Hooker: Dooley did honorable thing with Stephens

Dave Hooker

Honesty has a price.

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley could have led former quarterback Nick Stephens down the primrose path and who would have blamed him?

After all, with a shaky offensive line, the Vols need quarterbacks. Dooley could have divided the snaps more towards Stephens to ensure the fifth-year senior stayed around.

It wouldn't have been all that dastardly. Chances are Stephens would have played at some point.

But Dooley took the high road and snapped away Stephens reps so he could give them to two quarterbacks he believed were better suited to handle the job.

That integrity is to be commended even though it is exceedingly rare.

Dooley hardly looked fazed when he discussed Stephens' departure. Clearly, the Vols head coach is thinking long-term, not about Stephens or any single player.

But by facilitating such a speedy exit, Dooley admitted that he'll probably have to fend off some concerns about his program now that three high-profile players - Stephens, tailback Bryce Brown and offensive lineman Aaron Douglas - have bolted.

"It's natural if you're from far away and you don't know much about what's going on and you read these headlines that pop up every now and then, you're probably curious," Dooley said shortly after announcing Stephens' departure on Thursday. "That's human nature. But I think, for the most part, if you're involved in our program and you're getting recruited by our staff, I don't think it will have an effect at all."

Dooley believes that's because those seriously considering UT will have seen Dooley's Vols up close.

"When they see what we're doing and how we're doing it," he said. "they're going to feel great about the future here at Tennessee."

And for any program, attrition can actually be a boon for recruiting. Want immediate playing time? Come to Knoxville.

"We need you," Dooley said with a smile. "We're running thin here."

Stephens' departure won't likely have that effect. He was going to be gone next year anyway so no quarterback will look at UT as a suddenly open market.

Had Brown stayed, UT would have had a crowded backfield. It now looks much more open. Had Douglas stayed, the Vols would have ideally had a rock at left tackle for the next two or three years.

Those coveted positions are now up for grabs, and all talented prospects are invited to try to land those starting positions.

Super Save: Given the short time frame the Vols had to salvage their 2010 recruiting class, landing a top 10 class was exceptional.

For the first time, Lance Thompson discussed the 2010 salvage job with the News Sentinel. Thompson and offensive coordinator Jim Chaney were key in helping Dooley secure many of the 25 prospects they signed.

Remember, UT had less than two weeks to secure its signees for National Signing Day after Dooley was hired.

Turns out the relationship that served as the foundation for UT's quick save was almost a decade in the making.

"Derek and I had been together at LSU (under Nick Saban) so we knew what we could do in terms of taking kids that maybe (former UT coaches) Lane (Kiffin) or Ed (Orgeron) didn't think were good enough, but that we knew we had gotten those type of kids at LSU and Alabama and they had developed into kids that could be role players and be good enough to win a championship," Thompson said.

Enter three signees: defensive end Martaze Jackson, running back Rajion Neal and linebacker John Propst.

"They can play for us," Thompson said. "They can help us. They can do what we want them to do. And academics, character and all the intangibles were really important with Derek because that's the kind of stuff we learned with Coach Saban.

"Character wins. You've got to be able to develop guys. Guys with great character will work hard, will want to wear the orange, will be proud and will do all the little things on and off the field to make themselves good."

Character? People building? That wasn't quite the same sales pitch that UT's former staff relied on.

"We sold all pro ball," Thompson said. "We sold (defensive coordinator) Monte (Kiffin). We sold Ed. We sold the NFL dream. We didn't concentrate as much on the total development. It's not good or bad. Everybody recruits to their strength."

UT's strength under Dooley might have gone untapped had it not been for the relationship that he and Thompson shared. Thompson has vast ties in Georgia and Alabama. His relationship with Dooley allowed UT's new staff to move quickly.

"It was huge because I feel like Derek and I trust each other evaluating talent," Thompson said. "He knows what kind of kids you need and what type of talent you need to build a championship program and it isn't necessarily always the pie-in-the-sky five stars."

That doesn't mean the Vols didn't go after some of those prospects. They did, and eventually landed highly ranked receiver Da'Rick Rogers from Calhoun, Ga. Turns out the Vols had an inside connection in the Peach State.

"You say Coach Dooley and everybody in that state knows who you are," Thompson said. "The state of Georgia has a lot of Bulldogs. And those Bulldogs love (Vince) Dooley's Dawgs. It ain't Dooley's Dawgs; it's (Derek) Dooley's Vols. But they appreciate the job that Derek's daddy did."

Adding to the challenge of landing a top class quickly was a new method of evaluating prospects, which was far different from UT's last staff.

"Ed pretty much made all decisions on who we were going to take," Thompson said. "Here it's four guys will evaluate them: the area guy, the position guy, the coordinator and the head coach. Then from there we're going to make a consensus if we're going to offer and where they're going to fall in the pecking order."

In the end, whoever is heading up the Vols must recruit to themselves, be it a pro promise or an honest word. Thompson said Dooley is perfectly suited for the latter.

"He's a man of integrity," Thompson said. "He's got great character and I think he connects with those type of kids."

Dave Hooker covers recruiting. He may be reached at hookerd@knoxnews.com.

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Comments » 52

BillyVol writes:

in response to imnotDC:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Nothing in this article about the Gators bud, keep off the site.

voloffaith writes:

Better to have good character than to be a character...notice the comment about young men with good character usually are the one that understand team and good work ethic.

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

At least this new coach is a man of his word. No BS with him.

flatrock writes:

I believe we kept the best of Kiffin's staff and
I will take one Dooley over 2 Kiffins any day of
the week! Go Derek! Go Vols!

Huttdawg100 writes:

"Ed pretty much made all decisions on who we were going to take," Thompson said. "Here it's four guys will evaluate them: the area guy, the position guy, the coordinator and the head coach. Then from there we're going to make a consensus if we're going to offer and where they're going to fall in the pecking order."

Thompsons state really highlights a weakness of our former coaching staff. With Ed O making every decision, we ended up with guys like Nu'Keese Richardson, and we miss out on guys like Marlon Brown. Furthermore, two heads are better than one anyday of the week; the more people watching film and evaluating talent, the better chance we have on jumping on kids like Christian Harris.

tnsportsman writes:

in response to flatrock:

I believe we kept the best of Kiffin's staff and
I will take one Dooley over 2 Kiffins any day of
the week! Go Derek! Go Vols!

AMEN Brother! CDD is building for the future, not the present! This was a good article and shows what it takes to coach in the SEC. Dooley, Chaney and Thompson have it together and will rebuild THE BIG ORANGE in a short period of time!

AGAIN, like the Marines UT needs a few good men! The players that have or are moving on, OK! CDD has an agenda and last year or any other year does not figure into his plan.

The Big Orange will be OK and will win games this year! 8 or more wins, BOOK IT!

GO VOLS!

FWBVol writes:

There was another Stephens story on the Chattanooga paper's site today where Stephens speaks highly of CDD and says he believes, that if given time, Derek Dooley will build a successful program at Tennessee.

Stephens appreciates Dooley not stringing him along just for the sake of keeping depth at QB.

Things might be tough for a couple of years, but this column speaks volumes to how Derek Dooley wants to do things the right way as he rebuilds the program.

Tennessee football fans really have been spoiled since the days of the General. Bowden Wyatt had a few subpar years in the 1950s/early 1960s. Doug Dickey had a couple of tough years during the rebuiding. There were some tough times at the end of the Bill Battle era into the transition of Johnny Majors. And then the last four or five years have been less than we hoped for.

We have been spoiled because we have one of the top 10 programs in wins, winning percentage, bowl games and bowl wins in the history of college football.

The standard that Tennessee fans expect from our football team is matched only by Alabama and maybe Florida, Georgia and LSU.

I like the concept of having a consensus about offering a player rather than the opinion of one or two coaches.

Give this staff time and we will win big.

n2thecheckerboards2 writes:

in response to imnotDC:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Continue to dominate the SEC??? Last i checked Bama won the SEC title.

1965Vol writes:

I'm new here and have a question. What's with this imnotDC guy coming on here and posting links to Swamp Lizard articles? I thought this was a UT sports site. What's with the KNS/GVX not enforcing their own policy that says "You agree not to post comments that are off topic,..."? If I hit the "Suggest Removal" thingee will this guys' posts go away? Worth a try I guess.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

I don't think the gator sites are much to speak of, therefore the envious posters from Fla. come on this site to try to rattle some cages. Some respond to the posts, but that just keeps the kids going kinda like a rattle toy with children.

1965Vol writes:

in response to imnotDC:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yah, isn't America wonderful? I guess you must be referring to the 1st Amendment to the Bill of Rights? We kind of like the 2nd Amendment -- our right to bear arms to protect our home!

But the user agreement says "You agree not to post comments that are off topic,..." Don't see what your junk has to do with Coach Dooley and the Vols.

Don't you have some kind of Swamp Lizard site where you can go and dump your trash? Or won't they let you post there because you are so obnoxious? Maybe you're just in need of some attention? Poor soul...

Cldvols1 writes:

in response to 1965Vol:

Yah, isn't America wonderful? I guess you must be referring to the 1st Amendment to the Bill of Rights? We kind of like the 2nd Amendment -- our right to bear arms to protect our home!

But the user agreement says "You agree not to post comments that are off topic,..." Don't see what your junk has to do with Coach Dooley and the Vols.

Don't you have some kind of Swamp Lizard site where you can go and dump your trash? Or won't they let you post there because you are so obnoxious? Maybe you're just in need of some attention? Poor soul...

Don't worry about him 65, he's just mad because he was left out of the sniffing line for Timmy's panties. As for you, glad to have you aboard. Go Vols!!!

1965Vol writes:

in response to jhayes0926#638474:

I don't think the gator sites are much to speak of, therefore the envious posters from Fla. come on this site to try to rattle some cages. Some respond to the posts, but that just keeps the kids going kinda like a rattle toy with children.

Oh, I see, they're invaders. I'll stop responding to their junk and just keep hitting that "Suggest Removal" thingee and see what happens! Thanks for filling me in.

BTW, I hear the Swamp Lizard football team is kind of like their sites ... not much to speak of! I do kind of worry about their coach though, he sounds a bit unstable. Must be scary for the players.

tapeworm writes:

I'm always amazed at how much importance people on this site place in recruiting classes. Obviously, things will change once the 2010 season starts, but right now here are some teams projected to be in the Top 25 - even Top 10, which did NOT have a Top 10 recruiting class in the last couple of years. In fact, these teams rarely, if ever, have a Top 10 recruiting class. Read 'em and weep:
• Boise State
• Iowa
• TCU
• GaTech
• Wisconsin
• VaTech (remember them?)
• Arkansas
• Oregon St.
• Stanford
• Pitt
• Cincy
• Navy (for God's sake)
• Temple (Temple???- it's true)

Like with our new economy - we need to learn to do more with less.

1965Vol writes:

Dang guys, looks like that imnotDC invader guy disappeared! Guess punching that "Suggest Removal" thingee really works!

pomp_and_circumstance writes:

Hooker! Have you no shame?! You actually ponied up the $50 to attend the clinic? And then write so reverently about "integrity?" John Adams will behead you as soon as he finds out.

murrayvol writes:

I like the way Dooley's crew operates much better than the Jackal & Co.

"Character wins" - Always has and always will.

volsoutwest writes:

Wow, what a difference a year makes! I am really pleased at the emphasis Coach Dooley is placing on character and integrity. I know these don't translate into wins but when you do things right, good things happen. I don't believe in that old saying that good guys finish last. Just give this staff a couple more years and great things are going to happen in K-town.

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

"But Dooley took the high road and snapped away Stephens reps so he could give them to two quarterbacks he believed were better suited to handle the job." Hooker

I enjoy most of Hook's articles. But I think that this is a crock. Dooley divied up reps to players who earned them. Doesn't mean that he'd concluded that they were better suited for the job. Stephens watched for four years. Last Spring, he broke his wrist at a time of great expectation. It doesn't take a heavyweight shrink to understand that a certain amount of anxiety/depression might be revisited. Now I'm not blaming Dooley for Stephens' decision. But I do think that Nick needed and deserved better coaching than he received.

Huttdawg100 writes:

in response to tapeworm:

I'm always amazed at how much importance people on this site place in recruiting classes. Obviously, things will change once the 2010 season starts, but right now here are some teams projected to be in the Top 25 - even Top 10, which did NOT have a Top 10 recruiting class in the last couple of years. In fact, these teams rarely, if ever, have a Top 10 recruiting class. Read 'em and weep:
• Boise State
• Iowa
• TCU
• GaTech
• Wisconsin
• VaTech (remember them?)
• Arkansas
• Oregon St.
• Stanford
• Pitt
• Cincy
• Navy (for God's sake)
• Temple (Temple???- it's true)

Like with our new economy - we need to learn to do more with less.

You make an excellent point. However, I ultimately have to disagree with you. Those teams are all well coached and have really good talent. But, none of those teams have won a national championship, nor are they even close. Cincy went undefeated during their regular season, but Florida destroyed them. Va Tech is a force year in and year out, but they haven't sniffed the National Championship game in 10 years. In essence, a combination of 4 and 5 star talent mixed with good coaching and a little luck throughout the course of a season leads to the BCS National Championship.

With that said, we have some first rate recruiters. Lance Thompson and Dooley are really good at what they do, and I have confident that they are going to bring in the best talent. Only time will tell.

OrangeinCarolina2 writes:

Excellent article Hooker! GO VOLS!

mountainvol writes:

in response to murrayvol:

I like the way Dooley's crew operates much better than the Jackal & Co.

"Character wins" - Always has and always will.

Could not agree more!

BradleyJKinkaid writes:

Good article by Hooker, he deserves appreciation for that one.

Some great insight from Thompson. I like it.
GBO.

LadyVolsEighTimes writes:

I got a great laugh outtat the DC comments. I have often wondered how to nicely describe what DC actually stood for.

Best I ever came up with was Dense Cousin. Which was slightly better than Dumb Cousin. Had to take the Dumb word out of it with a c-word following.

TommyJack writes:

in response to steamboatticket#484773:

"But Dooley took the high road and snapped away Stephens reps so he could give them to two quarterbacks he believed were better suited to handle the job." Hooker

I enjoy most of Hook's articles. But I think that this is a crock. Dooley divied up reps to players who earned them. Doesn't mean that he'd concluded that they were better suited for the job. Stephens watched for four years. Last Spring, he broke his wrist at a time of great expectation. It doesn't take a heavyweight shrink to understand that a certain amount of anxiety/depression might be revisited. Now I'm not blaming Dooley for Stephens' decision. But I do think that Nick needed and deserved better coaching than he received.

On the mark, steam.

GOBIGO72 writes:

in response to LadyVolsEighTimes:

I got a great laugh outtat the DC comments. I have often wondered how to nicely describe what DC actually stood for.

Best I ever came up with was Dense Cousin. Which was slightly better than Dumb Cousin. Had to take the Dumb word out of it with a c-word following.

He is a dic-chic. She is most confused. He doesn't know if she's coming or going - taking or giving - an innie or an outie - a vacuum that cleans your driveway - the only way he can turn himself on is to turn others off - Her motive is to bring you down with him - fortunately we have a choice and this will be the only time I ever mention or respond dic about chic again. But feel free to think of this post everytime the little urchin comes back to try and spoil your day.

GerryOP writes:

in response to steamboatticket#484773:

"But Dooley took the high road and snapped away Stephens reps so he could give them to two quarterbacks he believed were better suited to handle the job." Hooker

I enjoy most of Hook's articles. But I think that this is a crock. Dooley divied up reps to players who earned them. Doesn't mean that he'd concluded that they were better suited for the job. Stephens watched for four years. Last Spring, he broke his wrist at a time of great expectation. It doesn't take a heavyweight shrink to understand that a certain amount of anxiety/depression might be revisited. Now I'm not blaming Dooley for Stephens' decision. But I do think that Nick needed and deserved better coaching than he received.

I agree steamboat, Hooker's comment is a crock. Dooley promised that all of the QBs would get equal reps and that a decision would probably not be made until pre-season practice. He was giving Simms and Bray equal chance so that the coaches could compare the 3 ... and Stephens took a walk.

However, I disagree with your closing statement:

"But I do think that Nick needed and deserved better coaching than he received."

Think it might have something to do with Nick? His ability, his attitude, his effort, his ....? No football coach, let alone 3 of them, is going to "pass" on a kid who can get the job done. That's the 3rd UT HC Stephens confronted and the third time he lost. End of story.

givehim6 writes:

in response to murrayvol:

I like the way Dooley's crew operates much better than the Jackal & Co.

"Character wins" - Always has and always will.

Yes your wright, when CDD was first hired I was not sure. Now he has be HC a few months I will say I like the path the man is taking UT. The rebuilding has started, next we will see how well the man coaches. But no matter CDD gives this season a football fill instead of a circus. GO VOLS!

TommyJack writes:

in response to TommyJack:

On the mark, steam.

Especially the last sentence.

DaddyVol writes:

If you're looking backwards while driving down the road...you might run into a tree!

Can't go forward if you're going backwards.

A new era is dawning in the VOLUNTEER STATE!!!

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

in response to GerryOP:

I agree steamboat, Hooker's comment is a crock. Dooley promised that all of the QBs would get equal reps and that a decision would probably not be made until pre-season practice. He was giving Simms and Bray equal chance so that the coaches could compare the 3 ... and Stephens took a walk.

However, I disagree with your closing statement:

"But I do think that Nick needed and deserved better coaching than he received."

Think it might have something to do with Nick? His ability, his attitude, his effort, his ....? No football coach, let alone 3 of them, is going to "pass" on a kid who can get the job done. That's the 3rd UT HC Stephens confronted and the third time he lost. End of story.

Gerry, I'm certainly no great authority, and I'm not among the inner circle. But I do disagree with your disagreement. lol Until Stephens broke his wrist last spring, Kiffin claimed that the QB competition was close. Kiffin was not shy at all in criticizing or dismissing players who did not measure up to his standards. But I never heard of him trashing Nick Stephens or passing on him. Kiffin actually gave Stephens high praise during the bowl practices last December. Do you think that Crompton's failures might have something to do with Crompton? We all did. Crompton received the support he needed last year to go from one of the worst QBs in Tennessee history to one of the best in the country. Do you think coaching had something to do with it? I do. And I think that Stephens did not get that kind of coaching this year. Is his leaving the end of the story? I hope you're right. But I am not confident that Tennessee is providing our QBs with the coaching that they need to be successful. You remember what Crompton and the Vol Nation went through the last time that happened. I'm saying that blaming the kid may not be the right reaction.

DaddyVol writes:

in response to GerryOP:

I agree steamboat, Hooker's comment is a crock. Dooley promised that all of the QBs would get equal reps and that a decision would probably not be made until pre-season practice. He was giving Simms and Bray equal chance so that the coaches could compare the 3 ... and Stephens took a walk.

However, I disagree with your closing statement:

"But I do think that Nick needed and deserved better coaching than he received."

Think it might have something to do with Nick? His ability, his attitude, his effort, his ....? No football coach, let alone 3 of them, is going to "pass" on a kid who can get the job done. That's the 3rd UT HC Stephens confronted and the third time he lost. End of story.

1 for 9 completions for 6 total yards in last scrimmage...and three (3) head coaches can't all be wrong.

Chaney also knows a thing or 2 about quarterbacks. Just ask Drew Breese.

Good bye and good luck Nick.

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

in response to DaddyVol:

1 for 9 completions for 6 total yards in last scrimmage...and three (3) head coaches can't all be wrong.

Chaney also knows a thing or 2 about quarterbacks. Just ask Drew Breese.

Good bye and good luck Nick.

Stephens obviously had a bad day. One bad day should not end anybody's career. Simms just went 8 for 25. That's under 33% completion rate for our lead QB during the last scrimmage before the Orange and White Game. Our QBs have never looked this bad. I always had a lot of confidence in Coach Chaney, from watching his offenses at Purdue. But right about now, I'm thinking that something is messed up.

xx5vegasxx writes:

in response to naffy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

So you'd rather have a trouble maker, an armed robber, a problem child, and a kid that simply couldn't cut it to go along with someone in the top 32 of Esquire's Sexiest Women Alive, and a man that looked, talked, and acted like an Ogre? It's easy to see why you relate to the coaching staff naffy. You're basically as stupidly moronic as they are. Get a life, and go route for USC if you love Layla that much.

GerryOP writes:

in response to steamboatticket#484773:

Gerry, I'm certainly no great authority, and I'm not among the inner circle. But I do disagree with your disagreement. lol Until Stephens broke his wrist last spring, Kiffin claimed that the QB competition was close. Kiffin was not shy at all in criticizing or dismissing players who did not measure up to his standards. But I never heard of him trashing Nick Stephens or passing on him. Kiffin actually gave Stephens high praise during the bowl practices last December. Do you think that Crompton's failures might have something to do with Crompton? We all did. Crompton received the support he needed last year to go from one of the worst QBs in Tennessee history to one of the best in the country. Do you think coaching had something to do with it? I do. And I think that Stephens did not get that kind of coaching this year. Is his leaving the end of the story? I hope you're right. But I am not confident that Tennessee is providing our QBs with the coaching that they need to be successful. You remember what Crompton and the Vol Nation went through the last time that happened. I'm saying that blaming the kid may not be the right reaction.

Steamboat, I have no inside knowledge either. The only thing I have to base my opinions on are what I read.

I'm just curious steamboat, what have you seen/read/heard that would lead you to the conclusion that Stephens did not receive the right kind of coaching? I pose the same question to anyone else that is of that opinion.

RoadTrip writes:

Two in row, DH. Keep up the good work and you will win a lot of folks back and some new ones to boot.

CDD and staff are the next big thing in the SEC. The trolls will be disappearing fast and it will be long term as CDD is becoming orange blooded.

200 high school coaches there this weekend. Love it! GBO!!!

Cldvols1 writes:

in response to naffy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And just exactly what is your grounds for removal??

CoodyJohnson writes:

Good article, appreciate the info.

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

in response to GerryOP:

Steamboat, I have no inside knowledge either. The only thing I have to base my opinions on are what I read.

I'm just curious steamboat, what have you seen/read/heard that would lead you to the conclusion that Stephens did not receive the right kind of coaching? I pose the same question to anyone else that is of that opinion.

Gerry, I've already posted most of it. But to begin with, according to articles about him around the time of his recruitment, Stephens was considered by coaches in Texas to be among the top QBs in the entire state, as good as any of them. He was off the big board because an injury kept him off the field his senior year. He'd moved there from Ohio and won his respect as an outsider, not a local Texas boy favorite. Like I said, the coaches there included him among the best in Texas. And then there was Kiffin last year, who repeatedly said that the Spring competition between Stephens and Crompton was very close(until the broken wrist). There was the lack of negative comments from KIffin about Stephens and the high praise for him in December. If KIffin didn't think that Stephens could play QB, he would have thrown him under the bus in an L.A. second. It kind of gripes me to see people trash Stephens for 2008, when he was taking the games on himself to win in a real soup sandwich coaching situation. Have people forgotten how Crompton played that year? You think maybe there is a connection with the fact that neither one of them played well that year? I have never seen a Tennessee QB play as bad as Crompton. But at the end of 2009, I would not have traded JC for anybody. You remember reading all of this and watching a lot of it...right?

jesusvol4 writes:

I realize the direction we are going at quarterback and the feelings that Bryce Brown had for TENNESSEE, and understand the decisions to leave by Stephens and Brown. However, the Aaron Douglas situation and decision, I can't understand. Douglas must really have some kind of inner struggle that came between his momentum at OT. He is really jeopardizing an NFL future. I'm sorry he decided to quit on TENNESSEE. I feel like he really LOVED TENNESSEE FOOTBALL, but let the situation at coaching intervene on his commitment. Who knows, MAYBE he will ask to be reinstated........STAY TUNED, stranger things have happened. GO BIG ORANGE!

UCFgradVOLatHEART writes:

Dave Hooker you just wrote an article without talking about Surfer Boy. The only mention of him was from Coach LT. Is the Bromance over? I sure as heck hope so. I want you to write quality articles about a quality Coach. That is what we have now. CDD seems to be a man with great values and is destined to do great things in life. I think CDD is the type of man that would be successful at whatever he attempted. GO VOLS!!!!!!! We support you. BTW my fiance bleeds Red and Black. I need some help getting her to let go of those Bulldogs.

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

And here's another thing, Gerry. Stephens got p.o.'d in 2008 when other players were not where they were supposed to be on the field during plays. Why? He took his job seriously. He really wanted to lead the team and win. What was so bad about that? It was bad because the offensive players did not know what they were supposed to do. That is what messed up Crompton's mind so badly. QBs are supposed to know where everyone on the team is going after the snap. But nobody knew. I'll bet that Phil didn't even know. Instead of getting Crompton's famous deer-in-the-headlights look, Stephens got demanding. I thought that it spoke well of his leadership and his desire to win. But people want to take cheap shots at him and blame him for the situation, like they did Crompton. One thing we can guess, none of the QBs are going to blame the current coaches for problems on the offensive team. They'll eat crow and humble pie all day long before doing that. But after what we've been through the past few years, I think now is the time to ask if our six-figure coaches are doing their jobs. We ask the best players to come to Tennessee and give us their best. We owe it to our players to give them the best. With the offensive numbers that we've been seeing, I am not sure that our players are getting it. That's not something I've been reading or hearing. It's what it looks like to me with our QB production. Like I said, I hope I'm wrong.

murrayvol writes:

in response to iamnotDCtoo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

West.

murrayvol writes:

in response to UCFgradVOLatHEART:

Dave Hooker you just wrote an article without talking about Surfer Boy. The only mention of him was from Coach LT. Is the Bromance over? I sure as heck hope so. I want you to write quality articles about a quality Coach. That is what we have now. CDD seems to be a man with great values and is destined to do great things in life. I think CDD is the type of man that would be successful at whatever he attempted. GO VOLS!!!!!!! We support you. BTW my fiance bleeds Red and Black. I need some help getting her to let go of those Bulldogs.

It's hard to let go of a Bulldog.

TitanandVolfan4life writes:

NOTE...DC, steamboat, NoSirRee and others that are constantly NEGATIVE about our UT football program are NOT really Tennessee fans but are just useless TROLLS here to try and chase away high school guys that we are recruiting and read these posts...PROOF of what lowlife people will do to try and hurt another schools program.

This is a really good article and shows that CDD & Company are being completely Honest and forthright with our players and are EARNING the players respect for themselves, the systems they're putting in, how they EXPECT the players to conduct themselves and the rock solid direction the UT football program is headed.

CDD & Company are also LEADING by their own EXAMPLES and teaching the young men the right ways of handling things and that dedication, hard work, commitment, positive attitudes and being responsible WILL get you where you want to go as long as you stick to those things long term and DO the work !

I also love that it's a 4 coach process before a scolly is offered to any recruit.

That's alot of man hours and a MUCH better way to do it by having the recruiter for that area evaluate the recruit, then the position coach do a eval, then either the O or the D coordinator do a eval and then CDD also do a evaluation and then ALL 4 of those coaches sit at a table and talk about what each of them see in their evaluations and decide as a coaching TEAM if that young kids gets a offer from Tennessee or not.

That is a VERY thorough and complete evaluation and analysis of the recruit and NOT just 1 or 2 peoples guesses about a kid.

That takes more time and more work by our coaching staff but the end results will be MUCH better for our program in the long run.

Moms & Dads of the kids we're recruiting will love the Honesty & dignity of CDD & Company and will feel safe and secure that they're trusting their kids to men of Honor that will not only teach their sons how to be better football players but will also teach their sons how to grow, mature and become good men by the time they graduate.

I would gladly trust CDD & Company to mentor and teach my son for 3 to 5 years !

GO BIG ORANGE !!!

GerryOP writes:

in response to steamboatticket#484773:

And here's another thing, Gerry. Stephens got p.o.'d in 2008 when other players were not where they were supposed to be on the field during plays. Why? He took his job seriously. He really wanted to lead the team and win. What was so bad about that? It was bad because the offensive players did not know what they were supposed to do. That is what messed up Crompton's mind so badly. QBs are supposed to know where everyone on the team is going after the snap. But nobody knew. I'll bet that Phil didn't even know. Instead of getting Crompton's famous deer-in-the-headlights look, Stephens got demanding. I thought that it spoke well of his leadership and his desire to win. But people want to take cheap shots at him and blame him for the situation, like they did Crompton. One thing we can guess, none of the QBs are going to blame the current coaches for problems on the offensive team. They'll eat crow and humble pie all day long before doing that. But after what we've been through the past few years, I think now is the time to ask if our six-figure coaches are doing their jobs. We ask the best players to come to Tennessee and give us their best. We owe it to our players to give them the best. With the offensive numbers that we've been seeing, I am not sure that our players are getting it. That's not something I've been reading or hearing. It's what it looks like to me with our QB production. Like I said, I hope I'm wrong.

Let me see if I can catch up with both of your posts.

Thanks for the info on Nick's HS days. Was not aware of that. To move to TX and excel takes a good bit of talent and guts.

If you're talking about '08 and lack of good coaching at UT ... sure. But that probably applied to most of the players! Regardless of what happened last year and what might happen this year, I consider '08 to be the low point of the program. But until late in the season, Fulmer/Clawson did not choose Stephens to lead the Vols in '08.

'09? No, Nick can't be blamed for breaking his wrist, and, yes, I watched everything closely.

Was Stephens ready to go by fall? Don't know. But we do know that Kiffin/Chaney chose Crompton to carry the flag. And I think that we know that Kiffin's choices and actions were based on one and only one goal ... winning. And Kiffin/Chaney did not choose Stephens to lead the Vols in '09.

That brings us to '10. It appears that Stephens was given the nominal lead and was led to believe that he was doing OK. And based on what we have heard, he was doing OK. However, Dooley felt he had to give the other two guys a closer look ... Stephens asked Dooley for a "vote of confidence" ... Dooley would not do that ... so Nick walked. Was he demoted? Not sure we know. The press said he was, but Dooley has not really said that.

If you want to question the '10 coaching staff, go right ahead. But I will reserve judgement until I see the product put on the field. I backed Kiffin and I'll back Dooley ... until he gives me a reason not to.

As far as Stephens goes, forgive me if you think I have trashed the kid. From my point of view Dooley said that each would be given equal opportunity for the job and the competition would go well into August. He explained to Stephens that he was adjusting the reps to give the other guys a fair shot ... and Nick didn't agree. So be it.

I have not seen nor heard anything that leads me to believe that Nick did not get a fair shot at the QB job. Just my opinion. If you feel differently, that is your choice. I'll respect your opinion. But we do know that Nick opted to leave before the competition was over. And that was his choice.

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

in response to GerryOP:

Let me see if I can catch up with both of your posts.

Thanks for the info on Nick's HS days. Was not aware of that. To move to TX and excel takes a good bit of talent and guts.

If you're talking about '08 and lack of good coaching at UT ... sure. But that probably applied to most of the players! Regardless of what happened last year and what might happen this year, I consider '08 to be the low point of the program. But until late in the season, Fulmer/Clawson did not choose Stephens to lead the Vols in '08.

'09? No, Nick can't be blamed for breaking his wrist, and, yes, I watched everything closely.

Was Stephens ready to go by fall? Don't know. But we do know that Kiffin/Chaney chose Crompton to carry the flag. And I think that we know that Kiffin's choices and actions were based on one and only one goal ... winning. And Kiffin/Chaney did not choose Stephens to lead the Vols in '09.

That brings us to '10. It appears that Stephens was given the nominal lead and was led to believe that he was doing OK. And based on what we have heard, he was doing OK. However, Dooley felt he had to give the other two guys a closer look ... Stephens asked Dooley for a "vote of confidence" ... Dooley would not do that ... so Nick walked. Was he demoted? Not sure we know. The press said he was, but Dooley has not really said that.

If you want to question the '10 coaching staff, go right ahead. But I will reserve judgement until I see the product put on the field. I backed Kiffin and I'll back Dooley ... until he gives me a reason not to.

As far as Stephens goes, forgive me if you think I have trashed the kid. From my point of view Dooley said that each would be given equal opportunity for the job and the competition would go well into August. He explained to Stephens that he was adjusting the reps to give the other guys a fair shot ... and Nick didn't agree. So be it.

I have not seen nor heard anything that leads me to believe that Nick did not get a fair shot at the QB job. Just my opinion. If you feel differently, that is your choice. I'll respect your opinion. But we do know that Nick opted to leave before the competition was over. And that was his choice.

I really do not feel differently, because I do agree with your above assessment that Stephens was treated fairly. I also agree that the confusion in 08 existed among many offensive players, which must have been a particular nightmare for the QBs because they needed to know exactly what everyone was doing at every moment and where. My point was that merely treating a QB fairly might not be good enough. Were Dooley and Chaney quarterbacks? Has either one coached quarterbacks? Maybe, but I don't think so. Chaney was Drew Brees' OC, not his QB coach. Some QBs enter college with a lot of professional training and outside support. Some have the talent but need a lot of training and support. I think that Stephens was one of the latter and would have played very well under Kiffin/Chaney/Reaves. I'm sorry and disappointed that he left; that was his choice. Why did his performance drop so radically after Kiffin left? Why did Lamaison dropped off the charts? Why did Simms scrimmage so poorly? I don't know. I do know that all of those guys are talented, and that our coaches are paid tons of money to develop their talents. I want to know that is happening.

GerryOP writes:

in response to steamboatticket#484773:

I really do not feel differently, because I do agree with your above assessment that Stephens was treated fairly. I also agree that the confusion in 08 existed among many offensive players, which must have been a particular nightmare for the QBs because they needed to know exactly what everyone was doing at every moment and where. My point was that merely treating a QB fairly might not be good enough. Were Dooley and Chaney quarterbacks? Has either one coached quarterbacks? Maybe, but I don't think so. Chaney was Drew Brees' OC, not his QB coach. Some QBs enter college with a lot of professional training and outside support. Some have the talent but need a lot of training and support. I think that Stephens was one of the latter and would have played very well under Kiffin/Chaney/Reaves. I'm sorry and disappointed that he left; that was his choice. Why did his performance drop so radically after Kiffin left? Why did Lamaison dropped off the charts? Why did Simms scrimmage so poorly? I don't know. I do know that all of those guys are talented, and that our coaches are paid tons of money to develop their talents. I want to know that is happening.

Be well my Vol friend!

BTW, does steamboat refer to that lil' ski area in north central Colorado? If so, good mountain! If not, oh, well...

146 -- Fear the Dooley Dude... And Our Vols...

worldwideturd writes:

in response to SECFB:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I just love it when two rival trolls start b*tch-slappping each other

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

in response to GerryOP:

Be well my Vol friend!

BTW, does steamboat refer to that lil' ski area in north central Colorado? If so, good mountain! If not, oh, well...

146 -- Fear the Dooley Dude... And Our Vols...

Right back at you, Gerry. And thanks for the good Vol talk. Steamboat is just a handle that came to mind when I needed one. I'm actually from the Delta, born three miles from Old Man River, a native Tennessean living in Florida with no connection to Colorado. Hey man, power to the Dooley and the great Tennessee Volunteers!

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