Kiffin comfortable with QBs

Tenneessee coach Lane Kiffin said he's been able to get a good grasp on his three quarterbacks this spring.

"I'm a lot more comfortable with the quarterbacks," Kiffin said after Friday's scrimmage. "I'm starting to understand their personalities. I'm starting to understand how they are in the huddle."

Despite an overall disappointing day by UT's offense, Kiffin said he was pleased with senior Jonathan Crompton, who was 8-of-11 for 91 yards.

"I thought Jonathan did really well," Kiffin said. "He moved around well, made some plays. I think he's got a shot to be pretty good."

Sophomore B.J. Coleman was 11-of-16 for 151 yards and two touchdowns.

"He played really well, made some plays when some things weren't there," Kiffin said.

Nick Stephens still seemed limited with the healing wrist on his right, throwing arm. The junior was 2-of-4 for 28 yards and a touchdown.

Wilson's World: Receivers coach Frank Wilson was pleased with his players despite a limited impact on the stat sheet, only 13 receptions and 187 yards in a 79-play scrimmage.

"Early in the scrimmage, they were asked to block," Wilson said. "In this system, you have to be a physical receiver that can have dual roles, both catching the ball and blocking.

"It was confirmation today that they bought in. They blocked aggressively and effectively."

Eventually, however, UT's receivers became a bigger part of the game plan.

"In the second half, coach Kiffin was able to reward them, threw them a few balls," Wilson said. "They did a good job taking advantage of that, especially in special third-down situations and picking up the first down."

Cutting Down Fumbles: Even in the face of an often-dominant defense, the Vols only lost one fumble in 79 plays, a vast improvement over Thursday when turnovers were the story.

"That's one too many but at least we got it down," Kiffin said.

Thursday's missteps, however, still had an effect.

"Actually I think we started off so bad because we had such a bad practice (on Thursday)," receiver Gerald Jones said. "Everybody was so worried."

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Comments » 64

ramrodjack writes:

It is still early!

SignalMtnVol writes:

The praise of Crompton, even though he has had mostly horrible #'s, makes me nervous. . . . . .

b writes:

better late than never, hooker.

stayingorange writes:

With all the changes entering the season the term "comfortable" is really comforting at this point. I doubt the word was applicable last season at this point in the transition process.

NorthwestVol writes:

in response to SignalMtnVol:

The praise of Crompton, even though he has had mostly horrible #'s, makes me nervous. . . . . .

In Friday's action Crompton was 8 of 11 for 91 yards. Pretty darn good considering he was sacked 7 or 8 times. Plus, while he funbled once, he had no interceptions. Let's hope he's in the process of getting "coached up".

burntorangeVOLffle writes:

Im going to die laughing when the starting line up includes Crompton and Austin Rogers.

gohawks1 writes:

Comfortable? I'm comforable in my pajamas, but that doesn't mean I should wear them to the game on gameday.

ColeTrickle writes:

in response to gohawks1:

Comfortable? I'm comforable in my pajamas, but that doesn't mean I should wear them to the game on gameday.

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

gohawks1 writes:

in response to SignalMtnVol:

The praise of Crompton, even though he has had mostly horrible #'s, makes me nervous. . . . . .

Gotta agree with you, brother. Get well soon, Nick.

tennesseebee writes:

If fan negativity awarded points, we'll go undefeated. Feel the Power of the T!!

ncvol17 writes:

I fear our 3 QB's will become known as the 3 Stooges of the SEC. Please be recruiting 2 big time HS QB's for 2010. We had placed too much faith in Crompton and he just isn't SEC calibre. Bummer.

ncvol17 writes:

in response to tennesseebee:

If fan negativity awarded points, we'll go undefeated. Feel the Power of the T!!

Often Negativity = REALITY

Blind Optimism in the face of facts = UNREALITY

Usually I find the spring blind optomists become the loudest critics in the fall when reality sets in. Realists are on a more steady course.

gohawks1 writes:

in response to ColeTrickle:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And yet I know how to use capitalization, spacing, and punctuation. How embarrassing this must be for you.

xvillefan writes:

There is a lot of posturing on this site (Fear the Kiff!!). Hyperbole aside. Here is one man’s opinion about Lane’s task ahead. The 2009 team is what it is. It is very doubtful the new recruits will make much of an impact on the won-lost record. Brown has a big upside but he needs better blocking than the current OL can provide. Based on the results of last season, it seems Alabama, Georgia, and Florida will have much better athletes this fall and will probably win those games.

If the VOLS can win seven of the remaining nine games that would certainly be acceptable considering this is a new staff that did not inherit a great deal of talent. This may be more difficult than it seems. Spring practice seems to indicate the QB situation is still a problem. Ole Miss, South Carolina, Auburn and even Kentucky or Vanderbilt will be looking to jump on a team that they feel may be vulnerable.

The real task comes in the 2010 season. The VOLS get a break by getting Alabama, Florida and Ole Miss at home but have to travel to Georgia, LSU and South Carolina. The VOLS must win four of those six games with the priority being the Tide or the Gators. Those are not small chores considering Eric (best UT safety in history) will almost certainly be gone to the NFL and the best recruiting class left from the Fulmer era will graduate. If the Tide wins in Knoxville, they could have a small streak going in 2011 when the VOLS must go back to Tuscaloosa. If Florida wins they could have a chance to go for seven straight in 2011 at the swamp.

Spastic writes:

I can't believe i've not heard anyone else say this, but I believe that Kiffin WANTS Crompton to start because of the image it will portray to this years QB recruits.

Everything i've seen so far shows to me that Coleman seems to be the best, but he's a Sophomore....won't look good to a Top-Flight QB recruit that they could have to battle for the spot instead of getting it from a Senior leaving.

I mean, it's just my two cents....but does anyone else not feel this way?

Alwaysavol writes:

I'm reading between the lines here, but the headline is a little misleading. The article doesn't say Kiffin is comfortable with their play, it says he is starting to understand their personalities and how they are in the huddle. In other words, he is comfortable with knowing how to work with them. Although he did say both Crompton and Coleman played really well, he was referring only to yesterday's scrimmage. I think there is still hope that he isn't yet comfortable with their play. I say "hope" because from the reports we are getting, they still have a long way to go. I hope we do get to the point where CLK is comfortable with their play, but I suspect we aren't there yet.

9krpms writes:

in response to Spastic:

I can't believe i've not heard anyone else say this, but I believe that Kiffin WANTS Crompton to start because of the image it will portray to this years QB recruits.

Everything i've seen so far shows to me that Coleman seems to be the best, but he's a Sophomore....won't look good to a Top-Flight QB recruit that they could have to battle for the spot instead of getting it from a Senior leaving.

I mean, it's just my two cents....but does anyone else not feel this way?

I do, and people wanted my head on a stick for saying such things. It makes perfect sense for me. Not taking anything away from BJ, but strategically if CLK feels like BJ nor Nick put us in a better position to win games, then Crompton should start. I also think that you don't become one of the top 5 qb's coming out of high school for no reason (i.e. Crompton)... I think Crompton has the ability to be perform well. I also think CLK is trying to rebuild his confidence, much like cut did with Ainge.

TENECSTUD writes:

IF'S AND BUT'S WHERE CANDY AND NUT'S WE WOULD ALL HAVE AMERRY CHRISTMAS

IF FROG'S HAD HOLSTER'S THEY COULD CARRY SIX-SHOOTER'S AND WOULD NOT BE A'FEARED OF SNAKE'S

COME ON PEOPLE , GIVE COACH CLK TIME TO SORT THROUGH THE CULL'S AND THE WANT-A-BE'S AND DO HIS THING, -- OR NOT --COME SEPT, WE'LL KNOW HOW THE COW-ATE-THE CABBAGE. WIN LOOSE OR DRAW, I'LL BET THEY HUSTLE, SHOW UP TO PLAY, AND DON'T ROLL OVER TO NOBODY!!!!

fffear the kiffin!!!!!!

bobbytodd writes:

The term comfortable doesn't mean he is happy or unhappy with the qb's. He is simply stating he now understands the way they handle the team.

therazbo writes:

in response to 99aintagator:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

lil-gay-tor

givehim6 writes:

in response to SignalMtnVol:

The praise of Crompton, even though he has had mostly horrible #'s, makes me nervous. . . . . .

CLK said that hoping not to bruise his ego. CLK knows if he keeps Jon boy around he might one day do something.

ctownvol writes:

in response to gohawks1:

And yet I know how to use capitalization, spacing, and punctuation. How embarrassing this must be for you.

Ouch...

GaytorHater writes:

in response to 99aintagator:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

gohawks1 writes:

in response to ctownvol:

Ouch...

"They drew first blood... they drew first blood." - Rambo, John J.

19SEP09 writes:

in response to Spastic:

I can't believe i've not heard anyone else say this, but I believe that Kiffin WANTS Crompton to start because of the image it will portray to this years QB recruits.

Everything i've seen so far shows to me that Coleman seems to be the best, but he's a Sophomore....won't look good to a Top-Flight QB recruit that they could have to battle for the spot instead of getting it from a Senior leaving.

I mean, it's just my two cents....but does anyone else not feel this way?

I get your point but think it would be an act of colossal stupidity (even by CLK's standards!) to sandbag your team in pursuit of a QB recruit.

The best recruiting cologne is winning. If Kiff think JC is his second best QB and plays him anyway, he's going to shoot himself in the foot.

While the football fanatics who patrol these boards, will understand the depth chart he inherits...the average fan and the media narrative will all be about Kiff and his W-L record. He needs at least 7 wins in 2009 or the recruits are going to get scared away.

19SEP09 writes:

in response to ncvol17:

Often Negativity = REALITY

Blind Optimism in the face of facts = UNREALITY

Usually I find the spring blind optomists become the loudest critics in the fall when reality sets in. Realists are on a more steady course.

Nice post. Good to see a UT fan with a grip on reality. It's a shame that the few troublemaker's dominate the airwaves here.

ctownvol writes:

in response to gohawks1:

"They drew first blood... they drew first blood." - Rambo, John J.

I saw that. Good one brother.

DennisVols writes:

Hot, Cold, Warm.....
The UT Fan is:
Passionate about our football team. Most of us got our 1st taste as a small child and have never really understood how anyone could not bleed orange. After all baseball and basketball are just something to do in between football seasons.
We try to think of the positive even if 2 of the last 4 seasons have taught us that things can and will go really wrong if you let your guard down.
We have high expections. The taste of the '98 National Championship is still in our hearts. We remember the thrill.
I was married to, at that time, a FSU graduate and we had to draw a line through the living room before the game.
We want to believe that this new staff will bring us back the respect we feel has been taken and even in their 1st year will erase the disappointment from the longest season most fans have ever suffered through.
Each day we log on to every site, read every sports article searching for something to confirm our beliefs things are changing for the good.
We have learned to not get too excited and even to not be too negitive (the trolls on here do that for us).
In 147 days Neyland Stadium will be full once again.
The game should be just a warm up for what could be an interesting season. We are torn as what to believe 9 wins, 8 wins, 7 wins. Can this team without a starting QB morph into the team most remember from the late 90's that feared no one and was feard by most.
Either you are
Hot thinking that change will be instant and good,
Cold still not sure this was the right choice for a new coaching staff, or
Warm you like what you have seen or heard so far with few exceptions but you also know in your heart that the preceived talent level had fallen off wth few exceptions and as much as you want a championships you will be happy if you see a positive change in the outcome of this season. Fight in the players throughout each game no matter the outcome. Physically and mentaly prepared for each contest, be competitive for 4 qtrs every game.
No matter what degree you are we all have one thing in common. We Are Tennessee Vols.

HonoluluVol writes:

in response to Spastic:

I can't believe i've not heard anyone else say this, but I believe that Kiffin WANTS Crompton to start because of the image it will portray to this years QB recruits.

Everything i've seen so far shows to me that Coleman seems to be the best, but he's a Sophomore....won't look good to a Top-Flight QB recruit that they could have to battle for the spot instead of getting it from a Senior leaving.

I mean, it's just my two cents....but does anyone else not feel this way?

I don't know if what you say is true, but it's something to think about. Crompton was like 8-11 for 81 yrds I believe. That's like screens, button hooks and slants. Safe throws. BJ throws for 151 and CLK says he did ok. Crompton usually is the first thing out of Kiffin's mouth. Don't know if it's because the media asks about him first or not. I would like to see BJ get some 1st team time, also,Stephens too. Heck, atleast they did throw TD's.

BamaVol writes:

in response to tweetdriver63#346474:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You may be right. Last year no one new what to do.

FWBVol writes:

OK guys, I'll cut Crompton some slack because he has had four QB coaches and OCs in the five years he's been at UT and this is the third systemd he has had to learn.

None of the guys on offense looked good last year. Just about every one of us Vol fans have complained about how complicated the offense was and how nobody seemed to be grasping it. The problems last season on offense weren't restricted to Crompton or Stephens.

If we are able to run the ball like it appears we should in the fall it will open up a lot of things in the passing game.

The defense our offense faces each practice was one of the best in the country last year. And the defense sees the offense every day in practice and knows what to key on and such.

Georgia has a fifth-year senior that is starting at QB for the first time and will be looking for a new go-to guy at tailback.

Alabama lost it's starting QB and top RB. Crompton, for all of the understandable concerns some people have, has at least faced the fire in the SEC.

If Hardesty can stay healthy and Poole continues to improve, we will be solid in the running game whether or not Oku and Brown can be impact players.

Will it be easy? No. Is there work to do? Yes, but I believe eight or nine wins is a very realistic possibility and with an upset or two 10 wins are very possible.

Georgia and Bama won't be easy, and Florida will be the toughest test on the schedule. But I think we can steal the Georgia game because it's at Neyland.

UTvols12342000 writes:

in response to h8ag8r:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

after all the ranting about people who post "1st", this is what you came up with?

douglasawilliams#582863 writes:

in response to 9krpms:

I do, and people wanted my head on a stick for saying such things. It makes perfect sense for me. Not taking anything away from BJ, but strategically if CLK feels like BJ nor Nick put us in a better position to win games, then Crompton should start. I also think that you don't become one of the top 5 qb's coming out of high school for no reason (i.e. Crompton)... I think Crompton has the ability to be perform well. I also think CLK is trying to rebuild his confidence, much like cut did with Ainge.

Crompton's body language during interviews says he isn't confident at all. Ainge had a really good freshmen year so there was something to restore. I've never seen Crompton rally an offense so maybe he never had any confidence to begin with. It is strange that he was so highly regarded and has never found his rythm. I just want to win, whoever is qb.

the10sevol writes:

in response to DennisVols:

Hot, Cold, Warm.....
The UT Fan is:
Passionate about our football team. Most of us got our 1st taste as a small child and have never really understood how anyone could not bleed orange. After all baseball and basketball are just something to do in between football seasons.
We try to think of the positive even if 2 of the last 4 seasons have taught us that things can and will go really wrong if you let your guard down.
We have high expections. The taste of the '98 National Championship is still in our hearts. We remember the thrill.
I was married to, at that time, a FSU graduate and we had to draw a line through the living room before the game.
We want to believe that this new staff will bring us back the respect we feel has been taken and even in their 1st year will erase the disappointment from the longest season most fans have ever suffered through.
Each day we log on to every site, read every sports article searching for something to confirm our beliefs things are changing for the good.
We have learned to not get too excited and even to not be too negitive (the trolls on here do that for us).
In 147 days Neyland Stadium will be full once again.
The game should be just a warm up for what could be an interesting season. We are torn as what to believe 9 wins, 8 wins, 7 wins. Can this team without a starting QB morph into the team most remember from the late 90's that feared no one and was feard by most.
Either you are
Hot thinking that change will be instant and good,
Cold still not sure this was the right choice for a new coaching staff, or
Warm you like what you have seen or heard so far with few exceptions but you also know in your heart that the preceived talent level had fallen off wth few exceptions and as much as you want a championships you will be happy if you see a positive change in the outcome of this season. Fight in the players throughout each game no matter the outcome. Physically and mentaly prepared for each contest, be competitive for 4 qtrs every game.
No matter what degree you are we all have one thing in common. We Are Tennessee Vols.

Anybody besides me have a strange urge to quietly hum the Tennessee Waltz while Dennis spoke?

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to Spastic:

I can't believe i've not heard anyone else say this, but I believe that Kiffin WANTS Crompton to start because of the image it will portray to this years QB recruits.

Everything i've seen so far shows to me that Coleman seems to be the best, but he's a Sophomore....won't look good to a Top-Flight QB recruit that they could have to battle for the spot instead of getting it from a Senior leaving.

I mean, it's just my two cents....but does anyone else not feel this way?

I'm starting to agree. This being a transition year and a losing season will be on Coach Fulmer then Crompton is best for recruiting Heap's. Coleman is going to get the shaft.

philfan writes:

in response to burntorangeVOLffle:

Im going to die laughing when the starting line up includes Crompton and Austin Rogers.

I agree. Kiffin talks a good line about the importance of competitiveness for the starting positions. I think there is a 100% chance that both players will start.

All sarcasm aside, there is something to be said for experience over desire to play and athleticism. Crompton is not incompetent as QB. I saw a few flashes of brilliance last year. He played well against Kentucky.

VolFanNC writes:

So for all the anti-Crompton folks, he has been taking that majority of snaps with the 1st team D and BJ has been going after tne 2nd team. Would like to see it reversed and give Coleman the majority with the 1st team D.

I do think Coleman will end up as the QB, but he is giving Crompton his fair chance. I still wan tot see what Stephens will do....but I guess will have to wait til fall.

tennesseebee writes:

in response to ncvol17:

Often Negativity = REALITY

Blind Optimism in the face of facts = UNREALITY

Usually I find the spring blind optomists become the loudest critics in the fall when reality sets in. Realists are on a more steady course.

I support my team. The finished product is not on the field yet. Crompton has the mechanics and athletisism, so why not wait until we have something to whine about. Last season was last season. Feel the Power of the T!!!

TommyJack writes:

in response to A_VOICE_OF_REASON:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

He seems to be totally honest to me.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Spastic:

I can't believe i've not heard anyone else say this, but I believe that Kiffin WANTS Crompton to start because of the image it will portray to this years QB recruits.

Everything i've seen so far shows to me that Coleman seems to be the best, but he's a Sophomore....won't look good to a Top-Flight QB recruit that they could have to battle for the spot instead of getting it from a Senior leaving.

I mean, it's just my two cents....but does anyone else not feel this way?

I think I see your point, but I can't believe that CLK is willing to phone in the season just to show a top-flight QB how much we need him. This is no longer the era of 5-year plans. If CLK can't sustain the fan enthusiasm building right now through the 2009 season, then think how much more flak he will get if he doesn't win with our MUCH tougher schedule in 2010 with a freshman QB? I think he will go with the QB he thinks gives us the best chance to win, and, if it is Crompton, we fans will just have to swallow hard and hope for the best.

cc623 writes:

The Crompton haters are really pitiful.This kid had a bad season after elbow surgery while throwing to receivers running the wrong routes.They had the opportunity to catch many balls that were right in their hands and should have been receptions.If there were a few more catches the season and the haters opinion of Crompton would have been different.I seem to remember none of the other QBs doing much if any better because if they had there wouldn't be a battle for starting QB.I know all positions are "open" but,if we had a dominant QB then his position would be secured by his performance.At this point looks like the leader of the QB race starts every practice and that is Crompton.This kid has potential(or he wouldn't have been so highly recruited)and in my opinion will shine this season if he gets some help from the O-line.

croweman writes:

A QB is only as good as the O Line will allow them to be. If you were to put any top rated QB from last season behind our confussed O Line last year they would also have a big question mark above there head. I just can't help but think that CLK is here to win and prove to others that he can coach a team that team will win. Just think when the end of the year comes and we have 7-9 wins at UT. We should have been there last year and it's not all the QB's fault. I think this coaching staff has brought this team together as a team and these guys will I think respond well and again bring UT Football back in the spot light.

TommyJack writes:

in response to Spastic:

I can't believe i've not heard anyone else say this, but I believe that Kiffin WANTS Crompton to start because of the image it will portray to this years QB recruits.

Everything i've seen so far shows to me that Coleman seems to be the best, but he's a Sophomore....won't look good to a Top-Flight QB recruit that they could have to battle for the spot instead of getting it from a Senior leaving.

I mean, it's just my two cents....but does anyone else not feel this way?

An interesting take. OTOH,many recruits will be influenced by our overall season in '09. The more wins, the better the recruiting. Don't think CLK will forfeit wins for recruiting a QB.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

some of the guys on this link must be journalists or authors. pls. shorten your postings even if you have to post more of them. I venture to say most of us will see how long your post is, read the first 2 lines then skip to the next poster.

thanks

92VOL05 writes:

Why does everyone think BJ is the better QB? JC is playing agianst the 1st team defence, whitch might be one of the best in the country. BJ is agianst the 2nd team. With all the sacks the 1st team OL is giving up compared to the 2nd team OL I can only feel like our 1st team DL is incredable. The 2nd team DL doesnt seem to be near as good as the 1st. Also has BJ taken any snaps with the 1st team? As far as I know he hasnt. We have to trust our coaches and quit trying to be arm chair coaches.

give_him_6 writes:

If you are truly going to give all the QBs a shot, then if, and I mean if, B.J. beats Crompton head to head, then he should eb the starting QB. Crompton was really impressive early on and showed what he had when injuries put him into the starting line-up. But then Clawson and his confusing, childish offense came in and really screwed the kid up. Nothing is worse than a QB with damaged confidence. I hope Crompton can find that spark again. But if he can't, Kiff needs to embrace Coleman. I have all the confidence in the world in Coach Kiff.

Go Vols

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to give_him_6:

If you are truly going to give all the QBs a shot, then if, and I mean if, B.J. beats Crompton head to head, then he should eb the starting QB. Crompton was really impressive early on and showed what he had when injuries put him into the starting line-up. But then Clawson and his confusing, childish offense came in and really screwed the kid up. Nothing is worse than a QB with damaged confidence. I hope Crompton can find that spark again. But if he can't, Kiff needs to embrace Coleman. I have all the confidence in the world in Coach Kiff.

Go Vols

I think we are all forgetting how much the o-line can contribute to making a QB look terrible. Kif is saying the O-line is terrible just like it was last year. So Heap's may not look so good with the VOLS line.

the10sevol writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

IMHO, CLK is waiting until fall drills, when Nick is back to full strength, to have the real "try-out" at QB. What they're doing with JC, BJ, and to the degree he's able, NS, is learning the system, checking mechanics, etc. We'll know after summer camp.

volroadwarrior writes:

The coach will say to us whatever he thinks it will take to win. Will it help us win if he publicly trashes his players? Is there a chance the QBs under the new system are better than the negative nellies think? I don't know, but I do know that negativism does not win games.
These young men, including Crompton, Rogers, and Foster chose UT. They are not deliberately trying to play badly. They have actually played better than some of you idiots give them credit for. We've got what we've got and I for one want our coaches to maximize their abilities to win games and not to trash our guys.

volroadwarrior writes:

in response to burntorangeVOLffle:

Im going to die laughing when the starting line up includes Crompton and Austin Rogers.

Yes, and you are a real genius.

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