Vols look for better reception

UT receivers coach hopes group can be more consistent

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Tennessee receivers coach Frank Wilson doesn't have to think long to recap the highlights of spring practice.

"The surprise of this spring has been Quintin Hancock," Wilson said. "He's put it together and he's done it in a consistent manner, not just one day or one scrimmage. Week after week, he's been very good."

Yet there's more.

"We've also been very pleased with Austin Rogers and the job that he has done," Wilson said. "The last two scrimmages, Denarius Moore has come to life and done the things we expected him to do."

Other than quarterback, receiver may be UT's most pressing concern this fall. Junior Gerald Jones is a proven commodity but otherwise inconsistency reigns.

Wilson has been encouraged by what he has seen this spring - especially with Moore's emergence.

"It's critical to be able to stretch the field," Wilson said when asked about Moore. "We're going to be able to run the ball effectively. We're going to throw the intermediate pass. That's part of our identity.

"But every game you want to take shots and get downfield. He gives us that vertical stretch of a receiver that can go deep and put pressure on a secondary. We're expecting him to provide us with that."

Moore proved he could do that last season with gaudy 24.6-yards per catch average, more than 10 yards better than any other UT player.

Moore isn't the only late bloomer. Former Alcoa High School star Brandon Warren has also caught Wilson's eye recently after overcoming some off-field issues earlier in spring practice.

"His ball skills are phenomenal," Wilson said. "He's a physical receiver that we want at that position. He's been making steady progress.

"The receivers in this offensive system have to be able to think though. He's grasped it. He's making progress little by little. He's really embraced it but it's not an overnight deal."

Learning a new position has been a challenge for Warren, who has played tight end and defensive end throughout his career. Wilson said Warren should be ready to contribute in time for the 2009 season.

"When we moved him, we didn't intend on moving him not to play," Wilson said. " The whole move was to put him in position to contribute to the team. We think he'll be able to do so this fall."

For Kicks: Daniel Lincoln hasn't taken a couple of recent missed kicks lightly. In fact, the junior kicker doesn't take much lightly when it comes to football.

"I take this seriously," Lincoln said. "The guys try to joke around and keep me loose. I do have a tendency to be too serious - if you can be too serious."

Lincoln is also serious about being a leader for the special teams unit.

"The coaches come to me if there's a problem with the special teams," Lincoln said. "I'm held accountable. I hold myself accountable for our unit and the special teams unit.

"We need leaders. A lack of leadership transforms into a lack of winning. We need leaders across the board. Whoever is willing to step up, whoever can step up needs to."

As one would expect, Lincoln said his leg has never been stronger as he heads into his junior season.

"I've definitely gotten a lot stronger in the weight room and I'm hitting the ball better," Lincoln said. "You can hear it. You can feel it come off your foot different."

Karma Kid: Receiver Jones is looking for good things from his offensive teammates as they prepare for the final week of spring practice.

"If we do good things then it builds chemistry," he said. "It builds faith in other players. You begin to have trust that your teammate will make a play when it's needed.

"Good things happening right now is very big for us. We need that to happen."

Coming Up: Kiffin said the Vols won't back off with only three practices left this spring.

"We can't afford to do any slowing down," Kiffin said. "We can't afford to take Thursday as a light day. We're not good enough to do that. A few years down the road? Maybe.

"We've got to maximize every practice. We'll be in pads and we'll be hitting just like any other day."

Schedule: UT will practice on Tuesday and Thursday before the Orange and White Game on Saturday at Neyland Stadium.

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Comments » 154

belayvol writes:

Great news! Bobby Douche will be sad about Austin. BWAAHAAA

TD_4_UT writes:

Seems like some things are falling in to place. GO VOLS!!!

the10sevol writes:

The receivers are the second weakest link? And to think I was worried about the O line...

promiselandfarm writes:

Let me be the first to say this core of receivers may be what is needed to ive the QB his confidence in himself. Success breeds success,

Greer_Vol_22 writes:

pleased with Rogers huh? that's a good one coach.....and maybe Lincoln's kicks will only come up 5 yards short instead of 10 this season....were after improvement right?

kdaff51 writes:

Hey, Im excited!

GahLee writes:

These guys have got to make plays...catching a 5 yard slant and only getting 5-7 yards is unacceptable...gotta make plays for the QB's, I look for Jones and Moore to be the big play guys with Rodgers, Warren, Hancock to be the steady possession guys.

How much did USC use the TE and RB in their passing game? Cottam and Stocker are 2 huge targets, I think that our RB's could be more than safety valves, they can be play-makers outta the backfield.

belayvol writes:

in response to Greer_Vol_22:

pleased with Rogers huh? that's a good one coach.....and maybe Lincoln's kicks will only come up 5 yards short instead of 10 this season....were after improvement right?

Glass all empty rather than half full huh?

Greer_Vol_22 writes:

in response to belayvol:

Glass all empty rather than half full huh?

not at all, the glass is exactly where it should be...getting fuller with every catch and every kick. But be honest, you saw these two play last year. So from that perspective a half empty glass is a nice improvement.

belayvol writes:

in response to Greer_Vol_22:

not at all, the glass is exactly where it should be...getting fuller with every catch and every kick. But be honest, you saw these two play last year. So from that perspective a half empty glass is a nice improvement.

I saw them play last year. But let's face it, this is not our Momma's Vols. Players are being pushed to perform this year. No free passes, no loafing. I dare say you will never see a Vol blow a play and get caught on the sideline laughing again.

LifetimeVolFan98 writes:

in response to GahLee:

These guys have got to make plays...catching a 5 yard slant and only getting 5-7 yards is unacceptable...gotta make plays for the QB's, I look for Jones and Moore to be the big play guys with Rodgers, Warren, Hancock to be the steady possession guys.

How much did USC use the TE and RB in their passing game? Cottam and Stocker are 2 huge targets, I think that our RB's could be more than safety valves, they can be play-makers outta the backfield.

Two 5-7 yd slants is a first down EVERY time. It may be what we see a lot of this year...

Greer_Vol_22 writes:

in response to belayvol:

I saw them play last year. But let's face it, this is not our Momma's Vols. Players are being pushed to perform this year. No free passes, no loafing. I dare say you will never see a Vol blow a play and get caught on the sideline laughing again.

belay, your right on that one. I was at the South Carolina game sitting right behind the bench and watched as one f'ed up play after another the offense came off laughing and not one coach lit anybody up. The dangdest thing was when Fulmer yanked Stephens after Nick got pissed that a reciever ran a wrong route and he showed a little emotion about it.

bluetick writes:

in response to Scotty_Hopson32:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Last I heard he was doing okay from the time he was let go from the hospital. I think it was posted here that I read it. Maybe they were keeping him out of Spring practice to let him recuperate.

GahLee writes:

You are correct obviously but UT hasn't had a dynamic receiver since Meachem and before that it was probably Donte...a guy who could take a short route and turn it into a big gain. Our receivers are going to have make the occasional big play for us...that's why you hear players and coaches saying "getting the ball to the play-makers" they don't mean just to pull it in, they mean doing something after the catch. Yards after catch will be huge for us this year, if the guys can make some plays it will just make us that much better, if they can't break tackles and make plays it may be hard to move the ball.

Crabtree broke 298 tackles last year on 97 catches...298 tackles! Our entire team didn't break that many. Gotta have play-makers.

oldvolsfan writes:

in response to Scotty_Hopson32:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

be more positive durtbag

GahLee writes:

Warren is fast enough to "clear" a linebacker or beat him off the line and is big enough to shed a safeties tackle.

Caveman writes:

Caveman say coach them up like Trooper did stable of receivers who year before were terrible and then with inspired coaching were outstanding the next year.

Hold them to high standards and make them accountable and results will follow...

Fire say NUFF SAID!!

GahLee writes:

Adam say Caveman poor man's version Witch-Doctor!

I also think that we have a staff full of Troopers, in regard to enthusiasm and energy level, these guys will be ready to roll, it's going to depend on the O-Line weather we are good on offense or not.

volroadwarrior writes:

in response to Greer_Vol_22:

pleased with Rogers huh? that's a good one coach.....and maybe Lincoln's kicks will only come up 5 yards short instead of 10 this season....were after improvement right?

Yeah and you are a friggin genius.

iowavol writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Couldn't agree more that a good mid range route across the middle is very effect. Heck, it was most effective against our defense. But we didn't see last much because the QB's weren't throwing it. The games I saw the dang route was open almost everytime. Problem was our QB's were too busy looking down one receiver on the outside. When they did throw it over the middle and it was not knocked down at the LOS, it was typically a completion. Nothing wrong at all with completing 5-7 yards at time. In fact, you can wear out a defense quickly doing just that.

GahLee writes:

Gotta have yards after the catch this year...an absolute necessity.

belayvol writes:

in response to Greer_Vol_22:

belay, your right on that one. I was at the South Carolina game sitting right behind the bench and watched as one f'ed up play after another the offense came off laughing and not one coach lit anybody up. The dangdest thing was when Fulmer yanked Stephens after Nick got pissed that a reciever ran a wrong route and he showed a little emotion about it.

Nothing lights me up like the chuckles like i saw last year. I might be too hard core but i would remove the benches. If you are not on a trainers table, you should be on the sideline screaming and yelling.

GahLee writes:

That is hardcore...I believe in giving your players a rest...imagine you play on defense and the opposing team just put together a 15-play drive...you need to be sitting down at that point, but the conditioning program that these boys are going through they probably won't need it...

murrayvol writes:

in response to belayvol:

I saw them play last year. But let's face it, this is not our Momma's Vols. Players are being pushed to perform this year. No free passes, no loafing. I dare say you will never see a Vol blow a play and get caught on the sideline laughing again.

Don't think I'd go that far (never a blown play) but agree that sideline laughing with a butt kicking in progress will bring a harsh reprisal.

OrangeStuff07 writes:

Any news on Rod Wilks? Id much rather see him on the field then Austin Rogers.

belayvol writes:

in response to murrayvol:

Don't think I'd go that far (never a blown play) but agree that sideline laughing with a butt kicking in progress will bring a harsh reprisal.

Sorry, did not mean to say there will be no blown plays. Just you will not see grins and chuckles afterwards.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to promiselandfarm:

Let me be the first to say this core of receivers may be what is needed to ive the QB his confidence in himself. Success breeds success,

if that was a sneeky of saying first,you missed.

abnerPeabody writes:

Has anyone read or know anything about our punt and kick off guys? How are they doing? How about kick returners?

MillisaAnn writes:

Glad the recievers are doing better, Keep up the good work.

cobbwebb writes:

whomever our qb is, i hope he has some "wheels", cause im afraid he is going to be running for his life! he better be able to go through his progressions quickly! the o-line scares me! the receivers will have to get seperation quickly, no 5 step drops this season! im hoping this o-line proves me wrong, and blows defenses off the line on every down, and comes out with grit, and some nastiness about them!

BillsBrother writes:

in response to murrayvol:

Don't think I'd go that far (never a blown play) but agree that sideline laughing with a butt kicking in progress will bring a harsh reprisal.

This staff may get greater results than the sum of the talent.

I'll always be happy with that kind of production.

cobbwebb writes:

i agree about the sideline laughing, while getting your azz handed to you! i dont think ive ever been as mad! i too think we have witnessed the last of that nonsense!

Txvol57 writes:

in response to Greer_Vol_22:

not at all, the glass is exactly where it should be...getting fuller with every catch and every kick. But be honest, you saw these two play last year. So from that perspective a half empty glass is a nice improvement.

How about you not base everything in last years god awful offensive system. The scheme was terrible the coaches were terrible, (Fulmer has never been able to coach up anybody). I'm so tired of hearing people worry about this season because of what happen last year. No one was worried about the O-Line last year when the year before they gave up only 4 sacks. It was virtually the same group last year and they were horrendous. Do you really think they just became bad over night? Same thing this year, it is virtually the same o-line as 2 years ago and several people on here are basing everything on last years disaster. Bottom line is you could have had Bret Favre back there and it would not have mattered. They didn't have a clue last year as to what to do. So give them a break and let them learn a "much more simple system" and don't predict what kind of season we are going to have based on last year and 10 spring practices.

Txvol57 writes:

in response to OrangeStuff07:

Any news on Rod Wilks? Id much rather see him on the field then Austin Rogers.

Rod Wilks is playing safety

BigOrangeVol writes:

in response to LifetimeVolFan98:

Two 5-7 yd slants is a first down EVERY time. It may be what we see a lot of this year...

Keith Jackson at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana at the Sugar Bowl circa January 1, 1986, "Tennessee can't keep nickle and dimeing this Miami Defense."

GahLee writes:

Putting together 15-play drives are great and all, but at some point you have to have the big play, just throwing it deep only works so often...you gotta be able to make plays after the catch...7 yard receptions are nothing to sneeze at but at the same time you are going to need a receiver take a screen, slant, out, or in and do more than just make the catch, catching it is only half of it, make one guy miss and it's a 15 yard gain, make two guys miss and it's 6...

Ironcity writes:

in response to Scotty_Hopson32:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

At this point does anyone care? I think its safe to say he will never contribute as a receiver to this team.

GahLee writes:

in response to Ironcity:

At this point does anyone care? I think its safe to say he will never contribute as a receiver to this team.

And why is that?

BigOrangeVol writes:

USC/Ken Norton Jr. almost had Paige taken away from UT/Trooper but Troop talked him into signing with us when Ahmad called to tell him he was going to USC. The kid scored on about every third reception he caught in high school while being double and triple-teamed for two years and his average YPC was 23.6!!! He was ranked anywhere from the 9th best to 14th WR in the nation. The only thing suspect about him was his strength and weight.

He soft-verbaled FSU but Texas, Miami, Bama, LSU, Florida and Georgia also offered. NFL Draft Scout has him listed right now as the #22 WR in the nation and he's never caught a pass for UT! The kid had five receptions for 93 yards against Hargrave last year and was voted the Most Improved Player in spring practice.

This injury has really put him behind the other WR's but to give up on him and act like he's never going to contribute is just plain silly.

“It's slow. It's really slow,” Vol receivers coach Frank Wilson said. “We're going to stick with him, keep being positive with him, keep coaching him up. The injury put him behind a little bit. He's competing, he's trying, he's working his butt off, so we just need to keep encouraging him and trying to get him caught up.”

Voluvr writes:

I say we all meet at Vol walk and go ahead and smoke our Alabama victory cigar.

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to OrangeStuff07:

Any news on Rod Wilks? Id much rather see him on the field then Austin Rogers.

thats a dumb statement since we havent seen him on the field and know what he can do

GahLee writes:

in response to DCdynasty:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Averaged over 24 yards a catch, thankfully this is football and not a track meet, Jerry Rice probably ran about a 4.5 or 4.6, yet he was the greatest to ever lace them up at WR, Anquan Boldin is a beast of a WR and he ran a 4.5 or 4.6, just for another example.

BigOrangeVol writes:

in response to DCdynasty:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Austins' yards per catch were better than Demps, Hernandez, James, K. Moore and Rainey last year!

Ever hear of Lance Moore with the Saints or Kevin Walter with the Pats? That's 19 NFL TD's last season. How many NFL HOF receivers do you think ran a sub 4.5?

40 times are not that important. It's your 20-yard time, first step quickness and precision route running that make great WR's. How often do you see a WR take off 40 yards straight downfield and make a reception? Unless it's a Fade Route, you don't!

FYI, Demps, Cooper, Harvin, Moore, Murphy, Nelson and Thompson averaged 14.59 yards per reception last year with Tebow at QB...
Briscoe, Jones, Moore, Rogers, Stocker and Taylor averaged 14.07 yards per reception with Crompton, Stephens and Coleman at QB.

Just imagine what Tebow could have done with our "slow" WR Corps!!!

I'll take Lance Alworth, Raymond Berry, Fred Biletnikoff, Steve Largent, Art Monk, John Stallworth and Lynn Swann over any "burners" the Gators have had in the last 50 years. I'll even take those guys over Devin Hester, Ted Guinn Jr., Santana Moss, Troy Williamson, Lee Evans, Roy Williams, Steve Smith, Calvin Johnson and Bernard Berrian...and they are the fastest guys in the NFL.

Speed is wonderful but precision routes, heart and great hands will win every time at Wideout.

GahLee writes:

Raymond Berry redefined the WR position, of course he probably doesn't know he is.

GahLee writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It's what I do.

GahLee writes:

in response to BigOrangeVol:

Austins' yards per catch were better than Demps, Hernandez, James, K. Moore and Rainey last year!

Ever hear of Lance Moore with the Saints or Kevin Walter with the Pats? That's 19 NFL TD's last season. How many NFL HOF receivers do you think ran a sub 4.5?

40 times are not that important. It's your 20-yard time, first step quickness and precision route running that make great WR's. How often do you see a WR take off 40 yards straight downfield and make a reception? Unless it's a Fade Route, you don't!

FYI, Demps, Cooper, Harvin, Moore, Murphy, Nelson and Thompson averaged 14.59 yards per reception last year with Tebow at QB...
Briscoe, Jones, Moore, Rogers, Stocker and Taylor averaged 14.07 yards per reception with Crompton, Stephens and Coleman at QB.

Just imagine what Tebow could have done with our "slow" WR Corps!!!

I'll take Lance Alworth, Raymond Berry, Fred Biletnikoff, Steve Largent, Art Monk, John Stallworth and Lynn Swann over any "burners" the Gators have had in the last 50 years. I'll even take those guys over Devin Hester, Ted Guinn Jr., Santana Moss, Troy Williamson, Lee Evans, Roy Williams, Steve Smith, Calvin Johnson and Bernard Berrian...and they are the fastest guys in the NFL.

Speed is wonderful but precision routes, heart and great hands will win every time at Wideout.

Might want to re-check those numbers bruddah, only Moore averaged more than 14 yards a catch for us last year.

BigOrangeVol writes:

I know it's off topic but...

U. S. Navy SEAL snipers on the stern of a destroyer cut down three Somali pirates in a lifeboat and rescued an American sea captain in a surprise nighttime assault in choppy seas Easter Sunday, ending a five-day standoff between a team of rogue gunmen and the world's most powerful military. Capt. Richard Phillips, "I'm just the byline. The real heroes are the Navy SEAL's who have brought me home!"

Since the area of operation was Africa and out of the Navy's Fifth Fleet it was most likely snipers on Team Eight from Little Creek that got the job done. Congratulations on another perfectly executed mission men!

HooYah Teams!

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to BigOrangeVol:

Austins' yards per catch were better than Demps, Hernandez, James, K. Moore and Rainey last year!

Ever hear of Lance Moore with the Saints or Kevin Walter with the Pats? That's 19 NFL TD's last season. How many NFL HOF receivers do you think ran a sub 4.5?

40 times are not that important. It's your 20-yard time, first step quickness and precision route running that make great WR's. How often do you see a WR take off 40 yards straight downfield and make a reception? Unless it's a Fade Route, you don't!

FYI, Demps, Cooper, Harvin, Moore, Murphy, Nelson and Thompson averaged 14.59 yards per reception last year with Tebow at QB...
Briscoe, Jones, Moore, Rogers, Stocker and Taylor averaged 14.07 yards per reception with Crompton, Stephens and Coleman at QB.

Just imagine what Tebow could have done with our "slow" WR Corps!!!

I'll take Lance Alworth, Raymond Berry, Fred Biletnikoff, Steve Largent, Art Monk, John Stallworth and Lynn Swann over any "burners" the Gators have had in the last 50 years. I'll even take those guys over Devin Hester, Ted Guinn Jr., Santana Moss, Troy Williamson, Lee Evans, Roy Williams, Steve Smith, Calvin Johnson and Bernard Berrian...and they are the fastest guys in the NFL.

Speed is wonderful but precision routes, heart and great hands will win every time at Wideout.

preach on

BigOrangeVol writes:

Gerald Jones 10.8
Luke Stocker 10.7
Josh Briscoe 12.6
Lucas Taylor 12.8
Austin Rogers 12.9
Denarius Moore 24.6

84.4 / 6 = 14.067

Demps 9.4
Moore 13.1
Cooper 14.5
Thompson 14.9
Harvin 16.1
Murphy 17.2
Nelson 19.0

104.2 / 7 = 14.885

Sorry I had 14.59 in the earlier post.

GahLee writes:

Their talent at WR far out weighs ours, I hate saying that but it's the truth, like I said re-check your numbers on how many yards we averaged per catch last year, it wasn't 14.08. It was 11.4. Hopefully we can get some better play outta this group and reel in some better talent in the future.

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