Notebook: Kiffin has rare praise for Jones

Lane Kiffin has been hesitant to be too complimentary of any of his players.

Tennessee’s first-year head coach wants competition — not congratulations, especially this early in fall camp.

So when Kiffin called receiver Gerald Jones “phenomenal” during UT’s annual media day, Jones was a bit taken aback.

“I really appreciate that; he hasn’t told me that,” Jones said with his trademark smile and a chuckle. “He never tells you straight up because he doesn’t want you to get the big head. And I’ve still got a long way to go.”

Yet Jones has already come pretty far — at least the distance from the training room to the practice field, which was no small feat.

Most didn’t expect Jones to open practice with his teammates last week. Off-season surgery on his wrist would surely see to that.

Even if Jones did make it onto the field, there’s no way he would be effective, right? His cast and a month-long layoff while rehabbing would surely limit his productivity.

Yet there is Jones, every practice, making plays as if he is in no pain at all. Jones said he’s even surprised himself with his effectiveness while wearing a club-like brace on his left hand. He said he aggravates his hand during every practice.

“I’ve been in so much pain but pain is just a temporary thing,” Jones said. “I just keep that in the back of my head every time I get injured.

“I’ve got to bounce back. It (the pain) will be over real quick so I get back out there.”

It’s no surprise that Jones’ favorite player is Hines Ward, the Pittsburgh Steeler who is widely considered one of the toughest receivers in recent history. Jones calls Ward “the toughest receiver in the business.”

That gives the junior something to shoot for.

“One day I’m going to get as physical as him,” he said.

Another Callout: Receiver Brandon Warren was on the other end of a Kiffin callout last week when Kiffin said it didn’t seem like the junior receiver could get through a practice.

“I may have needed that just to get me going,” Warren said.

He said he had a “foot boo boo” last week that limited him.

“That’s beside the point,” Warren said. “I know that he (Kiffin) wants the best out of me. He wants to pull the best out of me everyday. They’re (coaches) not going to accept anything under your best everyday, all the time, consistently.”

The former Alcoa High School star said he’s fine with being called out publicly but admits he hears about such criticism more than most since he’s a hometown guy.

“So many people around here are familiar with me and know my name and who I am,” Warren said. “That just motivates me to make sure I do everything I can do to be a success.”

Despite drawing Kiffin’s ire, Warren has made some of the most impressive plays in fall camp. Soaring — sometimes one-handed catches — are well within his grasp now that he’s more comfortable in UT’s offense.

“It’s a lot different,” Warren said. “I’m not struggling as much.”

Warren, who moved from tight end before spring practice, said he understandsa better where to line up and has a better overall understanding of team concepts.

Overlooked?: With a successful senior and two highly rated freshmen alongside him, tailback Tauren Poole admits that he sometimes feels overlooked in UT’s crowded backfield.

“A lot of times I do,” the sophomore said. “I’ve just got to keep on pressing on, keep on moving forward in what I do and just work hard. At the end of the day, I’m going to be judged on what I do. That’s just the way it is.”

Poole may not be as talented as UT’s other tailbacks but he seems confident in UT’s one-cut-and-go style of running attack, a must with a zone-blocking scheme.

“I kind of turned myself into that type of guy,” said Poole, who registered three long touchdowns during Saturday’s scrimmage. “Coach Gran emphasizes to make one cut and get up field.”

Poole also set up a long pass play by laying a deft block on a blitzer who had come free.

“It’s very important in this league,” Poole said of pass protection. You’ve got to protect your quarterback. When you come in, you’re not so great at it. You’ve got to focus on it. I believe I’ve gotten a lot better.”

Poole has plenty of respect for his young competitors: freshmen Bryce Brown and David Oku.

“It’s not easy at all,” Poole said. “They’re adjusting pretty well. They’re making the transition from high school to college and it’s working out well for them.”

Battling Brown: Wes Brown is realistic. The senior defensive tackle knows this could be his final season of football.

“This could be my last go-around,” Brown said. “I just want to make the best of it. This team, this program means too much to me for me to just lay down now. I’ve got to give it all I’ve got while I’ve got two decent knees right now.”

“Decent” might be an overstatement. Brown struggles to make it through practice every day. Most college football players dream of playing in the NFL. Brown just hopes his knees will allow him to finish his college career.

“It’s tough,” Brown said. “It’s a daily struggle. My teammates are the ones that really get me through it, knowing that the season is here and they’re out there practicing. I want to be out there as much as I can.”

Yet when Brown can’t go any longer, he’ll head to the sidelines. The former Athens, Ala., standout can’t just sit idly by. That’s why he has a curl bar on hand, ready to work on his upper body when his lower body can’t keep up.

“If I just can’t go, I’ll come out,” Brown said. “But Tennessee means a lot to me. These guys mean a lot to me. I’m going to be out there as much as I can.”

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Comments » 56

zigvol writes:

im getting very excited

OCVol writes:

Brown's comments and story is a display of pure class.

All Vol

utvol12345 writes:

Brown's whole situation should be an inspiration and should show leadership to the younger players that the power T on the helmet means much more than the name on the back of the jersey.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

C'mon Warren, get that ? mark out of our minds.

You can be the man.

DennisVols writes:

“But Tennessee means a lot to me. These guys mean a lot to me. I’m going to be out there as much as I can.”
If you have been too blind to see the changes, to deaf to hear them, write this one statement down and read it everyday.
This is not the same football team we have seen and heard from the past 20 some odd years. It isn't Battle or Majors not beating Bama, it isn't Fulmer's team not beating UF or chocking against ranked teams.
This is a new day, a new staff and a new begining with a new attitude about UT and the pride you should have playing for them.
This year will be better and that is just the begining not the destination.
Keeping it Real
Go Vols!!!

TommyJack writes:

Jones/Brown da men.

Vol43 writes:

I live in Nashville. I wish there was an afternoon sports radio station that was supportive of UT football, but there is none. I try to listen to WNSR am560, the afternoon pressbox with Bill King & Joe Biddle. These men utterly hate UT especially UT football. Today, a first time caller (UT fan) asked King what he thought about UT's chance to be successful. King and Biddle destroyed this man's hope of anything good happening at UT in the near future and beyond. They painted the most gloomy picture for the future of the program, basically saying that UT will NEVER catch Florida. Today I took am560 off my radio presets and replaced it with nothing which is much better than what I had. I hope this program gets cancelled and replaced with someone like Bob Bell or Doug Matthews.

vol4good#206163 writes:

I Live in Athens Alabama. Wes Browns home town, and I will tell you this, he is one fine young man. Moving inside will make his last year productive, he will clog up the running lanes and open up the outside for healthier, faster players to make plays. Win, lose or draw--I cant think of anyone else I would rather have on the D line than Wes Brown! His maturity and leadership will make the D better not worse. When he cant help, I believe he will tell coach! Kick some butt Wes! The folks in Athens are all rooting for you! GO VOLS!! GO WES BROWN!

tngivem6 writes:

I'm pulling for BW to turn it up a couple of notches..

What was the name of that NFL receiver who was built huge, think he played for Cards?

Halls3 writes:

in response to Vol43:

I live in Nashville. I wish there was an afternoon sports radio station that was supportive of UT football, but there is none. I try to listen to WNSR am560, the afternoon pressbox with Bill King & Joe Biddle. These men utterly hate UT especially UT football. Today, a first time caller (UT fan) asked King what he thought about UT's chance to be successful. King and Biddle destroyed this man's hope of anything good happening at UT in the near future and beyond. They painted the most gloomy picture for the future of the program, basically saying that UT will NEVER catch Florida. Today I took am560 off my radio presets and replaced it with nothing which is much better than what I had. I hope this program gets cancelled and replaced with someone like Bob Bell or Doug Matthews.

Though I understand where you are coming from with the negativity of this show I think you are not looking at it fairly. Negativity is never a good thing but being realistic is & in their opinions with Kiffin at the helm UT won't succeed. Are they right maybe, maybe not but it's better than being painted this picture of great things to come if they don't. I mean Kiffin was a terrible coach in the pros to be honest and many UT fans and outsiders see him failing due to his track record. They have seen what situation he put USC in with investigations on the recruitment of Reggie Bush which he & Ogeron were key on. Also, many see the fact that the SEC is stout & it's not gonna just be Kiffin dominates & everyone forgets how to play though many unrealistic UT fans keep saying this. I'm not trying to bash I'm just being a realistic outsider looking in.

Vol43 writes:

in response to Halls3:

Though I understand where you are coming from with the negativity of this show I think you are not looking at it fairly. Negativity is never a good thing but being realistic is & in their opinions with Kiffin at the helm UT won't succeed. Are they right maybe, maybe not but it's better than being painted this picture of great things to come if they don't. I mean Kiffin was a terrible coach in the pros to be honest and many UT fans and outsiders see him failing due to his track record. They have seen what situation he put USC in with investigations on the recruitment of Reggie Bush which he & Ogeron were key on. Also, many see the fact that the SEC is stout & it's not gonna just be Kiffin dominates & everyone forgets how to play though many unrealistic UT fans keep saying this. I'm not trying to bash I'm just being a realistic outsider looking in.

The football program has been in decline for 10 years. Coach Fulmer is gone. It was time. Finally we have hope. I realize it's not gonna happen instantly, but we have hope. The people I mentioned earlier give us NO hope. Not for this year or any other year and that's the way they like it. That radio program, and I'll say it again, is strictly anti-Tennessee football and they have no problem making that point known. That's all I'm saying.

beachvol1 writes:

Win, lose or draw guys, Kiff is our coach now and I am behind him all the way...at least there is fire out there on the practice field!!!! It will carryover to the playing field when the season gets cranked up...The Wes Browns, Gerald Joneses, and Brandon Warrens of football will play hurt and contribute, as this staff will push them to their limits and beyond!!!!!!!!

ColeTrickle writes:

in response to Vol43:

I live in Nashville. I wish there was an afternoon sports radio station that was supportive of UT football, but there is none. I try to listen to WNSR am560, the afternoon pressbox with Bill King & Joe Biddle. These men utterly hate UT especially UT football. Today, a first time caller (UT fan) asked King what he thought about UT's chance to be successful. King and Biddle destroyed this man's hope of anything good happening at UT in the near future and beyond. They painted the most gloomy picture for the future of the program, basically saying that UT will NEVER catch Florida. Today I took am560 off my radio presets and replaced it with nothing which is much better than what I had. I hope this program gets cancelled and replaced with someone like Bob Bell or Doug Matthews.

click on this link and you can stream off of WNML AM 990 Sports Animal in Knoxville which covers the Vols http://www.sportsanimal99.com/Article...
I listen to this at work while I'm in the office. Warren will come around, IMHO I dont hink he like practice, but seems to make big plays in game like situations. I remember him making some great catches in the O&W game. Big receivers are as critical as a pro-style QB in Kiffins system so expect him to play a big role in the offense. Wes Brown is a warrior and all Vol, wish him the best! Go Vols

cloudodust writes:

Be thankful Trooper Taylor told Jones it would be in his best interest to stay Atop Rocky...

Vol43 writes:

in response to ColeTrickle:

click on this link and you can stream off of WNML AM 990 Sports Animal in Knoxville which covers the Vols http://www.sportsanimal99.com/Article...
I listen to this at work while I'm in the office. Warren will come around, IMHO I dont hink he like practice, but seems to make big plays in game like situations. I remember him making some great catches in the O&W game. Big receivers are as critical as a pro-style QB in Kiffins system so expect him to play a big role in the offense. Wes Brown is a warrior and all Vol, wish him the best! Go Vols

Thanks CT. That was refreshing!

DennisVols writes:

in response to ThePhantom_96_06_08:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And he has never lost a game either.
He does have a couple NC rings as a OC and every coach on this team has either a NC ring or a Superbowl ring.
No that really doesn't mean a thing until it is done on a field. Neither does the fact that he has never won a game as a HC at the college level.
Right now we have two choices. We can chose to believe, and I for one have taken that road, or we can bad mouth a coach that you really have nothing to stand on.
Since his hiring there have been 0 arrests, the GPA increased a greater % than it ever had in one semester. Discipline has been put in place and those who were too weak to take it left for an eaiser road.
So given the facts UT is already better than they were this time last year. A top 10 recruiting class in just 2 months of work and seeing freshmen actuall getting the opportunity to win a starting position is another improvement from the Fulmer era.
While No one is ready to vote Kiffin for president.
This year there will be more wins than losses. There will be noteble improvements over last year. There already has been.
Keeping It Real
Go Vols!!!

ColeTrickle writes:

in response to beachvol1:

Win, lose or draw guys, Kiff is our coach now and I am behind him all the way...at least there is fire out there on the practice field!!!! It will carryover to the playing field when the season gets cranked up...The Wes Browns, Gerald Joneses, and Brandon Warrens of football will play hurt and contribute, as this staff will push them to their limits and beyond!!!!!!!!

exactly, well said. thats all we can do at this point is just support our program and the direction. some will be overly optimistic. some pessimistic and say they are just being realistis. and some will just cautiously sit back and wait and see what everybody else is doing and either jump on the "band wagon of support" or the "band wagon that wants a new coach".

Fact is coach kiffin hasnt won a single game yet in the SEC but he's also undefeated. he aint scared of Florida or Bama, is a heck of a recuiter, and judging by the players performance and commentary, he seems to know a thing or two about coaching. c'mon we could of gotten chizzick. instead we got a great staff and snagged a few stud recruits from LSU and Florida and they seem to be playing really well already and that is something to be excited about, at leat to me it is. dont care what the naysayers say.

chargervol writes:

in response to Halls3:

Though I understand where you are coming from with the negativity of this show I think you are not looking at it fairly. Negativity is never a good thing but being realistic is & in their opinions with Kiffin at the helm UT won't succeed. Are they right maybe, maybe not but it's better than being painted this picture of great things to come if they don't. I mean Kiffin was a terrible coach in the pros to be honest and many UT fans and outsiders see him failing due to his track record. They have seen what situation he put USC in with investigations on the recruitment of Reggie Bush which he & Ogeron were key on. Also, many see the fact that the SEC is stout & it's not gonna just be Kiffin dominates & everyone forgets how to play though many unrealistic UT fans keep saying this. I'm not trying to bash I'm just being a realistic outsider looking in.

We're glad you're an outsider. You guys will see Tennessee's program improve, give Lane time. He will make the Vols more than adequate. They will be in the upper echelon once again. I don't know of many coaches in college that have had success in the NFL. Spurrier failed, Saban failed horribly in the NFL. Get over it. Lane has more talent to work with now than he did in Oakland. We can only go by the way the players are responding to Kiffin right now. When Fulmer was fired, the players were there showing their frustrations. Lane and the new coaching staff have came in and the lights are back on. Realistically, their is a new attitude to the players. I think they will be up to the challenges every game. GO VOLS!!!

Halls3 writes:

in response to Vol43:

The football program has been in decline for 10 years. Coach Fulmer is gone. It was time. Finally we have hope. I realize it's not gonna happen instantly, but we have hope. The people I mentioned earlier give us NO hope. Not for this year or any other year and that's the way they like it. That radio program, and I'll say it again, is strictly anti-Tennessee football and they have no problem making that point known. That's all I'm saying.

I know what you're saying that's why I agree that negativity is bad no matter realistic or not. I believe the problem with this radio program is they are angry Vandy fans.

chad_t31 writes:

It seems like all of the players have the same mindset. It's refreshing to hear the positive attitudes. Ppl like WB are what is going to keep this team together. The dude is probably going to do more for us with two bad knees and a huge heart than some will do with two good knees and no heart.

FWBVol writes:

Wes Brown reminds me of Billy Ratliff the way he is playing through injury and pain. Brown displays the Spirit of the Hill every time he steps on the field.

As for Gerald Jones, he is continuing to show why he was a prize catch in his recruiting class. He has all the skill and the intangibles to continue to develop as a great player worthy of Wide Receiver U.

teampenny#658108 writes:

in response to Halls3:

Though I understand where you are coming from with the negativity of this show I think you are not looking at it fairly. Negativity is never a good thing but being realistic is & in their opinions with Kiffin at the helm UT won't succeed. Are they right maybe, maybe not but it's better than being painted this picture of great things to come if they don't. I mean Kiffin was a terrible coach in the pros to be honest and many UT fans and outsiders see him failing due to his track record. They have seen what situation he put USC in with investigations on the recruitment of Reggie Bush which he & Ogeron were key on. Also, many see the fact that the SEC is stout & it's not gonna just be Kiffin dominates & everyone forgets how to play though many unrealistic UT fans keep saying this. I'm not trying to bash I'm just being a realistic outsider looking in.

I share many of your same views. Hope we are both wrong-an they do great. Go Vols

Halls3 writes:

in response to chargervol:

We're glad you're an outsider. You guys will see Tennessee's program improve, give Lane time. He will make the Vols more than adequate. They will be in the upper echelon once again. I don't know of many coaches in college that have had success in the NFL. Spurrier failed, Saban failed horribly in the NFL. Get over it. Lane has more talent to work with now than he did in Oakland. We can only go by the way the players are responding to Kiffin right now. When Fulmer was fired, the players were there showing their frustrations. Lane and the new coaching staff have came in and the lights are back on. Realistically, their is a new attitude to the players. I think they will be up to the challenges every game. GO VOLS!!!

I never said I believed b/c he failed in the NFL Kiffin would fail in college. I believe he will make UT relevant again but at the same time those who say he will win a SEC or National Championship in 3 years are being unrealistic I'm sorry. I don't care how great the coaching staff is the talent pool at UT isn't as strong as it is at LSU, Georgia, Florida, or Bama & in 3 years it still won't be there. Now will they be terrible no but they're not just gonna walk in & run through everybody like many UT fans are saying.

Cldvols1 writes:

in response to chargervol:

We're glad you're an outsider. You guys will see Tennessee's program improve, give Lane time. He will make the Vols more than adequate. They will be in the upper echelon once again. I don't know of many coaches in college that have had success in the NFL. Spurrier failed, Saban failed horribly in the NFL. Get over it. Lane has more talent to work with now than he did in Oakland. We can only go by the way the players are responding to Kiffin right now. When Fulmer was fired, the players were there showing their frustrations. Lane and the new coaching staff have came in and the lights are back on. Realistically, their is a new attitude to the players. I think they will be up to the challenges every game. GO VOLS!!!

I couldn't agree with you more chargervol! Give Lane some time and see what happens. He's got a great staff, one that's making recruits reconsider about being a member of the big orange nation because they have the NFL experience factor. And right on cue about those that failed in the pro's: Saban, Spurrier and don't forget Pete Carroll. I think Pete coaches a team out west, oh yeah the Trojans! Let's face it, some coaches are designed for the NFL and some for college. Maybe I'm overly optimistic, wait a minute no I'm not. Lane will be the next dominant college coach and return UT back to prominence! Go Vols!!!!!!!!

Halls3 writes:

in response to teampenny#658108:

I share many of your same views. Hope we are both wrong-an they do great. Go Vols

I'd like to see UT return to prominence b/c that makes the SEC stronger. I mean it's like Michigan being bad in the Big 10, Washington in the Pac 10, & Miami in the ACC. I'm a gator through & through but I enjoy seeing UT be prominent b/c it makes the SEC as a whole better plus I'm tired of one-sided Florida/UT matchups. I miss the days of hard nosed last second football game wins between the two b/c right now the rivalry is without luster like it had.

rich182x writes:

in response to ThePhantom_96_06_08:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

+1

1974Vol writes:

in response to Halls3:

I never said I believed b/c he failed in the NFL Kiffin would fail in college. I believe he will make UT relevant again but at the same time those who say he will win a SEC or National Championship in 3 years are being unrealistic I'm sorry. I don't care how great the coaching staff is the talent pool at UT isn't as strong as it is at LSU, Georgia, Florida, or Bama & in 3 years it still won't be there. Now will they be terrible no but they're not just gonna walk in & run through everybody like many UT fans are saying.

There are two basic elements to having a successful college football program; recruiting talent and coaching that talent up. CLK and staff have already proven they are great recruiters and there is no reason to believe they will not continue to recruit well. In CPF best years Tennessee got a lot of great players out of places where there had traditionally been a great football program, but that program was down. Texas (UT), Ohio (Notre Dame), & California(USC) come to mind. Now with Florida State & Miami down from their traditional powerhouse status, it looks like the Vols may have another recruit rich area to mine. As for coaching them up - time will tell.

1974Vol writes:

in response to rich182x:

+1

Success is measured by how closely reality comes to expectations. The overwhelming number of Vol fans look for a winning season & a bowl game. They also want a team that competes in all the games and doesn't lose games to teams with lesser talent. Translating that into wins means take all the games to 4th QTR with a chance to win & 7 wins and a bowl win = good season; 8 wins and a bowl win = very good season; 9 wins and a bowl win = "Give LK a raise"; better than 9 regular season wins + win a NYD Bowl and its coronation time.

Halls3 writes:

in response to 1974Vol:

There are two basic elements to having a successful college football program; recruiting talent and coaching that talent up. CLK and staff have already proven they are great recruiters and there is no reason to believe they will not continue to recruit well. In CPF best years Tennessee got a lot of great players out of places where there had traditionally been a great football program, but that program was down. Texas (UT), Ohio (Notre Dame), & California(USC) come to mind. Now with Florida State & Miami down from their traditional powerhouse status, it looks like the Vols may have another recruit rich area to mine. As for coaching them up - time will tell.

You are right those are the 2 basic elements but they go hand in hand. If a team does not produce on the field & obtain hardware recruits will go somewhere else. Right now Kiffin & Co. have an edge b/c they have Monte & Kiffin's time as a OC at USC. However, in a year or two like I've said if Kiffin isn't really showing that he has coaching talent recruits will stray away.

nicksjuzunk#646117 writes:

Brown reminds me of Justin Harrell giving it one more go against Florida after his bicep was torn. These are stories that must be told.

Catfish writes:

in response to Vol43:

I live in Nashville. I wish there was an afternoon sports radio station that was supportive of UT football, but there is none. I try to listen to WNSR am560, the afternoon pressbox with Bill King & Joe Biddle. These men utterly hate UT especially UT football. Today, a first time caller (UT fan) asked King what he thought about UT's chance to be successful. King and Biddle destroyed this man's hope of anything good happening at UT in the near future and beyond. They painted the most gloomy picture for the future of the program, basically saying that UT will NEVER catch Florida. Today I took am560 off my radio presets and replaced it with nothing which is much better than what I had. I hope this program gets cancelled and replaced with someone like Bob Bell or Doug Matthews.

Vol43; I live in Nashville. I have also come to hate King and Biddle. At least Biddle always has been a Spurrier groupie. But something happened about eight years ago between King and UT. He has been uber negative ever since.

I recall living in Nashville and searching for 1510 to hear King and Bob Bell for info about Ut. This was before the internet was everywhere. Those two guys were a tremendous source of information. Now King (and Biddle) have absolutely no news or any insights about the program.

Clearly, it became personal along the way. Over the past two yeats I have been pretty vocal in taking up for Fulmer regarding the likes of King, Biddle and John Adams. In part it was because they took every cheap shot against them. And in ppart it was because the three of them are worse at their jobs than Fulmer was.

And please understand Fulmer was his own worst enemy and let it slip away. But that does not excuse the other three Bozos.

The bottom line is that I turned off 560 about two years ago. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

As for Doug Matthews, who is one of Fulmer's best friends, he always calls it down the middle, and he has been very complimentary of the new staff.

1974Vol writes:

in response to Halls3:

You are right those are the 2 basic elements but they go hand in hand. If a team does not produce on the field & obtain hardware recruits will go somewhere else. Right now Kiffin & Co. have an edge b/c they have Monte & Kiffin's time as a OC at USC. However, in a year or two like I've said if Kiffin isn't really showing that he has coaching talent recruits will stray away.

CLK is taking a page out of Pete Carrol's play book. Selling recruits on the idea that if they come to UT they will get the best opportunity to go to the NFL and on the idea that we would not be recruiting you unless we thought you had the talent to get there. Us fans want championships but as long as CLK can put his players on NFL rosters the recruits will keep coming. The kinds of guys CLK wants look at their college team as a means to an end. If they win a championship while here great but that is not their primary objective. CLK and staff are banking championships are the by-product of the process.

tdforvols writes:

in response to Halls3:

I never said I believed b/c he failed in the NFL Kiffin would fail in college. I believe he will make UT relevant again but at the same time those who say he will win a SEC or National Championship in 3 years are being unrealistic I'm sorry. I don't care how great the coaching staff is the talent pool at UT isn't as strong as it is at LSU, Georgia, Florida, or Bama & in 3 years it still won't be there. Now will they be terrible no but they're not just gonna walk in & run through everybody like many UT fans are saying.

Halls,
That the funniest thing I have read all day! Thanks for the laugh.

DennisVols writes:

in response to ThePhantom_96_06_08:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"And all this arrests stuff is blown up and specious at best."
Lets look at that a little deeper.
2005: Preseason UT is picked to win the SEC and play for a National Championship; There where several arrests, supensions due to misconduct and grade issues. Results: 5-6 overall, 3-5 in the conference finished tied for 4th in the East
2008: As in 2005 sevearl arrests, conduct issues within the team. Results: 5-7 overall, 3-5 in the conference 5th in the East.
The players you mentioned had most of their issues following their playing days at UT.
GA last year was a preseason #1 but was plauged with off field issues going into the season and had what most GA fans consider a failed season.
The character issues do play an important role in the outcome of a season. Mark my words if UF falls short of their NC this year the issues involving their players will be brought up even louder than they already are.
Disciple, the lack of, will get you beat at anything you do. If the players don't have it off the field and in the classromm they will not have it one the field when they play.
UT will win this year more than they did last year. The improvements will be seen in every game including the ones they lose. It has been years since I have seen UT competitive in every game all year. In 2001 UT again had discipline issues. They beat UF in Spurriers final reg season game as coach to win the East. The next week they failed to show up in the SECCG against LSU.
This team has been plauged with those character issues you discount over the last decade and each year has ended in dissappointment.
Kiffin has succeeded to this point in straighting those out and it will make a big difference on the field.
I don't for a second believe we will win even the SEC division this year but there will be improvements that the whole conference will take note of.
Keeping it Real
Go Vols!!!

DRAGtheWATERS writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

DOC i know what you mean i blind side somebody at work everyday!

BigVolinCarolina writes:

in response to tngivem6:

I'm pulling for BW to turn it up a couple of notches..

What was the name of that NFL receiver who was built huge, think he played for Cards?

I think you're referring to David Boston.

movol53 writes:

in response to ColeTrickle:

click on this link and you can stream off of WNML AM 990 Sports Animal in Knoxville which covers the Vols http://www.sportsanimal99.com/Article...
I listen to this at work while I'm in the office. Warren will come around, IMHO I dont hink he like practice, but seems to make big plays in game like situations. I remember him making some great catches in the O&W game. Big receivers are as critical as a pro-style QB in Kiffins system so expect him to play a big role in the offense. Wes Brown is a warrior and all Vol, wish him the best! Go Vols

I'm in MO. What time of day (Eastern time)can I hear UT news on the sportsanimal99???

Thanks

MayberryUnionHigh writes:

Kills me to see all these so-called fans writing the team off so easy this year. All I've been hearing is that Florida is going to kill us and we'll be lucky to win eight games. I mean, it's not like we've been bad for a long time. We had a program that grew stagnant--two losing seasons in three years. The year between the two losing seasons we won the SEC East and a bowl game. I think we've always had talent all over the field and now we've got the coaches to finally do something with that talent.

Vol_FAN_atic writes:

I keep hearing the same clanging cymbal. All the talk about what UT did last year and beyond. The arrests and player integrity.

The whole idea with the discipline this year is that it WILL translate onto the field. Granted, that doesnt mean they will win a NC this year, but they will definitely be much improved.

Lets stop beating that proverbial "Dead Horse". Its dead, buried, history. Let the season be the litmus test.

Just an FYI - The referrance to our "Beloved" 98 team player issues. It has nothing to do with Kiffin and staff. They weren't here! We are talking about this team.

eldr5#344719 writes:

in response to tngivem6:

I'm pulling for BW to turn it up a couple of notches..

What was the name of that NFL receiver who was built huge, think he played for Cards?

His name was David Boston. He looked like a steroids case for sure but who knows.

blitzshoot writes:

Seems like someone installed some positive support and discipline. Win or lose, this is a much better foundation than what Kiffin walked into. Go Vols!

govols082859#1369959 writes:

Three Cheers for Dave Hooker and a positive article!!!
Our guys believe they can win, and most of the fans are pumped and ready for "Football Time in Tennessee!!"

Now if we could get just get rid of John Adams....

NoMoreWooAfterGoodOleRockyTop writes:

Wes Brown = Leader
Josh Briscoe = Loser

WytheVol writes:

in response to ThePhantom_96_06_08:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I see your point, Phantom. But this is why you guys get called out on this site. All we have is the "hope" of being better. There have been many credible improvements to the team such as increased GPA, 0 arrests, positive attitudes, etc... Accountability and positivity go a long way to restore confidence in both fans and players. Hell, in life in general. It is a reality that we "might" lose, but we also "might" win. Point is that all we have now is "hope" and a positive attitude. While I agree that some on here get a little carried away in calling out other programs, players, coaches, etc.. This wasn't one of those times and we don't want anyone bashing our "hopes" of having a great season! I like the fact that we get some outside perspective from other teams fans, but your points about caution are unwarranted, as we are the fans of our own team. I have stated before I have tremendous respect for the SEC as a whole, and wish the entire conference nothing but the best, except for the days when you face The Big Orange! Go VOLS!!!

tonyvick#213307 writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Settle down Witchy those kids are only 8 years old...tee hee

johnlg00 writes:

in response to ThePhantom_96_06_08:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No doubt some band-wagoners and nay-sayers will desert if the Vols lose more than a couple of games, but they had no clue how far the program had fallen in the first place. Some were/are Fulmer die-hards who will not give the new guy a chance. The majority of us just want to see some evidence that the team is making progress in effort, execution, and discipline while waiting on new talent to arrive and develop. At the very least, we will expect to see no more laughing and joking on the sidelines while we are getting beat!

As for the players you mentioned, none were obvious bad actors while they were AT UT. I'm not saying they were choir boys--few college-age males are, athletes or not--but their truly notorious legal troubles happened well AFTER they left UT. As for the arrests in recent years, none were for felonies, just for the kinds of adolescent stupidity that show lack of maturity, focus, and appreciation for the opportunity they had. The ABSENCE of that kind of foolishness shows a new emphasis on maturity and accountability that can hardly fail to show up in better effort on the field. I call that progress!

WytheVol writes:

in response to ThePhantom_96_06_08:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Placing Dante Stallworth in with the likes of Jamal, Travis and other yahoos of that caliber isn't exactly fair. Dante stood up and admitted his guilt, and has shown sincere regret for his actions. I have known many ppl in my life to get DUI's, most of them lucky enough not to have had his misfortune, but that isn't a question of the individuals character, but rather a moment of poor judgement. It doesn't take away from the fact that someone died due to his actions, but it does show that his character is unlike those that you classified him with. And I disagree with you...most honest, hard working, God fearing ppl would rather have sound character and integrity over a bunch of thugs who don't care about other ppl. Championship or no championship. At some point, not winning gets old.. But I wouldn't sacrifice integrity and character to get it. Fulmer, Kiffin, Meyer, Saban, Spurrier and lord knows how many other coaches feel the same way as they have all dismissed players (and some good ones at that) due to poor character issues. There are those players that are "coachable" and those that are not..and I'm not simply refering to the game of football. Your points are moot and redundant. Most UT fans don't appreciate the character these individuals reflected after leaving UT. I stated earlier, I enjoy having other teams fans voice their opinions about our team, giving us a fresh, outside opinion, but all you want to do is create doubt in emphasise failures, etc... A reflection of past character is not indicative to our future in this case. I admit, I was ready for change, but I wanted Fulmer to leave on his own terms. But even I embrace coach Kiffin and his staff, and I try to keep a positive attitude. At this point, he is doing the right things to try and improve this team and get us back to winning games. No one knows how many we will win or lose at this point. So, as fans, we continue to HOPE for the best. GO VOLS!!

UTahVOL writes:

Wes Brown, keep up the hard work. Good things will come your way. It is great to be a Tennessee Vol.

AirGibson writes:

in response to Halls3:

I never said I believed b/c he failed in the NFL Kiffin would fail in college. I believe he will make UT relevant again but at the same time those who say he will win a SEC or National Championship in 3 years are being unrealistic I'm sorry. I don't care how great the coaching staff is the talent pool at UT isn't as strong as it is at LSU, Georgia, Florida, or Bama & in 3 years it still won't be there. Now will they be terrible no but they're not just gonna walk in & run through everybody like many UT fans are saying.

Halls3, no fan on this site (or pretty much anywhere else) over the age of 16 *sincerely* thinks UT is going to dominate the SEC and win a NC in the next year or two, so I can't help but wonder who the heck you're even talking about. Obviously people will jokingly say things like this, but you are claiming you apparently hear this all the time. I'd love to see several links to all of these comments, because frankly, I think you are blowing hot air as I've yet to see ANYTHING like this (and I am pretty well read where Vol news / communities go).

This leads to one of two conclusions. You either:
A) Haven't heard these things and are just pretending that you have in effort to invent some fictitious argument you can win. This helps to justify any negativity about UT that you like to hear.
B) You have heard this either in jest, or read some random internet posts from someone who may be a child for all you know.

In *three years*, obviously anything is possible as that is enough time to develop a completely new and different program as various coaches across the SEC have repeatedly done.

But allow me to dispel the central premise of your argument right here and now: No, UT fans do not think we will "suddenly dominate the SEC this year" (or arguably any year, as this is the SEC). And no, you are not reading sincere comments like this from UT fans unless perhaps you are discussing football with young children.

In short, no, the negativity is not needed in order to "give these unrealistic fans a reality check", because these unrealistic fans are only in your head, or in middle school.

The reality is that you simply enjoy hearing the negativity, and that's fine. You don't have to come up with imaginary phooey to justify it. We all have teams that we love to hate.

smoky50 writes:

in response to Vol43:

I live in Nashville. I wish there was an afternoon sports radio station that was supportive of UT football, but there is none. I try to listen to WNSR am560, the afternoon pressbox with Bill King & Joe Biddle. These men utterly hate UT especially UT football. Today, a first time caller (UT fan) asked King what he thought about UT's chance to be successful. King and Biddle destroyed this man's hope of anything good happening at UT in the near future and beyond. They painted the most gloomy picture for the future of the program, basically saying that UT will NEVER catch Florida. Today I took am560 off my radio presets and replaced it with nothing which is much better than what I had. I hope this program gets cancelled and replaced with someone like Bob Bell or Doug Matthews.

Let me guess your radio personalities, Turd and Bowl must talk up Vandersmelt. We get the same here in Memphrica. AM560 Sports Talk just loves them some Tiger High Sports. Noone like to see the VOLS succeed. Foolmer almost let us drop to the level of the Vandersmells of the 90's. We are back and will be a force to be delt with.

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