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Tommy Bowden Teleconference (15:28)
Was wondering if you could talk about Reggie Herring again?
Bowden: You know he was good when he left, and then he spent two years in the pros, and Chuck Amato is a defensive guy that's been very productive for a lot of years...so you can see the results. Other than the things you know from around here...his intensity. You add that additional knowledge with his intensity, the results are fairly obvious.
How often do you talk to him?
Bowden: Not very much. I don't talk to him very much.
Looking back when he left Clemson, people said you didn't want him to leave. Is that true?
Bowden: Oh yeah. I told him that. I told him in the middle of the season that he's here as long as I'm here, simply because of criticism. I didn't want him to worry about that.
After looking at film, what did you think about your offense against Maryland?
Bowden: Right now we are making way too many mistakes. We aren't playing smart, with some penalties. We had some opportunities to make some plays on some deep balls and we just didn't hit. Charlie has usually been more accurate than that with those deep balls. The big play I felt like we needed to make, we never made it, and we had some opportunities. There was one going towards the score board, there was one to Chansi Stuckey on a post, there was one to Airese Currie, and another one to Chansi Stuckey.
How about the pass protection yesterday?
Bowden: It was alright. It was good, not great. But again, when you play a good defense it's tough. Had we hit just one of those deep balls or two of them. Those are the things that are hurting us. Whether its a dumb play on a late foul, or missing the deep ball opportunity.
You haven't been very critical of Charlie's decision making in recent weeks. Is that starting to change?
Bowden: Well you know those are deep balls he's made in the past. I just think he's pressing too much. He'll eventually relax and work his way out of it. It's no different than a big league pitcher who doesn't have his stuff. They'll get it two innings down the line or the next game. The one thing about him, the last drive he was 5-for-6 when the game was on the line. That tells you a little bit about what's inside of him. These other things, those are just the things we are missing to be a productive offense. He's just one of the pieces of the puzzle.
Are you getting what you want from your backs and tight ends as far as protections go?
Bowden: This game we did. Reggie Merriweather did a good job. Both of the tight ends, I think it was Cole Downer and Ben Hall. They did a good job.
Are you almost resigned to the fact with the defenses you've got coming up that you are going to be in low scoring games from here on out?
Bowden: Oh yeah. When you look at Maryland and what they did against Georgia Tech and West Virginia. Then you look at Wake Forest and what they did against Florida State, and Florida State's defense, N.C. State's defense. You look at what we did against Wake Forest with 37 points. We got more than Virginia Tech and Florida State. So it's hit and miss. 10-7 says a lot about team defensively. I'm disappointed that we didn't produce better than what we did offensively. Maryland was good, but we missed some opportunities. That's a little frustrating.
You talked about hitting the deep pass. Is that something against a Reggie Herring defense that its more or less a calculated gamble that they are giving you that thinking that you won't be able to convert on them.
Bowden: Crossers give you a higher percentage. The movement routes that involve crossers, curls, hitches, or sometimes an accidental pick on the deep balls. Just like Miami did. Deep balls and crossers.
Is there any advantage in him knowing your offense, or you knowing his defense?
Bowden: I think he and we have changed enough for that not to be a factor, other than personalities. We've struggled on offense, and I'm sure they are feeling pretty good about their ability on defense to slow us down.