receiving, that was pretty productive, especially for the first game of the year. Chansi's performance, Kelvin's performance, I thought they all did a good job.

Has Chansi Stuckey become a leader for this team already?
Bowden: He's got great leadership skills because he's a complete guy. As far as academics and even spiritual...he's strong in that area. As far as a sophomore, he's supplied that type of leadership starting this spring.

What are the some the differences between Reggie Ball when you faced him last year and Reggie Ball now? How is he different than what you saw with Cory Randolph at Wake Forest?
Bowden: He just looks like he has more composure and makes better decisions which is very similar to Charlie (and how he progressed as a sophomore). The threat from Reggie comes a little bit different than Wake Forest. They do a little more drop back passing and he has the threat to run if the play breaks down. It's the same threat (as Wake Forest) but a little different style.

Did this team show you something extra in the way that they came back and beat Wake Forest on Saturday?
Bowden: Oh yeah. There's no doubt. As I talked with the team after the game I started to mention several performances. There were so many guys that made plays and were instrumental in the win. That's a good sign because it wasn't one fluke play that won it. I thought that was a pretty good sign, having a solid unit.

What do you do with yourself with an 8 o'clock start during the day?
Bowden: We'll have meetings in the morning and then you just sit there. That was the good thing about being in Central Time because you would have an 11 or 12 o'clock start. There will probably be some pretty good games on that you won't be able to enjoy. In general, you'd rather have the early games.

Were you pleased with Stephen Furr on Saturday?
Bowden: Yeah, other than the fact that he can't miss too many more because Jad Dean is pretty capable of taking his job. I was pretty pleased with Stephen. There are a lot of positive things that happened, and I'd rather talk about those. I look at it as the glass being half full instead of half empty. If the stats would have said 1-of-3, which it could have been, then we'd be talking about this differently.

Will you talk to your team about the fact that you are playing on September 11th on Saturday?
Bowden:Yeah, we'll address it. It will be covered more on tv, radio, internet. I don't think we have anybody directly involved with September 11th, but we have a lot involved with the military. So we'll address that as the time draws closer.

In a way are you kind of glad that Saturday's game was close and that your team won the game?
Bowden: Yeah, because of the four game stretch last year, they were all decisive wins. Every game was well in control. This team experienced an environment that wasn't in any of those games on Saturday. I'm glad it happened, but it's much easier to look back and learn from a win as opposed to learning from a loss.

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