Bowden: No, not really. They are pretty much wide eyed. They walk the line right now better than anybody. Because they are just kind of feeling their way around. That's never really been a problem shocking those guys.
What are your thoughts about being ranked 18th in the USA Today poll?
Bowden: I think a lot of it's merited by last year's team and what they did in the bowl. Since I've been here we've been in this position and we have never back it up. The last 10 years we've never had top 25 teams back to back. Whether this team can bounce back with another good year I don't know. I'd rather be ranked 18th than not ranked if I had my preference.
Do you have a good sense that this team is up to that kind of challenge (of being ranked)?
Bowden: I had a good feel last time and we didn't. I always feel good about the potential of a team this time of year. You are in shorts and everybody looks good. It's really not football what they are doing right now. They are out there for three hours in shorts, or dresses.
Does Will Proctor need to prove anything to you out there today?
Bowden: You know not really. I'd say if he had shown some bad practice habits in the past then yes. Then I'd say he's got be more consistent in practice, he's got to show he can be more of a leader in practice ... he's got to show he's going to pay attention and not make mistakes. he's done all that. And he's been really consistent. His question marks are all going to be on the field question marks. Yeah, there's nothing he can really do in practice. Surely he can improve. There are some decisions he can learn to make in practice which might help him in the game, but the bigger issues we pretty much have a good feel for him.
What's your feelings like today for the very first day of practice?
Bowden: It's always exciting because it's something new. This is a team I have not yet worked with. This is a team that's different from the spring. It's kind of exciting like the first day of spring. This is the first time we are dealing with this team, this chemistry and this talent pool. There are still some unanswered questions as far as personnel.
Anything in particular you'll be looking for from your team early on?
Bowden: Attention to detail. Guys paying attention. Coaches not having to tell, "We just went over that!" We've been throwing and catching all summer and hopefully we'll maintain that skill level in practice.