Kiffin's biggest supporters? His team

Upperclassmen lament not having more time with staff

Lane Kiffin's popularity at the SEC office might have taken another hit.

But in the Tennessee locker room, it might now be at an all-time high.

The Vols coach was reprimanded for public comments again on Monday, was put on the brink of a suspension as a two-time offender of league rules and perhaps put himself in the crosshairs of yet another rival.

But any perceived negative consequences outside the program are balanced out on the inside.

Kiffin had no problem sacrificing himself to defend the Vols, and regardless of how their bid for a shocking upset at Alabama came up short, it's becoming increasingly more clear they all have his back as well.

"I mean, I feel like if we just had a little more time with this staff we would be undefeated right now," safety Eric Berry said after the game. "But we're still feeling each other out, the coaches had a beautiful plan for us (Saturday) to come out and win, but we just fall short sometimes.

"We feel like if we just keep buying into this staff and keep doing everything that they ask us to do, the sky is the limit."

Clearly a perfect season has been out of the question for a while for the Vols (3-4, 1-3 SEC), but the way they've played lately makes it hard to rule out an undefeated finish or a prestigious bowl.

UT was one play from beating a top-ranked team on the road last week and only lost by 10 points to another earlier in the season.

The Vols pasted Georgia before their bye week, they're playing some of the best defense in the country and Jonathan Crompton has finally shown signs of being the quarterback Kiffin expected him to be.

And even if an SEC or national championship is impossibly out of reach this season, the Vols are already looking at the coaching staff and seeing a group that has them on the right path to win one.

"Absolutely, absolutely - I'm really jealous of the freshmen because they get to have this staff for the next three years," junior receiver Gerald Jones said. "This staff is unbelievable.

"Man, they are unbelievable, and I enjoy every bit of playing for them and Coach Kiffin is probably one of my favorite coaches in history. He's so competitive and he has the eagerness to win, and that's the same person I am.

"To be coached by that type of person, you expect nothing over than to be the best."

Though the Vols have been close, they still haven't been able to actually beat the best yet.

If they had avoided costly turnovers at Florida it might have been possible then. If they had better protection up front on field goals or a healthy kicker who could get the ball up higher, the Vols could have done that at Alabama.

There's nothing that can be done to change those games now, even if the SEC agreed with Kiffin's interpretation of the helmet-removal rule that could have given UT another shot to knock off the Crimson Tide.

But it does have five more chances to try to make up some ground, and it might be favored to do so in every game.

"We've been very close, and I think it's just experience together as a coaching staff and as players," Berry said. "You see we're getting to know each other a lot as the season goes along, you can tell it by the way we're playing and the guys are buying into this coaching staff.

"I mean, I can't say enough about these guys that coach us and how much they prepare us to get ready for Saturdays. It's just amazing.

"I think we're more excited about where we are as a team and what we can do when we play together. Yes, we did fall a little bit short (at Alabama). But we do know what we can do if we have each other's back."

And the Vols clearly have Kiffin's as well.

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Comments » 120

AceVentura writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Laydbakvol writes:

Seems to me the majority of the fans have his back too.

notoriousBIGorange writes:

Another reason for you haters and interlopers to....
FEAR THE KIFFIN!!!

RoadTrip writes:

Give 'em h*@@ - Kiff. The good ole boy system needs retooling. The players and true Vol fans have your back! Good times are on the way to Rocky Top!

govols26 writes:

If nothing else recruits will see the way the players have bought in and will see how they love their coaches and will hopefully be more enticed to come here themselves. Who cares what everyone else thinks, as long as his team and Tennessee fans support him, CLK has nothing to worry about.

Laydbakvol writes:

in response to AceVentura:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Huh?

Txvol57 writes:

Agreed!!! this staff is amazing and I love them. They were talking about Tennessee on Mike and Mike this morning and were really impressed by Tennessee and said that Kiffin has this team going in the right direction and will be a force once Kiffin gets the players he wants. I truly believe Tennessee will win the East next season. Wait and see

volsfan4ever writes:

Love the attitude!!Too bad berry won't be back next year.But i'm 100% convinced kiffin is getting us back to where we were and even better!In a couple years we're gonna be great!Just need to get simm's and some good o-linemen.

AceVentura writes:

in response to Laydbakvol:

Huh?

Guess not nuff said. I was pointing out that the players have his back like that song describes.

Pullingguard writes:

Who better to believe in and support Kiffin than the players....Problem with SEC and some other conferences they don't want the coach's highlighting the weakness of the officiating they have selected... SEC seems to have more problems than the other major conferences... Then you have the imported hook nose as the head SEC man who runs the conference like a dictator. But must also give him credit for the money making machine the SEC has turned into.. So it's both bad and good.. Be careful Kiffin..

TommyJack writes:

Let me think. Who to believe. The team or the trolls? The team or the trolls? I'm thinkin I'll go with the team.

Hobby writes:

I loved CPF he took the Vols to great heights, but his time was gone just as CBB at FSU. A change needed to be made. Lane Kiffin was not even on my list. Boy was I wrong. This guy is what we needed. I loved the way he kept looking at the bama sideline before the game when the headsets were not working. Everyone watching could tell what he was thinking. He was sure right lot of home cooking in that game. Even so if we had made just one of the field goals we could have overcome the home cooking. CPF would never had said anything bad about the officiating but it should have been said and Coach Kiffin let it out. Way to go Coach

dwolfcreek#397971 writes:

GO VOLS

mandel writes:

Did anyone else notice at the end of the game Alabama celebrating like THEY had just beat the number 1 team? I say Go Vols!! We improve every week and we have lost to three undefeated teams including number 1 and 2 teams in the nation by 20 total points. Big Orange on the recovery trail!Next year Big Orange on the hunt taken no prisoners. Too bad Urban will bail out to Notre Dame after T-Bow goes Pro. Maybe we could get Florida to rehire Zook and give him a Big Orange Crush!

UTmama writes:

Love it, love it, love it!!! Go Vols!

Wild_Berry_14 writes:

in response to AceVentura:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

hahahahahahhaha.... Wow that guy must smoke like 30000 cigs a day. That song was a joke right?

TennesseeGorilla writes:

Maybe Berry is excited enough to play another season, I HOPE!

amstelman writes:

As long as the players keep their comments positive and leave the criticisms to the coach, I'm Kool with the Kiff. Gotta love this chemistry.

gaj619 writes:

If you true Vol football fans want to see what Slime thinks of UT just go to the SEC home page and highlight SEC in the header. Slime and his Alabama crew have Tits Cody's field goal block as a highlight. Time for 'Change You Can Believe In' at the SEC offices. The runt from the east needs to go.

Wild_Berry_14 writes:

in response to DonCorleone:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

TommyJack writes:

in response to Wild_Berry_14:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Easy, Wild. These guys are wannabee professional writers.

murrayvol writes:

in response to TennesseeGorilla:

Maybe Berry is excited enough to play another season, I HOPE!

As sweet as it would be for us it can't happen. He's a top 5 pick and one cheap shot away from the lower rounds. He's gotta go.

tapeworm writes:

And, another thing - why is it not permissible for a coach to call out the officials for a horrible call? Everybody sees it- it's on national TV. If the coaches don't even acknowledge it, then what are we to think? Now, if they call out an official's call that was correct, then that's a different argument.

TommyJack writes:

in response to DonCorleone:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Nope. You guys have become tedious.

volball7222 writes:

So........what about the off sides? Am I the only one that saw it or what? Game changing call or missed call.......there was an elephant in our backfield and no one but orange people saw it!!!!!

atlvolunteer writes:

just caught myself dreaming about eb returning for his senior year. that would be awesome, but he has to secure his future. we all understand.

VOL03_NC writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Let me think. Who to believe. The team or the trolls? The team or the trolls? I'm thinkin I'll go with the team.

Trolls beleive!
There would not be so much of their smack on our site if they did not beleive. It appears UF and UA are the main trolls trying to plead their case.
Kiffin...FAITH you can beleive in!!
GO VOLS!!!

the10sevol writes:

in response to DonCorleone:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

no, dc, if we want your vote, we'll send you a ballot. just don't hang the chad, ok?

GBO

Texvol2 writes:

The best way I have alway's determine a good coach, is the team consistanly gets better each game. Since the second half of the Auburn game the Vols have gotten alot better. Just look at Crompton who has gone from Crapton to Champton!

pventimi#592480 writes:

in response to Pullingguard:

Who better to believe in and support Kiffin than the players....Problem with SEC and some other conferences they don't want the coach's highlighting the weakness of the officiating they have selected... SEC seems to have more problems than the other major conferences... Then you have the imported hook nose as the head SEC man who runs the conference like a dictator. But must also give him credit for the money making machine the SEC has turned into.. So it's both bad and good.. Be careful Kiffin..

Don't spout that ignorant, anti-semitic bullshi+

HartfordCTvol writes:

Can somebody forward this article to Jessie Scroggins?

we3vols#281863 writes:

in response to DonCorleone:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You will soon have the opportunity to practice what you preach......Gators will soon be the Vols...Biatch. Here is the headline....Ask WD..."Vols treat Gators like a Dog"... Sit, Stay, Speak....and then...."Roll Over"...LOL Go Vols!

we3vols#281863 writes:

in response to pventimi#592480:

Don't spout that ignorant, anti-semitic bullshi+

Hey Pusskin. Don't EVER come to a Vols site and tell a Vols fan what to do. H3LL, go speak with your Daddy (if you have one) or better yet go speak with your Mama and learn some manners (if you can get her attion while she is chasing a frisbe). Better yet, take your smug ignorant and uneducated azz back to your teams site. LOL...You are truely pathetic. Go Vols....ALL TROLLS SUCK!

stratocaster54 writes:

B E L I E V E!

ThaiVolFan writes:

in response to TennesseeGorilla:

Maybe Berry is excited enough to play another season, I HOPE!

When I read Berry's quotes I was thinking the exact same thing. I know people say it is not a possibility, but it actually is. What about Peyton, he was one cheap shot away from lowering his draft staus as well, but he chose to return for his Sr. season and into even more a fan favorite. If Eric doesn't get the pick return yardage record and would like to go out on top next year rather than his team having an up and down season his Jr. year, it really is a possibility. Maybe he should phone up Peyton and receive some consultation.
I'm proud of my BIG Orange
Go Vols

DennisVols writes:

Maybe it is just me, but the last few weeks watching UF and Bama play every time a team gets close to either making a game of it or possibly wining the officals start calling a lot of penalties against that team. In the Arky/UF game it wasn't just the one questionable call. There was the pass interference call against the Hogs that was clearly a good defensive move and the defender had a right to go for the ball, then later Cooper goes over a Hogs defender in the endzone prior to a possible INT and nothing is called. Sat. in the 2nd half of the UT game every time UT started getting close the flags started flying. The flag for the illegal cut was as bad a call as I have seen, the UT player was on the ground and the Bama player fell over him.
I get the feeling that the conference has decided that a #1 vs #2 SEC championship game would be worth a lot more money if both teams are undefeated.
Too many questionable calls for someone to not come to this conclusion.
Keeping it Real
Go Vols!!!

DennisVols writes:

in response to ThaiVolFan:

When I read Berry's quotes I was thinking the exact same thing. I know people say it is not a possibility, but it actually is. What about Peyton, he was one cheap shot away from lowering his draft staus as well, but he chose to return for his Sr. season and into even more a fan favorite. If Eric doesn't get the pick return yardage record and would like to go out on top next year rather than his team having an up and down season his Jr. year, it really is a possibility. Maybe he should phone up Peyton and receive some consultation.
I'm proud of my BIG Orange
Go Vols

Berry has stated before the season started that he would go pro if his mom and dad had not gotten new jobs, They both have lost their jobs during this recession and are having financial issues. He hinted he would return for his senior year if that issue changed. We can only hope they find gainful employment before the decision has to be made.
Keeping it Real
Go Vols!!!

jclvol writes:

in response to DonCorleone:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I hate to admit it, but that was funny

pventimi#592480 writes:

in response to we3vols#281863:

Hey Pusskin. Don't EVER come to a Vols site and tell a Vols fan what to do. H3LL, go speak with your Daddy (if you have one) or better yet go speak with your Mama and learn some manners (if you can get her attion while she is chasing a frisbe). Better yet, take your smug ignorant and uneducated azz back to your teams site. LOL...You are truely pathetic. Go Vols....ALL TROLLS SUCK!

Um, I am a graduate of UT. I doubt you can say the same thing.

As you are defending derogatory statements, you've made it very clear that you are the uneducated one.

LibertyVolance writes:

in response to DonCorleone:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Listen FredoCorleone, you have to be the pansiest punk of sports. You creep around trolling without revealing who you're trolling for. The reason for being a troll is obvious. You don't belong. This team of Tennessee Volunteers and the Volunteer fans on this site believe in CLK and his staff. Fredo, I think you need to find a home where you fit in. There must be a cow-patty in bammerland that can accomodate you.

notoriousBIGorange writes:

in response to DonCorleone:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Kiffin isn't afraid to face the press after a tough game...unlike Timmy Tebow who ran from the press after he stunk up the stadium against that powerhouse Miss St defense.
Class move by your boy Tebow who had to come out Monday and apologize. Tebow's excuse this time wasn't the whine flu. He said that he wanted to spend time with the Miss St coach and his family even though the press reported that he dressed and immediately ran to the team bus!
Heisman candidate??

wayoutwill writes:

Witchiepooh doc--You are a fool!It really doesn't even make sense that you would want to be crying about our bare cupboard except for the fact that you are a whiny lil' puke!We got plenty of talent,possibly wound up with an over-rated Q.B.,but that happens;Fulmer would have gotten some hosses this year,these boys were all heavily invested at UT before the "Kiff" got here.Let me tell your goof y rear end a little secret;big classes come in cycles,even at the best schools.you can't draft the best at every position every year because the best aren't all going to go to the same school,these ratings are usually position player heavy and it's hard to tell for a fact which ones will pan and which ones won't,but as long as the Vols are consistently one of the top schools,that's the best a Coach can do.There is no way that Fat Phil would not have had a top three class himself this year and I certainly think the "kiff" is gonna recruit well,but stop your whining about our talent level being low and cupboard bare,you're i.q. is the only thing low and you're chest is the only thing bare,quit being a sissy,making excuses and man up!We lost this game because we got beat,we lost the other three because we got beat,we got out coached and out played,it's not a talent level problem,it's not really a problem except to kneejerk wannabes like your dum rear end.We been losing to Alabama,it's not the first time,have they always been more talented,has our cupboard always been low,or did you have any crappier excuses for it on those occasions?It's a game stupid,you try to win 'em,sometimes you do,sometimes you don't!It's never any one thing that loses a game,but when you're team goes out and loses several close games to several good teams,it seems pretty stupid to say it's a talent lacking problem.Man Up !and if you say bones never lie one more time,you're just the coolest!

jclvol writes:

in response to wayoutwill:

Witchiepooh doc--You are a fool!It really doesn't even make sense that you would want to be crying about our bare cupboard except for the fact that you are a whiny lil' puke!We got plenty of talent,possibly wound up with an over-rated Q.B.,but that happens;Fulmer would have gotten some hosses this year,these boys were all heavily invested at UT before the "Kiff" got here.Let me tell your goof y rear end a little secret;big classes come in cycles,even at the best schools.you can't draft the best at every position every year because the best aren't all going to go to the same school,these ratings are usually position player heavy and it's hard to tell for a fact which ones will pan and which ones won't,but as long as the Vols are consistently one of the top schools,that's the best a Coach can do.There is no way that Fat Phil would not have had a top three class himself this year and I certainly think the "kiff" is gonna recruit well,but stop your whining about our talent level being low and cupboard bare,you're i.q. is the only thing low and you're chest is the only thing bare,quit being a sissy,making excuses and man up!We lost this game because we got beat,we lost the other three because we got beat,we got out coached and out played,it's not a talent level problem,it's not really a problem except to kneejerk wannabes like your dum rear end.We been losing to Alabama,it's not the first time,have they always been more talented,has our cupboard always been low,or did you have any crappier excuses for it on those occasions?It's a game stupid,you try to win 'em,sometimes you do,sometimes you don't!It's never any one thing that loses a game,but when you're team goes out and loses several close games to several good teams,it seems pretty stupid to say it's a talent lacking problem.Man Up !and if you say bones never lie one more time,you're just the coolest!

I'll take this one WD....

HE'S NOT COMING BACK!

bluetick writes:

in response to TennesseeGorilla:

Maybe Berry is excited enough to play another season, I HOPE!

Yea, I was thinking the same thing too. Who knows? Some of the greatest to play the game have come back for their senior season. Most think he won't to avoid getting hurt, but who wouldn't love to see EB back in Orange next season. Wow!

wayoutwill writes:

notorious big orange,let me set you straight also,I can tell you that making fun of Tebow and being a Vol fan kinda smells!I personally would like to rewind the clock back and let the Gators have Crompton and us have Tebow!I can just hear you badmouthing Tebow if he played for the Vols?Right?As far as you're little comment "Heisman Candidate"--Let me correct you on that--It's "Heisman Trophy Winner"--I'll also say that winning the Heisman don't mean a whole lot to me anyways,I'll say that award is a joke and has been since a young fellow that went to UT got shafted out of it and made the award a joke from that point on,but I still got respect Tebow for the things he's done on the field and especially against us!Don't be a playa hater!

wayoutwill writes:

jcqvol--Who's not coming back?Are you an idiot cool aid man also?

wayoutwill writes:

Bluetick,let me set you stright,There are a number of folks that wouldn't want to see him come back;most of them mean a great deal to him,they are known as his family!

Slimjim_Vols writes:

Did anyone notice when they interviewed Saban after the game, he said that this team scared them coming into the game....... not during, not after but coming into the game....... I may be reading between the lines a bit but even though I hate Bama just as FLA, I think that tells us what kind of coach we have....... The fact that he has taken a 5-7 team that couldn't see the light at the tunnel because of the teams that were supposed to be better than us, and dominate us....... Lane has flipped the finger, put the coal in the engine, and made a new tunnel that is going to the top.

In spring ball alot of us were telling the lopers that soon enough we will be back on top, but when you think that we have lost 4 games by a total of 20 points and could have easily been 6-1 or better right now, I think of Kiffin as the savior!

The selling point of Kiff is that he is his own man, they have tried to shut him up----- Nada..... They have tried to beat his team up ------ Nada..... they have tried to make him look bad---- Nada....... The Lane train has left the station folks and its not going thru that same tunnel most teams take...... We are in the BIG ORANGE EXPRESS "LANE!"

CRFVols writes:

Great article. Read this one twice all you Kiffin haters. I love these comments by Berry....I wish he would come back next year to see what can happen if he loves this staff so much.

Seriouslyorange writes:

I think it is time to move the SEC offices out of Alabama, Birmingham in particular. It took forever to get the SEC CCG moved and all people of goodwill,bammers excluded , should start a'recall' of OUR sec offices! They sure as hell don't belong to Alabama as a God given right!! Move them now!! That is where home cooking begins.

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