Head games? Crompton gets it according to Kiffin

Tennessee quarterback Jonathan Crompton attempts a pass during last Saturday’s scrimmage at Neyland Stadium.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Tennessee quarterback Jonathan Crompton attempts a pass during last Saturday’s scrimmage at Neyland Stadium.

"He's done a really good job of that, getting back to his third and fourth progression and making sure the ball is going to the right people and not forcing it. We'll continue to work with him on that and I think he's going to play extremely well Saturday."

Coach Kiffin on Crompton

Some won't be able to believe what they are about to read: Jonathan Crompton is an astute student of football.

For those that questioned the senior quarterback's intelligence last season, snicker away. Crompton isn't the one trying to do the convincing.

He leaves that to Tennessee new coach Lane Kiffin, who said he's thankful that Crompton is there to correct his coaching mistakes.

Kiffin admits that he occasionally calls the wrong play. That's understandable when a coach heads up three offenses in four years. Terminology can trip up the directive. Crompton doesn't miss a beat.

"A lot of guys wouldn't catch it," Kiffin said. "He catches it every time. That's very valuable."

When Kiffin slips, it's all on Crompton. There's no NFL headset to use. Crompton is on his own as he steps to the line of scrimmage.

"For him to have the ability to change (wrong plays) and know what we want is very critical for us and saves us a timeout every once in awhile and gets us in the right play," Kiffin said.

For the doubters still out there before UT plays its season opener today against Western Kentucky, here comes another shocker. Crompton's progressions and his ability to read defenses are good too, according to Kiffin. Hard to imagine after UT's offense looked so confused and disorganized in 2008 under coordinator Dave Clawson.

"He's done a really good job of that, getting back to his third and fourth progression and making sure the ball is going to the right people and not forcing it," Kiffin said. "We'll continue to work with him on that and I think he's going to play extremely well Saturday."

That may be tough for some to believe. Perhaps Kiffin is just pumping up his quarterback up publicly.

Kiffin, who has vowed to protect his quarterbacks, took a preemptive strike this week. Kiffin said if there are issues with chemistry or timing, injuries and young receivers are more likely to blame than Crompton.

"There could be some timing issues a little bit with these guys," Kiffin said, referring to UT's three freshmen receivers who will play today.

Kiffin enters 2009 much like Clawson did last season, publicly dedicated to Crompton with Nick Stephens guaranteed a spot on the bench.

"We would never rotate quarterbacks," Kiffin said. "We will play Jonathan and go with him. We're excited to see him play in this offense."

Crompton said he feels much more prepared for UT's season opener than he did a year ago.

"It feels like night and day," he said. "Not to say last year I wasnt prepared or anything like that. It's just that this year I'm that much more prepaerd."

Perhaps that comes from the notebooks full of notes that Crompton carries with him. Perhaps it comes from a new, less complicated offense.

"This offense is very quarterback friendly," Crompton said. "You dont have to think a whole lot. You play. And that's a thing I really like.

"You've got to change protections and all that but at the same time, once the ball is snapped you just go from there and that's really fun."

Crompton 2.0 is being embraced by some. For proof, check out CityofCrompton.com, where one can pick up an orange "Crompton" shirt before UT eventually shuts the website down.

Crompton said he's finally his "old self" after four tumultous years at UT that included two losing seasons, three surgeries and four offensvie coordinators. Crompton is taking a nothing-to-lose approach, thanks to a conversation he had with his father after the 2008 season.

"Just let it all hang loose," Crompton said, recalling his dad's advice. "What do I have to lose? Nothing. (It's) just playing ball. Its still a game.

"It's a little higher level but its still the game of football. That's the game I chose as a little kid that I wanted to play. I love it and I'm passionate about it.

"It was really good after that conversation and then adding on how coach Kiffin and the coaches have reacted, it's just all come together."

Mike Strange contributed to this report.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2009, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2009 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 51

ramrodjack writes:

I am looking for a GREAT year from Crompton. He has what it takes!

Major_Magilicutty writes:

Let's hope so Car Ram Rod. I don't know about our Offense, but our "D" is gonna be something to behold!

dvhill100 writes:

Good luck to this young man and his team mates. They have certainly paid their dues with everything that has happened over the last 4 years.

16 hours. I am pumped. GBO.

prideofthesouthland writes:

I say let it rip!

69vol08 writes:

It would be great to see Crompton have a good senior season. One, it would be a good sign for the Vols. Two, he is a player that has been 100% committed to UT and has fought through adversity. Regardless of the outcome no one can ever say he is quitter, he continues to fight hard. I was hard on him last year, but I really hope he does well!

volbald writes:

It's bound to be a good thing that the offense is "simpler." We'll see what that means on Sat. afternoon. Go Vols!

blitzshoot writes:

Good luck Crompton and all Vols! It's TIME!

xvolx writes:

time for talking is over.

bcm4ut writes:

Who is Crompton?

Whiskey_Wizard writes:

Straight Outa Crompton,
A QB with his finger on the trigger
And once he gets there the score gets bigger
He's a big strong QB and we no dat,
When the TD's flow we won't doubt that
Straight outa Crompton

doh writes:

its sad to say this but after last season i will believe it when i see it.

murrayvol writes:

After several Killians I'll believe damn near anything.

Make us proud JC....please.

14 or so hours and counting.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

I heard that crompton will start and take all the snaps..Good and bad..BJ could use the game time experience too..It appears crompton's progressed well but a lot of people stated that during the big scrimmage at Neyland he had a problem locking in on one reciever and didn't look off the DB's..Thats why he had as many INT's as he had TD passes..Did anybody else vation make this observation???

murrayvol writes:

"It feels like night and day," he said. "Not to say last year I wasn't prepared or anything like that. It's just that this year I'm that much more prepared." Hmmmm!

Memo to JC: Concentrate solely on playing football. Avoid interviews at all costs.

BubbaJ writes:

Just can't believe Crompton is a student of the
game. Peyton defines that as well as can be.
Any good QB is that partly due to his knowledge of the game, and the opponent as well. To this
point I have not seen much from JC that allows
me to believe he is a "student of the game".
Of course given the number of coaches he has had
to deal with over the past few years, how could he be anything but confused. Hope this season is
his best.

ThurmondEppy writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

I heard that crompton will start and take all the snaps..Good and bad..BJ could use the game time experience too..It appears crompton's progressed well but a lot of people stated that during the big scrimmage at Neyland he had a problem locking in on one reciever and didn't look off the DB's..Thats why he had as many INT's as he had TD passes..Did anybody else vation make this observation???

Umm....dude. BJ left the program about three months ago.

Behr1213 writes:

Like Witch Doctor Said "I squirt freely". Just can't wait. No way I'm gonna sleep tonight.

allvol32 writes:

in response to volzone919:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

WARNING - 'loper IDIOT ALERT...well maybe that's redundant...see you on 9/19 pinhead...

GahLee writes:

Crompton will be fine...he won't light it up by no means but I expect him to make the right choice more often than not and to keep turnovers to a minimum...if he can hand the ball off 35 times a game and throw slants,crossing routes,swing passes and the occasional deep ball, we will be just fine.

GahLee writes:

What about that K.O. punch last night? That was so dumb, the teams best player gets suspended for the entire year...off topic I know but that was outrageous.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

in response to murrayvol:

After several Killians I'll believe damn near anything.

Make us proud JC....please.

14 or so hours and counting.

Our loins are girded.

Taste buds at the ready. Car is full of petrol.

It's showtime!

FDGVOL writes:

I can't wait and I hope the best for my beloved VOLS. Nobody is talking about all the passes JC had batted down at the line of scrimmage last year; from what I understand from my inside source it's happening quite a bit in practice. If I see more than one I might throw my radio through the tv. Once before Vandy 05'.

rockban62 writes:

i hope to see the crompton that i saw two years ago against lsu

FDGVOL writes:

in response to GahLee:

Crompton will be fine...he won't light it up by no means but I expect him to make the right choice more often than not and to keep turnovers to a minimum...if he can hand the ball off 35 times a game and throw slants,crossing routes,swing passes and the occasional deep ball, we will be just fine.

I dont think we blast the "clawfense" enough. We averaged 6.9 yds a carry against UCLA and threw the ball 41 times. Who flips the offense line anymore in big time college football. How about the first series against UCLA 9.5 yds on first down and two incomplete passes later we punt. Clawffense stunk!

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

in response to volzone919:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Go back to your Gator website, or back under your rock!

Behr1213 writes:

What is up with this? I'm new to this forum as of 9:46pm. Because I am new, my comments have to be checked by staff. Okay, I have an account with Fox and VolNation, it only took about two minutes. Is this normal for this forum or is it me?

Cldvols1 writes:

It all sounds good but that's just it, it sounds good. However, I honestly believe the kid wants and desires to succeed at UT and I think this is his year. I'm sure he'd love nothing more than to prove the doubters wrong, I sure would. We all need to rally and support this young man in his last year of running through the "T"! Go Vols!!!

UTahVOL writes:

For all you guys that are on JC rear, at least give the O line, special teams, and most of all the coaches who failed to prepare all of teh above the same amount of grief.

Have a great season JC and GO VOLS!!!!

GO VOLS

Behr1213 writes:

This is ridiculous, I typed cr@p and they changed it to phooey. AND still hasnt posted it. Sorry everyone, if and when they finally do, there will be about 5 from me.

scooter61 writes:

Crompton will not be overwhelming with his knowledge or skills. He will benefit from truly talented backs running truly hard. Ask John Parker Wilson...all the sudden in his 5th year he's a playmaker.
RB's will run hard, defense will come in, Crompton will make simple passes over it.

Give em everything brother

RockinTop writes:

in response to BolivarBob:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ditto if he doesn't stop it there will be some very ugly games.

Go Big Orange!

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Just realized as we are ready to head toward the mountain that I have unfurled the T flags.

Didn't happen last year.

Omen of some kind.

52-9.

Let the games begin!

deadheadvol writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

I heard that crompton will start and take all the snaps..Good and bad..BJ could use the game time experience too..It appears crompton's progressed well but a lot of people stated that during the big scrimmage at Neyland he had a problem locking in on one reciever and didn't look off the DB's..Thats why he had as many INT's as he had TD passes..Did anybody else vation make this observation???

Dude, BJ plays for UTC now, and had a good game Thurs night, beating 22 ranked Glennville State 30-13, 4 hours and 27 minutes to go, GO VOLS

fpcoach writes:

in response to FDGVOL:

I dont think we blast the "clawfense" enough. We averaged 6.9 yds a carry against UCLA and threw the ball 41 times. Who flips the offense line anymore in big time college football. How about the first series against UCLA 9.5 yds on first down and two incomplete passes later we punt. Clawffense stunk!

The "clawfense" put up 31 thursday night against a good troy team.

Cyclopskiller writes:

B.brown 250 yrds rushing, crompton175yrds in the air... That's what I'm hoping for! It's almost "football time in tennessee "...

GBFO!

UTAlum88 (Inactive) writes:

It's almost time, VOL NATION! Let the Kiffin era of Big Orange Football begin! Just found out the game will be on HDTV here in San Antonio today! WOOHOO! Had mentally prepared myself all week that I would just have to watch it online at ESPN360. So now I am even more PUMPED, if that's possible! Three hours until kickoff! GO VOLS!

volnbig11land writes:

Go Vols!

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to ThurmondEppy:

Umm....dude. BJ left the program about three months ago.

Sorry about that.. I still haven't gotten over BJ's reasoning to leave; Crompton's a senior and he had to know that as a senior leader he would get first shot unless BJ was blowing his doors off and obviously he wasn't.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to BolivarBob:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thanks for the update Bob;Where the heck is Glennville St. I know we both feel strongly that Bray might back off SD state..Do you know if Brunetti is planning any visits to UT or other schools??

springtx_vol writes:

i don't know how many saw this, but Bowling Green under Clawson upset Troy Thursday 31-14. Their QB was somethin like 21-31, 339 yards. Why could Div 1A players not run his offense when it has been successful at the Div 1AA level? All of a sudden, I am not so confident in our offense for this year. Hope I am wrong.

givehim6 writes:

Good to here now Crompton is a senor he is ready to run the plays called for him. I really think under CLK he is ready to play up to he's billing. It would be great if he could read defences, then audible. But you lead UT to victory, and a winning season and you will get the cheers from the VOLnation. GO Crompton! GO VOLS!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to UTAlum88:

It's almost time, VOL NATION! Let the Kiffin era of Big Orange Football begin! Just found out the game will be on HDTV here in San Antonio today! WOOHOO! Had mentally prepared myself all week that I would just have to watch it online at ESPN360. So now I am even more PUMPED, if that's possible! Three hours until kickoff! GO VOLS!

I envy you BITTERLY! According to the program listings in this morning's paper, the game will NOT be shown in the Greensboro, NC area! I will say that the listings have been known to be wrong, so I live in hope that I will not be reduced to listening to Bumblin' Bob on UTsports.com. My sorry local ISP does not carry ESPN360. My only other hope is channelsurfing.net, I guess. Wish me luck! GO VOLS!!!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Behr1213:

This is ridiculous, I typed cr@p and they changed it to phooey. AND still hasnt posted it. Sorry everyone, if and when they finally do, there will be about 5 from me.

I have been on this site for some time now, and it has never allowed anyone to write "cr@p". As for your other problem, they may have some new policy in line with a format change they made a couple of months ago, but unless you seem, to them at least, overly fond of pushing their rather fuzzy boundaries of good taste, you should be able to post freely soon. Welcome to the site!

crimsonviper writes:

Good luck today Vol fans! Take it to the hilltoppers....GO VOLS!!

ctownvol writes:

in response to crimsonviper:

Good luck today Vol fans! Take it to the hilltoppers....GO VOLS!!

Hey Viper. Long time no see. Got any predictions for your game and ours? I say 45-10 UT and 21-17 Bama. That's just how I see them going.

gohawks1 writes:

"It's permanent, for now." - Roberto Kelly

crimsonviper writes:

in response to ctownvol:

Hey Viper. Long time no see. Got any predictions for your game and ours? I say 45-10 UT and 21-17 Bama. That's just how I see them going.

That looks about right to me.I don't think wku will get the ten.I will be interested to see how J.Crompton does,sometimes a coaching change is all it takes.We will soon see.

gatlinvol72 writes:

The time has come! Hope the vols are ready to have a good time and score big. I really hope our fans will give Crompton the chance he deserves. I also hope they will be good sports and not a bunch of boo-birds over a mistake. We have recruits at this game that could be heavily influenced by poor sportsmanship. GO VOLS!!

johnlg00 writes:

WOO-HOO!!! The UT-WKU game WILL be telecast in the Greensboro area today! When I posted earlier, I had not yet turned on the TV. When I checked the on-screen guide a few minutes ago, I saw that the listings in the paper WERE wrong! For anyone in the Piedmont Triad who doesn't already know, it is on WCWG-20 over the air, channel 3 on Time-Warner cable. Got my Big Orange cap on, my "Football Time in Tennessee" T-shirt on, my cold Heineken in the fridge, and my game-face on! LET'S DO IT UP RIGHT, GUYS!!! GO VOLS!!!

PoochPuntOn3rdDown writes:

21-28 233 yards 5 TDs, 2 INTs (off tip balls, not his fault). I think the young man just has a big glass of redemption he'll be nursing all season long. Good for you, Jon!

GO VOLS!

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features