McCoy returns to weakside linebacker

For a dozen spring practices, Tennessee's defensive coaches steadfastly held their position. On Tuesday, they flip-flopped.

After being moved to strongside linebacker before spring drills began, senior Rico McCoy returned to the position he played last season, weakside linebacker.

"We didn't know for sure where he would fit," defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin said.

Now Kiffin knows, adding that McCoy will most likely stay at weakside into the 2009 season. McCoy's move prompted another shift, LaMarcus Thompson to strongside linebacker.

"I thought he might be pretty good off the edge," Kiffin said. "We'll blitz him some."

The "experiment", as Kiffin called it, could still pay dividends. McCoy is UT's only linebacker who has started more than one game during his career.

Now, McCoy has experience at both outside linebacker positions in UT's new defensive system. That will give the Vols some flexibility, especially if faced with an injury.

"Rico's probably played the best of all the linebackers," UT coach Lane Kiffin said. "We moved him from 'sam' to 'will'. That's usually in this system where the best playmaker goes."

Longtime NFL standout Derrick Brooks played weakside linebacker for Monte Kiffin while he was the defensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"That's where you put your best player in this system because he's covered up by a three-technique (defensive tackle) in front of him," Lane Kiffin said.

Junior Nick Reveiz is the only other linebacker to have started a game in his career. Yet Reveiz and Thompson both played in every game last season.

Reveiz, Thompson and McCoy are expected to start Saturday's Orange and White Game.

More Linebacker Lingo: Chris Donald said he's pleased with his improvement in UT's new defense.

"This year is going really good," the linebacker said. "I like the new defense."

Donald said he is asked to blitz more at strongside linebacker than he was under UT's former coaching staff.

"It takes me back to high school," Donald said.

Donald is splitting second-team snaps with fellow sophomore Daryl Vereen.

Donald played in two games last season after being a highly touted recruit in 2007.

"I've been hungry for awhile," the former Huntingdon High School standout said. "I've been busting my tail in class and in the weight room. I'm grinding everyday."

Going Hard on Goal Line: The Vols' final portion of practice was a full-contact, goal line drill held while rap music blasted through speakers high above Haslam Field.

Cornerback Dennis Rogan turned in the most electric highlight during the drill when he hammered Austin Rogers just as the receiver was about to reel in a touchdown pass from B.J. Coleman. The pass fell incomplete.

UT completed another short-yardage pass when Nick Stephens found Gerald Jones for a touchdown.

Tailback Montario Hardesty was stopped short of the goal line on a questionable call on the drill's first play. The senior found the end zone shortly thereafter.

Pass Protection Better: Lane Kiffin said UT's pass protection improved after a rough day protecting the quarterbacks in Friday's scrimmage.

"I thought we pass protected a little bit better today," he said. "We didn't have a very good blitz period, but as far as one-on-one matchups, I thought we did better. They responded a little bit to (Friday's scrimmage). It was good to see."

Quiet Storm: Guard Vladimir Richard said offensive coordinator and line coach Jim Chaney has no trouble getting loud when he's correcting a player. But that's not always the route Chaney chooses.

"He can get loud sometimes, but he can chew you out in such a calm way," Richard said. "And that's scary. When someone's loud and yelling at you, you're used to that. But when somebody can be so calm and talk to you in such a polite manner but really just chew you out, that's a scary sight."

Highs and Lows: UT's second-team offensive line struggled mightily in pass protection. Stephens was often the recipient of the poor pass blocking, often never having a chance to look downfield before the play was blown dead for a sack.

Stephens sometimes struggled even before it got to that point. The junior had two fumbled exchanges with center Cody Sullins.

Injury Report: Tight end Jeff Cottam (concussion) did not practice.

Drew Edwards contributed to this report.

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Comments » 42

CoverOrange writes:

That seems to answer the rumor about Chris Donald. It also answers the question of who fumbled twice.

TonyGeist writes:

Maybe Chris Donald isn't the other Vol quitting the team?

senracjr writes:

Cool

tums writes:

Ahhhhh, football. Way too many months to go though.....

ryan_storie#400647 writes:

glad to hear something about chris donald.

cratledge#355986 writes:

first

PepperGrinder (Inactive) writes:

It's so nice to finally hear something about todays practice. It only ended 3 hours ago.

VAvolfanRON writes:

we cannot have injuries to our O line!!!....

Book1......keep in mind it was 2nd team...if that's any consolation

VAvolfanRON writes:

pepper....lol.....chill man....they have to eat..take interviews.....get back and write the stories.....i appreciate them doing that at 10:30...otherwise, we'd see it tomorrow.

go back to the written newspaper??

GahLee writes:

Finally a word on Chris..we were just talking about him on another article...we need him to continue to work hard so he can have an impact.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to VAvolfanRON:

we cannot have injuries to our O line!!!....

Book1......keep in mind it was 2nd team...if that's any consolation

Giv'em a break Ron. There is the hour for post practice interviews then the half hour to pedal their bicycles back to the KNS building then get out their Selectrics (does StillaVol know what that is?) then hand the carbon copy to the teenagers to post on the web!

CoverOrange writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Giv'em a break Ron. There is the hour for post practice interviews then the half hour to pedal their bicycles back to the KNS building then get out their Selectrics (does StillaVol know what that is?) then hand the carbon copy to the teenagers to post on the web!

Oops, sorry Ron, hit the wrong reply button.

hglover40#234154 writes:

Is Gerald Williams still on the team? With Martin and Walker playing so well at DE, why don't they move Wialliams to LB - get them all on the field .

VAvolfanRON writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Oops, sorry Ron, hit the wrong reply button.

you son of a %^&%...3$%^$%^...

@#$%$#...you $%#4

lol....no problem!!!....lol

VAvolfanRON writes:

tebow and spikes braces get stuck prior to kickoff......they leave to go to the dentist!!....invoice it

old_number1 writes:

in response to GahLee:

Finally a word on Chris..we were just talking about him on another article...we need him to continue to work hard so he can have an impact.

Ask and ye shall receive! LOL

GahLee writes:

I concur...lol.

VAvolfanRON writes:

i shouldn't have though

VolJoe writes:

in response to VAvolfanRON:

tebow and spikes braces get stuck prior to kickoff......they leave to go to the dentist!!....invoice it

Fantastic post

gnm53108 writes:

Hang in there Nick.

Were pullin for ya.

PreventUT writes:

in response to TonyGeist:

Maybe Chris Donald isn't the other Vol quitting the team?

Ahmad Paige's name has been floating around.

ThaiVolFan writes:

I agree...good to see a few quotes from Chris Donald. I hope he really begins to take off in the new system, I'd like to see if he can become another West Tennessee stud at the linebacker position...can anyone say Al Wilson!

gnm53108 writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thanks.May have to make a maplewood game this year.I'm in that neck of the woods.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Good info.

Seems like these practices are a liitle bit of intense.

This should serve us better this fall. Lord, pls let us never see another 2008 cluster.

Docrok writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

HOLY HE!!.... Gordon is pretty good!! I mean Really!!! Man with him and teh Myles and Jackson, Nyshier Oliver, and Mike Edwards, I am thinking our secondary is gonna be good for awhile!

Docrok writes:

What idiot stole RichRollin's screenname??? And how old is that guy like 10??????????????

checkerboards writes:

I'm shocked! A post about our football team without a mention of Crompton? I'm pulling for BJ, sounds like Stephens may be lagging behind a bit, it's a shame he hurt his wrist.

TommyJack writes:

in response to checkerboards:

I'm shocked! A post about our football team without a mention of Crompton? I'm pulling for BJ, sounds like Stephens may be lagging behind a bit, it's a shame he hurt his wrist.

It will all shake out in August.

rich182x writes:

Where's Eric Berry?

Will_Bleed_Orange_Till_White writes:

Hey Rich, I live in Nashville near Hillsboro and have had the chance to watch Gordon this past year and IMO he is of the same grade as Miles and Jackson. The way he bodily throws himself around in the secondary reminds me of another Eric.
GBFO

rich182x writes:

Thats good to hear! I wish I still lived in TN, and I'll miss most of the season when im in Korea... bummer. The defense will be solid for awhile, just gotta wait on the offense to catch the F* up! And hopefully we can hire an ingenious offensive coordinator! Then were set for greatness IMO.

Will_Bleed_Orange_Till_White writes:

I was talkin to the artist formerly know as Richrollin, but korea has hot asians so all is not lost. Ohh yea and CLK is the ingenious OC we were begging for last year. The simplification of the offence will cut down on the TO's and will advance the ball further into enemy territory. Regardless of whether we score, we will win the ball position battle that dictates the majority of close games.
GBFO

19SEP09 writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

An outstanding propect for UT. This is where the rubber meets the road for CLK. Gotta have those hogs.

In addition to Tennessee, Stone has made unofficial visits to Alabama, Auburn and Vanderbilt with a trip to Notre Dame coming up this weekend.

Stone doesn't hesitate to say that he likes Tennessee, but it's just as clear that he's going to explore his options a bit, and that keeping him in state may require some work.

"I'm still sorting through all these schools and checking out as many of them as I can," Stone said to the question of where he was at in terms of naming favorites. "I'm not ready to say I have a top-five or that I'm leaning anywhere.

"I'll be giving Tennessee a hard look though when things get serious. I have a lot of interest in them as the in-state school and I like the coaches there. But I don't have any favorites right now."

Volunatic writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Giv'em a break Ron. There is the hour for post practice interviews then the half hour to pedal their bicycles back to the KNS building then get out their Selectrics (does StillaVol know what that is?) then hand the carbon copy to the teenagers to post on the web!

"then hand the carbon copy to the teenagers to post on the web!"

Good one-- you slay me.
Back in HS, I took a typing class, and the Selectrics were for the LUCKY students-- the rest of us had to use the old fashioned manual typewriters. Where did I put that dang Geritol? Lawrence Welk is almost on.

Volunatic writes:

in response to VAvolfanRON:

tebow and spikes braces get stuck prior to kickoff......they leave to go to the dentist!!....invoice it

Post of the day! Book it.

19SEP09 writes:

Look for some nice announcements on the UT recruiting front next weekend.

19SEP09 writes:

I'm hearing rumors that Ed, Eddie and Lane have a package deal coming.

19SEP09 writes:

Beano Cook on ESPN says that Lane Kiffin may want to bring some extra state troopers with him to Tuscaloosa and Gainesville.

19SEP09 writes:

The last time UT beat UF.....

Bush was in his first term
The Montreal Expos were still playing
The Boston Red Sox still had not won a world series in 86 years.
Rodney Dangerfield was alive and telling Jokes
Erik Berry was 15 years old
Lane Kiffin was just promoted from WR coordinator to passing game coordinator at USC
Urban Meyer was beginning a 12-0 year as HC at Utah
Lance Thompson was married and recruiting a class of 90% 2 star recruits at UCF.
Ed Orgeron was about to embark on his 10-25 odyssey at Ole Miss and had become the first known human to survive exclusively on Red Bull.
Pete Carroll was assisting Monte Kiffin with parental responsibilities
Tennessee was scoring 4 TD's per game w/ 2 1,000 yard backs
Auburn ruled the roost in the SEC

Nostalgic. Amazing how much things have changed since back then.

the10sevol writes:

in response to 19SEP09:

The last time UT beat UF.....

Bush was in his first term
The Montreal Expos were still playing
The Boston Red Sox still had not won a world series in 86 years.
Rodney Dangerfield was alive and telling Jokes
Erik Berry was 15 years old
Lane Kiffin was just promoted from WR coordinator to passing game coordinator at USC
Urban Meyer was beginning a 12-0 year as HC at Utah
Lance Thompson was married and recruiting a class of 90% 2 star recruits at UCF.
Ed Orgeron was about to embark on his 10-25 odyssey at Ole Miss and had become the first known human to survive exclusively on Red Bull.
Pete Carroll was assisting Monte Kiffin with parental responsibilities
Tennessee was scoring 4 TD's per game w/ 2 1,000 yard backs
Auburn ruled the roost in the SEC

Nostalgic. Amazing how much things have changed since back then.

Nostalgic. The last time I read this post...
I was reading a completely different article...
It was completely irrelevant on that subject, too...
Here's an idea, go swipe mommy's credit card, I hear they have Tebow little boy underwear on sale at e-bay.

jst4tdyvols writes:

in response to Rich_Rollin_09:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Tebag gets carted off field,after monsterous hit on goal line by Mcoy.

sampears writes:

in response to the10sevol:

Nostalgic. The last time I read this post...
I was reading a completely different article...
It was completely irrelevant on that subject, too...
Here's an idea, go swipe mommy's credit card, I hear they have Tebow little boy underwear on sale at e-bay.

AHahahahahah...that is funny right there

write it down

: )

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