Adams: Keeping edge a challenge for Crompton

Crompton: Practicing like he's in last place

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Highlights from the Vols' spring practice at Haslam field - April 16, 2009

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Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin said on Thursday's SEC spring football teleconference that "Jonathan Crompton seems to be in the lead (at quarterback)." Given the recent history of the position, that's called progress.

Last spring ended without a hint of a quarterback debate. Former coach Phillip Fulmer apparently believed Crompton could be an effective quarterback.

Crompton needed less than half a season to prove him wrong.

"Seems to be in the lead" is as certain as you get this spring. After Thursday's practice, Kiffin emphasized that any one of the three quarterbacks - Crompton, Nick Stephens or B. J. Coleman - could win the starting job.

Nonetheless, the implication that Crompton is in the lead is a chilling prospect to some fans. There's just too much history.

Last season's offense was so faulty in so many areas, it was difficult to assign blame. But everyone can agree that Crompton was often near the scene when some of UT's worst offensive mishaps occurred. His problems included ball security, decision-making and accuracy.

Some of the same shortcomings have been evident this spring. However, Crompton's coaches seem pleased with how quickly Crompton has grasped a new offensive system - one which might be more compatible with his skills.

Maintaining his edge at the position will be a challenge. Stephens missed the first part of spring with a broken wrist. Understandably, he hasn't thrown the ball with as much zip as he did last fall.

That could change in August. And so could the starting quarterback.

Tebow Tinkering: Tim Tebow has won the Heisman Trophy and helped the Gators win two national titles, but coach Urban Meyer says the Florida quarterback has improved this spring. That's just what the rest of the SEC didn't want to hear.

"Fundamentally, he has improved," Meyer said. "We've tightened up his throwing motion a little bit better. Also, schematically, there are things we are working on."

Meyer said he wants the Gators to have an I-formation package, which means Tebow sometimes will operate under center. He has worked from the shotgun almost exclusively throughout his high school and college career.

Other coaches might be hesitant to change a quarterback who has had so much success. Not Meyer. He's always coming up with new wrinkles for an offense that keeps getting better.

Cox In Command: Georgia coach Mark Richt seems comfortable with his quarterback transition from potential No. 1 draft pick Matthew Stafford to Joe Cox. But Georgia fans who remember the last transition might not feel as confident.

The Bulldogs went through several quarterbacks, including fifth-year senior Joe Tereshinksi, in the first half of the season before settling on Stafford, a true freshman. In a favorable scenario for Georgia's offense, Joe Cox won't be the next Joe Tereshinski.

"He understands our offense extremely well," Richt said of Cox, a fifth-year senior. "He was a fantastic No. 2 quarterback in that he always prepared like he was the No. 1 quarterback."

Georgia doesn't have a true freshman quarterback as heralded as Stafford was, but both Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger attended the Elite 11 quarterbacks camp last summer.

Elite QB Not Needed: Here's Alabama coach Nick Saban talking about new quarterback Greg McElroy: "He's smart, makes good decisions and has a good understanding of our offense."

That's more than an assessment of McElroy. That's a profile of a preferred Saban quarterback.

He doesn't need a future NFL star at quarterback. He needs a guy who won't get him beat.

He will count on his defense to do the rest.

Wildcat Package: Alcoa's Randall Cobb will be used primarily at wide receiver, with occasional appearances at quarterback in the "Wildcat package" next season, according to Kentucky coach Rich Brooks.

"Right now, (Mike) Hartline is the guy," Brooks said of his quarterback situation. "He fits the system best. His production will be a lot better with Cobb at receiver, because (Cobb) is an amazing talent."

Hartline, who struggled in 2008 in his first season as a starter, might not want to get too comfortable. Brooks raves about incoming freshman quarterbacks, Parade All-American Morgan Newton of Carmel, Ind., and Ryan Mossakowski of Frisco, Texas. Both are 6-foot-4 with strong arms.

Sports editor John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com.

© 2009 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 43

SignalMtnVol writes:

awwwwww GD'it

kabzs writes:

Yep, me too. But it's not too late Signal. Bj has more upside with every rep he takes. JC has plateau'ed.

BJ Coleman: 3 yr starter

teampenny#658108 writes:

It will be 2011 before we have an able QB. That being said, lets use our strengths and not ask QB's to do what they are not capable of doing. Tough defense and a ball control running offense. Hope defense scores a few points too. Go Vols

SignalMtnVol writes:

I hope our O line will resemble an O line this year. I believe their blocking schemes will be easier with no SS / WS "flipping". The running game has to perform, and perform BIG TIME this year to get the heat of off whomever is taking the snaps.

bigvolen74 writes:

BIRDBOY AWAYYYYY!!! ABLE TO FUMBLE HANDOFFS IN A SINGLE BOUND!LOL

kabzs writes:

Anybody doubt Coleman will play better than JC on Saturday?

101st_AIRBORNE_VOL (Inactive) writes:

in response to Rich_Rollin_09:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Tebow announces he has come out of the closet, then Florida becomes the latest state to approve gay marriage in his honor.

Write it down.

GahLee writes:

in response to Rich_Rollin_09:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No way he gets 300 yards passing...quit acting like Tebow can really run...a glorified FB when it comes to running...gotta love that 3.8 YPC he had last year...yet you guys think he can move like Vince Young or Brad Smith...hilarious.

vols4ever93 writes:

in response to Rich_Rollin_09:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hay man, how is the back of your head since you bumped it on the bottom of Urban's desk?

ect1983 writes:

in response to Rich_Rollin_09:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Rich-----I'll take the Vols plus 57----what do u want to bet ?

GahLee writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

GahLee writes:

in response to kabzs:

Yep, me too. But it's not too late Signal. Bj has more upside with every rep he takes. JC has plateau'ed.

BJ Coleman: 3 yr starter

BJ is 4-8 passing in his college career...what leads you to believe that he has all this upside? I hope it isn't the scrimmages this year.

BIGEJ writes:

Opinions vary......like many other things; Family and I are travelling 300+ miles to see the O/W game and will travel this fall; like in years past; looking forward to what the new philosophy will bring. GO VOLS

Vol_atile writes:

It looks like ol' Uncle Urbie is trying to get Tebow a NFL QB job. Like that'll happen!

GahLee writes:

in response to Rich_Rollin_09:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Like I've said before...selective memory must be a prerequisite for Gator fans...he was good in the title game, I'll say that...but overall he isn't half the runner you guys think that he is...Meyer purposely inflates his rushing TD numbers by letting him take those 1-yard plunges instead of a RB or FB.

He can consistently get you 3-4 yards but at the QB position that is weak...guys like Vick, Young, Smith, White are/were explosive runners.

Tebow is more of a glorified FB when it comes to running the ball.

Never has a player benefited so much from a system...I would take Colt McCoy over him any day, he's even a better runner.

BamaVol writes:

in response to Rich_Rollin_09:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

2011 Urban Meyer to ND, then what?

GaytorHater writes:

in response to Rich_Rollin_09:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

TommyJack writes:

The repartee between gator-lopers and Vol Freshmen is becoming more and more stale. JMO.

GreerVol22 writes:

in response to Rich_Rollin_09:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"first downs and hand offs are overrated"...-J.Crompton

GreerVol22 writes:

in response to TommyJack:

The repartee between gator-lopers and Vol Freshmen is becoming more and more stale. JMO.

I was just thinking the same thing TJ. I miss the wit of Kingsport and many others.

aurora0317 writes:

"His problems included ball security, decision-making and accuracy."

So.. why is he a possible starter??

I could be a college QB if you could live with those kind of problems...

TommyJack writes:

in response to GreerVol22:

I was just thinking the same thing TJ. I miss the wit of Kingsport and many others.

The lopers, with the SOS daily, have driven off many longtime posters. Too bad.

hueypilot writes:

Sad patter. Any other vol site worth visiting where the lizards aren't so prevalent? Their posting is getting very tiresome

hilltopper writes:

taking God's name in vain even in shortened form is uncalled for Why not try to keep things at least decent

Bigger_Al writes:

The only thing more surprising than Crompton on the top of the QB depth chart is "Tuscaloosa John" Adams on top of the KNS sports staff. The fans can see that he fails miserably, but the powers that be will do nothing about it.

99gator writes:

when steve spurrier was hired at florida, shane matthews won the qb job because spurrier quipped that "he was the only one who didn't drop the snap from center on occasion".

using that logic, i don't trust jonathan crompton to handle the football (having nothing to do with throwing it). i think he led the country in fumbles last year that were not caused by a defensive player.

i would think that coleman or stephens would be at least able to get the snap from center and hand the ball off without there being a major issue.

SignalMtnVol writes:

in response to hilltopper:

taking God's name in vain even in shortened form is uncalled for Why not try to keep things at least decent

That's your own blasphemous mind, buddy. That might have meant "Gosh Darnit". How do you know?

kabzs writes:

in response to GahLee:

BJ is 4-8 passing in his college career...what leads you to believe that he has all this upside? I hope it isn't the scrimmages this year.

I'll tell you why BJ has the upside.

BJ was the best QB in the state of TN when he graduated. For two years, Fulmer almost never let him even take practice reps. He gave them to Ainge when BJ redshirted and then (to the default Fulmer method...) Fulmer gave the upper classmen the reps JC and NS, to learn the reads in the Clawfense. He sat BJ down because BJ was the lower classman, freshman. He never gave BJ a chance. He just decreed it would be JC, and that was that. This was despite the fact, in the recruiting process, Coach Cut said he had seen film on over 200 QB's in the country and thought BJ was the best he had seen.

Last fall when BJ was given the chance to play against Hargraves, he lit them up, and those remarkable stats were for just over half the game. As a result, fan pressure got him some game day play, but BJ didn't know the offense, because he had still had no offense time. He was forced to hand off and run the ball. The 50% completion rate is partly because of dropped balls. [To appropriate a phrase,..."hands are a terrible thing to waste"... but I digress].

Fast forward to now. For the first time, BJ'S getting reps and proving with his stats he didn't deserve to be Fulmer's bench warmer. Tha fact JC has been taking reps for 3 yrs now but has not clearly separated himself from his competition tells me he has peaked on his learning curve, while BJ's is still climbingafter only 14 or so practices in pads this spring. Give him the summer, and August and we will see.

Further, Kiffin needs BJ in the second seat now, for 3 reasons. First, JC needs to get the snakes out of his head; Second, BJ has the self-motor to work from the second chair and improve without being discouraged in the process... it's not clear to me that JC would respond as well (with his self confidence) to be sitting behind a Sophomore. Third; It can't hurt recruiting to get a blue chipper to see the Senior, as the spring leader, as Kiffin trys to get early recruit commitments.

kabzs writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thanks.

Tomorrow afternoon when we're sittin in the stands at about 5:00, I predict BJ will have done very, very well.

For us all, I wish NS hadn't gotten injured this spring, but he did. It has benefitted BJ the most. IMO BJ will step up and play well tomorrow.

He reportedly has gotten some first team reps occasionally this spring. I hope the format tomorrow is flexible enough to let him play against the 1st defense some. Its an opportunity for us to really see what he can do on this big stage.

givehim6 writes:

I can see the QB situation shaping up: Jon Boy starting then once Kiffin realise he has been fooled by Cromptons charms, then Steven's wrist will be healed and do ok with BJ as a back up. I'm afraid CLK been fooled by the, do good in practise bit.

rockytopatl writes:

in response to kabzs:

Anybody doubt Coleman will play better than JC on Saturday?

I doubt it. JC definitely outplayed both young QBs in last year's O&W. But that was fairly easy to do with a green jersey on against the No. 2 defense.

Volunatic writes:

in response to rockytopatl:

I doubt it. JC definitely outplayed both young QBs in last year's O&W. But that was fairly easy to do with a green jersey on against the No. 2 defense.

Not to mention that the 2nd string offense faced the 1st string defense in that game, so Nick and BJ had it a lot more difficult than Jonathan did.
If they don't play 1st string O vs 1st string D this year in the O&W, I will be very pessimistic about the Vols' prospects in the regular season.

West_TN_VOL77 writes:

I really hate to see Tebow leave myself. I keep hearing from different coaches that this "spread" offense that all the shcools are moving to (thank god we're not)is just a gadget thing, and once all the defensive coaches recruit to defend it, that you will stop hearing so much about these dual threat quarterbacks. Would love to see Tebow get stuffed or sacked on every other play

give_him_6 writes:

If Crompton wins the job then so be it. We all get behind him and hope he does well. I just want to see BJ get a fiar shot. If he doesn't, then he may transfer. Which would be sad. He grew up loving UT. I saw him play many times in Chattanooga and thought he would be something special. I still think he can do it if given a shot. His stats seem to be better than Cromptons so far. So who knows.

Go Vols

suPEARLman writes:

in response to kabzs:

I'll tell you why BJ has the upside.

BJ was the best QB in the state of TN when he graduated. For two years, Fulmer almost never let him even take practice reps. He gave them to Ainge when BJ redshirted and then (to the default Fulmer method...) Fulmer gave the upper classmen the reps JC and NS, to learn the reads in the Clawfense. He sat BJ down because BJ was the lower classman, freshman. He never gave BJ a chance. He just decreed it would be JC, and that was that. This was despite the fact, in the recruiting process, Coach Cut said he had seen film on over 200 QB's in the country and thought BJ was the best he had seen.

Last fall when BJ was given the chance to play against Hargraves, he lit them up, and those remarkable stats were for just over half the game. As a result, fan pressure got him some game day play, but BJ didn't know the offense, because he had still had no offense time. He was forced to hand off and run the ball. The 50% completion rate is partly because of dropped balls. [To appropriate a phrase,..."hands are a terrible thing to waste"... but I digress].

Fast forward to now. For the first time, BJ'S getting reps and proving with his stats he didn't deserve to be Fulmer's bench warmer. Tha fact JC has been taking reps for 3 yrs now but has not clearly separated himself from his competition tells me he has peaked on his learning curve, while BJ's is still climbingafter only 14 or so practices in pads this spring. Give him the summer, and August and we will see.

Further, Kiffin needs BJ in the second seat now, for 3 reasons. First, JC needs to get the snakes out of his head; Second, BJ has the self-motor to work from the second chair and improve without being discouraged in the process... it's not clear to me that JC would respond as well (with his self confidence) to be sitting behind a Sophomore. Third; It can't hurt recruiting to get a blue chipper to see the Senior, as the spring leader, as Kiffin trys to get early recruit commitments.

I'm convinced. Any rebuttal, Mr.Powell?

CrankE writes:

Please revise the headline:
"Keeping from writing about Tim Tebow a challenge for Adams."

GahLee writes:

in response to kabzs:

I'll tell you why BJ has the upside.

BJ was the best QB in the state of TN when he graduated. For two years, Fulmer almost never let him even take practice reps. He gave them to Ainge when BJ redshirted and then (to the default Fulmer method...) Fulmer gave the upper classmen the reps JC and NS, to learn the reads in the Clawfense. He sat BJ down because BJ was the lower classman, freshman. He never gave BJ a chance. He just decreed it would be JC, and that was that. This was despite the fact, in the recruiting process, Coach Cut said he had seen film on over 200 QB's in the country and thought BJ was the best he had seen.

Last fall when BJ was given the chance to play against Hargraves, he lit them up, and those remarkable stats were for just over half the game. As a result, fan pressure got him some game day play, but BJ didn't know the offense, because he had still had no offense time. He was forced to hand off and run the ball. The 50% completion rate is partly because of dropped balls. [To appropriate a phrase,..."hands are a terrible thing to waste"... but I digress].

Fast forward to now. For the first time, BJ'S getting reps and proving with his stats he didn't deserve to be Fulmer's bench warmer. Tha fact JC has been taking reps for 3 yrs now but has not clearly separated himself from his competition tells me he has peaked on his learning curve, while BJ's is still climbingafter only 14 or so practices in pads this spring. Give him the summer, and August and we will see.

Further, Kiffin needs BJ in the second seat now, for 3 reasons. First, JC needs to get the snakes out of his head; Second, BJ has the self-motor to work from the second chair and improve without being discouraged in the process... it's not clear to me that JC would respond as well (with his self confidence) to be sitting behind a Sophomore. Third; It can't hurt recruiting to get a blue chipper to see the Senior, as the spring leader, as Kiffin trys to get early recruit commitments.

First off being the best high school QB in the state of Tennessee is like being the fast one in the slow group...I know Coach Cut was high in this kid and that is great and all but Coach Cut isn't here anymore, his opinion is voided.

If your going to get impressed with his stats against Hargrave military, then you must be easily impressed...No as far as practice goes...well it's practice...a lot different when those lights come on and a 275 D-Lineman is breathing down your neck.

I have said all along that of the 3, I don't care...no favorites for me...whoever gets the job done is my favorite...maybe your right about BJ...facts are facts...and the fact is that he has not done anything yet.

douglasawilliams#582863 writes:

in response to givehim6:

I can see the QB situation shaping up: Jon Boy starting then once Kiffin realise he has been fooled by Cromptons charms, then Steven's wrist will be healed and do ok with BJ as a back up. I'm afraid CLK been fooled by the, do good in practise bit.

That reminds me of an interview with Clawson who said that JC never one hopped his passes in practise. I'm not against Crompton, but the horror of last season still resonates. VOL fans rightfully should ask if JC can make decisions quickly, make accurate throws and handle snaps,handoffs and pressure during actual games. The OW game today will at least put him in front of a crowd again. I have never seen BJ play, I missed the series he was in at Vanderbilt. If Cutcliffe had a lot of faith in him than so do I. Again, what I always profess is that these coaches know the players strenths and weaknesses better than we do. The consensus is that CLK knows what he is doing and will start the qb who gives us the best chance of winning. And I mean win this year not start a senior so a blue chip qb prospect won't be scared away by a sophmore who just had a decent season. That is failed logic, always use your best available players. That is what many believed to be CPF biggest liability.

Slystone writes:

Unless Kiffin is a miracle worker not many of us believe when the Vols play an actual opponent this fall that Crompton will get the job done. However; there's a lot of time between the O&W game and summer for him to improve and separate from the other QB's. I'm not betting the house on it though. We'll see this fall. Not going to get excited in a O&W game if he throws 4 TD's.

stroker writes:

in response to Slystone:

Unless Kiffin is a miracle worker not many of us believe when the Vols play an actual opponent this fall that Crompton will get the job done. However; there's a lot of time between the O&W game and summer for him to improve and separate from the other QB's. I'm not betting the house on it though. We'll see this fall. Not going to get excited in a O&W game if he throws 4 TD's.

Well he did not throw 4 TD's but he threw in the dirt, behind, and missed a td pass with an over throw but that was just the few minutes I listened to the spring game. He may have been great otherwise, however Tim Priest chose BJ as offensive player of the game

douglasawilliams#582863 writes:

in response to 99gator:

when steve spurrier was hired at florida, shane matthews won the qb job because spurrier quipped that "he was the only one who didn't drop the snap from center on occasion".

using that logic, i don't trust jonathan crompton to handle the football (having nothing to do with throwing it). i think he led the country in fumbles last year that were not caused by a defensive player.

i would think that coleman or stephens would be at least able to get the snap from center and hand the ball off without there being a major issue.

Unfortunately 99 that is a issue. If you bobble snaps you will turn some of them over and give up short fields or lose a scoring opportunity. He did bobble one during the OW game although he was able to get it back. That is why he shouldn't be the starter.

Mr_Brownstone writes:

Phillip Fulmer apparently believed Crompton could be an effective quarterback.

Nuff said.

MillisaAnn writes:

I say bench Crompton and let Coleman or Gerald Jones be QB

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