Stocker fits Dooley's mold for tight end

There are a couple of reasons new Tennessee coach Derek Dooley wants to clone Luke Stocker.

First, the senior tight end is one of the few proven players on the football team.

Second, he plays an integral position for the 2010 edition of the Vols.

"I think there's no question, Luke has a lot of ability," Dooley said Saturday. "He's got good size. He's got the right competitive character. And he's produced. He's one of those few guys that have shown good production. So I think he's going to play an important role in our offense."

Stocker is ready. After catching 29 passes for 389 yards and five touchdowns last season, the senior is riding a wave of positive energy.

"I have a lot of confidence right now," Stocker said after Saturday's practice. "That's a good feeling."

After Stocker, it gets a little more complicated, especially for a coach like Dooley that would like to play two or three tight ends on most every play.

"The key is going to be who behind Luke is going to be effective and productive," Dooley said. "I'd like to have two, three, four guys who can do what Luke does."

Stocker is the only Tennessee tight end to catch a pass last season. For depth (and likely a lot of blocking), the Vols can turn to junior Ben Bartholomew. Junior Daniel Adderley could bring some athleticism to the position after transferring from Miami last year.

"I think Daniel's a good athlete," Stocker said. "I don't think he's played tight end before so he's got some work in front of him but he's got a lot of potential."

Adderley needs to return to practice to impress his coaches. He missed Saturday's practice because of a thumb injury he suffered Thursday.

It's no surprise which UT tight end caught more passes in Adderley's absence?

"Right now Luke is what we've got," Dooley said. "He's good and we're going to use him."

Much Different: UT's once vaunted secondary isn't what it used to be a year ago. Then, it was a team strength.

Now, safety Eric Berry and cornerback Dennis Rogan are off to the NFL, so it's yet another rebuilding project for the Vols.

"You've got to learn more of the defense because Eric knew the whole defense by the time the coaches were here," junior Anthony Anderson said. "Now we all have to learn the defense so we'll all be on the same page."

Another coaching change means another opportunity for Anderson. The former Austin-East High School star was practicing with the first-team late into preseason camp last year but saw his playing time vanish when other cornerbacks got healthy.

"Just knowing I have a chance to start a whole year, I'll be ready," Anderson said.

Anderson is recovering from hernia surgery he underwent in mid-January. There is still soreness, but nothing that is limiting him during spring camp.

Learning a new defense hasn't limited Anderson either.

"It's actually easier than (former UT) coach (Monte) Kiffin's defense. He makes it more simple," Anderson said, referring to defensive backs coach Terry Joseph.

Simple often means more man coverage, which has proven to be the case with Joseph.

"Almost every time I'm playing man it seems like," Anderson said.

Just Go: UT offensive line coach Harry Hiestand wants anything but tentative.

"Coach is telling us if you go out there and go 100 percent and make the wrong block, it's going to be on him if we don't do the right thing," junior offensive lineman Cody Pope said. "He said he'll raise his hand and say 'That was my bad.' He said he'll stick up for us 100 percent. It's really cool to have a coach that comes and tells you that immediately."

Pope should have an advantage as he vies for a starting role. He's practiced every offensive line position during his tenure at UT. Still that experience only goes so far.

"This is my third head coach. It's like every year we have a new playbook," Pope joked. "I'm almost expecting next year for them to give us another playbook."

UT's offensive line continues to be a work in progress this spring as the Vols try to replace their starting five so long as sophomore tackle Aaron Douglas deals with personal issues.

"I think there's an open spot right now for anybody," Pope said. "We don't have a starting offensive line. As of right now, there are four or five spots wide open."

Pope has been close to seeing significant playing time before. He got first-team practice snaps last August before being relegated to a backup.

"I'm a junior so it's kind of a now or never kind of thing," he said. "For me, I'm going into spring just knowing that I have to do the best I can do, not only for me but for Tennessee. They're depending on me.

"We've got to get better. We can't get any worse."

Practice Report: Stocker said UT's new offense has many of the same concepts, but far different terminology. That won't hold offensive coordinator Jim Chaney back this spring.

"Knowing coach Chaney, he's going to fit in as much as he can," Stocker said with a smile.

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Comments » 32

volsn3 writes:

TIGHT ENDS MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE WHEN THROWN TO COMING OFF BLOCKS...I SURE HOPE LUKE HAS A GREAT SENIOR SEASON AND MAKES IT TO THE PROS.

vol_in_bigten_land writes:

I don't know much about DD but Coach Chaney is the real deal and he will do great.

orangeismydream writes:

sounds like its going good.i cant wait for the season to start even though its still a long ways a way

largeandincharge writes:

I just caught this with Douglas. What is going on there, is he not going to play?

lbrjohn3 writes:

One of the few good articles about the football team next year. But stocker definitely wasn't the only te to catch a pass last year. What about Jeff cottam? I think he caught a td actually.

OrangeVeins writes:

Yes Jeff did, but I think Aaron will be back, the Animal said he had said he would? Who knows, but I think he will be here come fall!

FWBVol writes:

in response to lbrjohn3:

One of the few good articles about the football team next year. But stocker definitely wasn't the only te to catch a pass last year. What about Jeff cottam? I think he caught a td actually.

The media guide had Cottam listed as a senior last year. And the UT Sports Website doesn't have him listed on the spring roster.

rockytopatl writes:

Tony Barnhart is back and has a lot of UT material in this blog -- he's been to Knoxville. He's also reigniting the Bryce Brown rumors:

http://blogs.ajc.com/barnhart-college...

layoffthevolteam writes:

Men,
Without having to pay...
Wht doen't this site give a report on
QB's how they are doing
The RB's and THe former #1 pick Mr. Brown??
Then the LB's who's looking good , etc..
I like the information but... it seems to me the
writers are on sping break and one more lets leave CPF out of his great recruits. call it like it is Kiffin can recruit ,look@ USC.
A dailt breakout would be special or at least
twitter>
in fla waiting to see UM figure out how many years it will take him to beat Saban(it ain't gonna happen).............

NeylandWest writes:

Whenever I hear 3 and 4 TE sets, I can't help but think of the veer, wing and other run-heavy misdirection offenses. Maybe I'm alone on those thoughts, but I had to google and I was educated.

Here's an interesting link on 3 TE formations.

http://www.michaellivingston.com/3-te...

NeylandWest writes:

in response to NeylandWest:

Whenever I hear 3 and 4 TE sets, I can't help but think of the veer, wing and other run-heavy misdirection offenses. Maybe I'm alone on those thoughts, but I had to google and I was educated.

Here's an interesting link on 3 TE formations.

http://www.michaellivingston.com/3-te...

Here's one more link with really good info, frame by frame on how the 3 TE set is employed by the Steelers...not bad:

http://www.postgameheroes.com/?p=764

bridges#268950 writes:

in response to NeylandWest:

Here's one more link with really good info, frame by frame on how the 3 TE set is employed by the Steelers...not bad:

http://www.postgameheroes.com/?p=764

Great stuff! like the information, now all we need is 3 tight ends. Maybe we can clone Luke Stocker.

NeylandWest writes:

in response to bridges#268950:

Great stuff! like the information, now all we need is 3 tight ends. Maybe we can clone Luke Stocker.

I hear ya. Imagine a system with guys like Witten, Stocker, etc anchoring the line for play action schemes! While also having a couple deep ball threats that can bust man/man or a cheating safety...and then throw in a couple gashing RB's that can rotate and stay fresh...it'll be off the chain!

Now, if we can just find the right pieces to fit the new puzzle while trying not to get absorbed in how many stars someone has lol

Gumby#1381110 writes:

What happened with Bryce Brown? Man thats a huge loss for us!

Gumby#1381110 writes:

Now that Bryce Brown is leaving UT, does Kiffin still think he left our program better off than he found it?

NeylandWest writes:

in response to BolivarBob:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That's been reported here (and on other sites) since last week.

Gumby#1381110 writes:

A 3 tight end offense sounds pretty stupid. How could that possibly be successful?

CroKev writes:

"...the senior is riding a wave of positive energy" - I didn't know Hooker was a Church of Scientologist...

NeylandWest writes:

in response to Gumby#1381110:

A 3 tight end offense sounds pretty stupid. How could that possibly be successful?

I thought and felt the same as you so I've been looking into it a little. Check the links above and recall recent history with the Pittsburgh Steelers and how Josh McDaniels (at Denver) employ their schemes.

AFC defenses pose speed and brute force as their major tendencies, so it seems fairly balanced as a good point of attack for a base offense against 4-3's and 3-4's, alike.

Bama runs a heavy 3-4, GA and Florida run their own version of the 4-3 with various nickel packages mixed in there. That's where the 3rd TE comes into play.

A strong 6'7 kid with decent speed and great hands will gash safeties, corners and most linebackers.

Just ask anyone who has defended Witten lately what it's like to go against him, then imagine defending 1 or 2 more of him plus a speedster at WR and a RB with good hands. Talk about extending a defense. Let's watch Florida and Bama try to stack 8 in the box against that ;)

Obviously, we've not seen it at Rocky Top yet, so I can't say for certain how I feel, but the initial information is looking good so far...

NeylandWest writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thanks - it'll be interesting to see what happens in the next couple of recruiting seasons to see what his offense can do. Either way, the schemes look like they're focused on high percentage plays and maximum utilization of time.

And that's just what we need right now when we're as depleted as we are in the secondary and as unproven as we are at WR.

Gumby#1381110 writes:

in response to NeylandWest:

I thought and felt the same as you so I've been looking into it a little. Check the links above and recall recent history with the Pittsburgh Steelers and how Josh McDaniels (at Denver) employ their schemes.

AFC defenses pose speed and brute force as their major tendencies, so it seems fairly balanced as a good point of attack for a base offense against 4-3's and 3-4's, alike.

Bama runs a heavy 3-4, GA and Florida run their own version of the 4-3 with various nickel packages mixed in there. That's where the 3rd TE comes into play.

A strong 6'7 kid with decent speed and great hands will gash safeties, corners and most linebackers.

Just ask anyone who has defended Witten lately what it's like to go against him, then imagine defending 1 or 2 more of him plus a speedster at WR and a RB with good hands. Talk about extending a defense. Let's watch Florida and Bama try to stack 8 in the box against that ;)

Obviously, we've not seen it at Rocky Top yet, so I can't say for certain how I feel, but the initial information is looking good so far...

Cool, thanks! It could be one of those formations that will work against some D's but others not so much. Interesting stuff though!

budd#207344 writes:

in response to DC_10point0:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What stacked team was that. The one fulmer went 5-7 with? The one that included walk on linemen that had to step up to almost beat fla and lose by a lame fieldgoal kicker to the eventual NC. fulmer left the cupboard bare especially at OL. At least we got some recruits there now. You can hate on kiffin all you like but the record doesn't support it. even if b brown leaves we still have better players than fulmer provided lately. cdd can't use a bare cupboard as an excuse.

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

in response to BolivarBob:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

DANG! And I spent $30 on a BB autographed jersey-card from All-American game!

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

I sure am glad Stocker came back, even though he was probably more pro-ready than Dennis Rogan.

easleychuck writes:

And just think good ole Luke was only a lowly 3 star recruit with only 2 SEC offers (UT,UK), along with some ACC offers.
So much for the recruiting complaints.....it won't stop them but it does show how baseless they are.

easleychuck writes:

in response to budd#207344:

What stacked team was that. The one fulmer went 5-7 with? The one that included walk on linemen that had to step up to almost beat fla and lose by a lame fieldgoal kicker to the eventual NC. fulmer left the cupboard bare especially at OL. At least we got some recruits there now. You can hate on kiffin all you like but the record doesn't support it. even if b brown leaves we still have better players than fulmer provided lately. cdd can't use a bare cupboard as an excuse.

Your post is not supported by facts. Please provide some.....it will be a long wait. Fulmer left 2 first round picks for Monte's defense. Fulmer left an all-SEC caliber running back. What players similar to these did boy wonder leave Dooley? (Stocker doesn't count, he was Fulmer's and before you say Jackson, let's see if he makes it through the summer). The best you can offer is probably Oku. Again, just waiting on some facts???
My opinion is that neither Fulmer or wonder boy left Coach Dooley very much in the way of players available to play next season.

volsoutwest writes:

in response to easleychuck:

Your post is not supported by facts. Please provide some.....it will be a long wait. Fulmer left 2 first round picks for Monte's defense. Fulmer left an all-SEC caliber running back. What players similar to these did boy wonder leave Dooley? (Stocker doesn't count, he was Fulmer's and before you say Jackson, let's see if he makes it through the summer). The best you can offer is probably Oku. Again, just waiting on some facts???
My opinion is that neither Fulmer or wonder boy left Coach Dooley very much in the way of players available to play next season.

Gotta side with you on this one Chuck, I think the cupboard is pretty bare, especially with the departure of Berry, Rogan, Brown, Richardson and even Warren. It will take one heck of a coaching job to finish above 500 in 2010, in my unprofessional opinion. We need at least 2 more excellent recruiting years to get to where we want to be, but at least we can hope. Still looking forward to see what Dooley can do and to what kind of team he puts on the field.

gonzo writes:

if used in the right way stocker could be killer,the young man has great talent.hope we have someone that can get it to him.

OrangePride writes:

We have soooooooo many holes, question marks, and new schemes.........it is going to be a very bumpy road getting this team ready for Oregon right out of the gate. And I'm not sure exactly what to take away from a comment, ".......we can't get any worse." Any word on what Brown ultimately decided to do? His plans obviously don't include Tennessee.

budd#207344 writes:

in response to volsoutwest:

Gotta side with you on this one Chuck, I think the cupboard is pretty bare, especially with the departure of Berry, Rogan, Brown, Richardson and even Warren. It will take one heck of a coaching job to finish above 500 in 2010, in my unprofessional opinion. We need at least 2 more excellent recruiting years to get to where we want to be, but at least we can hope. Still looking forward to see what Dooley can do and to what kind of team he puts on the field.

By first round pick I assume you talk about Dan Williams who was out of shape and a scrub under fulmer. And an SEC caliber back (M. Hardesty) that played behind foster the fumbler under fulmer. Again you forget to mention the OL that kiffin inherited from a former offensive lineman or I should say a lack of one. The coaches made Williams better and they gave Hardesty a chance which the fulmer crew did not in either case. There are players on this team. If they are coached up they will do ok. It is no better or worse than what was left by fulmer. The coaching will make the difference

easleychuck writes:

in response to budd#207344:

By first round pick I assume you talk about Dan Williams who was out of shape and a scrub under fulmer. And an SEC caliber back (M. Hardesty) that played behind foster the fumbler under fulmer. Again you forget to mention the OL that kiffin inherited from a former offensive lineman or I should say a lack of one. The coaches made Williams better and they gave Hardesty a chance which the fulmer crew did not in either case. There are players on this team. If they are coached up they will do ok. It is no better or worse than what was left by fulmer. The coaching will make the difference

Again waiting on facts about all they great players that boy wonder (your man crush is sad) left to mold a team with??? Key word is facts.

budd#207344 writes:

in response to easleychuck:

Again waiting on facts about all they great players that boy wonder (your man crush is sad) left to mold a team with??? Key word is facts.

not a mancrush just honesty. Most people on this board acted like they had been dumped by a prom queen. My point is that fulmer did not leave as much as everyone talks about and the kiffin staff coached them up. You now have depth at LB King and Faud's kid (another fulmer miss)(if return from injury) depth at cb & saftey,Jackson
high quality WR and running backs with or without Brown. OL is suspect but there are numbers and some with experience. Good coaching will win with this group. The jury is out on that and only time will tell.

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