Reaves expects to settle on QB starter in spring

Tennessee will begin spring practice at quarterback much like it did last season: Jonathan Crompton will get the opening nod.

After that, things will be much different than a year ago when Crompton was deemed the starter without an open competition.

“We are going to go in evenly, Jonathan will go (number) one, Nick (Stephens) will go two and B.J. (Coleman) will go three based on seniority, and we will see what these guys can do,” UT quarterbacks coach David Reaves said Wednesday on The News Sentinel’s radio show, The Sports Page. “One of those guys will be the leader of this team.”

UT’s coaches aren’t going to place a timeline on when they’ll name a starter, but Reaves wants one Vol to lead the pack as soon as possible.

“I like to have a guy, and I think our team likes to have a guy — a guy they can rally behind, a guy they can work with in the summer,” Reaves said.

That’s a bit of a departure from Reaves’ past. The 30-year-old spent the last five seasons at South Carolina under Steve Spurrier, a coach who can go through quarterbacks faster than visors.

Reaves believes that the nuances of the game and chemistry among offensive players is best mastered with a clear-cut starter.

UT certainly didn’t have that last year. Crompton started the season, gave way to Stephens, who then lost the job back to Crompton until both faltered enough for Coleman to step in.

All that contributed to a 5-7 season and a coaching change.

Indecisiveness was readily apparent for all three quarterbacks. It’s up to Reaves and UT’s offensive coaches to eliminate second-guessing among their quarterbacks.

“Coverage reads are going to be very important for these guys,” Reaves said, “but we are going to keep it very simple so they can excel and gain some confidence.”

Simple doesn’t mean easy when UT opens spring practice March 10. Defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin will see to that.

“They are going to see a lot of different scrimmages that they haven’t seen before, and Coach Kiffin does a great job disguising coverages. So I think this spring is going to be great for us just to be able to read defenses and make great decisions,” said Reaves, who was a three-year starting quarterback at Appalachian State.

A productive spring could be a key to restoring confidence.

After a dismal season, who could blame UT’s three quarterbacks for lacking confidence? After four offensive coordinators in five years, who could blame them for feeling unsure?

Restoring confidence is goal No. 1.

“I think that is big,” Reaves said. “Everywhere I have gone people are saying, ‘You have to find a quarterback. You have to find a quarterback.’

“These guys got beat up pretty bad last year, but that’s going to happen when you have a 5-7 season. The quarterback, I tell them, it is a roller coaster ride of emotion and we have to stay even keel.

“But I think all these guys are excited. It is a new beginning for all of them. They are looking forward to this new offense. They are working hard. The guys have bought in.

“Like Coach (Lane) Kiffin said in the past when he first got to USC, none of those quarterbacks were Heisman Trophy candidates but they coached them and they bought into the system and got great players around them and they all had great careers.”

With Reaves, Lane Kiffin and offensive coordinator Jim Chaney, UT has plenty of offensive experience.

Reaves, however, will be at the point.

As UT’s first sole quarterback coach in recent history, Reaves has the luxury to work on the finer details of quarterbacking without having a coordinator’s responsibilities.

“There are just so many little things that you can work with these guys: footwork, headwork, shoulder position, the mental aspects of the game, dealing with preparation, all the little things,” Reaves said. “The coordinator has so many things on his mind as far as putting the game plan together, having a (practice) script, all the organizational things that go along with being an O.C.

“As a position coach my whole thing is to get these guys to get ready to play on Saturdays.”

The question is: Just who will Reaves be getting ready for Sept. 5 when UT plays host Western Kentucky?

“I think we are going to see one or two people that are going to step above the pack,” he said. “We will see what happens when the bullets are flying and you see four guys rushing.

“There are some guys that hit everything during 7-on-7’s, and then you rush four linemen and get some corners blitzing and they don’t know what to do. I am looking forward to seeing what these guys do when the pads are on.”

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Comments » 207

ncvol17 writes:

Give BJ a chance

Greer_Vol_22 writes:

same issue different year....

QB1 can't read a playbook, QB2 thinks he doesn't have too, and QB3..... is a really good person.

UTAlum88 (Inactive) writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

topgun writes:

Not a pretty picture. QBs will be a problem position this year.

bmvolfan writes:

in response to ncvol17:

Give BJ a chance

I totally agree. In my opinion, he has all of the tools to be a starter in the SEC. Every interview he has ever done he always sounds extremely positive. He is smarter than any of our quarterbacks (went to McCallie), and he was a top ten quarterback coming out of high school. Fulmer never gave him a chance, even though Cutcliffe was so high on him. Give him time and he will be our starter.

Vol43 writes:

in response to Greer_Vol_22:

same issue different year....

QB1 can't read a playbook, QB2 thinks he doesn't have too, and QB3..... is a really good person.

Dude you have a GREAT attitude! Where can I get one like that? Please, please tell me. I can hardly wait!

vtvol#210290 writes:

It's smart to name "the man" early on and coach him up. Better things are coming from one of those three QBs.

ArealVolFan writes:

I think Crompton will get the nod, as dismal as our offense was last year the only time it ever seemed to move at all he was the QB. He has all the tools and desire to do it. After the 2006 LSU game I'll never question his desire to give his all for the team. If he doesn't make it then I think Coleman will be the guy. Whoever it is, I doubt they will look like a Heisman trophy caliber QB. At the end of the day we will be okay if we don't notice them. Meaning so long as they don't make any huge mistakes and just a few plays here and there we should be in most every game next year. Think a very Kerry Collins type approach to the QB position.

vol1stsec2nd writes:

I just hope one of them steps up

MrBamSeydu writes:

No wonder Crompton couldn't concentrate last year.... it had nothing to do with a coaching change.....

http://photos-671.ll.facebook.com/pho...

Vol43 writes:

in response to MrBamSeydu:

No wonder Crompton couldn't concentrate last year.... it had nothing to do with a coaching change.....

http://photos-671.ll.facebook.com/pho...

Uh, yeah, well, uh. Looks a little high maintenance. He's gonna need some of them nfl bucks.

matrosscbc writes:

in response to MrBamSeydu:

No wonder Crompton couldn't concentrate last year.... it had nothing to do with a coaching change.....

http://photos-671.ll.facebook.com/pho...

It looks like the left one needs some maintenance.

Volfan615 writes:

in response to MrBamSeydu:

No wonder Crompton couldn't concentrate last year.... it had nothing to do with a coaching change.....

http://photos-671.ll.facebook.com/pho...

DANG SHE FINE!!!!

kabzs writes:

in response to bmvolfan:

I totally agree. In my opinion, he has all of the tools to be a starter in the SEC. Every interview he has ever done he always sounds extremely positive. He is smarter than any of our quarterbacks (went to McCallie), and he was a top ten quarterback coming out of high school. Fulmer never gave him a chance, even though Cutcliffe was so high on him. Give him time and he will be our starter.

BJ the 3 yr starter. Has the gun, speed, footwork, toughness, can run, and LEADERSHIP like no other.

utvols420 writes:

no steve hamer?

wjr2b2 writes:

I don't have extremely high hopes for these guys as I am a realist. That being said, if they can manage the game and not lose it we should be vastly improved. Afterall, the last game of the season against Vandy we ran 8 QB sneaks and didn't pass the ball in the 2nd half. The only direction is up.

bluetickhound writes:

how sad is my life that I check this site about every 3 hours for new news. I can't wait for the O&W game.

Cromptown is awful. Has the physical tools, but also has a brain that would loose to an orangatan in chess. Stephens seemed to be pretty good but couldn't keep his composure. I honestly thought Lucas Taylor was the most accurate thrower I had seen on last years' team. Too bad that's not still an option.

BJ will inherit the thrown based on the fact that he's smart and will play within his talent level. Really it's pick your poison with this crew.

bls8617#370509 writes:

Kiffin was very smart in hiring a coach that only works with the QBs. The QB position is far far more important than any other on the field and Kiffin knows that. I still say Crompton is not going to be the guy for the job. My guess is Stephens, but what do I know?

hotrodvol writes:

I think it's Crompton Reaves was talking about 7 on 7 drills he's fine, put pressure on him and he can't think fast enough. Maybe it was the Clawfense, (I hope) but the thing is if we don't have QB success this team will tank again, maybe not the meltdown from last year.

10 wins with good QB play.

7 wins with bad QB play.

beachvol1 writes:

Have to give the nod to Coleman in the long run....just needs some playing time...best I remember, Coach Cut said he saw more in him than any of the others and I will have to go with the coach that knows qb's...

Coach_K writes:

Come on now y'all. We won the NC in '98 with Tee Martin at the helm. Not to bash T.M. but he was not a "heisman" type player. I think we will be fine as long as it is not im-Crompton-ant under center. Why waste another year on a guy who clearly doesn't get it. B.J. or Nick would be better investment of time in my eyes. No matter wich direction we go...I AM...AND WILL ALWAYS BE A VOL!!!

gnm53108 writes:

in response to Orange_A_Holic:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ditto.

I'll throw out my pick.
Nick.

I like his spunkiness.

And on for the general.
JUST HIT SOMEBODY!

Moaninglikeheck writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Oh great now all we need is a Frankenstein poster. Orangenstein maybe? Oh yeah Tonto and Tarzan too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ubem2...

randzimm#255981 writes:

Here's a thought for you guys, and this is a what if... so, when one of the QB's gets then nod, then has to go against a Monte Kiffin defense that is gonna disquise blitzes like the NFL.. maybe the experience that the QB will gain from going against a defense with their ears pinned back, and also a hard core practice and scrimmage... whoever wins at QB will be more seasoned than in the past!

Of coarse, we have a wide receiver coach that's never coached that position with a losing head coach... you know the story.. just had to say it before Gatorzz gets on here to try and ruin good football talk!!!

BTW, the last statement is not my opinion, just that of a lane lover..

GOVOLS GOVOLS GOVOLS GOVOLS GOVOLS GOVOLS

Voluvr writes:

These guys don't mess around. They'll get it right and go with it. They don't care who the senior is.

9-3 ......not counting the spring game.

DisorientedVol writes:

I fear the difference between these quarterbacks maybe minimal. I go with Crompton this year. Sell Heap on playing time. Develop Coleman to start next year and possible a second. Stephens ... sorry.

DisorientedVol writes:

Just to let you know, someone on volquest has reported that A. Douglas is officially a tackle. Anyone else heard this?

Voluvr writes:

whew. I'm hungry. I need a couple roosters from the Smoky mtn. Market.

ncvol17 writes:

in response to MrBamSeydu:

No wonder Crompton couldn't concentrate last year.... it had nothing to do with a coaching change.....

http://photos-671.ll.facebook.com/pho...

UT must have a major in Escort management

teampenny#658108 writes:

I hope one of the three step up an do a good job-we need solid play this fall. If not, LK will and should take some heat for not signing a QB. Time will tell on this gamble. Go Vols

UTAlum88 (Inactive) writes:

Eric Berry needs to be cloned x 11. On both sides of the ball.

murrayvol writes:

in response to Kiff_World_Order:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What glasses?

TommyJack writes:

in response to ArealVolFan:

I think Crompton will get the nod, as dismal as our offense was last year the only time it ever seemed to move at all he was the QB. He has all the tools and desire to do it. After the 2006 LSU game I'll never question his desire to give his all for the team. If he doesn't make it then I think Coleman will be the guy. Whoever it is, I doubt they will look like a Heisman trophy caliber QB. At the end of the day we will be okay if we don't notice them. Meaning so long as they don't make any huge mistakes and just a few plays here and there we should be in most every game next year. Think a very Kerry Collins type approach to the QB position.

"I think Crompton will get the nod, as dismal as our offense was last year the only time it ever seemed to move at all he was the QB. He has all the tools and desire to do it."
What?? Who, I ask WHO looked the most inept at QB last year? Anyone? Be honest. Who, of the 3, looked the most lost at the position? Anyone? Anyone?

murrayvol writes:

in response to ncvol17:

UT must have a major in Escort management

Heidi Fleiss is Dept. Head.

ArealVolFan writes:

in response to TommyJack:

"I think Crompton will get the nod, as dismal as our offense was last year the only time it ever seemed to move at all he was the QB. He has all the tools and desire to do it."
What?? Who, I ask WHO looked the most inept at QB last year? Anyone? Be honest. Who, of the 3, looked the most lost at the position? Anyone? Anyone?

Yeh, I see your point. But you also have to consider the fact Crompton played more and had more opportunities to make a mistake...and lets be honest its not like any of them were being confused for Peyton or even Ainge out there. My only point is I think Crompton has the most experience and did move the offense better than the other three did. Not to mention he has the tools, if he didn't he wouldn't have been so highly rated coming out of HS. I'm not saying he is going to be the second coming of Peyton, but I think he can be good enough to lead us to 8-10 wins depending on how the people around him play as well.

thevoice writes:

Looks like the starting order is reversed.

ArealVolFan writes:

in response to ArealVolFan:

Yeh, I see your point. But you also have to consider the fact Crompton played more and had more opportunities to make a mistake...and lets be honest its not like any of them were being confused for Peyton or even Ainge out there. My only point is I think Crompton has the most experience and did move the offense better than the other three did. Not to mention he has the tools, if he didn't he wouldn't have been so highly rated coming out of HS. I'm not saying he is going to be the second coming of Peyton, but I think he can be good enough to lead us to 8-10 wins depending on how the people around him play as well.

*other two

murrayvol writes:

in response to TommyJack:

"I think Crompton will get the nod, as dismal as our offense was last year the only time it ever seemed to move at all he was the QB. He has all the tools and desire to do it."
What?? Who, I ask WHO looked the most inept at QB last year? Anyone? Be honest. Who, of the 3, looked the most lost at the position? Anyone? Anyone?

I'm going out on a limb to say......Crompton.

Reasons:
1)Locks on to primary
2)Master of the 2 hopper
3)The overthrow from Hell
4)Botched handoffs
5)Post-game interviews to die for

BIGEJ writes:

in response to murrayvol:

What glasses?

What QB?

gnm53108 writes:

in response to thevoice:

Looks like the starting order is reversed.

Agree.

murrayvol writes:

in response to BIGEJ:

What QB?

You win. :)

dvols writes:

yea so what? WHO IS LANE GONNA CHOOSE!

gnm53108 writes:

in response to TommyJack:

"I think Crompton will get the nod, as dismal as our offense was last year the only time it ever seemed to move at all he was the QB. He has all the tools and desire to do it."
What?? Who, I ask WHO looked the most inept at QB last year? Anyone? Be honest. Who, of the 3, looked the most lost at the position? Anyone? Anyone?

Vince Young?

jobrando#216494 writes:

BJ is the only one with the mental ability to lead this team to 7+ wins next year.

UTAlum88 (Inactive) writes:

in response to murrayvol:

What glasses?

What QB?

But you have to admit, you cannot miss that forest of a unibrow he's sporting.

invisiblekid writes:

I think there are two statements that tells the story on what happened last year at the QB position but it really applies to the whole team:

"After that, things will be much different than a year ago when Crompton was deemed the starter without an open competition."

“They are going to see a lot of different scrimmages that they haven’t seen before, and Coach Kiffin does a great job disguising coverages.

Handing players the starting job strictly based on seniority and not working them hard in practice had as much as anything to do with the failures on the field last year IMO. The competitive environment that Kiffin is developing can't do anything but help the Vols chances.

FWIW, I think Coleman ends up with the starting job. He has the advantage over Crompton of being able to turn his head while dropping back to pass. And he has the maturity to handle making a mistake which gives him the advantage over Stephens. Also think he has the advantage in the fundamentals department over both.

I'll support whoever gets the nod but it'll really have to be a "show me" situation if Crompton is under center the first game of the season.

invisiblekid writes:

in response to MrBamSeydu:

No wonder Crompton couldn't concentrate last year.... it had nothing to do with a coaching change.....

http://photos-671.ll.facebook.com/pho...

How did Bono land a girl like that and why is he sporting a Bass Pro Shop hat?

jsm67vol writes:

in response to TommyJack:

"I think Crompton will get the nod, as dismal as our offense was last year the only time it ever seemed to move at all he was the QB. He has all the tools and desire to do it."
What?? Who, I ask WHO looked the most inept at QB last year? Anyone? Be honest. Who, of the 3, looked the most lost at the position? Anyone? Anyone?

Crompton is the answer to your question TJ. I have never seen a QB look as bad as he did 90% of his snaps. When he played against LSU in 06? he played well enough to beat the eventual National Champs and I had high hopes for him. I can only hope that it was the Clawfense that had him so confused. After the public thrashing he took all last season and continues to take on here, I would love to see JC have a great senior season and lead the Vols like I thought he could before the UCLA game last season. That being said, I'm not sure he can as I wonder if he and A Foster didn't get so screwed up between the ears in 08 that it may have ruined both of their careers. Sometimes players don't rebound from a year like last season, but I would love JC to show the mental toughness to win the position. I know he is physically tough because he took some slobberknocker hits last season. Whoever is named starter will have earned it for sure.

GreenDevilVol writes:

It all boils down to three things this year......

1. Coaching 2. Mechanics 3. Line Play

1. We now have a good q.b coach in Chaney; remember Brees and Orton

2. Crompton had three different styles of form, release, and reads to learn; from three different coaches. Not an easy thing to do especially a q.b.

3. The S&C coach will have a lot to do with how well the q.b. does. We suc-ked badly at this position from '07 to '08.

If I had to guess the starter..J.C. or B.J. One will come out of spring way ahead of the others.

stayingorange writes:

in response to Coach_K:

Come on now y'all. We won the NC in '98 with Tee Martin at the helm. Not to bash T.M. but he was not a "heisman" type player. I think we will be fine as long as it is not im-Crompton-ant under center. Why waste another year on a guy who clearly doesn't get it. B.J. or Nick would be better investment of time in my eyes. No matter wich direction we go...I AM...AND WILL ALWAYS BE A VOL!!!

True but Tee Martin completed 24 of 24 passes at Williams Bryce against USC - still an NCAA record I believe. He knew his role and played it very well. I do believe we will get better play from all three of these guys this year with the change of direction.

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