September 28, 2004 - by
Bobby Bowden Press Conference — September 27, 2004

Sept. 28, 2004

Media Press Conference with Head Coach Bobby Bowden
Monday, September 27, 2004

Did you get any definitive word on Chris?
Yes, I think it might be two weeks, that’s two weeks at the earliest. You know it’s a high ankle sprain grade two, and we’ve had guys miss six weeks with stuff like that. But he was kind of looking as two. We’ll work Wyatt in there with the first unit and we’ll bring Weatherford up, looks like his redshirt thoughts are over, because we’ve got to get two ready to go. We’ll redshirt Lee, but we’ve got to give support too. If you have another accident, then he’s got to come up and play. Looks like that’s the way we’ll go.

Is this similar to Bobby Meeks’ injury, he has a high ankle sprain?
Ya that’s right. He has a high ankle sprain.

He missed a couple weeks of practice and the Miami game.
He sure did. That’s exactly right and it’s the same, I don’t know if it’s as bad as Bobby’s. I would think probably very similar. As Randy said, it was very swollen this weekend, you know, that’s how those things are. He actually wanted to go back in the game. But a lot of times they hurt a lot worse on Sunday morning or Monday than they did on Saturday during the game.

You mentioned yesterday, it makes the decision for you; you don’t have to debate it now. Have you spoken to Wyatt?
No I haven’t seen any one of them; I just met with the staff. It will probably be this afternoon before we’ll see them.

With all the hits he’s taken over the years, he planted and it happened, don’t you think that kind of ironic?
It is as many hits as he’s had.

Looked like he planted and it just rolled.
Ya. I think that’s what it was. You wouldn’t think it would happen that way. You think someone would catch him running down the field and hit him.

After looking at the film, have you had a chance to really study it? Is you comfort level pretty high that Wyatt did well?
Well yes, because he could have gone in and struck out. But instead he went in there and played like I hoped he would play. Now what do I mean when I say hoped he would play well, I would expect him to go in there and make some boo boos and hope he doesn’t make enough of them to get you beat, and he didn’t. He had some errors in the way he played, but most of them were positive and that what you are hoping for. The negative plays you expect out of a guy getting into the first football game with the game riding on him. It’s not like he went in a 30 point lead or a 25 point lead or with 3 minutes to go. He went in when we were behind in the middle to late first quarter. That was positive.

At some point Chris will heal, have you given any thought to that?
There is no need to. You don’t need to. It takes care of itself.

You know you always say that the players are always told to get ready, what is this like for yourself and the coaches now all of a sudden is the extreme; you’re playing a guy that doesn’t have a great field experience. But you’ve got to win with him.
Yeah. And we recruited him with the idea that he would be the quarterback one day. So here we are. All I want him to do is kind of improve every week. That’s all you can ask. He’s not going to jump in there and all of a sudden be a veteran, seasoned, non-mistake quarterback. It just doesn’t work that way. I just hope he can kind of build on what he did; and I feel okay. But I thought he threw some good balls the other day. He missed a few reads, he missed this, missed none of that. Like I said he did fine, like he would hope he would for the first game.

Often times, these things tend to rally a team a little bit. Do you hope that’s sort of the effect here?
Well, that could happen and sometimes this is the way that a player is discovered, out of necessity. You know, he might have been discovered next year, maybe discovered this year. You know we’ll find out.

Is Rix definitely out of the Syracuse game?
Well, I don’t know that. I just read his reports this morning and he sprained his ankle and it’s all blown up. It looks like a minimum of two weeks. You sure miss a lot with ankle sprains. I think I’ve seen someone miss up to six weeks; it’s very hard to play with an ankle sprain.

When Chris gets back to being healthy, is Wyatt going to be back on the bench?
We’ll just worry about that as it comes. We will just take it like it is. Chris could be back next week, could be back in two weeks, and could be back in three weeks, four weeks. Just don’t know, so I guess we will just wait and see.

At the end of the game, for the last few series you guys pretty much had your starters in. Do you guys pay close enough attention to get those guys out of the game?
If we had two minutes to go and put some other guys in, a lot of the time the other guys don’t want to go in that late. A lot of people leave their offensive line in longer than anybody else, because they need to work for everybody else with the coordination. Just to think we are in our 3rd game, and even our center had only been in a half of a game.

Is it difficult to draw the bounds in a game setting from where you pull the guys and where you let the other guys go in.
It is because you have to consider the players on the other side of the ball. It’s usually when the game is cinched; we get our second guys in there.

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