BOWDEN: Defense Steps Up

CLEMSON - Listen to Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden after Monday's scrimmage in Death Valley.

(9:12)

OPENING COMMENTS: What we tried to do, the reason why we went goal line in the second series was I wanted to pull Rashaad (who was going to be in class), pull Dorrell and then Aaron, Tyler, Cullen and C.J. see if anybody else could step up with some key guys missing. You know, in case of injury. It looked like it affected us a lot more on offense than defense. Chris Clemons had class, so he wasn't there. I would have liked to pull Hamlin too but we don't have enough safeties. I wanted to give some tough goal line running with C.J. in there. We didn't score after the first drive [on first team and not counting goal line]. I wasn't expecting a lot of continuity on offense but I didn't.

ON MARQUAN JONES: To be honest with you, he's pretty consistent. His skills are pretty good. You kind of have to holler at him on where to line up. But once we get him locked into a position and once he gets consistent reps he's really going to help us this year.

ON THE PLAY OF THE OFFENSIVE LINE: Right now, when we get through the spring, we are going to have to evaluate how much we can take against Alabama. Right now it wouldn't be a whole bunch. The biggest thing is assignments. I want to look at the tape and see. It was either missed assignments or we are getting man-handled. That's what I don't really know yet. [Let's say] David Smith, a freshman, is a little late getting out on pass protection. Is he just getting beat because of technique or is it getting man-handled? We are going to have to make a really good evaluation after spring, whoever starts, they do what they can do. And I'm speaking more of the offense as a whole. The whole offense is going to be determined by what they can handle because they are the least experienced group.

ON DA'QUAN BOWERS: I think it's Kevin Alexander one and him two [at strong side defensive end]. We finish spring ball, we'll have a good personnel meeting after spring ball. I would think Kevin [is on the first team].

WILL THE TEAM HAVE ANOTHER SCRIMMAGE BEFORE SATURDAY? After today, we probably will. I have a half-scrimmage day left.

ON THE EXPECTATION THIS LINE CAN BE BETTER THAN LAST YEAR'S: Oh yeah. Yeah. We just don't have the experience. I really like them. Wilson Norris, Cloy, Landon Walker and Smith. We really feel like we hit on four. It's an assignment thing for them. It's just young guys going out there against a pretty good front, a pretty good defnese and a pretty good scheme. That's the other thing, I know Rashaad wasn't there today but Chavis, Cumbie, Scott, Sapp and Alexander have all played. Norris, Walker, Cloy and Smith all redshirted. That's a desparity between experience right there. But I like the talent though.

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