Tommy Bowden Teleconference Notes

"I think the fact we've played consistent on defense gives you a chance every week. You have to have some production on offense and not turn the ball over. If the same defense that shows up the last 4 games shows up down there then we'll have a pretty good chance (in Tallahassee)," said Tommy Bowden

When do you start talking about Florida State?
We started talking about Florida State in a team meeting yesterday. There will be preperation today, and tomorrow and Thursday.

Talk about Justin Miller, what makes him a good player and a good cornerback and not a wide receiver?
Bowden: The most important thing is that he could play either one, I can see why Florida, Arkansas and Tennessee would recruit him as a wide out. There's not a lot of NFL wide outs his size, but there's a lot of corners his size. He's tough, on the very first kickoff return he hit a guy and about knocked him out, and that guy had been running about 40 yards picking up steam. Then that interception, most people would have been happy by just getting a hand on it.

How hard is it for a true freshman to come in and play cornerback?
Bowden:It's hard at any position, but that one is difficult because the skill level is so high. Right now we are playing a lot of zone which gives our guys some help underneath, but the interceptions he's made have been very impressive. He's got good toughness and good skills. He's talented.

Do you consider playing him both ways?
Bowden: Yes, yes I could. I could very easily see that.

Have you ever done that before?
Bowden: No, that really didn't become a move until Charles Woodson did it, but there is a good chance he could do it. It's a lot easier for a defensive back to go to wide out. Its easier for a true defensive back do it.

Was that one of your recruiting ploys with him?
Bowden: If I told you, I'd have to kill you.

Do you feel like this is as close as you've come to bridging the gap with FSU?
Bowden: I think the fact we've played consistent on defense gives you a chance every week. You have to have some production on offense and not turn the ball over. Anytime you are playing like that defensively then you have a chance. If the same defense that shows up the last 4 games shows up down there then we'll have a pretty good chance.

Talk about the progress of Yusef Kelly
Bowden: Toward the end of the game when we've needed first downs, he's made some really good runs. He's also done it around the goalline. Those are the most critical yards around the goal line and then to sustain first downs to keep the clock running. He's been the most productive in those critical times.

Was it tough to get him to redshirt last season?
Bowden: It might have even been his idea to redshirt. I think now he's glad he did. He was definitely in favor of it. There's no doubt that it was a mutual decision.

Do you have an advantage because you have more time than Florida State to prepare?
Bowden: Yeah, I think anybody that has more time has an advantage. I can line his offense up and his defense up with our scout team more than he can, I don't know if that will help or not but we'll do it.

Is now the time where you limit the time when you speak with your father?
Bowden: We spoke today or about an hour ago. He has a game this week, and he is your father. I'm in the will so I like to keep the communication lines open. (laughing)

Is it difficult being his son with all of the high expectations?
Bowden: I didn't think about it until Bart Wright wrote an article a while back, I have high expectations regardless, and probably a lot of them come from his success, but I didn't think about it until he wrote it. He wrote an angle I hadn't thought much about. Expectations are high here at Clemson regardless.

Anyone on your scout team that can match what FSU could do?
Bowden: Not really. But they won't be able to put together a defensive scout team to match our team speed either. We'll go against our defense today. Bryant McNeal, J.J. Howard, Mo Fountain- those guys can bring pressure. Then inside with Todd, DeJaun, and Donnell Washington- we'll get some simulation by going against those guys.

What does it say about your defense that you've you rank 4th in the ACC in sacks, and you hardly ever blitz?
Bowden: That says a lot. I think that has a lot of reason to do with our success. We are putting only 3 or 4 on the line and defending with 7 or 8. You've got to be able to bring pressure with a 3 or 4 man rush. Not only have we been able to get pressure, but we've been able to sack 'em. Rodney Allison and Thielen Smith who work with those down guys have done a good job, John's scheme as been productive, and the players bought into it and practiced hard.

Is the best you've felt entering the FSU game?
Bowden: Probably yes. Simply because of the defense.

Does playing Georgia the first game of the season help you prepare for this game?
Bowden: Yes, it will be a very similar enviroment. To experience that, it can only be a plus for us.

What is the status of Rambert and Jasmin?
Bowden: We will go out today and see if they will try to go some today. I need for them to do something this week. We will go out and start experimenting with both of them today. I'd sure like to have them.

Is Nick Eason going to practice today?
Bowden: I think he'll spend a lot of time inside today in the water on that treadmill. Top Stories