Kiffin says receivers must improve on details

The wide receivers aren’t throwing interceptions.

They aren’t in charge of Tennessee’s conservative game plans, and they really haven’t even had much of a chance to make a difference lately because of them.

The targets surely aren’t the biggest problem right now for a team struggling so much in the passing game, but they’re certainly part of the equation as the Vols (1-2) try to put some air back in the ball against Ohio (2-1) on Saturday (TV: pay-per-view, 7 p.m.).

“Details,” UT coach Lane Kiffin said Tuesday. “The littlest things. You go down to the second down on the goal line, and if Gerald (Jones) stays inbounds it’s a touchdown there. The third play, if Quintin (Hancock) motions out a little further it’s man coverage and we have a pick route that’s coming and he’s going to be open. He didn’t motion out quite far enough.

“Just real little details. On the interception, Gerald is supposed to go to the numbers before he turns up on the wheel route where he had that guy beat.”

Even if Jones didn’t run it exactly the way it was drawn up, he was still open and a good throw from Jonathan Crompton could have produced a touchdown. But the point was the Vols haven’t been executing as well as they need to, and not all the blame falls on the quarterback.

Part of the problem has been injuries to the wideouts. Jones (ankle) and Denarius Moore (foot) are just now going through their second healthy week of practice since going down during fall camp. That’s made timing an issue on both route-running and in missing some critical blocks on the perimeter, and it might still be a challenge with Hancock now expected to be out for a few weeks with a fractured jaw.

That should open up some chances for freshmen Marsalis Teague and Nu’Keese Richardson, but it remains to be seen if the Vols will open up the playbook as well.

“I look for us to have a much better week in the passing game,” Kiffin said. “We need our guys to step up, we’ve opened up the competition and I expect the young guys to have a really good week of practice and figure out who can help us win games out there.

“One thing is we haven’t given (any receivers) many opportunities, and that was part of the game plan last week. (Florida) had two great corners and we felt like there were other areas to go at that would be better matchups for us, so we need to give them more opportunities and they need to produce. This will be a big week for them. I anticipate rotating some guys in this week and see who plays the best in game situations for us.”

That approach is similar to the one UT took into it’s opener against Western Kentucky, and just about everybody it tried produced in the lopsided win. But in two losses since, the receivers have virtually disappeared.

Teague debuted in impressive fashion, making six catches for 86 yards and a touchdown. He hasn’t caught a ball in the last two games.

Richardson hauled in three balls against Western Kentucky and briefly flashed his big-play potential with a 27-yard grab. He’s also been invisible since then.

In fact, the only receiver with a catch in all three games this season is Hancock — and that streak is going to end against Ohio.

“(It’s) just real little details,” Kiffin said. “In the passing game that’s so important. In the running game you can get by with it sometimes.

“In the running game for instance, if we don’t get off on a linebacker and (Montario) Hardesty makes him miss or runs him over, you can still have a productive play. But in the pass game you can’t do that.”

The receivers clearly aren’t the entire reason the Vols have struggled to do much in that area.

But just like a completion, if the problems start at quarterback, they finish at receiver.

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Comments » 65

CRFVols writes:

Captain Obvious.

hillsborovol writes:

What game were you watching, Austin Ward? Jones was already out of bounds before the ball even got there. He unsuccessfully tried to get his feet back in bounds before the ball got there. If Jones doesn't drift out of bounds, we have 6 points on the board.

voloffaith writes:

in response to compact2:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Please grow up and stop being childish with the misspelling of Jonathan Crompton. Type all you want about his poor play ,but stop the name calling like you and I did in third grade.

GO VOLS!!! Beat Ohio U.

On topic, receivers will be open again against lesser competition this weekend.

jman33163 writes:

I am willing to accept CLK's assessment that JC is the best option for us at QB. Hopefully, against Ohio, he will be able to air it out and put up some big numbers. Thus regaining his confidence. Then go into the Auburn game and play well. If he does not, if he goes back to turning the ball over and otherwise contributing to a loss, call it a day. Move on to Nick or heck even Nuke. We have got to eliminate gifts to the opposition and put points on the board! (Thank you, I feel better now LOL)
Go Big Orange!!!

utvolfan16 writes:

I share everyone's sentiments that Crompton needs to play better. Then I was thinking...UF has made a lot of QBs with more talent than Crompton look bad. I was flustered with the three runs up the middle on 1st and 25, but I must commend Kiffen for keeping UT in the game. As for UCLA, I am without a positive explanation. All I can hope is it was simply a bad day and not a preview of what's to come the remainder of the season. Go Vols.

Greer_Vol_22 writes:

confidence againt WKU and Ohio doesn't mean squat to anyone. We are in the SEC and we have got to score points....often....to win. JC is a bag of hammers and he can't help it.

mlsoft#228820 writes:

I have two questions for Marc Ash or anyone else who is reasonably knowledgeable with the current qb situation.

I fully concur with the decision not to play NS in the Florida game -- it would have been unfair to him to start him off against that strong an opponent in his first action of the year.

So my first question -- Coach Kiffin himself has said that there was very little performance difference separating NS and JC, adding that the two were very close to each other. If they are really as close as Coach Kiffin said, and given JC's lack of adequate gametime performance, it would appear that this week would be a good time to let NS get some playing time, if for no other reason than to give him some game experience in case JC gets injured in a future game. That would seem to be just common sense, but will it happen?? Is there something else going on???

My second question is about the JC superstar transfer, Lamaison (sp??). I understand that he is probably still getting acclimated to our system, but we have heard absolutely nothing about him. Is he hopelessly lost, or is there a chance that later on in the season he could provide some help if needed? Is there a chance that he could be good enough to make a serious run at the starting position next year??

Just curious on that one.

Thanks in advance for any knowledgeable answers.

mlsoft

orangetothebone writes:

Here is a note to all of you geniuses out there…………………………..you ain’t that darn smart, so stand down! Come on UT guys and gals. You should have gotten it by now.
It’s just like poker…………….you have to play the hand that’s dealt you. CLK & staff are trying to design game plans for the talent we have. Don’t tell me that you think you have the smarts or the experience to criticize the players and second guess the coaching staff that’s putting it all on the line for us.
If you can’t cheer them………………………….you fill in the blank

Greer_Vol_22 writes:

in response to Vol_RobE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

come on man, that isn't fair. He didn't drop all of them, only the ones that mattered.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Ohio.

Anyone?

57TexasVol writes:

Crompton, Crompton, Crompton. What about lack of coaching stability and developement. Clawson chaged everyhting the kid learned under Sanders and Cut. Got thrown to the wolves and under the bus in last year's debacle. In three games everyone(most) are putting the offensive woes on the kid. UCLA; Jones runs one wrong route, and makes no effort try to make a play on another. TE doesn't help his QB causing a INT. Florida; Jones can't figure out how wide the field is for a sure TD, blows another route and causes INT, Hancock misses a route for a sure completion. No, JC hasn't performed like Tee or Casey, but neither has his recievers. If you feel better to point fingers, point them in the right direction; Cutcliffe, Clawson and FULMER's last several years. Recruting fell off, but the coaching fell into an abyss.

allvol32 writes:

in response to Vol_RobE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We've all heard you about 10,000 times before there BobNOTBeAVol. I hope your Psychiatrist can break you of your obsession.

give_him_6 writes:

Well, from where I am sitting and was sitting for the first game, Teague and Richardson played really well. Especially in their route running, they really showed out. They were where they were supposed to be and made things happen with the ball after they caught it. Now Moore and Jones had been out for a while and Crompton got to work with the freshmen alot more than with the upperclassmen. And guess what..the freshmen are BETTER!!! PLAY THEM COACH!!! If Moore and Jones warrant more playing time, let them earn it in practice. I'm not saying it's all Crompton and I'm also not saying..it's every other position causing all these problems either. But if your QB is 24 out 55 or so for only 180 yards 0 TDs and 5 ints in the last 2 games, your QB has some problems as well. Too bad BJ got run off. He's thrown for almost 6oo yards in the last 3 games for UTC. Oh well.

Vols20 writes:

in response to mlsoft#228820:

I have two questions for Marc Ash or anyone else who is reasonably knowledgeable with the current qb situation.

I fully concur with the decision not to play NS in the Florida game -- it would have been unfair to him to start him off against that strong an opponent in his first action of the year.

So my first question -- Coach Kiffin himself has said that there was very little performance difference separating NS and JC, adding that the two were very close to each other. If they are really as close as Coach Kiffin said, and given JC's lack of adequate gametime performance, it would appear that this week would be a good time to let NS get some playing time, if for no other reason than to give him some game experience in case JC gets injured in a future game. That would seem to be just common sense, but will it happen?? Is there something else going on???

My second question is about the JC superstar transfer, Lamaison (sp??). I understand that he is probably still getting acclimated to our system, but we have heard absolutely nothing about him. Is he hopelessly lost, or is there a chance that later on in the season he could provide some help if needed? Is there a chance that he could be good enough to make a serious run at the starting position next year??

Just curious on that one.

Thanks in advance for any knowledgeable answers.

mlsoft

I will throw out my two cents on this. I have said before and I will say it again: you just don't throw guys in there for "experience" at the QB position at this level unless it is for mop up duty. This is especially true when you have a guy like Crompton who is your starter and is struggling. These guys are real people and need confidence. The pressure that is put on them is tremendous! So, I think it is crucial for Coach Kiffin to show continued confidence in Crompton because he is the best QB on the team. There is more to it than meets the eye. I had a coach in college who showed continued support for me when I was struggling. He pulled me aside and said "look, you are our best at that position, you are just struggling. Keep working hard and good things will happen." I ended up being an all-conference performer because I knew my coach had confidence in me. I understand that many Tennesse fans doubt that Crompton can play at a high level week in and week out. (I put myself in this category) However, two darn good coaching staffs for two years in a row have made him the starter which means he is the most talented guy.

To answer your second question: I think Lamaison was brought in completely as an insurance policy. I think he will have a chance to compete for the job next year but will have Stephens, Bray, and probably another freshman before it is all said and done. I don't think he will ever be Tennessee's QB though. This is based on the fact that NOTHING has been said about him period. I don't think that is a good sign.

reidtownriverrat writes:

Call it like it is and quit blaming everyone else for the offensive struggggggles. I have 20/20 vision and what i see cant be that much different than anyone else. Cromp can not play the position. I dont know if Stevens will be any better but he can not be any worse. Western Kentucky elementry pick him off twice. By the way if we had Casey C or Eric A we would have beat UCLA and UF. Good sense never lies.

bob writes:

CRAPton?

I think the nickname "Incrompetent" is more suiting and more pc.

orangetothebone writes:

in response to bob:

CRAPton?

I think the nickname "Incrompetent" is more suiting and more pc.

ok moroon.................you just don't get it

It's not JC's fault. He is trying his best and this phooey doesn't help..............go root for another team. You ain't worthy for UT

reidtownriverrat writes:

in response to orangetothebone:

ok moroon.................you just don't get it

It's not JC's fault. He is trying his best and this phooey doesn't help..............go root for another team. You ain't worthy for UT

Denial-to-the-bone comment on my post.

orangetothebone writes:

If anyone believes that UF played down to UT, I can't say anything clean enough to post. UM was afraid to try to open the game up against our defense. He stacked the box and still couldn't shut us out. That says volumes! Ask the last two no bodies they played if they played down to their level...........bull just plain bull. Their came plan was to stomp our butts. He couldn't do it. UM blamed it on the flu and UT's lack of interest in winning the game..................OK I have some ocean front property in west tn I'm looking to sell.........who's buying?

reidtownriverrat writes:

in response to Vol_RobE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Vol_RobE you are right about Manning it wasnt his fault it was A coach by the name of Stevie Spurrier.

BillsBrother writes:

Bueller? here!

Ohio?.... Ohio?..... Ohio?..... Ohio?.... Ohio?.... Ohio?.... Ohio?.... Ohio?....Anyone?.... Anyone?

orangetothebone writes:

in response to reidtownriverrat:

Denial-to-the-bone comment on my post.

Nah...........you still don't get it. We're playing the hand that's dealt us. I could call you an idiot, but I think you already know this and you're in denial. Rally around the team UT fans and celebrate any and all things we achieve this year.

Lostvolinhighweeds writes:

in response to orangetothebone:

ok moroon.................you just don't get it

It's not JC's fault. He is trying his best and this phooey doesn't help..............go root for another team. You ain't worthy for UT

The kids name should be Crompetition the way he keeps trying.

orangetothebone writes:

in response to Lostvolinhighweeds:

The kids name should be Crompetition the way he keeps trying.

JC has lived through all of our critism. I'm guilt as anyone. But no more for me. This guy has hart and courage. Most would have folded under this pressure. Belive in this coaching staff and believe that JC is giving his all. Is his confidence shakened..............darn straight. If they say, he is the best then by golly he is the best we have. Support the vols now. Stop the critism. Let's all scream go vols.

If you can't support them then go to somewhere where it doesn't snow.

Cldvols1 writes:

I say play em! They played great against WKU and you know we'll need em this year...after CLK benches JC and gives NS the nod.

soccervol writes:

Is it me or did we hear how Nuke and Teague were in all these formations and getting a lot of reps in fall camp and then all of sudden no one seems to see them on the field.

Put the best players on the field...

orangetothebone writes:

in response to Cldvols1:

I say play em! They played great against WKU and you know we'll need em this year...after CLK benches JC and gives NS the nod.

OK............one more time. 2 coaching staffs have put JC out front. Get over it and get a grip. Your negative comments only serve purpose to your narrow little world. Support our team. Support our staff........and to "H" with the rest

Pullingguard writes:

Kiffin...Blame everyone except the guy throwing the ball... What's he got in JC, a basket case where he must not say a critical word... Well, sure hope it all works out...

orangetothebone writes:

in response to chuck0303#1342365:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Chuck, I could kiss you..........uh forget that

Excellent observation! A Heisman winner and current candidate turned it over twice! I couldn’t have said it better………………………….go vols! Believe! The best is yet to come.

2407westTN_VOLSfan writes:

BJ sounds like he is putting up some Manning like numbers. Oh no, Bobbeavol will lite into him next! lol

2407westTN_VOLSfan writes:

in response to orangetothebone:

If anyone believes that UF played down to UT, I can't say anything clean enough to post. UM was afraid to try to open the game up against our defense. He stacked the box and still couldn't shut us out. That says volumes! Ask the last two no bodies they played if they played down to their level...........bull just plain bull. Their came plan was to stomp our butts. He couldn't do it. UM blamed it on the flu and UT's lack of interest in winning the game..................OK I have some ocean front property in west tn I'm looking to sell.........who's buying?

How much you askin?

QB_10 (Inactive) writes:

in response to orangetothebone:

JC has lived through all of our critism. I'm guilt as anyone. But no more for me. This guy has hart and courage. Most would have folded under this pressure. Belive in this coaching staff and believe that JC is giving his all. Is his confidence shakened..............darn straight. If they say, he is the best then by golly he is the best we have. Support the vols now. Stop the critism. Let's all scream go vols.

If you can't support them then go to somewhere where it doesn't snow.

Jonathon is by the worse game day QB in SEC, he cannot play QB and his days are numbered his butt is grass and Nick Stephens is the lawn mower.

I have seen practice, i will tell you what John does well warm up on the sidelines and throw his warm up passeS...After that he is a deer in head lights.

One more thing, put Nick Stephens in the 2nd half of the UCLA UT wins by 10...have Stephens at QB at Florida and you never know....but again thank the lord everyday is one less day we have to see that kid #8 play for UT

PS: Lane you are causing dissention amongst your ranks..you know it, the media has seen it and now players are questioning you as a coach.

orangetothebone writes:

Mr or Ms sjt...............all of the players from last year’s roster has suffered a confidence break down as anyone would do. Is it their fault? Who are you to second guess them? JC has talent...........he wouldn't be at UT if he didn't. Negative press and comments has had a toll on performance..................keep it up and you and your negative friends might just prove your self-fulfilling prophecy to be true.
JC is doing his best and the coaches think he is the best man for the job. Negative posts do nothing to improve his confidence. I question your motives

navarrebeachvol writes:

this just in from AP wire......
Gainesville, FL (AP)
Meyer has brought up a new twist on why the undermanned Vols were able
to play the defending National Champions straight up. Meyer said that
over the summer his players had bonded more than any previous team. This
bonding apparently led to their menstrual cycles "synching up". A
phenomena seen in tribes in the Middle East when the wives of a Bedouin
chief all live in the same tent. Meyer said "unfortunately for us, the
timing of the third week in September coincided with my team's
collective menstrual cycle. As you may know from your own wives, this
can led to cramps. Combine that cramping with the heat and humidity of
Florida Field, and you have a recipe for disaster. Fortunately for us,
Tim (Tebow) is man enough to push through it. We'll have to look at the
cycle next year and maybe push to change the schedule if need be.
Commissioner Slive pretty much gives us what we want"

On Monday, Kiffin said he didn't want to respond to Meyer's comment. But
asked whether he was worried about the flu also hitting Tennessee, he
said: "I don't know. I guess we'll wait and after we're not excited
about a performance, we'll tell you everybody was sick. We don't have
menstrual cycle issues at Tennessee, so that's a non-player"

"

I guess we'll wait and after we're not excited about a performance,
we'll tell you everybody was sick-but I can assure you we will not be
trotting out any menstrual (cycle) excuses.

orangetothebone writes:

in response to QB_10:

Jonathon is by the worse game day QB in SEC, he cannot play QB and his days are numbered his butt is grass and Nick Stephens is the lawn mower.

I have seen practice, i will tell you what John does well warm up on the sidelines and throw his warm up passeS...After that he is a deer in head lights.

One more thing, put Nick Stephens in the 2nd half of the UCLA UT wins by 10...have Stephens at QB at Florida and you never know....but again thank the lord everyday is one less day we have to see that kid #8 play for UT

PS: Lane you are causing dissention amongst your ranks..you know it, the media has seen it and now players are questioning you as a coach.

Dear QB 10................I don't know what you think you know? But, you're a negative butt. Please try to rid yourself of this lable

orangetothebone writes:

in response to smokeybones:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey Chuck, I hate to repeat myself but your an idiot.............go root for some other team

2407westTN_VOLSfan writes:

I think I saw where the VOLS were 3 TD+ against Ohio this weekend. I hope the shuffle produces points and we don't see a close game due to non production of points by the Big Orange.

navarrebeachvol writes:

in response to Vol_RobE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

cant let it go, can ya....a-wipe racist

navarrebeachvol writes:

in response to Vol_RobE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Manning didnt play against Florida as a freshman. he faced them once in Knoxville. and he didnt give up the points on D. moronic racist. but he does have all those trophys...what do you have?

Atuss writes:

Crompton is the best thing that has happened to UT.If the guy could play Kiffin would not be here. Crompton was the final nail in Fulmer's coffin.

bigdaddypop writes:

Teague has not caught a ball in 2 games.. Teague has not had a ball thrown to him in 2 games. You complain about routes not being run correct but praise Teague for running perfect routes, playing not like a freshman.. Jones admits he runs better routes and is faster..Jones was not 100% against UCLA..man, Teague did not drop a pass thrown his way against WKU.. may the best man play regardless of class...just sayin

jst4tdyvols writes:

in response to bob:

CRAPton?

I think the nickname "Incrompetent" is more suiting and more pc.

why arent you guys on the field playing qb,probley cause you couldnt hit the side of the barn.Its not all his fault lowsy reciever effort.How would you like it if people where saying this about your child.He is a kid we are supposed to be the adults here i wished to GOD you people would act like it.I would love to see jonanthan throw 3 or 4 touch downs a game.He is probley doing the best that he possibley can.Which is more than any of you calling this kid names.Grow up.Its ok to be wrong its not ok to stay wrong.GO VOLS.

JDBVOLS1 writes:

in response to reidtownriverrat:

Call it like it is and quit blaming everyone else for the offensive struggggggles. I have 20/20 vision and what i see cant be that much different than anyone else. Cromp can not play the position. I dont know if Stevens will be any better but he can not be any worse. Western Kentucky elementry pick him off twice. By the way if we had Casey C or Eric A we would have beat UCLA and UF. Good sense never lies.

wow Casey and Eric both had such great records against Fla. you have no clue what you type--when a rec. runs out of bounds that is not the QB's fault, when routes are run by freshmen better than the upper class and they admit it wow how can you keep the young guys out. Iam just saying it is too bad we don't have you as OC and or HC--what was Hamilton thinking--does anybody have Ham's number so we can get this guy on the staff???

LibertyVolance writes:

in response to BillsBrother:

Bueller? here!

Ohio?.... Ohio?..... Ohio?..... Ohio?.... Ohio?.... Ohio?.... Ohio?.... Ohio?....Anyone?.... Anyone?

The word that I get is that Ohio has an excellent defensive secondary and they defend the passing game very well. They are not a sponge cake. JC and the receivers need to find a rhythm and carry out their assignments. Would like to see Teague and Richardson out there, especially Teague. He looked like he has a little something that could impress one of these afternoons or evenings.

newtonrail writes:

in response to Vol_RobE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey, Robert "Naffy" Ellison; you have never told us hold how Manning lost the '94 game that Todd Helton was the QB in? And now we have a better and faster Rogers to irritate you because he's white. You are sick fella.

RockinTop writes:

Yaaawwwns.....the proofs in the pudding gents.

The proof is: 3 games, 7 INT's - Wide open recievers missed for TD's (yes I have watched the games more than once)....and we are 1-2 with very little passing offense and the coach CLEARLY doesn't trust him.

I got ripped by someone on here for this who has since changed their tune, but as for Crompton, he will either do the job or he will not. The facts clearly show he is not getting it done.

You can tell me to go cheer for another team but that ain't going to happen. I will always be a Vol but the truth is hard to swallow: Numbers and results don't lie.

Go Big Orange!

richvol writes:

Sorry,I don't buy the injury excuse for receivers not running proper routes or missing blocks. These upper classmen had all of spring camp and the entire summer to get on the same page as the QB. Additionally,this is not their first dance. Doing things right is effort and concentration. Gerald Jones has been here long enough to pay attention and not step out of bounds in a critical situation...and there is no excuse for not running the proper route except lack of focus. This is the second week of screwups for Jones.

If these two want to play for Kiffin they better shape up and do the things that they were brought here for.

tnbanker_govols writes:

Is it the "littlest" things for the receivers to the "obvious" things for the quarterback??

Hmmmmmmmmmm......against Western Kentucky, when the receivers actually got the ball thrown in their general direction, I think they handled themselves pretty well. I know it's Western Kentucky; however, Crompton has missed his share of WIDE OPEN receivers this year(especially against UCLA).

tnbanker_govols writes:

in response to Vol_RobE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

This post is so ridiculous............I would respond to it; however, when considering whom my reponse would be to, I believe I'll decline to comment.

monsterman writes:

I would like to see more of Teague in there at WR. Jones has not looked great since his return. His routes have been sloppy and he has not finished runs very well. It appears that ankle is still not 100%. Come on Kiff give the Frosh at chance.

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