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    Friday, December 29, 2006

    Bobby Bowden Talks to Press

    Going into this off-season, do you feel this is going to be the most important offseason?

    Bowden: I don't feel like it's more important than the others . . . We had a good offseason program last year. It's not any different from the last 30 years the way we'll go about it.

    What about with personnel changes and everything like that. Do you think this offseason is more important than it has been?

    Bowden: Any time you make changes it's important. This is a year we're going to make changes, so it is very important.

    What is the most positive you take from the Emerald Bowl?

    Bowden: The fact you won a ball game and looked like you knew what you were doing, and you look like you had potential for another good year next year. Things like that.

    As far as your players, what's the biggest thing you look at that makes you believe you can do it with these bunch of guys?

    Bowden: “You've got so many of them back. You want them to pick off where they left off. You've got to have a good offseason program. You've got to have a good spring training program. And you've got to avoid injuries. I think the big thing going into next year I hope we don't have the injuries we had this year.

    You come back with a very deep football team. That has to be encouraging.

    Bowden: That is very encouraging and at the same time it could have happened this year but didn't. Now next year, with all this experience coming back, if we do not get decimated with injuries there's no reason we should not really make a good move.

    Do you look at this spring being important to transition into the new coordinator's way of thinking?

    Bowden: The big thing that we can improve on is so simple, offensively -- blocking. If you block, everything goes. If you don't block, nothing goes. And so it's not bringing in a new offense, bringing in new theories, bringing in new this or that. It's going out there and improving your blocking and protecting the football. Whoever coordinates has to have a scheme he follows, but the scheme is not half as important as the execution. It goes back to one of the military terms I read about in my books - it's not the battle plan that is so important, it's the execution of the battle plan that is important

    Then was last night pretty encouraging you ran the ball and you blocked a pair of All-America defensive ends.

    Bowden: You know our kids have done the last two years. We played Penn State who had an all American end and I don't know if he made a single sack in the Orange Bowl, And then we played against an All-America end against Virginia Tech and I don't think he made a sack all night

    And then we played against two of them (in the Emerald Bowl). The kids did a fantastic job.

    Will you want to avoid what happened when you picked Mark McHale to be the next offensive line coach but had an understanding with Marshall he wouldn't join FSU until after recruiting.

    Bowden: I can't do that again.

    Mickey Andrews said the one thing that you emphasized was sticking together. There wasn't a lot of bickering or finger pointing.

    Bowden: I heard fewer complaints this year than I can remember. Usually, when you start losing, the food is no good. The dressing is no good. The coaches are not paying attention. You hear complaints. I heard less this year, I swear, since I've been here. And it should have been more with all these freshmen. And yet I think you have to put it in the hands of the seniors. The seniors evidently played a big role in preventing that in setting the example you hope these young guys we've got now learn from that and will carry it on over to next year and the rest of their career. Let's get the same fiber back when we had Charlie Ward, (Chris), Weinke and Derrick Brooks and (Warrick) Dunn and all those guys.

    You've been saying that you may be just one player away. Is that one player already on the roster?

    Bowden: That you don't know because they are young. There are some that probably on our football team have not showed their stuff. Sometimes it only takes one guy. Do we have that one guy? We got some prospects. It will be interesting.”

    What do you tell Xavier Lee, who did not play in the game?

    Bowden: Just to bide your time and get better.

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