Studying Cowboys works for Williams

Tennessee's defense has an America's Team type of feel.

And while the Dallas Cowboys may be a league and region away, they're never too far as the Vols build a new defense under coordinator Monte Kiffin.

First, UT's Gerald Williams is one of many Vol defensive ends who spends time studying film of Cowboys All-Pro defensive end DeMarcus Ware.

Like Ware, defensive line coach Ed Orgeron said Williams is typical of what he and Kiffin want in a defender - athleticism.

Orgeron spent his time searching for players who could "move up" at Miami under Jimmie Johnson, who later took that philosophy to the NFL with the Cowboys.

Safeties become linebackers. Linebackers become defensive ends. Defensive ends become defensive tackles. Speed is the key.

"It makes your whole defense faster," Orgeron said of the approach. "That's what we've done our whole career. Gerald fits that mold."

Williams split time between defensive end and linebacker in spring practice. Now he's a full-time lineman.

"I think he's totally bought into playing the defensive end spot," Orgeron said. "I think he's got the quickness and the toughness. That's what we want in that position."

Williams was hesitant to make the move early in his career. Now he sees the potential.

"It was the best move for the team and for me," he said. "I'm going to keep going hard every time. I'm going to adjust to it now."

Orgeron said it's possible that Williams could overtake projected starter Ben Martin. Williams received extensive first-team snaps during Saturday's scrimmage.

"I think there's a shot there," Orgeron said. "In our defense, one guy may start one week then the other (the next week) but the competition is serious. They both have good qualities."

Maryville Man: Former Maryville Rebel Aaron Douglas sees just how good Williams is every time they line up against each other.

"Gerald is a great player," the UT freshman offensive tackle said. "He's long. He can rush. He can run stop. He's definitely making me better. He's made me so much better since spring.

The key to getting better has been added strength in the off-season, Douglas said.

"This summer I've gotten a lot stronger," he added.

Douglas said he has a firm grasp of what the Vols are trying to do offensively.

"I've gotten to where I'm real comfortable with this offense," he said. "Just trying to soak everything in from these coaches."

Douglas is working as a reserve right tackle behind Jarrod Shaw.

Limited But No Limits: Orgeron isn't dismayed that defensive tackle Wes Brown is very limited in preseason camp. Sore knees have caused the senior to miss several practices.

"I believe Wes Brown is one of the better players on our team," Orgeron said.

Orgeron echoed the same sentiment for Chris Walker, who has missed practice time - albeit far less than Brown - with a sore knee.

"He's doing great," Orgeron said.

Signing Them Up: UT's offense didn't utilize many signals during Saturday's scrimmage as had been planned. Head coach Lane Kiffin decided against it and called most of the offense from the huddle.

"We have some signaling system in," Kiffin said. "We actually had some wrist bands ready to go today. Then at the last minute we hadn't practiced it enough so we decided against it and (decided to) not put that much on the quarterback today."

No Committee: Kiffin said he won't likely use four tailbacks regularly in a game this season.

"Probably not," he said. "I think you've got to get to three probably, at least. Otherwise you're not going to give guys a chance to get in a rhythm."

The competition for snaps is fierce among senior Montario Hardesty, sophomore Tauren Poole and freshmen Bryce Brown and David Oku.

"We'll have to cut down at some point," Kiffin said. "All four are showing really good things."

Kiffin said he is pleased with Brown's mental approach. Kiffin said the freshman was walking the field in Neyland Stadium two hours before Saturday's scrimmage listening to his iPod, focusing on the upcoming practice.

That intensity has shown up in Brown's pass blocking, which has been solid this preseason.

"He's very physical," Kiffin said, "takes blocking very serious. I love his approach to the game. He's highly competitive."

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Comments » 27

bluetick writes:

It's good to hear something from Orgeron for a change. Can't wait to see Williams bust some heads real soon.

utfpmd writes:

Hopefully the 2nd coming of Leonard Little (at least on the field).

smashmouth98 writes:

what RB will be the odd man out? I think all should play.

hotrodvol writes:

Who will be the odd man out at RB, Poole?

SEAL_9821 writes:

It will be interesting to see how the new defensive shceme is. I'm so used to seeing the mustang for the last 15years. I do think Kiffin and Orgeron will be able to shut down an offense if it's close unlike Chavis did. Chief had some great units here but it always seemed like we blew to many great leads in the 2nd half of many games. We should've beat Florida and LSU in 06 with Cutlciffe back. Instead, we watched the defense set back and get hammered with the prevent mustang D. Chavis is a great coach but this is why I won't miss him this year

xvolx writes:

#1 running back in the country ditches miami for tenn.. anyone believe kiffin promised him that he would start. It's ok with we. 220 lbs. with speed and quickness. Fulfill the promise.

CoverOrange writes:

That "move up" scenario isn't new. Chavis employed the same strategy.

Chavis' success derived from pressuring the opposing QB with the DL and attacking the ball with LBs. His problem was predictability and over running the play. Spurrier picked it apart for years by crossing WRs through LB zones. The Meyer scheme of misdirection played the overrun perfectly. When Chavis had the talent on his side he was successful.

DennisVols writes:

Moving Berry around is going to cause problems for every QB that faces UT. You have to be aware of Berry's position and if he is not always lined up in the same spot the QB has to locate him at the line. If he moves again in the middle of a snap count then the QB begins to pay more attention to Berry's movements than what he needs to.
Thus the quicker DE's will get a drop on a QB in passing situations because of the attention Berry draws. If they quick release to avoid a sack Berry gets more of an opportunity for a INT. If they hesitate for a second because of Berry's movement then it will be bag-n-sack time.
M. Kiffn's defense's are noted for causing turnovers and socring points off them.
They will be game changers.
Keeping it Real
Go Vols!!!

Gator_Hater (Inactive) writes:

Hardesty, Poole, and Brown will be the top three. Oku could still see plenty of time returning kicks and could line up in the slot. Reason? Those three can pass block; I have yet to hear about Oku's pass blocking.

vol_chaz writes:

Also remember Grann is also the special teams coach, i'm sure he'll use whatever RB's that don't start, to play on the return team. UF plays their best players on special teams, so should we.
Turbo just summed up our D, for the past 10 years, in about 4 sentences.. wow..spot on dude.

tums writes:

Pleeeeeeeease dont talk about pass blocking keeping good running backs off the field, please dont do it.

GatorHater326 writes:

heres a D-Ware video for you Mr. William

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iOIqD...

Gator_Hater (Inactive) writes:

in response to tums:

Pleeeeeeeease dont talk about pass blocking keeping good running backs off the field, please dont do it.

Not trying to rehash that old junk, just pointing out that they're further along. Besides, Oku needs to add some weight, but has the skill set to be all over the place. Let those guys get the carries, let Oku get the all-purpose touches (kinda like Derrick Tinsley a few years back, but with more involvement).

txvolsfan writes:

in response to xvolx:

#1 running back in the country ditches miami for tenn.. anyone believe kiffin promised him that he would start. It's ok with we. 220 lbs. with speed and quickness. Fulfill the promise.

I think the only promis Kiffin makes to everyone is that they will have a chance to compete. He will put the best athletes on the field period.

sitinhere writes:

in response to tums:

Pleeeeeeeease dont talk about pass blocking keeping good running backs off the field, please dont do it.

Are you crazy, what good would Jamaal Lewis have done us against Florida in 97 without good pass blocking? Just because other programs are able to effectivly use talented Freshmen is no reason we need to start now.

Docrok writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

That "move up" scenario isn't new. Chavis employed the same strategy.

Chavis' success derived from pressuring the opposing QB with the DL and attacking the ball with LBs. His problem was predictability and over running the play. Spurrier picked it apart for years by crossing WRs through LB zones. The Meyer scheme of misdirection played the overrun perfectly. When Chavis had the talent on his side he was successful.

Yes but Chavis called a soft zone with any lead! Chavis was afraid to play tight coverage and pressure the QB on the final drive of a game causing Losses where there should have been Wins! Chavis was an excellent Coordinator no denying that and used the Cover 2 which is the basis for most of Monte's D. But Chavis called safe even when he shoulda been more aggressive.

Docrok writes:

in response to Gator_Hater:

Hardesty, Poole, and Brown will be the top three. Oku could still see plenty of time returning kicks and could line up in the slot. Reason? Those three can pass block; I have yet to hear about Oku's pass blocking.

I agree with this, also I have heard Oku is a bit on the thin side for a big time college back as of right now! Poole has some of the better runs against the defense, albeit against the 2nd team defense! But experience and size I think gives him the edge over Oku

10volunteers98 writes:

I just hope this defense can stop opponents on third and long better than they have in the past.Too many times the Vols would have the other team in a third and long situation,and the QB would drop back and complete a pass for a first down.You could see it coming.I`m a hard-core Vols fan,but I beleive they were the worst team I`ve ever seen when it comes to this situation.But I think Monte will have the answer to this problem.GO,VOLS!!!

Docrok writes:

in response to 10volunteers98:

I just hope this defense can stop opponents on third and long better than they have in the past.Too many times the Vols would have the other team in a third and long situation,and the QB would drop back and complete a pass for a first down.You could see it coming.I`m a hard-core Vols fan,but I beleive they were the worst team I`ve ever seen when it comes to this situation.But I think Monte will have the answer to this problem.GO,VOLS!!!

Yea I agree with this statement, Chavis allowed teams to have a large cushion attempting to merely stop the play before the first down marker usually resulting in a missed tackle or a blown assignment allowing the team to get the first down anyway

mbible1utk#324980 writes:

I think the difference we will see this year is that rather than playing to “not lose” we’ll be playing to win… It just never made sense to me that we would stop someone on defense all day by going after them, and then when it matters the most, we totally change what we’ve been doing successfully.

I also agree that Oku is probably the odd man out in the backfield, but I think we could still put him in the mix as a Dexter McCluster/Percy Harvin type… maybe give him some handoffs on reverses, or shuffle passes… Oku can apparently catch pretty well, and he seems to talented to not get the ball at all.

It’s sounding more and more like our defensive line situation is getting figured out, the only question still needing to be addressed is at linebacker. We have Rico McCoy who is pretty safe, Nick Reveiz seems to be a safe pick in the middle… but the other position is a big question because no one has stepped up.

10volunteers98 writes:

in response to Docrok:

Yea I agree with this statement, Chavis allowed teams to have a large cushion attempting to merely stop the play before the first down marker usually resulting in a missed tackle or a blown assignment allowing the team to get the first down anyway

I think it was last year,but I don`t remember who the Vols were playing.It was third,and something like 23.I told my wife, who is also a Vols fan 'Watch this,an automatic first down'.And the QB dropped back and completed about a fourteen-yrd pass.The receiver then ran for enough yards to get the first.I could see it coming,but I still couldn`t believe it was actually happening.Hopefully,this will be a thing of the past.

Docrok writes:

in response to mbible1utk#324980:

I think the difference we will see this year is that rather than playing to “not lose” we’ll be playing to win… It just never made sense to me that we would stop someone on defense all day by going after them, and then when it matters the most, we totally change what we’ve been doing successfully.

I also agree that Oku is probably the odd man out in the backfield, but I think we could still put him in the mix as a Dexter McCluster/Percy Harvin type… maybe give him some handoffs on reverses, or shuffle passes… Oku can apparently catch pretty well, and he seems to talented to not get the ball at all.

It’s sounding more and more like our defensive line situation is getting figured out, the only question still needing to be addressed is at linebacker. We have Rico McCoy who is pretty safe, Nick Reveiz seems to be a safe pick in the middle… but the other position is a big question because no one has stepped up.

I dont think its that no one has stepped up so much as they are all fighting like hell for a starting position! And I am thinking we are probably gonna see several linebackers getting significant playing time, same as the corner/safety positions.

VolFanNC writes:

in response to hotrodvol:

Who will be the odd man out at RB, Poole?

Oku.

He will move to slot and come in on certain passing plays. Poole is having too good of a camp.

WKU and UCLA: starter Hardesty, followed by Poole followed by Brown.

FL and onwards order can flip flop....

You will see a lot of Oku in 3rd and long situations. Probably Tandems of Oku and Hardesty...

OrangeMagic writes:

in response to chuck0303#1342365:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I've always thought that it was strange that Fulmer moved to the "play not to lose" formula. Maybe not consciously, but once we got a TD or 2 lead, his strategies would lean toward safer play calling and "keep the play in front of you" defense.

Ironically, that was the knock on Johnny Majors toward the end of his UT coaching career. We would beat teams 20-10 that we should have blown out. When Fulmer took the reins during Johnny's hospital stay, we started winning by much larger margins. Besides Johnny's other problems, I think that was the biggest reason Fulmer got the job. Now, in some regard, Phil loses his job in the same way.

jakethevolguy writes:

in response to OrangeMagic:

I've always thought that it was strange that Fulmer moved to the "play not to lose" formula. Maybe not consciously, but once we got a TD or 2 lead, his strategies would lean toward safer play calling and "keep the play in front of you" defense.

Ironically, that was the knock on Johnny Majors toward the end of his UT coaching career. We would beat teams 20-10 that we should have blown out. When Fulmer took the reins during Johnny's hospital stay, we started winning by much larger margins. Besides Johnny's other problems, I think that was the biggest reason Fulmer got the job. Now, in some regard, Phil loses his job in the same way.

Hey, O.M., I was just thinking the same thing. Seems like after a coach has been at a school for a few years their aggressiveness begins to slack off for whatever reason.

smoky50 writes:

in response to robvols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree we need some devastating speed at special teams. If Lincoln is kicking more accurately, then shore it up with speed on the return.

smoky50 writes:

in response to jakethevolguy:

Hey, O.M., I was just thinking the same thing. Seems like after a coach has been at a school for a few years their aggressiveness begins to slack off for whatever reason.

Well the way Fulmer got the job is often forgotten. I say Karma is a BI!*$. I have always said it would come back on Fulmer with his back stabbing. Look at the tape when they gave Johnny his award a year or so ago. He looked at Fulmer with a dagger in his eye.

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