Coach Q&A: Jeff Bowden

Monday, FSU offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden discussed the plays of his quarterbacks against Duke, the upcoming showdown with Boston College and much more. The following is a transcript of the conversation that took place.

Q: What improvements do you think Drew Weatherford made in the Duke game?

A: Yeah, Drew was consistent from the get go. He had four drops right off. The first three were all dropped, which really upset me at that point. Everybody knew going in what we were kind of leaning to do and what we needed to do because of as much blitz that Duke gave you. Drew was on target. He was hitting his targets.

Q: Do you think that he was able to relax against Duke?

A: The way I feel about Drew is that he is like a shooter in basketball. The more shots that he gets the more good that I think he is going to do and the better he will be. I think he was really excited going in (to the Duke game) knowing that the shots were going to come from about play one on. He had some margin for error because it wasn't one of those games where you were going to throw it 18 times and they are all going to be way down field. He was going to have a lot of opportunities to throw short and be able to pick and choose when he was going to be able to go down field with balls. So, I think, in my opinion, he was just excited with the plan going in.

Q: Do you think you will stick with the spread offense because of the players' comfort level with it?

A: I am. Dad made the comment the previous week in the NC State game that once we had to go to three-wide and move the ball, we moved the ball more quickly than trying to be a little more slow and methodical and pound and pound. He kind of made that comment and I kind of felt like it was something he wanted to do and it was certainly something I like to do. You don't have to talk me into that. There wasn't much of a choice with Duke because they have just about stopped everybody's running game. The bright side of it for us was that we were still able to have good rushing yards at the end of the day. We have to look at the whole picture and maybe look at spreading the field making (opponents) defend more of the field with more plays. Not just one-on-one blitzes … what opportunities that will get you. It helps you overall.

Q: What about Boston College's defense?

A: Boston College is Boston College. They want to contain everything you do. They don't want to give up deep balls. They want to make you execute short passes, come up and hit you, and knock balls out. They have given up a lot of yards in the passing game and yet they have a record that is pretty dang good. That is the way they play. They want to umbrella your passing schemes and then make you throw short stuff with every now and then you getting something downfield. They don't want to give up the big play in the passing game. They are pretty stout against the run. They have a big front. Their noseguard or defensive tackle is just, he reminds me of (Warren) Sapp to be honest with you. He can be that dominating of a player.

Q: B.J. Raji?

A: Raji, yes. Then they have three other defensive linemen. We were looking at it, they rotate I think six interior players and then five on the edges. They rotate a lot of other guys. They have three other 300-pounders up front so it is not a team that you are just going to go and knock them off the ball.

Q: They force a lot of turnovers.

A: They do a great job. It is like I said, they knock a lot of balls out. There will be a premium on ball security and we haven't proven to secure that ball real well at times.

Q: Is your running attack based more on homerun threats and not running over people?

A: We are not a grind team. I don't think that is our personnel. I think I have said all along that we have to keep giving them the at bats. I get frustrated because you wish there were more chunks at times being made but again it goes back to putting the ball into Lorenzo's or Antone's hands like the first play of the second half (when Smith ran 80 yards for a touchdown). You don't know which run is going to go a long way but they have the potential to do that. That is why you keep doing that. The flip side of that is that you can keep throwing it also. I have been patient pretty long.

Q: Are you getting the production from Greg Carr that you weren't to start the year?

A: Greg is improving. I am not going to say that (he) is close to his potential yet. He is still able to reach over the top of anybody just about. That is where his gifts are. He is 6-foot-6. He is still developing as what I call an underneath-route runner. His mechanics are not real good, his footwork is not real good and he might be two steps short on a route and those are the things you can't do when you are trying to run a disciplined passing game but he is definitely getting better.

Q: The offense was three-for-four in the redzone Saturday and you has done a good job there all season. What do you attribute that to?

A: I don't know. I am mad at myself because I cost us one on Xavier's interception that I think he threw to De'Cody Fagg. It was picked off in the back of the endzone. I put him in a pass protection and I didn't do a good job of anticipating the blitz. I just did not think they would keep doing what they were doing. He was in an unprotected situation and I think he tried to throw it out the back of the endzone but he just couldn't get enough on it. We had a chance to be four-for-four so I want to shoot myself in the foot a little bit. I don't know why we have been better. We are making field goals and we are scoring but we need to get down there more. I can think back to the NC State game where we had another opportunity on a tipped pass on a naked we ran down there. It is a good improvement.

Q: What about the criticism that sometimes the offense plays for a field goal in the redzone?

A: I hope I am never in the redzone where I don't take at least one shot in the redzone. That is something I search for every week, what is the best way, what is the best formation, what match-up, what gives me the best shot when I do take that shot for the endzone.

Q: Where has Caz Piurowski been the last few weeks?

A: Well, last game for Duke we had to have tight ends of pass protection, period. It was all we could do to keep people off of us for the last game. That is a good example of when we went four-wides with Xavier down in the redzone when he threw that (interception) and I just didn't have any interest in getting those guys hit. So tight ends had to block this past game. The game before was pretty easy. I needed a penetrator, a guy who could push downfield because we were working things underneath him a little bit more. It wasn't so much that Caz can't penetrate it was just that Caz can't do it as fast. I think Caz is still a great underneath receiver.

Q: Are you thinking about shaking up the wide receiver depth chart?

A: I am real close to doing that. I haven't talked with my players yet. I can't see anything happening before this game but I am getting to the point where that might have to be what has to be done. I don't have enough kids to where you just bench one and not play them. I just don't have that, they have to play. So what is important, starting, so that is probably the next thing that I do have to go to. We will just have to see, but I would like to talk to my kids before doing that.

Q: Was the difference for Lee from the second to the fourth quarter a matter of him getting over the feeling that he had to make big plays?

A: That you would have to ask him. I don't know why he did better. I know on one (interception) I put him in a bad situation. The others, they were just mistakes. He hasn't played near as much as Drew so you are going to probably have to live with some growing pains with him as he works more and more and as we work him in there more.

Q: Has Fagg's issues with dropped passes been there at practice?

A: I don't know. He has probably led the drops this year. Not to harp on him, but he has probably dropped more balls than any other wide receiver. He fights the ball a little bit. He has also shown that he can make some big catches. Right now he is probably still starting because he shows more big catch potential than consistency. Moving the chains is important to.

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