Chatting With Jeff

Florida State offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden chatted with the media following the Seminoles' practice Monday night. Bowden covered a variety of topics, ranging from his team's inability to slow the Clemson Tigers' all-out blitz Saturday to the play of his quarterbacks, Chris Rix and Fabian Walker. Click here for all the details.

What didn't work against Clemson's blitz and what changes needed to be made?

"We had to make an adjustment at halftime in our, when we spread the field with wide receivers, the first two times we had a chance -- it was two different receivers (who) didn't make a good enough adjustment. One didn't make it and the other was a little too long making his break. After that we made it. Willie (Reid) made the adjustment and we hit him deep down the sideline. We made two others after that. The adjustment we made at halftime and we just didn't execute. It was one of those things they are forcing you to execute."

How much is on the quarterback and the receivers?

"It's all on them. When they bring a guy you can't block -- it doesn't matter what you line up, they can do it in anything -- it all comes down to the quarterback and receivers. The thing they did was take away our designed adjustment and made us go to another one. You hate to say you don't execute it as well, we didn't. We missed it two times and we executed it two times."

Obviously it was a frustrating game to call. It seemed like nothing went right.

"It was just frustrating with our execution. There were some takeoff calls that I didn't like. I wish I hadn't made and I wish made post calls instead because they were giving us the inside breaks and not the outside breaks. I knew it. After I saw P.K. ran by one of their corners on a corner route, I just felt like we could get it. There were three times I came back to the takeoff route and I wish I hadn't. I just wished I stuck with what I knew was there."

Do you feel like you could have stuck with the running game longer?

"We tried to run it early. Early in the game I wanted to see what we could get some positive yardage on. Every time we ran it and we blocked the down seven, there was a safety two yards from the line of scrimmage making the tackle. I was not going to let in that type of game. We just did not execute throwing the ball and catching the ball like we needed to. And we didn't handle the blitz like we needed to."

Are you worried you are going to see more blitzes?

"We are going to see it all anyway. It's not out of the norm. I can't say that I expected Clemson to come so all out. I expected blitz from them but they brought it all. They brought it all. Like I said, we didn't respond like we should have or could have."

Was it a reflection of your line?

"No, they brought one more than we could block. It was a matter of catching and throwing and being accurate with a man in your face and guy hanging on your back. We just didn't execute. There's no excuse really."

Did you like your line's performance?

"Sometimes. I can't say that any position, any segment, played like we need to play. We played poorly at the line. We played poorly at quarterback. We played poorly at wide receiver. The tight end fell down. And I don't think the backs ran like they needed to run at times. We went out and played about as bad as we could have played a game, I felt like in all honesty."

When Chris is facing a blitz, he has a couple of seconds to make an adjustment?

"He has about a second. Chris knew where to go but, like I said, we had to change our route at halftime. I had one guy who had never done that and he blew it the first time. Got it right the second time. The next time we had the same situation, the receiver went five steps instead of three. For a quarterback, that's a lot. You are talking about you better be on the money in those situations. If we hit them we hit it big. Later on we hit it. If it comes down to it, you better be able to execute it. We just did not execute throwing the ball, whether it was blitz, or even when it was in zone sometimes."

Is there a way you can effectively scheme against the blitz?

"You can run and hope you can find a crease or hope you can create a crease. Some people zone block it, some people trap it. The other way to handle it is beat them over the top and make them stop. Had we completed some of those balls, they would have stopped. They had nothing to lose. They got after our butts, that's what they did."

It appeared the middle third of the field was open.

"We tried to hit the middle. I had it called to hit the middle five or six times. We hit it early. I tried to go to the middle but again, that's where I said I called three takeoff out wide. If I could take three calls back that would have been one of them because they were all inside. Every one of them. Sometimes you can't believe it's there every time but it was there every time."

Did Chauncey Stovall step up?

"I thought he did. I thought Willie (Reid) played well. And I thought Chauncey really stepped up. I was really happy to see him get that deep ball. He looked fast again to me. He looked like he finally hit stride. That's exactly what I need out of those two guys."

Greg Jones still looks a little tentative.

"There was a couple of times where he didn't hit the hole. He missed the hole. We had some pretty good blocking It wasn't a blitz. There was no reason to cut back and we cut back anyway. I know that Bill (Sexton) pointed that out to him on film. It was a big point. The next level is not looking at him to be a dancer. I would have liked for him to be a slasher. I thought he missed one or two a little bit."

A couple of week ago you said there was a noticeable difference between Chris and Fabian. Do you feel more comfortable with Fabian following his performance?

"I was happy (with Fabian). He threw some down in the dirt that I didn't like to see and that's kind of what he does out here now and then but he also executed some pretty good throws out there. That really made me a lot more comfortable knowing that he's there if we have to have him."

Can you live and die with (his mistakes) but are you just not willing to do that right now?

"I don't think we are getting into a change yet. I don't think that thought is in anybody's mind right now. I don't think that has been proven, unless you all (media) or somebody wants to point blame. But you just can't do it. I can take you in there and show you (on film) where the wideouts screwed up enough, the line screwed up enough, the backs screwed up. You can't do that. It would be terribly unfair and it's just not the case. We missed some throws. We missed some catches. We fell down. We picked Saturday to play about as bad as we could play across the board."


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