Spence Answers Critics

CLEMSON - Rob Spence talked with the media after practice Monday about a variety of topics, including his non-belief in a two-quarterback system.


Some of the players said your voice was getting pretty loud this week and that you might lose it because you were doing so much screaming.
Spence: No we've had a great time and a good couple of days of practice. A lot of fun on the practice field and a lot of energy.

Have you been going after the players this week at more than normal after what happened against Maryland?
Spence: No. Everyday has been the same. We've been going as hard as we possibly can every day we've been out here.

That's not what your players are saying? They say you've got a little pep in your step this week.
Spence: Well there's been a lot of energy in everybody's step I can tell you that.

Have you been making them run whenever they make a mistake?
Spence: We just had some gentle reminders about procedure penalties, getting lined up properly and making sure we can control what we can control. That required just a little extra focus and some gentle reminders on my part.

How has this week been for you? Some players have said you took the Maryland loss pretty hard?
Spence: Any time if you are a player or coach and you pour as much as yourself into anything you are going to feel it that much more. The more you feel it when it doesn't go well. That's a natural human response. All week long I keep praying for energy and resolve and strength. Just keep pushing and keep doing the best I can as a coach and ignore everything that might be said, that is being talked about and keep focusing on things I can control. Most of all focus is on my players and coaches. Focus on their attitudes and focus on the way they are going about their business. My eyes are squarely on them and my faith is squarely on Jesus Christ right now. I just keep working along those lines.

How about your faith in Cory Lambert at left guard?
Spence: High. High. Excited about Cory Lambert. Cory Lambert played his best game on Saturday. I think he his finding a little rhythm in his game and starting to get excited about playing football. He had a smile on his face regarding his personal performance on Saturday.

It is interesting how you may be in better shape on the offensive line right now than you were at the start of the season.
Spence: You never know. God works in mysterious ways. Whether by hook or by crook we've found five pretty good players right now that are going to grow into their positions. We've played some young players in the last couple of weeks and they have really done a marvelous job. Coach Scott should be commended for the job that he has done with all the linemen he has been working with getting them ready to play.

Do you think if the offensive line can get some more continuity you can get some more downfield passes? Coach Bowden mentioned that was one of the reasons there have been even more bubble screens and tunnel screens this year and that was a way to protect the offensive line.
Spence: Absolutely it does. That is something to be considered. That gives us a chance to protect Cullen and protect the offensive line as they grow. Trying again to stay on schedule in terms of the chains. It gives us a chance to not give up a sack or a negative play. If we are taking care of our business as far as being procedurally sound and make sure we line up correctly and controlling the football ... we should be able to win the game by not throwing downfield. But as we grow and continue to protect Cullen better we'll be able to throw the ball better.

Did you tell Brad [Scott] to take Chris Hairston's moped away?
Spence: (laughing) I saw a couple of our players and I hate those dad-gum things. I saw Barry Humphries today bad knee and all and no helmet. Being a parent, I was disgusted.

Is everything status-quo with Willy?
Spence: Oh yeah. Everything is status quo with Willy. He's doing a good job. He's done a great job accepting his role and improving everyday.

What do you have against a two-quarterback system?
Spence: Probably because with my past experience at other programs. I'm a pretty firm believer that in certain places when you start to even contemplate that you open up a can of worms. You can open up a situation where you divide a team, a program, and divide a fan base even further. That's not a good situation to be in. I think you have to be very careful in those situations. That's my opinion, whether I'm right or wrong, that's my opinion.

It would make a difference, if their skills were different.
Spence: Right. That's true. Because of what we are doing right now and where we are at and the number of plays we carry into a game it just doesn't make a lot of sense.

Have you had a moment in your profession that challenged you like the last game?
Spence: This would probably be at the very top. I think in 27 years I've been coaching, there are a few that have been very similar. The longer you coach, the more you face these kinds of challenges. You just continue to move forward and keep praying and keep challenging your players and coaches and stay positive.

Why was it this past week that ranks up there so high?
Spence: Probably it feels that way because it was last week. It was recent. It's now. It obviously pains me. Ask my wife, she reminded me, 'think about how you've felt over the years, and you've felt like this before.'

How about all the criticism that is out there right now?
Spence: I imagine there's a whole lot. I'm reminded of it probably hourly and by the minute how much there is. But again, but I choose not to listen to that. I have no other alternative. If I do, I'll have trouble functioning to be honest with you. Just continue going forward every day. That's all I can do.

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