You keep thinking something good is due to happen with Tennessee's passing game. And then, something else goes wrong.
The latest development was the dismissal of wide receiver Brandon Warren.
Coach Lane Kiffin announced the dismissal after Monday's practice. Reason: "Conduct detrimental to our team."
If you take your humor dark, you might wonder why no other receiver or quarterback has been asked to leave the premises. I guess it depends on how you define "conduct detrimental to our team."
If such conduct included dropped passes, ill-conceived routes, and interceptions - what would be left of UT's passing ensemble? The Vols might have to run the wishbone out of necessity.
No one was comparing UT's passing game to Texas Tech's even before receivers started falling by the wayside.
Ahmad Paige was the first to go. He left the program in the spring.
Next was Austin Rogers, who, unlike Paige, had actually been productive. Rogers, who had 56 career receptions, suffered a season-ending knee injury in July.
Then, Gerald Jones and Denarius Moore battled with injuries throughout preseason camp, and neither was ready for the season opener.
They're healthy now. The passing game isn't.
Given its shortcomings, almost any loss is significant, although Warren had only seven catches for 54 yards. But that included two touchdown receptions.
I reread Warren's bio Monday just to make sure. He really did make the All-ACC all-freshman team at Florida State.
That was another program and a couple of head coaches ago. When he was dismissed, his college totals included as many touchdowns as head coaches, three each.
The former five-star recruit from Alcoa never lived up to his potential once he left Florida State, where he had 28 catches for 301 yards as a freshman in 2006. You can't help but wonder how differently his college career might have gone if he had never left the Seminoles.
His transfer was more about family than football. He wanted to be close to his ailing mother.
He had two chances at UT, first under coach Phillip Fulmer, then under Kiffin's new regime. He didn't flourish under either one.
His move to wide receiver appeared beneficial. At times during preseason camp, he looked like the best receiver on the field.
But Kiffin expressed his displeasure with Warren to the media more than once. So Warren might have been on shaky footing even before Saturday's night incident.
Who knows how much other history went into his dismissal? We do know Jones wasn't exactly a model sideline citizen the previous Saturday against Ohio University, and he's still on the team.
Jones and Warren surely aren't the only frustrated players. They just vented their frustration in a public forum.
The Vols worked really hard in preseason camp. They began the season with a lot of energy and optimism, intent on righting the program after last year's 5-7 finish.
Instead, their struggles have continued in a 2-3 start that includes two upset losses at Neyland Stadium. Those struggles are magnified in the passing game.
Quarterback Jonathan Crompton understandably gets most of the blame. To synopsize his problems, he hasn't protected the football and has missed - either by sight or by throwing - too many open receivers.
It's not all about Crompton. It's also about a cast of receivers who have dropped the ball both literally and figuratively, if you factor in their flawed routes.
And it's about a coaching staff that refuses to give backup quarterback Nick Stephens a chance. If nothing else, that might take some of the pressure off Crompton.
But the only change Monday was the loss of another receiver.
Sports editor John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284 or email@example.com.