Bowden's Tuesday Press Conference

CLEMSON - Listen to Clemson's head coach talk about Saturday's game against No. 13 Miami.


Tommy Bowden Tuesday Press Conference (36:22)

Opening Remarks...
Bowden: First of all, I think it's going to be important for our crowd to a factor in this game. It's awful difficult to operate at the line of scrimmage here (at Memorial Stadium) at times. I want to encourage the crowd to make it difficult when they have the football. Tone it down a little a bit when we have it. When talking to my father about this game, the one thing he mentioned was the crowd. 'Your crowd can be a factor,' he said. Second, we are going to move Duane Coleman to corner. He's too good of a player to sit on the bench. There's another level this team needs to get to from a hitting, from a toughness standpoint. There's need to be more collisions.

How long have you been pondering the move of Coleman to cornerback?
Bowden: Probably 24-48 hours.

What do you think he can bring to the table in this move?
Bowden: Toughness, meanness. Maybe he'll get one of those collisions this weekend I've been talking about. It will be difficult (for him to pick up schemes.) But I think it needs to be a full-scale move. If we had an injury or too at tailback then we might have to reconsider. But he works to hard, practices too hard to not be on the field.

Is this as big a home game as you've had at Clemson?
Bowden: I don't know if that would be accurate. They are all pretty big. Ya'll might perceive it as different. Come after the game after you get home, they are all big. Duke wasn't a very good team last year and they beat us. You should have seen it around my house.

Do you stick now with the same rotation as last week with Reggie and James as a one-two punch?
Bowden: We'll pretty much have the same rotation. Those two guys (Reggie Merriweather and James Davis) and we'll work Kyle in.

Are you satisfied with the running game through your first two games?
Bowden: Oh yes. Very much so. If you take away the punt (bad punt) which takes 35 yards off our rushing total. That would give us roughly 160 yards, 185 yards rushing. Averaging 175 yards rushing the first two games against what could be two nationally ranked teams, I'm pleased. We need to be more productive on the goal line. That's the only disappointment in the running game.

Are the lack of collisions happening in practice but not in the game?
Bowden: We've had better collisions in practice in games. A little bit (on whether it surprises it him that is happening this year.)

Are you not getting the collisions from the players you thought you would?
Bowden: Yes, but I'm not telling you who.

Have you ever considered Duane as a defensive back before now?
Bowden: To be honest with you, every guy we sign as a skill guy, we look at wide receivers going to safeties. The possibility of a big defensive lineman, marginal, possibly going to offensive tackle. IN the back of our minds, if he can play here, then he can play there. There will be a couple of guys that are so terrible athletes that they are locked into one position. Like Charlie Whitehurst (laughing). Charlie could actually be a pretty good wide receiver.

Will you kick to Devin Hester Saturday?
Bowden: I'm not going to kick it to him on kickoffs or punts. If it happens, that's a mistake. We will not kick him the ball, just like last year.

How did this move of Coleman come about? Did Duane approach you or Vic (Koenning)?
Bowden: I think Duane approached Vic, and Vic mentioned it to me and I thought it was a pretty good idea.

Is (Coleman moving to defense) going to be enough to correct the problems on defense?
Bowden: There is a checklist of things on defense, offense, and special teams. This is just one of the ingredients to the personality of the defense. Yes, his fundamentals of the position and skills will be lacking. Sometimes toughness and quickness will overcome a technique flaw in another area. I think the other parts will come in the next few weeks.

Is part of this move at all to shake up the guys on defense?
Bowden: No. It's not that I'm not pleased with what we've done. It allows us some personnel moves that we want to look at. It's not to shake anybody out. It's not because someone isn't performing very good.

So will Duane play this week against Miami?
Bowden: Oh yeah. Unless he gets hurt or there is the second coming.

When you face a good tight end, does that mean a whole of adjustments?
Bowden: It depends. You can put a nickel guy in there or an outside linebacker. I'm sure we'll have a plan. He's an awfully good tight end; he made some critical catches against Florida State. (Greg Olsen)

Change in demeanor on the offensive line because you are running the ball so much?
Bowden: Anytime you have a little success on the ground, it's a direct compliment of the offensive line. And I don't want to not give any credit to our tight ends. But it's a sense of pride that they are accomplishing something. Offensive linemen, by their nature, they like to run the ball and be hard nosed.

Scheme-wise, what does the pass to Baham give you going forward.
Bowden: I think the pass to Aaron (Kelly) was us going more vertical, because that one (to Baham) was a fake. I think that deep ball to Aaron Kelly was more scheme of vertical stretch passes. Baham was more of a trick. They've played some press man (Miami), so I don't know.

Since Rob Spence has been on your staff, have you seen many signs of him living up to the nickname, "The Mad Scientist?"
Bowden: Yeah, but he's an awful serious guy. He's got a sense of humor. Mine is probably eight or nine on a scale of one to 10. His is considerably lower. Let him answer this question, I don't want to make him mad (laughing).

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