Spence Ready for Job

New offensive coordinator Rob Spence talks about coming on board in Clemson. <BR>

Opening Comments:
Spence: I should probably start by saying that I'm extremely excited to be at Clemson University. This is a tremendous opportunity to coach at a tradition-rich school like Clemson and to be around Coach Bowden. To be a part of this program is phenomenal.

How much have you been able to dive into this team so far?
Spence: I've had some opportunity to look at film. I've had probably to a chance to look at a could of games. Not very much right now. I've had the opportunity to talk to a lot of the players. I've had the opportunity to talk to a lot of the coaches about the talent that exists here. I have met with all the quarterbacks obviously. I had a chance to talk to all of the offense about two days ago for 10 minutes. That went very well. I don't know much about our talent level just yet.

From what you've seen on film, do you think this will be an easy transition coming to Clemson?
Spence: I think so. I do believe it should. One of the things I'm going to be concerned about is the ability to be no-huddle, to be up tempo, to be multi-formational and have many different personnel groupings that we can count on. And we've had some of that experience here already. I think it will go along easily. We will do a lot in the spring and there's going to be a learning curve. There will be a lot here demanded of our players and our coaches.

Is this your offense now?
Spence: Well, I would absolutely honor anything Coach Bowden asked of me, but at the same time, he's also hired me to organize and coordinate the offense. That's my job. God put me here to do that. That's what I'm going to do. He hired me, and I need responsible to that end.

There have been a lot of changes with this offense here where the play is changed a lot at the line of scrimmage. Will you try to get back to using one play and going with that in your type of offense?
Spence: I think we want the opportunity to do different things at different times. You want to have the ability to change the tempo of the offense based on the circumstances you are presented with by the defense. The offense should be able to have multiple tempos, not just one. We like an up-paced tempo at different points in the game, and then slow it down. Being no-huddle does not mean that you cannot control the tempo, it should mean that you should be able to control the tempo, and use it to your advantage.

Will you be bringing in your own terminology into this offense?
Spence: Yes. I think that's important. In this particular case in this particular time it's important to change some that. Probably much of it to be honest with you. I feel comfortable doing that, and under the circumstances, that's probably the best thing to do for my comfort level.

Have you discussed how the play calling will work with Coach Bowden?
Spence: Well I think that play-calling in any offense, in this system, or when you get to the NFL, it's a combination of things. I think a lot of your play calls our scripted. Alot of them come off a menu that you arrive at during the course of the week. Most of the offensive coaches by the end of the week will know what you are going to call and when you are going to call it. The head coach would probably be very familiar with that also. So there will be surprises from the press box. That's something we like to say to our players, that 'you should know and have a feel for what's going to be called in any circumstance.' Obviously, I'm going to make the final decision on the play call, because I am the offensive coordinator. That's not to say that the head coach can say, 'hey Robby, what do you think of this play?' We are not opposed to that. I think final say would go through me as the coordinator and obviously Coach Bowden can overturn that at anytime I'm sure.

There have been some new rules put in to try and limit the effectiveness of the no-huddle offense. Is it fair to say that you disagree with those rules?
Spence: I think that the new rules have definitely have toned down what you can do with tempo and toned down what you can do with substitutions. They have limited a little bit of what you can do on offense. But I don't really think it's hurt us. And I think if you look at the spirit of the rule, it's to not try to deceive the defense. So I don't see it as that big of a deal.

Is it fair to assume that you are a guy that orginated with the run-and-shoot, and Mouse Davis?
Spence: Absolutely. I have retained a lot of the thoughts I have, a lot of my feelings that I have about offensive football, come from my experience with Mouse Davis and the true run-and-shoot, and what we did years ago at the University of Maryland and Holy Cross, and Hofstra University. No question about that.

You've been nicknamed the "mad scientist." Is that an accurate discription?
Spence: I think what happened is when I first got to Toledo, and this is the way I operate, I like watching film. I enjoy looking at lots of variations of offense. And we would steal and borrow ideas from different universities. If you watch how I moved in here (to Clemson), I've got boxes and boxes of film and cut ups and notes, and I keep everything that I've ever written down. Players would see me in the summer watching Oklahoma film from 1999, or 2001. I would pull cut-ups out here and there. I enjoy that part of football. I'm not afraid to experiment. And I've told our coaches that I don't want you to fear failure. I don't want our players to fear failure. I want to experiment, I want to have fun. Life is too short not to do that. And yes, I spend a lot of time in a room, by myself with the lights out and the film on.

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