Dooley does what it takes

Finds parts for thin roster where he can

Derek Dooley has proved he can get creative.

Ideally, the Tennessee coach just wouldn't have to show it so much in the summer.

As it is, with a roster that was already depleted and is still in flux because of last week's brawl at Bar Knoxville, the Vols have had to do some digging in unusual places to help fill out the depth chart. And with safety Darren Myles dismissed for his role and the status of already academically suspended defensive tackle Chase Nelson in question after he was identified as an instigator in a police report Tuesday, Dooley could be putting his late additions to the test right away.

"You have to really be proactively aggressive," Dooley said. "Nothing falls in your lap. You've got to seek it, and it takes a lot of work from a lot of coaches and a lot of phone calls. Word gets out that we have needs. You just dig and you find, and every now and then something pops up. But if you just sit back and hope one lands on you, that ain't happening.

"After spring I felt like I had a handle on what our issues were depth-wise, so we began when we went out in May not just searching for future recruiting, but scouring for anything that's out there that could help our roster this year. . . . Of course, at safety we brought a guy (Brent Brewer) in who had been playing baseball for who knows how long, but we had some concerns with depth at safety - and now even bigger concerns."

The active roster didn't really add any new issues Tuesday since Nelson has been academically suspended since the end of the spring semester, according to a high-ranking UT official. Even with the senior named in the latest report as the player initially starting the fight, there are people with ties to the program who still question whether Nelson was actually involved.

Either way, his suspension weakens the depth on the defensive line, which was looking stronger with the transfer of former Southern California end Malik Jackson - one of the handful of additions Dooley has made since National Signing Day.

UT was able to pry a junior-college center out a year early, landing Darin Gooch from Butte Community College in Oroville, Calif., after finding a snapper became a pressing need during spring practice.

It took advantage of an NCAA ruling against the Trojans to bring in Jackson, who was able to transfer without penalty as part of the sanctions against Southern California. The Vols also were able to find another punter in the summer, swooping in for Matt Darr after the top-rated player at the position was released from his Letter of Intent at Fresno State.

And perhaps most important for Dooley in the fallout of the fight, UT was able to offer a spot for Brewer to make his return to football after four years in the Milwaukee Brewers' farm system. With a projected starter in Myles off the team, Brewer has moved up the depth chart at safety without going through a practice.

"There were a considerable number of holes on our roster after spring practice," Dooley said. "I didn't have a good feel for our roster until I could go see and evaluate it myself. The experience at Louisiana Tech helped, because it was hard for us to sign an elite player so we were constantly ready in case somebody was available.

"A great example is Ahmad Paige and Lennon Creer (transferring from UT). We were very aggressive and proactive, and that was not easy. They don't just wake up and say, 'I want to go to Louisiana Tech.' I had to kind of learn that in May, that spring evaluation period, let's keep our eyes open because there are always people that fall out. You've got to be out there ready to catch them right when they're ready and vulnerable, you've got to be the first one saying you've got an answer for them. And this is my fourth year doing this - I didn't think I would have to do it at Tennessee, but we're going to have to for a couple years."

Eventually that should mean Dooley can save his creativity for the fall.

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Comments » 30

tn_rockytop writes:

i think Dooley will do it

orangecountyvols writes:

TN rocky top,

Agree with you. Given time, it'll happen.

CoverOrange writes:

Is that JC kid from Iowa still interested and available? Hendrickson, wasn't it? If he can't switch to defense maybe he would free someone else up to switch from the offense. We're staring at <70 players on scholarship this season.

DenverVol writes:

I like what he's doing to fill holes in the depth chart. Grabbin' a few more trench players off the USC roster would do wonders to ease the sting from this past Thursday/Friday.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to FirstAndGoal:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It will take that long, but by the 3rd year, fans expectations will be high, and should be. But Dooley has his work cut out for him. This incident keeps getting worse though, and I hope Dooley can bring UT back to glory, competing and winning Championships. I think its going to be a tough year though.

Wandering_Vol writes:

Get em Dooley. I'm excited to see what happens in the next few years and ready for the rebuilding. Go Vols!

flatrock writes:

Coach Dooley is a keeper!

bretonbound writes:

Amazes me how so many pave the streets in front of dooley with gold; after all, he did the same thing to LA Tech that Kiffin did to ut. And now he follows the footsteps of fulmer in disciplinary action. Kudos for dismissing myles?? BS..2 arrests in 3 months, even fulmer would have to cut him loose...a no brainer (common for vols)...the top recruit? same inaction as always..don't wanna lose rogers, we may sacrifice a few lessers, but we won't lose the top recruit even if he slid a knife tween the cops ribs...and that's probably coming soon with the continual thug recruitment...Hamilton proclaimed after the druggin' drinkin' armed basketbsllers were arrested in january there'd be 0 tolerance for arrested athletes...hasn't happened...he meant only 3rd stringers...after the release of today's news, seems 6 or 7 players should be dismissed--now--instead, there will probably be a few 1/2 or even 1 game suspensions(!)for a non-conference game! time for a real policy..stupid enough to get arrested? suspension till trial.. convicted-off the team...that's fair, eh?

Gustoly writes:

I am very pleased with the actions of Coach Dooley from day 1. He hasn't waited 2-3 weeks to act when problems arise. No doubt he is a very educated gentleman and I believe he is the right man to lead the Vols out of the doldrums back into importance in the SEC and NCAA. I am ready for pre-season practice to begin. GO VOLS !!!

Ayres_Hall writes:

bretonbound, it must be difficult crawling out of bed everyday. Is the sky always gray above your head? Instead of singing, do birds drop do on you?

AppreciativeAlum writes:

He has not done enough on the stomp down. The nickel and dime approach won't solve the systemic culture problem. It did not solve it for any of the previous coaches.

It is pretty obvious that Dooley has an opportunity to change the culture here, and he is not taking it.

AlpharettaVol writes:

We still need to know what will happen with Rogers. That will be the litmus test. This is the question that everyone who is looking at the program is waiting for. When will he make a statement about this? This is his opportunity to gain the respect of every Vol fan. I hope he doesn't blow it.

mtowntim writes:

Thanks Austin, good write up. I,m finished commenting on the other situation, to much B.S. to wade through. Just waiting on the final resolution, Dooley will handle it appropriatly.

10ACVolunteer writes:

The question everybody wants to know is what is he going to do about Da'Rick??????????????????

EverydayVol writes:

in response to FirstAndGoal:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The stadium should be packed no matter what... I mean if your a true fan then you should be there through thick and thin!!

mtowntim writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

One thing gives me hope is that natural selection will eventually catch up to a few of these trolls. Whether it is through lawn darts, crossing the street, horrible accident with a pet goat or just forgetting to breathe it will happen in time. I guess I can look over them until then. As always, GO VOLS!!!

orangeman1 writes:

in response to Gustoly:

I am very pleased with the actions of Coach Dooley from day 1. He hasn't waited 2-3 weeks to act when problems arise. No doubt he is a very educated gentleman and I believe he is the right man to lead the Vols out of the doldrums back into importance in the SEC and NCAA. I am ready for pre-season practice to begin. GO VOLS !!!

I've only got 2 problems since he's been here. the way he handled B Brown(not getting it resolved sooner and allowing him the opportunity to come back) and him not suspending Myles after the first resisting arrest incident( Dooley also stated that Myles had problems before that). He is a new coach at a big time program, so I hope he learns from his mistakes. If he wouldve suspended Myles this might not have happened.

Lostvolinhighweeds writes:

in response to bigorangekoolaid:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"they are all irrelevent in the world of collegiate athletics."
Apparently, "they" are not irrelevent to "you".

TommyJack writes:

in response to DoctorVol50:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Sorry, I don't get your post. What would you have CDD do? Tell everyone he expects to win 12 this year?
These are lean times for us. To over-sell at this point would be pointless. Give the guy are break. He inherited the majority of these goons.
Could you perhaps be a Fulmerite? Hmmmm?

orangeman1 writes:

in response to DoctorVol50:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yea, win 10 games and the SEC East and get fired less than a year later. The man that brought UT the only NT in the last 60 years and a proven winner and had proved he turn it back around before. All coaches should be held to the same standard as Fulmer when fans were calling for his head in 99 for only finishing top 10 and not winning the SEC. Dooley does have a grace period from my point of view in the win loss column, but he deserves the same criticism other coaches get when it comes to off the field issues and day to day operations and recruiting. By year 3 if he isnt winning SEC titles, surely the same fan base that called for Fulmer's head will be doing the same with Dooley because he wasnt even a UT alumn and doesnt have a NT to fall back on. Fulmer also had a 11-5 record vs Bama and a winning record vs Georgia and only lost to Vandy and KY combined once in 17 years. Dooley has some big shoes to fill and expectations wont be any lower than they were with Fulmer.

givehim6 writes:

in response to DenverVol:

I like what he's doing to fill holes in the depth chart. Grabbin' a few more trench players off the USC roster would do wonders to ease the sting from this past Thursday/Friday.

Question is does UT still look attractive to the USC kids. after this brawl thing? But then again USC just got slammed themselves, so this bar brawl my not look so bad.

gnm53108 writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Or they might try to pick a fight with a 300+ pound dt.

Hope they pick another town to do it in tho.

shopsports#273141 writes:

Where the HELL is Andre Lott, the character education guy????? That will definitely not be a 9 to 5 weekday job. Why is he not babysitting 24/7 if that is what it takes to start the program and make the point!!

dvsvol writes:

in response to bretonbound:

Amazes me how so many pave the streets in front of dooley with gold; after all, he did the same thing to LA Tech that Kiffin did to ut. And now he follows the footsteps of fulmer in disciplinary action. Kudos for dismissing myles?? BS..2 arrests in 3 months, even fulmer would have to cut him loose...a no brainer (common for vols)...the top recruit? same inaction as always..don't wanna lose rogers, we may sacrifice a few lessers, but we won't lose the top recruit even if he slid a knife tween the cops ribs...and that's probably coming soon with the continual thug recruitment...Hamilton proclaimed after the druggin' drinkin' armed basketbsllers were arrested in january there'd be 0 tolerance for arrested athletes...hasn't happened...he meant only 3rd stringers...after the release of today's news, seems 6 or 7 players should be dismissed--now--instead, there will probably be a few 1/2 or even 1 game suspensions(!)for a non-conference game! time for a real policy..stupid enough to get arrested? suspension till trial.. convicted-off the team...that's fair, eh?

So glad you've got all the answers. Even happier I don't have to see you when I go to work in the mornings - good lord, what a miserable attitude...

orangeman1 writes:

in response to naffy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Wait, before you said he should've minded his own business. So, now you are sticking with he was the instigator? I havent seen any reports that say he started anything. All reports have said either UT football players started it or Russell, the bar patron. Do you just like to make negative comments about cops or are you just ingnoring the reports.

TNVol72 writes:

Well guys, Fulmer didn't do it, "Lame" Kiffin didn't do it, let's hope Coach Dooley has the guts to do it! What I'm talking about is get rid of every swinging d--- who was involved in the brawl! I don't care if we win a game this year! If we don't have discipline, what have we got? If those morons don't have enough respect for the University of Tennessee, let alone themselves, for what has virtually been laid out on a silver platter for them, send 'em packing! We don't need that trash at the University of Tennessee, and this is the right time for Coach Dooley to make that statement!

volcrazy333 writes:

in response to orangeman1:

Yea, win 10 games and the SEC East and get fired less than a year later. The man that brought UT the only NT in the last 60 years and a proven winner and had proved he turn it back around before. All coaches should be held to the same standard as Fulmer when fans were calling for his head in 99 for only finishing top 10 and not winning the SEC. Dooley does have a grace period from my point of view in the win loss column, but he deserves the same criticism other coaches get when it comes to off the field issues and day to day operations and recruiting. By year 3 if he isnt winning SEC titles, surely the same fan base that called for Fulmer's head will be doing the same with Dooley because he wasnt even a UT alumn and doesnt have a NT to fall back on. Fulmer also had a 11-5 record vs Bama and a winning record vs Georgia and only lost to Vandy and KY combined once in 17 years. Dooley has some big shoes to fill and expectations wont be any lower than they were with Fulmer.

also the same coach to coach us to our 2nd and 3rd losing seasons in school history.... so the mighty fall hard i guess. i was ready for a change. but i still havent decided how i feel about dooley. well see in the next couple of years

orangeman1 writes:

in response to volcrazy333:

also the same coach to coach us to our 2nd and 3rd losing seasons in school history.... so the mighty fall hard i guess. i was ready for a change. but i still havent decided how i feel about dooley. well see in the next couple of years

What are you talking about?Ut's had 20 losing seasons in school history. Not to mention the many .500 seasons. Fulmer won alot of games and even when he didnt win the SEC, he still had alot of SEC wins. Either way, I dont see how anyone can think the program is better off now then it was under Fulmer.

Jason55 writes:

Dooley is the MAN for the job.....

gatorhator4eva writes:

all these non-believers, i wouldn't count us out just yet against florida. i was at the game last year and it got silent a couple of times at the swamp. look at kiffin, he is an as#hole and almost beat florida and alabama. i say if Dooley can build these kids up, we may actually get within a couple of touchdowns. its all about who wants it more and can play at the top of there game. we'll have to see how the first two games go. i have no doubt in my mind Dooley is a good coach. the question is can the kids step up. remember florida only leads the series by one win and in the early days tennessee dominated the series. looking forward to it.

VOL4LIFE unlike all these doubters

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