Bowden Talks Hideaway Meetings

Fresh off finishing up his annual hideaway meetings with his coaching staff, Tommy Bowden discusses what takes place in those meetings, Terry Bowden's arrival at Florida State as an unpaid assistant and much more!

Talk about what takes place in the hideaway meetings you've been in for most of this week and part of last week.
Bowden: It's more or less you go through the program from A to Z. You start with the objectives of the meeting. Which is you go over the program with a fine-tooth comb. Anybody can talk and say anything. You go over job descriptions and responsibilities of each coach so everybody knows who's responsible for what. Then you go in ... I call it the mission statement ... what we would like to accomplish this year. Some of the breakdowns we had last year ... we make sure we get them corrected. Then we bring in the strength coach. Compliance. Academics. Chief-of-Police. Billy D'Andrea. Every part of your program, from the trainers on ... you go over. Then we get into some offensive and defensive staff notes. We go over special teams ... personnel. Everything. Recruiting. What recruiting weekends are good. Who your leaders are. Possible personnel changes. Everything from A to Z. So when you leave out of that thing, everybody knows their responsibility and everybody knows what is supposed to happen at a certain.

In terms of play calling this year ... are the responsibilities the same as what we've seen since Rob Spence has been at Clemson where he calls the majority of the plays and you have input?
Bowden: No you know the last two years it's been pretty much the same. We have made such tremendous improvement. I think we went from 11th to second. Last year we were pretty much No. 1 in everything, with the exception of passing offense which we were fourth. So I'd be wise to stay out of that.

We've seen in past years where freshmen report a few days before fall camp starts and now it seems like everyone is here a month ahead of time.
Bowden: I think this a lot better for the freshmen. The academic side of it. That's the biggest thing that is different. So I think (coming early) gives them a solid foundation and base as they head into fall. They have a pretty good idea already of where their classes are. Time management. Any kind of learning skills that they need to improve on ... we pretty much have a handle on it. I think this works out really good. Now some of them are homesick already. Yearly that's the case. Some of them want to take a few days off and go home but now is when we are getting ready to crank it up.

Do you go into the start of practice with a pretty good idea of which freshmen could play this year and which will redshirt? Do you already know?
Bowden: We've got about 10 guys listed right now that are going to have a chance (to play). I'm hoping it's going to be less. We've got 10 pegged that could possibly see action as true freshmen.

Your brother, Terry, is going to be a part of Florida State and their staff this year as an unpaid assistant. Did that affect how much you talked to him this summer about the upcoming season?
Bowden: Nah he's going to stay down there. He's going to leave after that first game and then come up here for a couple of weeks after he's down there. He doesn't talk which is hard for him to do. He's sits back and takes notes and he thinks that will help him become a better analyst. The game really changes. Plus he wants to get back into coaching so he needs to get back caught up to speed. He'll probably come up here for a couple of weeks after we play Florida State with my brother Jeff. They are just trying to learn. We never talk much. If you are ever around my brother Terry, you don't talk to him, you listen.

We've heard a lot about Wake Forest and their "chop blocking". Is that an issue with them or anybody else.
Bowden: The legal term, "chop block," is illegal. That's where one guy makes contact while contact is being made by, say the guard is making a drive block, the tackle comes down and chops him from the side. That's illegal. Now, the block below the waste, which is some people describes as a chop block, is a cut block ... that involves one person blocking below the waste, below the knees ... that is legal. And I think, because of Wake Forest's misdirection, and because of a lot of their outside plays, they'll take a smaller lineman, maybe not as athletic lineman, and block a defender below the waste. That is legal. I like it too. I like the chop block below the waste. Not the illegal one but the legal one.

Coming out of the hideaway meetings this week, is there anything going on with special teams from a coaching responsibility perspective? Has coach Powell taken over a lead role?
Bowden: The biggest thing is that we spent a lot more time on it in hideaway. We did it the spring. And I say that and we did that on kickoff coverage, which was the biggest sore spot last year. The kicking was earlier- but I think after the Florida State game we didn't have a kick blocked the rest of the year. So we got the protection down. It was the kickoff coverage that was consistently poor. So we spent a lot more time on it during the spring and during hideaway. He'll (coach Powell) be in charge of that responsibility but we did spend a lot more time on it. Everybody put a set of eyes on it to make sure we are doing the right thing.

Can you talk about any of the position changes you have coming up for the start of practice Saturday?
Bowden: I'm in the staff meeting right now which I'm fixing to go back to. There are some personnel changes I think we are definitely going to make but I wanted our coaches to sleep on it. But yes, there is a potential for position changes.

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