Notebook: Faster Dean Equals Less Blocks

CLEMSON – After another change with the blocking scheme was unsuccessful in preventing a blocked kick, Clemson assistant coach Brad Scott realized the problem might not have been with the blocking after all.

The coaches thought problem was with the get-off time, which is the time it takes from the moment the center snaps it to when the ball is kicked. Then on Sunday, those thoughts were confirmed on film when it was discovered both blocked kicks against Florida State and the one at Boston College were due to a slow get-off time.

Head coach Tommy Bowden reiterated Monday night that the cause of the blocked kicks was without question Jad Dean's get-off time.

The time a kicker is supposed to make contact is around 1.25 seconds or less. Dean's three blocked kicks were in the 1.5 second range.

Dean was told during halftime that he needed to speed up his kicks a little and when he kicked that last extra point, his get-off time was in the 1.2 range again. And as we all know, it went through the uprights.

"In the heat of the battle, you have to make adjustments as quickly as you can," Scott said. "Then at halftime, I knew I'd be able to sit everybody down and we got ready then. We need to speed our operation time up a little bit and we're going to work on that this week and that's basically it in a nutshell."

Dean, a senior and finalist last year for the Lou Groza Award, which is awarded to the nation's top kicker, said he was told Monday that the times were that slow. The news caught him completely off guard.

"Both, Coach Bowden and Coach (Billy Napier) Napier were both like, it's not your fault and you get-off looks fine," Dean said. "Then when I saw it on Sunday after (Bowden's) teleconference (with the media) it kind of shocked me. …

"Today, (Scott) made me aware of that. Before today, they told me that they just got through there and one of them was able to get a hand on it. But after today, they told me it was the get-off as well. …

"I guess if the coaches say that it is, I have to accept that. If I have to get it off under 1.2 to get the kicks off, that's what I'm going to have to do. I'm going to have to work at it."

The reason Dean was blindsided by the news is because his kicks are time in practice and in pregame warm-ups and they had never been much of an issue. However, Bowden said his times were slow during the spring, too.

"Obviously, I'm aware of it now," Dean said. "In practice, it really wasn't that big of a problem. I don't feel like I'm doing anything different. The changes I made with the form over the summer had to do with my impact of the ball. It had nothing to do with my steps or my stance or anything like that. So, I'm not really sure when my get-off time got so slow."

The big problem facing Dean is it's going to be very difficult for him to start tinkering with his kicking in the middle of the season. It's generally not something that can be fixed or changed over night.

"You start getting into trouble when you try to speed your approach up and changes like that," Dean said. "That's when you start getting inconsistent. … I don't want to make any major changes right now, three games into the season.

"Any time you make a change, it takes like 200 kicks before it becomes muscle-memory. So, I don't want to make any huge changes and get out there in a game get into half of the new thing and half of what I was doing. That's when you get into trouble."

Bowden reminds team of past
Given Clemson history following big wins, Bowden said he is going to make sure that no matter what, his team fully remembers the past.

The old adage of, those who forget history are doomed to repeat it, falls into play here.

"What we've talked hard about is, obviously we've been here before," he said. "This is where we lose to a team we're favored over. This is it. This is where we do it. So, we've talked hard about that."

Coleman's words of wisdom
Senior cornerback Duane Coleman has never been one to shy away from speaking his mind. Monday morning, he offered his views on a variety of topics that were just too good not to mention. Thus, here they are.

On beating Florida State three out of four times: "It means a lot more to me just because I'm from Florida and you get those questions, ‘Why didn't you go to Florida or Florida State?' Well, we beat them three out of four years, that's why."

On whether his friends wore the Clemson attire to the game that he brought them: "They didn't wear them, but they wished they did after the game. I think they'll be wearing them this week, though."

On celebrating the 1981 National Championship at the game on Saturday: "The same type of environment that was going on back in '81, we're starting to feel that coming back now."

On the difference between then and now: "Water was for cowards back then."

On how good Florida Atlantic is: "We're going to see this week. South Carolina plays them."

On the progression of the extremely young defense: "As the season goes along, the young guys are just going to get more and more experienced. It's going to be scary come Week 9 and 10 and we're all playing the best as we can." Top Stories