"I am always worried about him evaluating me ... like, what am I doing wrong out here? That's human nature."
Derek Dooley is still getting used to the legend looking over his shoulder.
Father or not, Vince Dooley still has a distinguished air about him even after three decades have past since he won a national championship at Georgia.
"It was really weird when I had my first (head coaching) job," Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley said. "It was odd. The first time he talked to my team at Louisiana Tech, I was like 'Man, this is backwards. Something isn't right.'
"Over the course of three years, you just get settled in. That's kind of how it is now."
But it may never be completely comfortable.
"I am always worried about him evaluating me," Dooley said, perhaps joking, perhaps not. "Like, what am I doing wrong out here? That's human nature."
It was a little bit odd for onlookers as well, to see Vince Dooley walking the same turf that Gen. Robert Neyland once did.
Pictures were snapped by those attending Derek Dooley's first UT coaching clinic. Some even mustered enough courage to ask for an autograph from the elder Dooley after he addressed the Vols following Thursday's practice.
If Vince Dooley's presence was odd for his son, imagine how it was for the father, who spent 25 seasons coaching against UT at Georgia.
"It's a little strange," Vince Dooley admitted. "I'm slowly getting used to it. But on the other hand, I started in orange at Auburn. My high school was orange.
"Derek was orange in Virginia. But I hadn't been around orange in a long time. So it's a little strange, but when you talk about family, you don't see any color."
Derek Dooley said having his father at practice was awesome but joked that he wasn't too pleased with his father's choice of attire.
"I was a little disappointed he came out here in red but it was checkerboard," Derek said, referring to his father's button-up shirt.
The orange-clad Dooley said UT booster Jim Haslam bought his father a Tennessee hat, but not a UT hat. Haslam figured a red hat with the Tennessee state emblem on it would be compromise enough.
Perhaps, but the elder statesman of Georgia football wasn't wearing it on Thursday.
"I think it's a great starting point to try to lure him to our side," Derek Dooley joked.
Vince Dooley spent so long at Georgia that it's easy to forget he played and coached at Auburn. When the Bulldogs came calling, he jumped at the challenge, much like his son did when UT courted him in January.
"You never know when those opportunities come," Vince Dooley said. "That's why it's always important to be prepared. I got an opportunity at a very early age going to Georgia but that was not my plan.
"I think (Derek has) prepared himself well. He has a great appreciation for this league and a great appreciation for Tennessee."
Such appreciation will only go so far. Vince Dooley is familiar with the Vols from following the SEC. Most, including this coaching legend, isn't expecting a quick return to excellence for UT.
"He's got a tough job," Vince Dooley said. "I don't think there's any question about that. Playing in this league, I think there's been not the caliber of recruiting maybe in the last few years that there ought to be in order to play at that highest level. So he's going to have to build a program."
Vince Dooley achieved his greatest heights with Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker in the backfield. After watching practice on Thursday, he didn't see any of that ilk running around in orange.
"Nope," Vince Dooley said. "I haven't seen many Herschel Walkers anywhere."
Derek Dooley will rely on some of his father's teachings to rebuild UT - whether he knows it or not. Vince Dooley said there's surely been some "osmosis" to help his son create a coaching base, but with a long mentorship under Nick Saban, Derek Dooley has created his own coaching style.
The Dooleys talk as often as they can. The elder Dooley, however, understands all too well the demands on his son's time. That sentiment isn't shared by everyone in the family.
"His mother doesn't understand that he's busy," Vince Dooley joked. "She thinks when she calls he ought to be there to talk to her."
When the two Dooley men discuss the family business, it's not about scheme; it's usually about everything concerning leading a football program except for the Xs and Os.
The two likely won't need to talk fundamentals either. Both have a firm grasp on that and if there's any questions, a steadfast UT tradition is at hand: Neyland's Maxims.
"I practiced a lot of those things myself and sometimes didn't know they were his maxims but they were," Vince Dooley said. "I found out about that later."
Evidently, even legends can learn a thing or two.