Up Close with Jeff Bowden

FSU's Jeff Bowden was pleased with his unit's performance against Wake Forest. Of course, Bowden must now deal with the loss of TG Greg Jones and OG Montrae Holland. He also was happy with Adrian McPherson's effort and ability to find the open receiver. "I am going to tell you, when they all know they are live, you are going to get effort all over the place. Now, when you start spreading the wealth your backs are really going to start staying focused on these plays," Bowden said Tuesday.

How does the loss of Greg Jones change your game plan?

"We can't change everything, but there were a lot of big plays that he gave us this year. If anything, the loss will affect us in short-yardage calls – that scares me more than anything. He's a pile pusher. When you had to have one yard or a yard-and-a-half, No. 1 it was going to go to Torrance (Washington), but we haven't had Torrance for three dadgum games. So, you now you lean towards your next ace, which is Greg. Now he's gone. So that's a big concern of mine."

Does more pressre shift to Adrian McPherson due to the loss of Jones?

"Well, we are gonna. ... that would say we're going to change the whole game plan. Nick Maddox stepped up real well. I will tell you one more guy who we've all had confidence in for a long time but just hasn't gotten the at-bats is Willie Reid. He had a great spring for us. He's just been in a situation where he has been behind Greg and Nick. I have a lot of confidence in Willie, too. It's just a matter of Nick and Willie Reid having to step up."

We haven't really seen Willie and Nick together (split backs) since very early in the season.

"Mainly because in that set Greg is little more of a pass protector – not that he can't get out and run routes. It's just he's more of a pass protector and he's a much better pass protector because of his size. You will see both of those guys – now that Greg's gone – in the backfield at the same time."

Any further thoughts on how Adrian McPherson played?

"Yeah, No. 1 I think what you saw – after looking at the tape because I said I was pleased when it (game) was done – I look back and I am still pleased. He had every opportunity in that first half to lose it. Opening pass, an interception. Three series later, a turnover. He maintained his composure. He never folded and he just got better as the game went on."

How did his teammates repond to him?

"You saw what he did. He scrambled. ... he did a good job of throwing the ball out of bounds, not taking losses, not taking sacks. Not trying to make too much out of a broken play. Sacks can be misleading because the line gets blamed but he did a good job of managing those situations."

Talk about his touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin.

"He was the only (receiver). The other guys were running routes but that's a play Dad put in a couple of games ago, and that was the first time we got to run it. He just did a good job of looking it off. That was something he just did. That was smart of him to do. If he had stared it down, he probably would have carried the linebacker right to him (Boldin). Instinctive."

How much did that jump out when you watched the game film?

"As I am talking real calm, I am real excited. He's just got a great feel. That's the only way I can describe it. A command of the game. Now, he's got a learn to learn from a defensive standpoint in knowing what they're doing. Just like the look off (TD pass to Boldin). I don't think Daryl (Dickey, quarterback coach) told him to look it off because it's something that could happen just like that (snap of finger) or he might have to wait on it, wait on it, hit it later. It's really encouraging to me."

Were there any other situations in the game that enccouraged you about his decision making?

"It wasn't so much the look off. We had a deep ball called and they played real loose on the edges and he found Dominic (Robinson) down the middle of the field. And it wasn't like the first time we had done it. To see him find that. Just to not to so focused here or here. He scanned the whole. .... he saw that and it wasn't good, so he was gonna look here. He didn't like it, but at least he went to this option. Those are instincts. That's not something we've done. It wasn't even a coverage to where we were really thinking in there. He saw it and made a good decision."

That's an area where of the field that you've almost ignored.

"We have a hit chart on where we are attacking the field and we hadn't hit it all year. Haven't hit it all year. And that's a point we've been trying to get across all year. When we design something in there and it's bam-bam, we are off it too quick. Like I said, that play wasn't designed to go in there. It was just something he saw and reacted to and made a play."

What's that do for your receivers?

"I am going to tell you, when they all know they are live, you are going to get effort all over the place. Now, when you start spreading the wealth your backs are really going to start staying focused on these plays. And your tight end. How about that? A little touch to Pat (Hughes). It gets them .... they all feel like they are involved now."

It sounds like that's what has been missing.

"Well, these weren't new plays. That's what I am saying, these weren't new plays. He did a good job. I don't know if Wake just dropped so deep and it was that obvious in the game, but it was the fact that he just found them."

What is Torrance Washington's status? And talk about Montrae Holland.

"I don't know. He kind of went through practice yesterday, but he probably has done that the past two Mondays. So, I am not going to get my hopes up until I see something out of him today. I know it's just huge for me not having him. That to me scares me every bit as losing Greg Jones in losing Montrae Holland. All of a sudden, you have a new face right in the middle of your line. That's just not running game, that's pass protection. Any d-coordinator can see that and will know that. He has been a four-year starter."

How is Chris Rix handling this situation?

"Gosh, I imagine hard. If I were guessing what it feels like inside, it's got to be hard. But on the outside, he's handled it well. He's there. He's patting guys on the back. He's encouraging. He's encouraging A.D. From an outward standpoint, I would say good but it would be hard on anybody. He stayed right there with us the whole time (against Wake). He was focused. If he had to go, he was focused."

Did Robert Morgan bounce back like you had hoped?

"Yes, he had two catches and I think one was a third-down catch into a tough look, coverage-wise. Right on top of him. He was two-for-two, which is what he should be. Dominic (Robinson), I am ready to go with him. I think I have a good two deep – Anquan, Talman (Gardner) and Craphonso (Thorpe) and then Robert, P.K. (Sam) and Dominic."

Talk about Georgia Tech's secondary.

"I think they do a good job of mixing their coverage. They will come up sometimes and challenge you. Sometimes they will turn and run out. Sometimes the will play a little loose. They will give you a good mixture. They are a big zone-blitz team. While we may think we have something over here, they will bring blitz over here and we have to be ready to go to the backside of the field."

Did Adrian find his hot receivers okay?

"Early on I thought the pressure was getting back there too quickly. We had people picked up but they were squeezing our pocket. They blitzed more than we thought. That's what opened stuff up over the middle. We didn't think going in that there would be a lot – more three man rush and drop eight. They had three linebackers dropping into the middle of the field."


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