Yet with the start of fall camp less than a week away, Bowden has put June and July behind him and is ready to get back to business. A starter for the last nine games of Army’s 2008 season, Bowden is ready to defend his position on the team against challengers Max Jenkins and Trent Steelman, while at the same time hoping to bolster an anemic offense which averaged just 14.8 points a season ago. With a busy month in front of him, Bowden recently took some time out of his day to sit down and speak with me, discussing topics ranging from his relationship with Jenkins to his thoughts on incoming Prep School MVP Trent Steelman.
Adam Nettina (AN): What is your relationship like with the other Army quarterbacks? Are you friendly off the field, and what was it like competing with them during the spring?
Chip Bowden (CB): We’re all pretty close. Especially after the season, we’d go out to eat or something like that and we’d take the freshmen with us. So we’re close in that aspect... Max [Jenkins] is a good football player, and it was a tough competition in the spring. He throws the ball well and he is pretty quick and makes the right decisions, so it is tough to compete with guys who are getting to the same level of where you might be.
AN: So you’re pretty good friends with both Max and Carson Williams. Does that make it tough to compete against them for the starting job?
CB: I wouldn’t say it is tough. We’re a pretty loose group and we like to laugh and have a good time; so it’s not too, too serious as far as like ‘hating each others guts’ go or anything…it’s not like that at all. A friendly rivalry is the best way I can put it.
AN: Take me back to last season. In your first start (against Texas A&M) you ran for over 100 yards and nearly pulled off a huge upset. Were you feeling nervous or overwhelmed in that game?
CB: Not really…I would definitely say that throughout that week the coaches worked with me to make practice as difficult as they could so that the game came easy, but I wouldn’t say I was overwhelmed against Texas A&M. Obviously the stage was very big and there were a lot of fans at the stadium, but I never felt too overwhelmed. I knew what I had to do and was able to make the adjustments at the line and change the plays that we had when the defense would do something that we didn’t like, so it was definitely not overwhelming.
AN: Do you feel like you’ve improved since the end of last season?
CB: Definitely. I think in the spring, and during the last few games of last season, the game really slowed down for me. I don’t know if that meant my decision making sped up or got better, but the game just started to slow down…especially in the spring game, where it was very easy to make my reads and determine where I was going with the football ahead of time. I think this offense is really going to help us as far as being really successful in the fall, and that was a big thing for me this spring.