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Garnet and Gold sprinkles
By Bobby Bowden
Special to

Bobby Bowden and family are at Troy State University in Troy, Ala., this week, running the 15th Annual Bowden Academy for quarterbacks and receivers. Bobby runs the camp with his sons Steve, Tommy, Terry and Jeff and son-in-law Jack. He is writing a daily diary for as he prepares for his 25th season at Florida State.

Tuesday, June 19, 2001
Well, my flu is about over and this camp is getting to be pretty fun. The thing that I've always liked about coaching, besides the winning of course, is working with young men and watching them develop.

Bobby Bowden
Florida State's Bobby Bowden talks to the players at the Bowden Academy.
When these boys came in here on Sunday, half of them didn't have any footwork at all and most didn't understand the underlying principles behind the passes they were throwing. Now, after five workouts in 2 days, you can really see the teaching start to sink in.

I tell these guys that almost all of them can stand 15 yards apart and throw passes to each other and hit the other guy in the numbers about 90 percent of the time. But when you ask that same kid to first do a five-step drop to a depth of eight yards behind the line of scrimmage and then get the ball off in 1.5 seconds, it's a whole new ballgame. Although the distance of the pass isn't that much different, very few of the guys can hit the receiver in the chest at all.

The problem is in the footwork. If your feet aren't positioned correctly under your body just right so you can step, throw and follow through like a baseball pitcher on the mound, then that arm is going to have a difficult time delivering the ball accurately to the target.

Watching these young fellows get the footwork down is what coaching is all about -- like I said, besides winning.

This afternoon, we put in our intermediate pass routes -- the curl, the out, the square-in and the post-corner. These are the deeper routes that are thrown around 15 yards or more down field.

Steve, Tommy and Jeff work very hard with the wide receivers on bursting off the line of scrimmage. Every route you run needs to start out looking like the take-off or bomb. Only when you can get the defensive back to think you are trying to run by him can you get him to back up. If you're really good at exploding off the line, you might even get him to turn his hips and run deep. Once you do this, you can run any intermediate route you want.

That's why I like my receivers at Florida State to be real fast. I want the defense to be scared to death that I'm going to run deep, so I can kill him with my underneath passing game.

We started running this camp 15 years ago mainly as an excuse to spend some quality time together as a family. There is nothing we love more than coaching football, and if we can do it together, then that's doubly special. However, over the years it has become a pretty good recruiting tool, too. I've always got my eye open for a QB or WR that can help us at FSU.

Chris Weinke
Bobby Bowden thinks he may have found a player at his camp who could be as special as Chris Weinke.
So far, at this session of camp, I've seen one quarterback in particular that I would really like to get to come to Florida State. He has all the tools to be something special. I made sure I sat down and ate dinner with him at the cafeteria tonight. I told him how good he was and that I thought he could be the next Chris Weinke. I then asked him about his Mama and his Daddy (I always ask them about their Mama and Daddy). When I got up to go get some ice cream for dessert, I asked him if I could get him some, too.

As I got him a bowl of ice cream, I was really hoping I could surprise him with some garnet and gold sprinkles. They didn't have any.

I love competition. In fact, there's nothing I love more than beating the Gators. Florida is going to be one of the best teams in the country this year and you've got to have good players to beat them. I sure hope Steve Spurrier played golf today.

I hope I get this quarterback. If they had only had garnet and gold sprinkles ?

Bobby Bowden Q&A

Camp diaries: Getting started at the Bowden Academy

Camp diaries: Repetition is the key to success

Camp diaries: A day of rest

Camp diaries: Bowden Ball

Camp diaries: Important lessons

Tommy Bowden Q&A