Energy high, but 'rah-rahing' a downer

Finding some fire isn't a problem.

Tennessee just might need to find a way to put it out after a play ends.

Derek Dooley has found the energy he wants from the Vols in his first spring with the program, and the new coach apparently hasn't had much trouble getting them to be physical. If anything Dooley is getting too much of each, which he seemed to be making quite clear on Saturday afternoon with perhaps his most animated exchange with the team since taking over two months ago.

"The intensity is great," Dooley said. "What I'm most concerned about is understanding what competitive spirit is. That's, No. 1, never getting affected. I think that we have a tendency to let our emotions get the best of us when it gets a little heated, and that's the worst thing that can happen.

"Having a lot of extracurricular talk and activity after the play is wasted energy. Kind of defining the culture of how we compete I guess is a little bit of a change."

How the Vols did it during plays provided Dooley with some positives after leading his fifth practice. He pointed to a successful day in the red zone for the offensive line, indicated that Matt Simms and Nick Stephens have created some separation at the top of the quarterback depth chart and also offered a bit of praise for his talented receiving corps.

But after the whistle the Vols might have done a little bit too much talking about their highlights, which spilled into some action that Stephens called chippy from the start.

"Sometimes you have days like that, and I don't know why," Stephens said. "It's a violent game and we've got a bunch of men out here fighting with full pads on and hitting each other. It's more than likely something like that is going to happen. It's been happening for four, five years that I've been here, and I think it's going to continue to happen years on down the road.

"Coaching staffs handle that differently. Dooley is different in the sense that he doesn't really want that as much. (Former coach Lane) Kiffin didn't want it, but if it happened, he thought - let those two people deal with it and we'll move on. It's a little bit different this year with how he wants to handle it, and he's our head coach so we're going to do what he wants."

That apparently is more discipline and less trash-talk, and Dooley made his feelings on the matter obvious during a spirited post-practice speech to the team.

But even though Dooley is trying to keep emotions in check, he's certainly not trying to eliminate them entirely.

Right now the Vols are just learning where the new regime draws the line.

"I wouldn't call it a problem," Dooley said. "It's more of a culture, a different way of approaching competition than what it's been. I've always felt that great competitors never get affected. It doesn't matter what happened on the last play, they never lose their focus for what they have to do on the next play - to compete well. I think a lot of that is going to be a work in progress.

"All that cheering and rah-rahing is good, and there's a place for it. But at the end of the day, the team that executes and is most physical, the most disciplined, and they're doing it between the whistles is the one that's going to win. Then you can do all the rah-rahing in the locker room after the game."

Until they get that chance, the same principle will apply to practice.

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Comments » 51

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

Yeah I am. And I don't care.

joshvols writes:

Expecting them to act like men shouldn't be a problem. Keeping a level head might keep us from making the mental errors that have cost us the past couple of years as well. I would like to hear something from D-Co Wilcox though.

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

I guess we won't find out what incidents led to his post practice speech but NS said it best. This is a violent game and they are YOUNG men with emotions. Glad DDooley seems to be all about discipline with less talking and showboating.

SEAL_9821 writes:

I do believe we got ourselves a good coach. Someone who truly knows the X'S and O'S of every aspect of the game. GO VOLS

TommyJack writes:

Sounds about right.

borovol1956 writes:

In other words, if they act like they've been there, they just might get there.

tnsportsman writes:

Great Coach Dooley Quote Below! Be smart, in control and act like you have been there before! ALL BUSINESS!

GO VOLS!

Dooley:
"All that cheering and rah-rahing is good, and there's a place for it. But at the end of the day, the team that executes and is most physical, the most disciplined, and they're doing it between the whistles is the one that's going to win. Then you can do all the rah-rahing in the locker room after the game."

elbtenn#502977 writes:

Sounds a bit lke L'il Nicky!

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

in response to SEAL_9821:

I do believe we got ourselves a good coach. Someone who truly knows the X'S and O'S of every aspect of the game. GO VOLS

I have to say, I am beginning to come around to that line of thinking. I was a little slower than most, but I am beginning to think this could have possibly been a good hire. Hope I feel it was definitely a good hire after the season is over.

VOLFORLIFE writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

I have to say, I am beginning to come around to that line of thinking. I was a little slower than most, but I am beginning to think this could have possibly been a good hire. Hope I feel it was definitely a good hire after the season is over.

Hope I feel that way BEFORE the season is over!

GO VOLS!!!
GO DOOLEY!!!
JUGHEAD

maciste54 writes:

I have long wondered why coaches let players act as if they had just scored the winning touchdown in the Superbowl after a 5 yard gain or catching an easy pass. Too much talk and swagger doesn't cut it when you're getting your tail beat off and you act like a superstar. Make the play and get your a@@ back to the huddle. Celebrate when the game is over and you have scored more than your opponent. Even then do it with class. Coach Dooley is going to be a real eye opener for some of these players and fans alike. I like what I see so far. Now just translate it to the field this fall.

volzcrushm writes:

I don't believe in starting the trash talking bit. I think a team should win or loose with dignity and class. BUT, there is a time, when the score says we are the winner of the game, when you can ask the trash talker to look at the score board. GBO

givehim6 writes:

One thing I give CDD is he is teaching UT how to play smart.

OrangePsyched writes:

WOW this is good stuff. Way too much me in all sports. Definitely not enough modesty. Team first and attention to detail rather than constant smack will be a breath of fresh air. A team should play with emotion with self control. I believe this team will be workman like in their approach and make us proud competing this fall. GBO!

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to marc_ash#231781:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

marc, didn't the way the refs called every little touch on Turner remind you of how they treated Conley Jr a couple of years ago??

Turner is a great player, but his body language was telling: basically a 'you are not worthy' statement.

He pretty much confirmed it with the 'played out of their minds' quote. Bull. We played okay at moments, but we also flubbed a few loose balls at critical times. And, on the last possession, did you see Goins shy away from diving for the loose ball?? Think he felt he'd foul, and they (OSU) would get the 3.

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

I have nerve, ever enjoyed the bull by a defender after making a hit. To, me, it's like this:
you only have so much energy to give, and it makes zero sense to piss it away jumping up and down like a clown.

Celebrating after you've won is fine, but until then, you are just "acting the fool" as my old ball-playing friends would say.

VolAlum2003 (Inactive) writes:

I have to admit that I like Dooley's attitude. He still hasn't shown he can win on the field, but in this single area...he is 100% right. Good job coach.

VolAlum2003 (Inactive) writes:

in response to joshvols:

Expecting them to act like men shouldn't be a problem. Keeping a level head might keep us from making the mental errors that have cost us the past couple of years as well. I would like to hear something from D-Co Wilcox though.

So would I, but with CEO Dooley running the show we probably won't.

VolAlum2003 (Inactive) writes:

in response to SEAL_9821:

I do believe we got ourselves a good coach. Someone who truly knows the X'S and O'S of every aspect of the game. GO VOLS

Hold on there...he's shown that he has common sense (which, if you compare him to the last coach isn't hard), but I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that he's a college football Guru yet. Still...this is a good sign.

VolAlum2003 (Inactive) writes:

in response to marc_ash#231781:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I Tivo'd that game and watched that BLOCK in HD at least four times (thank God for slow mo). It WAS all ball. It was clearly all ball.

This isn't a story. This is the truth. OSU decided that they had won that game on Thursday night after listening to every BBall analyst in America...too bad the game was on Friday. This is sour grapes and nothing more.

AppreciativeAlum writes:

The coach knows that, after each whistle, the team that gets their heart rate to 70 bpm the fastest wins the fourth quarter.

Slystone writes:

in response to VolAlum2003:

I Tivo'd that game and watched that BLOCK in HD at least four times (thank God for slow mo). It WAS all ball. It was clearly all ball.

This isn't a story. This is the truth. OSU decided that they had won that game on Thursday night after listening to every BBall analyst in America...too bad the game was on Friday. This is sour grapes and nothing more.

Agreed,even the CBS announcers in studio said it was a clean block shot. Prince played excellent D on Turner down the stretch. Enough of OSU, time for focus and discussion on Izzo's team.

DaddyVol writes:

No Mo Oakland Raida West Coast Lil Wayne cra#^*p.

Just play smash mouth football. Actions speak louder than words!!!!!!!!!!!!

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to marc_ash#231781:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

marc

basketball posts to the left

GoUTVols3 writes:

My friend was the kicker (from Oak Ridge) at La Tech under Dooley, and he says that Dooley is a great coach, that Tennessee fans will be very happy down the road. I played football with him and completely trust his view on the matter. That coupled with my own observations makes me believe that Dooley might be the best thing that happened to Tennessee in a very long time. Now if I could just figure out what it was that Dooley did to tick off the people on 990 AM, because everyone on there seems to be completely anti-DD. Was it because Dooley made Strange look foolish, admittedly for little reason, but he is the HEAD FOOTBALL COACH AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE, he is not running for public office and he doesn't have to kiss anyone's... He just needs to be what he feels is best for the football program at all times. I know next year will be a rough year, but underclassmen have a bigger role in college athletics every year it seems and we have had two fantastic recruiting classes in a row... Good head coach, good offensive coordinator, good defensive coordinator, good recruiters securing good recruits, good enough upper class... enough said. It will be a tough year next year because we will still be ironing out the kinks of three coaches in three years plus one of the toughest schedules in the country, but forget the doom and gloom, A BOWL GAME IS POSSIBLE AND IF I'M NOT MISTAKEN WE FINISHED 7-6 AND GOT BLOWN OUT IN OUR BOWL GAME LAST YEAR and most people locally think it was a good year

am I off base here, why the negativity? it must be a tennessee thing(ask seth davis) go vols WE ARE ELITE, we are making history, as it stands now we are one of six basketball programs left in the country that can still win the NATIONAL TITLE, this is so much better than the BCS
.

smokies_old_soul writes:

if this means less of acting like a prima donna thug on & off the field - then i am all for it.

the quote about kiffin kinda letting this sort of thing go doesn't surprise me - he probably liked it - it goes hand in hand with the rap music and the 'street cred' comment he made one time.

my biggest worry about dooley is recruiting. i'll give him time, but he sure doesn't seem to be attracting much interest from the top tier recruits who had mostly stopped considering tennessee at the end of coach fulmer's tenure and then somehow became very interested when kiffin was here. i know for a fact that we are better off with kiffin gone, but i also don't want to go back to competing with uab and marshall for our signing classes.

GoUTVols3 writes:

in response to smokies_old_soul:

if this means less of acting like a prima donna thug on & off the field - then i am all for it.

the quote about kiffin kinda letting this sort of thing go doesn't surprise me - he probably liked it - it goes hand in hand with the rap music and the 'street cred' comment he made one time.

my biggest worry about dooley is recruiting. i'll give him time, but he sure doesn't seem to be attracting much interest from the top tier recruits who had mostly stopped considering tennessee at the end of coach fulmer's tenure and then somehow became very interested when kiffin was here. i know for a fact that we are better off with kiffin gone, but i also don't want to go back to competing with uab and marshall for our signing classes.

We have recruited at a high level for a long time, at the end of the Fulmer era it was the player development that suffered. There were two bad recruiting classes the I remember distinctly, but Dooley not only salvaged what could have been a disaster but finished with a consensus top 15 class. I doubt Marshal or UAB will finish anywhere close to us next year in the recruiting rankings

KptDBVol writes:

Went to the scrimmage...had to pull my 10 yr old son and his friend out of the fight! It spilled over to the side lines. Took several to seperate the combatants...The intensity was not a problem! The scrimmage picked up after that. Dooley nor any staff yelled about the fight, on the next play, Stephens hit Teague on a lil swing pass and the CB got juked out of his drawers...Dooley lit into the CB with both feet!
Fun day, beautiful weather, gorgeous vol hostesses smiling at everybody, mamas and daddys proud and prancin around the complex...but most of all...the pads were poppin!

we're gonna be fine ya'll! This staff knows what they are doing and for the next couple of weeks...ITS FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE!!!!

GO VOLS!

SavTnVol writes:

I loved the trash talk when I played. Both giving and receiving. I do not like all the "look at me" stuff that is going on every since Billy "whiteshoes" Johnson started doing his celebration dance. It's just more and more stupid looking..I agree with what I heard Coach Lou say on National TV one day when he was announcing a game and someone started all that dancing stuff after scoring a TD. He said, "don't do that young man, act like you've just done what you expect yourself to do"

82cat writes:

Dooley = Saban
Certainly not the record But I think you will find like Saban, Dooley will not suffer fools behavior.

I attended the Alabama vs WKU game and what struck me was how Alabama even in warm ups looked focused and was all business, no dancing, no playing around and every player on that field had their helmet on ready to go-- and this was to warm up for WKU!

I also remember seeing Saban rip into Julio Jones last year on the sideline like he was a walk on back up special teams player.

I believe Dooley will be the same way.

VOLinAthensGA writes:

We forget these are kids. Some of that is to be expected with kids. I hope that they work extremely hard, and have extreme fun. They need to be able to look back in twenty years and say, "Those were the best football days of my life!" The wins will come. After all, they are Vols, and Vols win.

Now LET'S WATCH SOME BASKETBALL!!!!

VOLinAthensGA writes:

I wouldn't want my kid to play for Saban. He is about as fun as a root canal.

82cat writes:

in response to VOLinAthensGA:

I wouldn't want my kid to play for Saban. He is about as fun as a root canal.

Sure - all those Alabama players sure looked sad holding up that national championship trophy.

Saban is exactly the type coach I would want my son to play for and I hope Dooley learned a thing or 2 from him.

I hate Alabama but have to say Saban is the best in the business right now.

Just imagine if Tennesse was 26 and 2 over the past 2 years with a national championship I believe you may have a different view.

I believe Dooley will bring a lot more Saban to the table and that is a good thing

82cat writes:

in response to Biggunzz44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Sabans record speaks for itself

since 2003 - 3 sec championships and 2 national championships.

The loses you mentioned were more related to how far down bambi shula took the program similar to what fulmer did here his last few years.

to comapare fulmers record over the same time-------(crickets chirping)

sec titles- 0
national champs - 0

As for one good year - well that shows what an uninformed fool you are and your post always confirm your ignorance.

Even you as ignorant as you are should be able to count to 2 as in 2 national titles.

82cat writes:

Myer better???

myer
2 national champinship
2 sec titles
3 western div titles

saban
2 national titles
3 sec titles
5 sec western div titles

Plus last time they played Alabama one their way to an undefeated 14 and 0 national championship beat down urby pretty good causing him to have a headache (:

Psychovol writes:

Finally! I never liked the trash talk. Act like you've been there and expected to get there. Let your play do the talking.

rockytopatl writes:

in response to GoUTVols3:

My friend was the kicker (from Oak Ridge) at La Tech under Dooley, and he says that Dooley is a great coach, that Tennessee fans will be very happy down the road. I played football with him and completely trust his view on the matter. That coupled with my own observations makes me believe that Dooley might be the best thing that happened to Tennessee in a very long time. Now if I could just figure out what it was that Dooley did to tick off the people on 990 AM, because everyone on there seems to be completely anti-DD. Was it because Dooley made Strange look foolish, admittedly for little reason, but he is the HEAD FOOTBALL COACH AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE, he is not running for public office and he doesn't have to kiss anyone's... He just needs to be what he feels is best for the football program at all times. I know next year will be a rough year, but underclassmen have a bigger role in college athletics every year it seems and we have had two fantastic recruiting classes in a row... Good head coach, good offensive coordinator, good defensive coordinator, good recruiters securing good recruits, good enough upper class... enough said. It will be a tough year next year because we will still be ironing out the kinks of three coaches in three years plus one of the toughest schedules in the country, but forget the doom and gloom, A BOWL GAME IS POSSIBLE AND IF I'M NOT MISTAKEN WE FINISHED 7-6 AND GOT BLOWN OUT IN OUR BOWL GAME LAST YEAR and most people locally think it was a good year

am I off base here, why the negativity? it must be a tennessee thing(ask seth davis) go vols WE ARE ELITE, we are making history, as it stands now we are one of six basketball programs left in the country that can still win the NATIONAL TITLE, this is so much better than the BCS
.

The local media is not happy about the limited access to players, coaches and practices. The previous regime's attitude was all publicity is good publicity and reporters had unprecedented access.

Dooley has locked it down, and that particularly peeves sports talk radio because they have so much time to fill.

I'm liking what I'm seeing with Dooley so far, but I believe there's a need to promote and sell the program. Tennessee football isn't what it used to be and DD needs to find a way to get the word out that there's a tough new sheriff in town who intends to win the right way. And right now very few words are getting out. That leads to justified concern on these boards and elsewhere regarding recruiting.

I would say that winning will take care of it, but winning will be tough next year with what we have left. As has been said many times in the last two years, this rebuilding process will take time and will require patience on the part of the all-too-often impatient Tennessee fan base.

82cat writes:

in response to Biggunzz44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

you are correct meyer coaches in the east div

fist time for everything I guess.

I hate them both 2 but Saban is clearly the better coach and since we have a coach that worked under saban not meyer it makes it relevant

Lets see who has the best record over the next 5 years my bet is Saban, who knows meyer might get a headache and quit again.

No one knows how Dooley will do but you could do worse than being a saban associate

I was neutral on Kiffin last yr but with hindsight he didnt accomplish anything 20 other coaches couldn't have done with last years 7-6 record.

RollTideJoe writes:

in response to 82cat:

Sure - all those Alabama players sure looked sad holding up that national championship trophy.

Saban is exactly the type coach I would want my son to play for and I hope Dooley learned a thing or 2 from him.

I hate Alabama but have to say Saban is the best in the business right now.

Just imagine if Tennesse was 26 and 2 over the past 2 years with a national championship I believe you may have a different view.

I believe Dooley will bring a lot more Saban to the table and that is a good thing

Ask the Tide players and they'll tell you they love Coach Saban. The best players could go anywhere,but they want to play for a winner, get a chance at the pros, and they know Saban will help get them there. He expects discipline, hard work, attending classes, being a good citizen, and graduating if you don't go to the bigs. It's just those that can't beat him that don't like him. As a Tide fan, I wouldn't trade Nick Saban for anyone in college football. I am glad Tennessee is rid of Mr. Showboat Kiffin and has gotten a disciplined football coach. He should win plenty of games and improve the behavior of a lot of players that have been an embarrassment over recent years...or he will get rid of them.

JohnnyVol writes:

in response to VolAlum2003:

I have to admit that I like Dooley's attitude. He still hasn't shown he can win on the field, but in this single area...he is 100% right. Good job coach.

Actually...Dooley had wins at a place like La. Tech....with a winning season and bowl appearance. Now, as far as I am concerned, that shows he can win.

miatatom writes:

Thanks coach for getting on them about the extracurricular talking. They should learn that you don't get in a guys head by talking. You do it by knocking the s**t out of them on every play.

VolAlum2003 (Inactive) writes:

in response to JohnnyVol:

Actually...Dooley had wins at a place like La. Tech....with a winning season and bowl appearance. Now, as far as I am concerned, that shows he can win.

That winning season came in 2008. Do you actually know which teams they beat in 2008?

Here is the La Tech 2008 Schedule & Results

Mississippi State: WIN 22-14

@ Kansas: Loss 0-29

S. Eastern Louisiana: WIN 41-26

@ Boise State: Loss 3-38

@ Hawai'i: Loss 14-24

Idaho: WIN 46-14

@ Army: Loss 7-14

Fresno State: WIN 38-35

San Jose State: WIN 21-0

Utah State: WIN 45-38

@ New Mexico State: WIN 35-31

Nevada: Loss 31-35

(Indep. Bowl) Northern Illinois: WIN 17-10

I keep hearing the argument that La Tech shouldn't be winning because of all of the amazing programs that they play and maybe that's true for the 2007 and 2009 seasons...but it sure wasn't true for the one season where they went to a bowl game. Apart from Boise State, there is no other team on that list that possesses the type of talent, coaching, and desire to win that Bama or Florida possess.

I know all of the excuses: "It's La Tech and who the heLL can recruit for La Tech?" or "He had a lot of injuries in 2009" or "La Tech played an extremely difficult non-conference schedule." Again...these are excuses and that and a dollar will get you a cup of coffee.

If you are convinced that the above schedule of results indicates a culture of success on the field...good for you. You probably also believe that the economy just went through "a rough patch" last year as well.

Optimism is a great quality to have...when it's deserved, but optimism just for its own sake is also called being delusional.

Now, I'll give Dooley all the credit in the world that (I believe) his attitude towards controlling emotion after the play is 100% correct, but that is just ONE piece of the puzzle and assuming that Dooley has all the other pieces because he has ONE piece...that's also delusional.

secsecsec writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hi Rich, I'm not sure if this was what you were referencing or not, but Saban did win a National Championship at LSU before he went to the Dolphins. Then Les Miles won one at LSU- and of course- he does get all of the credit for that one. But the other poster was correct- Saban did win a NC at LSU.

secsecsec writes:

in response to Biggunzz44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I know my posting will be anathema here- but- I would and will support Tennessee with a losing record before I would support a team that is Thug U and winning. I am still ashamed for our fellow fans that supported Kiffin and his classless ways just because he was "ours". Look where that got you. (And I do mean, you, my fellow posters- because I went against the current telling you that he was bad for our program- before it was popular to hate on him.) UT should win with class, and we should lose with class. Anything else- cheating, thuggery, poor sportsmanship, lack of team, etc- has no place in Vol football. We must believe that right makes might. I appreciate the effort that Dooley is putting in to change the culture that he inherited. "Woofing" after a play is a waste of energy- and it is selfish- football is a team sport. Ask Saban's players what happens to them after they get caught getting an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for drawing attention to themselves. They ride the pine for quite awhile. The first question he had for Mark Ingram after Mark won the Heisman was- "Is this going to change you?" In other words- learn to stay humble and hungry. A team with those characteristics is the hardest team to beat. Notice that the 2 teams playing for the NC this year were 2 extremely disciplined programs with 2 old school coaches. Dooley is in that mold- and we should do fine.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

There are some really good posts on here and definitely a lot to think about..I am encouraged by the disciplined being restored into Tennessee football..That has been missing for quite sometime.

Count_Me_In writes:

I just ran through the comments and I didn't see anybody talking about the part in the article that mentioned Simms and Stephens "creating separation". Is that old news that I missed or just what everybody expected? I thought a tidbit like that on the QB situation would at least be worth a few comments.

VolAlum2003 (Inactive) writes:

in response to Count_Me_In:

I just ran through the comments and I didn't see anybody talking about the part in the article that mentioned Simms and Stephens "creating separation". Is that old news that I missed or just what everybody expected? I thought a tidbit like that on the QB situation would at least be worth a few comments.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Simms and Stephens are the two most experienced QBs on the team. I would expect them to create separation from the rest of the squad.

dvol writes:

in response to OrangePsyched:

WOW this is good stuff. Way too much me in all sports. Definitely not enough modesty. Team first and attention to detail rather than constant smack will be a breath of fresh air. A team should play with emotion with self control. I believe this team will be workman like in their approach and make us proud competing this fall. GBO!

If memory serves me right we were one of the least penalized teams in the SEC last year. So, this year I guess we'll be nicer to everyone. I don't think D.D. has a clue as to what it will take to win in the SEC.

rocky_topper writes:

YAWN! so, when is tip-off for the next basketball game this Fall?

Cldvols1 writes:

in response to rocky_topper:

YAWN! so, when is tip-off for the next basketball game this Fall?

Bball's over David, it's time to start lookin forward to some Football Time in Tennessee! GBO

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