Vols notebook: Minor solution to growing problem?

Bowens happy to be back in fold

Tennessee's Minor Bowens competes in the discus throw.

Photo by Saul Young

Tennessee's Minor Bowens competes in the discus throw.

Injuries have made depth at defensive tackle a major concern for Tennessee coach Derek Dooley.

But perhaps there's a Minor solution: 6-foot-2, 302-pound senior Minor Bowens.

"I have a real great opportunity," Bowens said after practice Monday.

"Coach (Dooley) got me from track and gave me new life, and really he said the D-line has no face, has no name - everybody can play."

UT's situation at defensive tackle was already unnerving entering fall camp.

But when Marlon Walls, a projected starter alongside Montori Hughes, suffered a season-ending Achilles injury Saturday, that situation reached a level of panic.

"One man's injury is another man's opportunity," Bowens said.

"We're sorry for Marlon, but people (have) got to step up, be a man and go out and play. Everybody wants to play, so everybody's working hard."

Bowens signed with Tennessee State out of Memphis Ridgeway High School in 2006, and transferred to UT two years later.

He joined the track team during the 2009 football season after former coach Lane Kiffin moved him to offense.

"Things with Kiffin weren't working out like I wanted," he said. "I wanted to try myself out with track and did pretty good.

"I'm a ball player at heart. It always hurt seeing games or seeing big hits, football on TV. Really, now I put it behind and now I focus on getting better every day."

Bowens, an All-Ohio Valley Conference discus thrower, placed 10th in the event at the SEC Outdoor Championships in May when Dooley came calling.

"They (the new staff) saw my old film," Bowens said, "and from there they picked me back up and gave me an opportunity."

Bowens, who was put on scholarship at the start of fall camp, has found a home working with line coach Chuck Smith.

"He came from the NFL," Bowens said, "and I'm just like a sponge, I'm soaking everything in."

Now Bowens finds himself in position to contribute to the Vols' depleted defensive line, and he's as confident as he is big.

"No, no doubt at all," he said of helping the Vols. "I'm a senior, I played, started as a freshman at Tennessee State. I know what it takes, been working hard everyday.

"I already know once I get in there, I'm going to show up and show out."

Better Day: The Vols responded after drawing Dooley's fiery ire Sunday. Dooley called it "script day," where the Vols worked with coaches off the field.

"It was good to do that," Dooley said, "and (today) we'll get out there and do it again see how the players respond. But it was a good, crisp practice, good tempo, good energy and I was pleased with it."

First Scrimmage: The Vols are set for their first preseason scrimmage today.

"It's a little bit of a modified (scrimmage)," Dooley said. "I like to do this on about the seventh day, just to break the monotony. It's a good time to catch our breath and evaluate where we are and where we need to go in the next few days."

Patrick Brown is a freelance contributor.

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Comments » 67

Bogus writes:

in response to steviejanowski:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

He's on the O-line and fighting to get his weight up.

VolFanNC writes:

302 lbs and a natural athlete...hopefully will add some depth here.

VolGrad writes:

We need all the help we can get right now at that DT position. I hope this guy can stay healthy and hold his own out there.

GBO!

FWBVol writes:

It seems as if CDD and the staff have done their best to find football players anywhere they can on campus.

Recruiting is a never ending process as they look for kids that can help the program.

txsvol#372416 writes:

From the headline, I thought the article was a lead in for an Avodart commercial. Wouldn't it be sweet for Minor Bowens to be a major contributor!?! Go Vols! SAVol

primetimevol writes:

Getting a starting line-up set seems eerily like the Replacements movie. When are we getting the deaf tight end and convict linebacker?

murrayvol writes:

Anybody got any eligibility left?

Tennfan4075 writes:

in response to rabidvolfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

This beast as you referred to sounds to me more of a stopgap than a solution to anything. Solutions come from getting more quality players and them staying healthy.

volsfannsc writes:

in response to WEAREBETTERTHANVANDY:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

First up- spell check is a wonderful thing.
While being realistic about this season, I foresee a very rough start with signs of life late in the schedule. I'm hoping and praying for six wins this year. Salvaging a lineman from the track team reminds me of the movie "Necessary Roughness". Kudos to CDD for continually looking for 'that' player who can help out. This also signifies how depleted our team has gotten over the past few years. Anyone who could not see this coming was either blind or pretentious. The silver lining comes as this will be a team the fans will become intimate with. They will be revered for their hard work and not their wins. This will in fact be the team that will start something special in Knoxville. Last year, moral victories were just an excuse. This year we will all come to know the real meaning of the word. I look forward to this year believe it or not. I feel our team will become solid and predictable in the near future- due to this year's tribulations. Predictability and stability is something that has been lacking since the turn of the century. With the coaching changes, I saw where recruiting was going to be tougher than ever. To get back to where UT was in past years, it's going to take wins, and lots of them. I wish this year's team all the best as they are the ones that start the journey. To the gung-ho fans, this team WILL be special providing you look with a knowledgeable eye.

gnm53108 writes:

in response to volsfannsc:

First up- spell check is a wonderful thing.
While being realistic about this season, I foresee a very rough start with signs of life late in the schedule. I'm hoping and praying for six wins this year. Salvaging a lineman from the track team reminds me of the movie "Necessary Roughness". Kudos to CDD for continually looking for 'that' player who can help out. This also signifies how depleted our team has gotten over the past few years. Anyone who could not see this coming was either blind or pretentious. The silver lining comes as this will be a team the fans will become intimate with. They will be revered for their hard work and not their wins. This will in fact be the team that will start something special in Knoxville. Last year, moral victories were just an excuse. This year we will all come to know the real meaning of the word. I look forward to this year believe it or not. I feel our team will become solid and predictable in the near future- due to this year's tribulations. Predictability and stability is something that has been lacking since the turn of the century. With the coaching changes, I saw where recruiting was going to be tougher than ever. To get back to where UT was in past years, it's going to take wins, and lots of them. I wish this year's team all the best as they are the ones that start the journey. To the gung-ho fans, this team WILL be special providing you look with a knowledgeable eye.

Pretty post.

Just glad you're not a senior on this squad....for that matter on this team period.All these young men did'nt committ to the university of Tennessee to be "revered for their hard work".They became Vols to WIN each and every saturday they take the field.

I dont mean to be doggin on you...just dont agree with your evaluation of this year's squad.

Jimslaw writes:

Our fanbase is just horrible, you either pull for tennessee through the ups and downs or you need to jump ship and get on someone else's bandwagon. We are not gonna win the S.E.C this year face it it's not happening. But I will still be pulling for the VOLS. Coach is doing the best he can with what we have. Most of these three star recruits will have four or five stars after their senior year in high school,and half of them may change their mind before signing day.
I'm just getting sick of all this whinning and crying over phooey you have no control over,if you think you can do any better apply for an open coaching slot and go for it. Bottom line is either love the Vols or kiss Smokey's arse.

DenverVol writes:

in response to Tennfan4075:

This beast as you referred to sounds to me more of a stopgap than a solution to anything. Solutions come from getting more quality players and them staying healthy.

Pretty sure the "beast" comment is referring to Bowens size...6'2" 302. Bowens doesn't have to be the next John Henderson or All-SEC DT. He merely needs to play assignment football, fill his gaps and allow the other 10 guys to do their jobs. He has the body for it and from the sounds of it, the motivation. Generally guys who are given another or one last chance step up. Allow the guy to prove his worth on the field before calling him a 'stopgap'. My money is on #94 proving you wrong.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to volsfannsc:

First up- spell check is a wonderful thing.
While being realistic about this season, I foresee a very rough start with signs of life late in the schedule. I'm hoping and praying for six wins this year. Salvaging a lineman from the track team reminds me of the movie "Necessary Roughness". Kudos to CDD for continually looking for 'that' player who can help out. This also signifies how depleted our team has gotten over the past few years. Anyone who could not see this coming was either blind or pretentious. The silver lining comes as this will be a team the fans will become intimate with. They will be revered for their hard work and not their wins. This will in fact be the team that will start something special in Knoxville. Last year, moral victories were just an excuse. This year we will all come to know the real meaning of the word. I look forward to this year believe it or not. I feel our team will become solid and predictable in the near future- due to this year's tribulations. Predictability and stability is something that has been lacking since the turn of the century. With the coaching changes, I saw where recruiting was going to be tougher than ever. To get back to where UT was in past years, it's going to take wins, and lots of them. I wish this year's team all the best as they are the ones that start the journey. To the gung-ho fans, this team WILL be special providing you look with a knowledgeable eye.

Man, where to start. You say this year moral victories are ok? I dont think so. Predictable is not a positive word when it describes a football team. I'm not sure what context predictable is a good thing . You say this team will become a team fans become intimate with? Why would fans be more intimate with this team than any other? Intimate? you couldnt think of a better word? Intimate and football arent 2 words that should be used together. I like you enthusiasm, but fans, coaches and players want wins, not moral victories. This team is inexperienced and will be lacking depth thanks to Fulmer being fired and Kiffin leaving. Dooley has a tough job to do and I think for the most part he is doing it the best he can. I think fans understand that, but it wont make most fans feel good at the end of the day if he doesnt win.

drone#208075 writes:

There were no names on the 1985 team at the beginning of the year. The Team of Destiny.

dk writes:

Can anyone tell me a website that I can go to to get good positive support for our team? I'm sick and tired of reading all the gloom and doom prophets jabbering about how bad the Vols are and all that trash. If the team is disciplined and plays hard for 60 minutes, then I really don't care if they go 4-8, 6-6, 9-3 or anything else. Coach has said that it will take time to get the program to where Tennessee standards normally are. They aren't there right now and it isn't Dooley's fault. If you can't say something positive, then just go visit another site, like maybe Alabama or Florida and brag on how great they are.

Tennacious writes:

Just ordered four tix for UT Martin. We'll be driving up from Atlanta on gameday to support the Vols in what may be a tough year. I hope to get to a couple more games this year as well, schedule permitting.

Be patient, be supportive, have a positive outlook, buy tickets. What else can we do as fans?

Go Big Orange!

Volunatic writes:

Glad you're here, Minor. I hope you can contribute early on in the season.

Volunatic writes:

in response to Jimslaw:

Our fanbase is just horrible, you either pull for tennessee through the ups and downs or you need to jump ship and get on someone else's bandwagon. We are not gonna win the S.E.C this year face it it's not happening. But I will still be pulling for the VOLS. Coach is doing the best he can with what we have. Most of these three star recruits will have four or five stars after their senior year in high school,and half of them may change their mind before signing day.
I'm just getting sick of all this whinning and crying over phooey you have no control over,if you think you can do any better apply for an open coaching slot and go for it. Bottom line is either love the Vols or kiss Smokey's arse.

"Gloom and doom" has become the official religion of GVX.com.
Until we see this team actually play some games, I don't see any reason to think "worst season ever" or even "losing season" are foregone conclusions.
Right now, I expect a winning record with a couple of good solid wins, and I expect to see the Vols improve in most aspects of the game over the course of the season. I also think that a strong showing by Dooley and staff on NSD is highly likely.
I've said it before-- it's ridiculous to predict the whole season's outcome, and then base your assessment of the program/coaching staff on that prediction, especially several weeks before the opening kickoff. Let it play out-- this might be a good team.
I know I'll be there to cheer them on, no matter what happens.
GO VOLS!!!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to orangeman1:

Man, where to start. You say this year moral victories are ok? I dont think so. Predictable is not a positive word when it describes a football team. I'm not sure what context predictable is a good thing . You say this team will become a team fans become intimate with? Why would fans be more intimate with this team than any other? Intimate? you couldnt think of a better word? Intimate and football arent 2 words that should be used together. I like you enthusiasm, but fans, coaches and players want wins, not moral victories. This team is inexperienced and will be lacking depth thanks to Fulmer being fired and Kiffin leaving. Dooley has a tough job to do and I think for the most part he is doing it the best he can. I think fans understand that, but it wont make most fans feel good at the end of the day if he doesnt win.

Maybe this is just a matter of semantics. Of course, most Vol fans aren't going to be "satisfied" with "moral victories". The question is what form their "dissatisfaction" over a possible losing season takes. If fans give up on an over-matched team by booing them or not coming to the games, I don't see how that can be a positive for the future of the program. Of course, we will be disappointed with losses, but to ignore the reality of this team and disparage the efforts of the staff and team just because they may not live up to the highest hopes of our most rabid fans is really not much help to the program, IMHO. I'm not saying you are doing that, it just bothers me that a true fan would say that performing below the level of all our highest hopes is "unacceptable", especially if that leads to a withholding of attendance and support.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Volunatic:

"Gloom and doom" has become the official religion of GVX.com.
Until we see this team actually play some games, I don't see any reason to think "worst season ever" or even "losing season" are foregone conclusions.
Right now, I expect a winning record with a couple of good solid wins, and I expect to see the Vols improve in most aspects of the game over the course of the season. I also think that a strong showing by Dooley and staff on NSD is highly likely.
I've said it before-- it's ridiculous to predict the whole season's outcome, and then base your assessment of the program/coaching staff on that prediction, especially several weeks before the opening kickoff. Let it play out-- this might be a good team.
I know I'll be there to cheer them on, no matter what happens.
GO VOLS!!!

What you said! GBO!!!

VolFaninDC writes:

in response to WEAREBETTERTHANVANDY:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Here here!

vol49 writes:

in response to Jimslaw:

Our fanbase is just horrible, you either pull for tennessee through the ups and downs or you need to jump ship and get on someone else's bandwagon. We are not gonna win the S.E.C this year face it it's not happening. But I will still be pulling for the VOLS. Coach is doing the best he can with what we have. Most of these three star recruits will have four or five stars after their senior year in high school,and half of them may change their mind before signing day.
I'm just getting sick of all this whinning and crying over phooey you have no control over,if you think you can do any better apply for an open coaching slot and go for it. Bottom line is either love the Vols or kiss Smokey's arse.

Good post Jim. Some of the posts on here are really tacky. All trolls and naysayers? Who knows? I'm not one of them. I played the game. I support this team regardless. Most of those young men out there know they have the opportunity of a lifetime and they are out there on the field busting heads in 100 degree heat and pushing themselves to their personal breaking point(s) for this program and deserve better.

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

Here we go...
we may have to adjust scheme and run a modified 4-4 or 5-2...put more bodies on the line than can be blocked, do more with speed.

When I was a kid and first starting, I liked to play the gaps because I could shoot them.

When I got older and stronger, I liked to stand my guy up and play more like a linebacker. At times, I'd still shoot the gaps.

Main problems with each:
-gaps: makes you easy to trap, and you can run yourself out of the play
-man-up: big brutes can drive block you if you don't have enough strength/technique/weight.

Right now, I'm favoring us going with a lighter, gap-shooting, aggressive d-line. Put our best DT's at NT, make the rest of the line lightweight and quick. Use some bigger, mobile guys are run-first LB's who can cover TE's or big backs.

All JMHO, of course.

ghawk writes:

in response to Tennfan4075:

This beast as you referred to sounds to me more of a stopgap than a solution to anything. Solutions come from getting more quality players and them staying healthy.

You are so observant...master of the obvious!

NeylandWest writes:

in response to AF1A4:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You know, you have a very good point. It seems like our Vols are becoming more and more like the Badnews Bears as the season inches closer.

I love the creativity on CDD's behalf. Hopefully, it transforms into a competitive group on the field this fall.

Here's to wishing injuries would stay away...

jarvol writes:

Welcome the 2nd coming of 1988. UT won't be able to stop the run and will return home from Columbia at 2-6 with 30k empty seats in Neyland.

InVAbutHeartInTN writes:

I saw a disturbing quote from Simms on another article, and seeing all the negativity posted here, I thought it appropriate to replay it. He said (paraphrasing) 'we have high expectations here, although a lot of people don't.' He's most likely referring to you negative bloggers and media types. Sure, it may be a tough year, but these are 18-19-20 year old young men who are giving it their all, and it is a new coaching staff that was hired (then ridiculed) after a fiasco departure. The staff did great to salvage a good recruiting class (top 10) and they have to play the young men they have. There is no free agency in NCAA...you play whom you have.
Good Lord, give these kids and the coaches a break. They are representing UT the best they know how. Even in what may be a mediocre season, I'll bleed orange and keep rooting. You'll see no negativity here. These kids see the posts. Support them.

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to jarvol:

Welcome the 2nd coming of 1988. UT won't be able to stop the run and will return home from Columbia at 2-6 with 30k empty seats in Neyland.

What I think is these athletic young guys will go out and play ball. What I also think is that many of them are decent ballplayers.

Yeah, we could bomb like you say. I'm thinking 'no', that we'll be around 6 or 7 wins with maybe an upset or someone. If our offensive line truly develops, and either Bray or Simms can at least manage the game, hit open receivers, and hand the ball off, we will keep some load off the D.

Not every team we play will be great at running.

That is my 'polite response' to you.

InVAbutHeartInTN writes:

Jarvol is the type I was referring to. A loser.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to jarvol:

Welcome the 2nd coming of 1988. UT won't be able to stop the run and will return home from Columbia at 2-6 with 30k empty seats in Neyland.

YAWN...................

gnm53108 writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Maybe this is just a matter of semantics. Of course, most Vol fans aren't going to be "satisfied" with "moral victories". The question is what form their "dissatisfaction" over a possible losing season takes. If fans give up on an over-matched team by booing them or not coming to the games, I don't see how that can be a positive for the future of the program. Of course, we will be disappointed with losses, but to ignore the reality of this team and disparage the efforts of the staff and team just because they may not live up to the highest hopes of our most rabid fans is really not much help to the program, IMHO. I'm not saying you are doing that, it just bothers me that a true fan would say that performing below the level of all our highest hopes is "unacceptable", especially if that leads to a withholding of attendance and support.

Fair point.

I just dont get how some prepare themselves by thinking that we're gonna stink just so they aren't disapointed.

If you cant handle the disapointments you shouldn't be able to handle the high times either.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to InVAbutHeartInTN:

I saw a disturbing quote from Simms on another article, and seeing all the negativity posted here, I thought it appropriate to replay it. He said (paraphrasing) 'we have high expectations here, although a lot of people don't.' He's most likely referring to you negative bloggers and media types. Sure, it may be a tough year, but these are 18-19-20 year old young men who are giving it their all, and it is a new coaching staff that was hired (then ridiculed) after a fiasco departure. The staff did great to salvage a good recruiting class (top 10) and they have to play the young men they have. There is no free agency in NCAA...you play whom you have.
Good Lord, give these kids and the coaches a break. They are representing UT the best they know how. Even in what may be a mediocre season, I'll bleed orange and keep rooting. You'll see no negativity here. These kids see the posts. Support them.

I think I will watch the Vols games with you..You are alright,sir or ma'am...I do believe these players realize what the naysayers are predicting and the best thing to do is to PROVE THEM WRONG.

GBO!!!

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to Plasticman:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I remember that game very well...I watched it several times and know the exact play you are referring to.

Volunatic writes:

in response to always_vol:

What I think is these athletic young guys will go out and play ball. What I also think is that many of them are decent ballplayers.

Yeah, we could bomb like you say. I'm thinking 'no', that we'll be around 6 or 7 wins with maybe an upset or someone. If our offensive line truly develops, and either Bray or Simms can at least manage the game, hit open receivers, and hand the ball off, we will keep some load off the D.

Not every team we play will be great at running.

That is my 'polite response' to you.

For an Untamed Vol, your restraint is admirable. Some of these posters' pessimism is senseless. (And some of them are just idiot trolls.)
There is no reason to think that the Vols can't be good this season.

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to Volunatic:

For an Untamed Vol, your restraint is admirable. Some of these posters' pessimism is senseless. (And some of them are just idiot trolls.)
There is no reason to think that the Vols can't be good this season.

trust me, I've had to re-register several times....most recently in basketball season.

I am trying to be less aggressive.

Crutch writes:

in response to FWBVol:

It seems as if CDD and the staff have done their best to find football players anywhere they can on campus.

Recruiting is a never ending process as they look for kids that can help the program.

He didn't have to look for this kid. He transfered a few years ago from TSU and was unhappy with the switch to the O-line last year by Kiffin so he joined the track team. Now he is moved back to D-line because of numbers. I like Dooley, but don't give hime that much credit!

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

I DO have a prediction:
at some point, CDD will stick his foot in his mouth.
You just might as well expect it. In essence he's a kid, and he's working for a man (Hamilton) who has gotten burned. I noted this before: Hamilton is treating CDD much more like an 'employee' than he did Kiffin or Fulmer. The real oddity?? CDD has more experience than Kiffin.

S'wanyway, there is a HELL of a lot of media pressure on Dooley. He's hot tempered (as am I), and it's shaping up to be a hot, humid late summer. All it's going to take is one bad day adn some dumb reporters snide question and BAM.

Be ready to give the guy a little slack.

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

BTW, I thought Layla was hot....
but CDD's wife is a beautiful woman.

Okay, that was way off-topic, but nice-looking women are never off my mind. Am I the last Neanderthal?? Heck yeah!!!

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to always_vol:

BTW, I thought Layla was hot....
but CDD's wife is a beautiful woman.

Okay, that was way off-topic, but nice-looking women are never off my mind. Am I the last Neanderthal?? Heck yeah!!!

Toughest thing: people think I'm big-foot. The b@st@rds keep trying to catch me on video, or even worse, shoot me!!

I smell like rotted garbage, so not like I can sneak around much. Being 7-foot tall doesn't help, either. Thank goodness I can sneak into public libraries, there I don't stand out much and I can use the internet.

I did have a little boy point and say "there's a wookie"!!

Volunatic writes:

in response to always_vol:

I DO have a prediction:
at some point, CDD will stick his foot in his mouth.
You just might as well expect it. In essence he's a kid, and he's working for a man (Hamilton) who has gotten burned. I noted this before: Hamilton is treating CDD much more like an 'employee' than he did Kiffin or Fulmer. The real oddity?? CDD has more experience than Kiffin.

S'wanyway, there is a HELL of a lot of media pressure on Dooley. He's hot tempered (as am I), and it's shaping up to be a hot, humid late summer. All it's going to take is one bad day adn some dumb reporters snide question and BAM.

Be ready to give the guy a little slack.

I'm sure Dave Hooker will be happy to be the dumb reporter supplying the snide question.

Volunatic writes:

in response to always_vol:

Toughest thing: people think I'm big-foot. The b@st@rds keep trying to catch me on video, or even worse, shoot me!!

I smell like rotted garbage, so not like I can sneak around much. Being 7-foot tall doesn't help, either. Thank goodness I can sneak into public libraries, there I don't stand out much and I can use the internet.

I did have a little boy point and say "there's a wookie"!!

I thought I saw a wookie at Bonnaroo a few years ago, but it turned out to just be another hippie.

oskie_score writes:

I like MB's attitude. Plus he's a big boy w/ collegiate football experience...certainly can't hurt.

Give CDD & Staff credit (exhausting ALL options) they're not taking this laying down.

oskie_score writes:

in response to volsfannsc:

First up- spell check is a wonderful thing.
While being realistic about this season, I foresee a very rough start with signs of life late in the schedule. I'm hoping and praying for six wins this year. Salvaging a lineman from the track team reminds me of the movie "Necessary Roughness". Kudos to CDD for continually looking for 'that' player who can help out. This also signifies how depleted our team has gotten over the past few years. Anyone who could not see this coming was either blind or pretentious. The silver lining comes as this will be a team the fans will become intimate with. They will be revered for their hard work and not their wins. This will in fact be the team that will start something special in Knoxville. Last year, moral victories were just an excuse. This year we will all come to know the real meaning of the word. I look forward to this year believe it or not. I feel our team will become solid and predictable in the near future- due to this year's tribulations. Predictability and stability is something that has been lacking since the turn of the century. With the coaching changes, I saw where recruiting was going to be tougher than ever. To get back to where UT was in past years, it's going to take wins, and lots of them. I wish this year's team all the best as they are the ones that start the journey. To the gung-ho fans, this team WILL be special providing you look with a knowledgeable eye.

Hear, hear!

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to Volunatic:

I thought I saw a wookie at Bonnaroo a few years ago, but it turned out to just be another hippie.

I miss the hippie era; women went bra-less.

oskie_score writes:

in response to Volunatic:

"Gloom and doom" has become the official religion of GVX.com.
Until we see this team actually play some games, I don't see any reason to think "worst season ever" or even "losing season" are foregone conclusions.
Right now, I expect a winning record with a couple of good solid wins, and I expect to see the Vols improve in most aspects of the game over the course of the season. I also think that a strong showing by Dooley and staff on NSD is highly likely.
I've said it before-- it's ridiculous to predict the whole season's outcome, and then base your assessment of the program/coaching staff on that prediction, especially several weeks before the opening kickoff. Let it play out-- this might be a good team.
I know I'll be there to cheer them on, no matter what happens.
GO VOLS!!!

A second "Hear, hear"!! Well said Volunatic.

oskie_score writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Maybe this is just a matter of semantics. Of course, most Vol fans aren't going to be "satisfied" with "moral victories". The question is what form their "dissatisfaction" over a possible losing season takes. If fans give up on an over-matched team by booing them or not coming to the games, I don't see how that can be a positive for the future of the program. Of course, we will be disappointed with losses, but to ignore the reality of this team and disparage the efforts of the staff and team just because they may not live up to the highest hopes of our most rabid fans is really not much help to the program, IMHO. I'm not saying you are doing that, it just bothers me that a true fan would say that performing below the level of all our highest hopes is "unacceptable", especially if that leads to a withholding of attendance and support.

Good post johnlg.

orangecountyvols writes:

Lots of assumptions these days aren't there? New coaching staff, new QB's, new offensive line,lots of new this and new that. What else is there to do now but assume?

One thing never changes and that's the negative outlook from a lot of fans. We pretty much agree things may very well be a real uphill struggle at times this year.

When looking down on the field and noticing guys giving their best shot with the talent they do have, well this will go far in the opinions of many fans.
We've had some guys, even some coaches........who just went through the motions and it hurt on the scoreboard.

There are going to be plays early on in my opinion that will get the crowd going and the team will feed off that. To them, hearing the noise from the crowd after a big stop on defense, a kickoff into the endzone, a pass over the middle....anything positive will be the little seeds for the future. Now, if Oregon had been the opener, and this young team came out blinded by the big time opponent, who knows what that reaction would be? Sort of like Western KY last year, the team needs to put one in the win column, regardless of the opponent. However........should it be a 7-6 game, there is concern. We should see everyone getting to play and then the game with the Quack Attack will be noisy.........and hopeful.

volfaninohio writes:

Why can't we give CDD credit for trying to build a team for this season. It's not CDD's fault we have depth issues, and I think he is doing a good job of preparing this team for this year. No one is expecting a miracle season. So lets support the team we have instead of complaining about the team we don't have. Let's give CDD a fair shake.

Go VOLS and CDD and let's play some football and represent UT with pride.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to gnm53108:

Fair point.

I just dont get how some prepare themselves by thinking that we're gonna stink just so they aren't disapointed.

If you cant handle the disapointments you shouldn't be able to handle the high times either.

As I said, semantics. Having been a Vol fan for most of my 64 years, I support them through thick and thin. I am happy when they win and sad when they lose. What I personally try to avoid is becoming arrogant in the former case or bitter and despondent in the latter. Odds are this year's team won't be one of the better ones we have fielded, but they wear the Orange and sweat and bleed for those of us who support the Orange. Very few of us on here or in the stands have made, or ever will make, a single block or tackle in a Vol uniform. All we can do is hope for the best and give them credit for trying their best as long as we can see that they are doing that.

harleyln1956#415938 writes:

I have only been a Vol fan for seven years. I am appalled at the a**holes on here that are fair weather fans. You either love and support your team or pack your phooey and cease to exist. This is a team that is steeped in tradition and has been a nationally recognized team in the nation. And where in hades is it written that no team is allowed rebuilding and restructering. After our so-called athletic director hires a spoiled brat and destroys years of tradition. Get off the teams back and get on his back. Hamilton is a joke to the sporting community. He put us here and now we have a coach who wants to return our dignity and tradition. But some of you are not that way. Picking apart our team and claim you are VOL fans. You people make me sick and wish you a hasty trip to the territory of another team. GBO and cudos to the guys still here after your callous remarks and derogatory remarks.

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