Myles confident at safety

Sophomore says 'me and Janzen, that's a wrap'

Tennessee might not have another Eric Berry at safety.

It could have another Janzen Jackson though, which should be enough to make life without its superstar a little easier.

Darren Myles didn't get as many chances to shine as a freshman, didn't enter the spring as a lock to win a starting job and hasn't drawn comparisons to Berry the way Jackson did a year ago. But through five spring practices, finding any differences between the two on the field hasn't been easy - which is exactly how Myles wants it and might be the best way for the Vols to transition in the secondary.

"It's me and Janzen, that's a wrap," Myles said. "I mean, that's all I've got to say. We're both the same. That's my boy, we hang together all the time, so I mean, it's going to be better for us because we communicate all the time. We understand each other and what's going on back there.

"We alternate and we compete a lot. So if he gets a big hit, I'm looking for my big hit. If I get a big hit, he's looking for the big hit. If I get a pick, he's looking for the pick."

That competition was clearly one-sided a year ago with Jackson sliding into the starting lineup with Berry while Myles was trapped on the bench - and not exactly happy to be there.

The sophomore will openly admit disappointment in his role a year ago, when he appeared in just seven games and only made six tackles. Myles takes some of the blame for not earning more playing time himself, but the rest is largely directed at the old coaching staff, which if nothing else gave him a fresh start when it left.

"It's a relief," Myles said. "It's always a better start, that's how I see it. I've got a clean slate, coaches come in that don't me and that's how I look at it. It's like a new coach so it's a new chance to prove myself. I'm not trying to be put into a different category.

"I just kind of felt like I did get messed over a little bit. But I kind of felt like it was my part, too. I mean, last year is over with. It was different coaches, and I'm here now and it's a new me. You have to wait your time. I just kept working, and now it's my time."

He should get plenty of it under new defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox in schemes that rely on athletic defensive backs, which Jackson and Myles obviously are. In some form they are the favorites to start at safety, though which one goes where might not really be decided.

Myles hinted that the Vols are rotating the two at the free and strong spots in the secondary, another indication of the similarities between them. Wilcox will eventually need more than two guys like them since he's never been shy about playing five or six defensive backs at a time, but UT at least has a head start.

"They all have good physical skills, and Darren has got a lot of good twitch, he's active, he's physical," coach Derek Dooley said. "But Prentiss (Waggner) is an athletic guy, and both of them bring very different skill sets, so I think we'll play it out. The thing about defensive back is you play so much nickel and even dime that you need five or six really good players back there.

"You've got to have a lot of cover guys, and they've got to be able to tackle in space. Especially when you get down in the nickel position and dime position, there's plays when you're really a linebacker. So finding those body types that can do that, they're hard to find."

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Comments » 36

tlallman writes:

Basketball season is unfortunately over. I am ready for some football! I hope Jackson and Myles become All-Americans. Go Vols!

KJVol writes:

Looking forward to seeing what Dooley and Wilcox can do with a much better athlete than they've been used to coaching. I think a lot of folks may be surprised just how good our D can be.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

It will be a huge bonus if we don't have too much of a drop off in the secondary this year. I know there has to be some, but maybe not as much as first feared.

VolAlum2003 (Inactive) writes:

in response to alabubbabubba:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

They should. Saban's a fantastic judge of high school talent.

VOL03_NC writes:

Yeah, all football now...BB boys did good this year, wish they would have done better. Maybe the trend will continue to get better.

TitanandVolfan4life writes:

With CDD and our new D coordinator I think our D is going to stun some people with what they do.

With an entire new O line, New QB starting and knowing it takes longer for the O to really gel and find their best and most consistent ways of moving the ball and scoring it may take a few games to really get the O going like we want it to go.

I really believe that the key to success early in the season is how well our D can stop and frustrate the other teams and take the ball away to give our O more opportunities to keep working through our system of plays to find what's working well and put the ball in the checkerboards.

We have too much talent at the RB and WR and the TE positions for any team not to be worried about our O but the early part of the season will come down to how well our D can keep us in the games while our O gets their feet under them.

With the tough schedule we have this coming season if we win enough to make any Bowl game I'll be satisfied and confident that CDD was the right choice and that we're back on the right road upwards like we need to be.

CBP has done it for our mens basketVOLS and from all I've seen and read so far I'm believing that CDD will do the same for our football program too.

GO BIG ORANGE !!!

Cldvols1 writes:

Stoked about the upcoming football season for the Vols! I think they'll surprise some folks:) GBO

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to FARRAGUT0406:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

gatorstomper writes:

I think they can coach, im just worried about this season. I hope the O/W game makes me feel better. GBO!

bigorange61 writes:

A friendly piece of advice to Mr. Myles. Be humble and let your performance on the field do the talking.

rhmhrh writes:

What is twitch?

jobrando#216494 writes:

It's football time in Tennessee

bigorange61 writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Rich, what's your take on Wilks? He is moving to safety right?

hueypilot writes:

Very interested to see if Wilcox brand of D works in the SEC.
Boise was always good offensively, but I think they went 34-3 with Wilcox at DC last three years and held explosive teams like Oregon and Texas Tech to very low point totals. Clearly offensive innovations (think Meyer and Gus Malzahn) have created new challenges for defenses and it'll be interesting to see how Wilcox' schemes work with and against the future NFL atheletes in the SEC.

Gumby#1381110 writes:

Next stop football!

Volunatic writes:

in response to hueypilot:

Very interested to see if Wilcox brand of D works in the SEC.
Boise was always good offensively, but I think they went 34-3 with Wilcox at DC last three years and held explosive teams like Oregon and Texas Tech to very low point totals. Clearly offensive innovations (think Meyer and Gus Malzahn) have created new challenges for defenses and it'll be interesting to see how Wilcox' schemes work with and against the future NFL atheletes in the SEC.

Well said. I'm hoping to see some defensive innovations from Wilcox that might give us an edge in our conference.
GO VOLS!!!

Ayres_Hall writes:

twitch = fast twitch muscle which is explosive quickness.

Wilcox will be mixing it up and throwing out a lot of different looks on defense. Unlike the defenses under Chavis and Fulmer, predictable, he will be totally unpredictable in an attempt to confuse the offense and come at them from different angles. This will be necessary with our lack of depth, all over, and lack of size on the DL.

RammerJammer123 writes:

Tough offseason huh vol fans lol

volnbig11land writes:

in response to RammerJammer123:

Tough offseason huh vol fans lol

WOW, guess they got the internet in mullettville

law_vol writes:

Why does the article act like it is given that Janzen isn't in the same league as Berry, when IMO Janzen played as well or better last year than Berry did his Freshman season?

illinoisvolfan writes:

in response to hueypilot:

Very interested to see if Wilcox brand of D works in the SEC.
Boise was always good offensively, but I think they went 34-3 with Wilcox at DC last three years and held explosive teams like Oregon and Texas Tech to very low point totals. Clearly offensive innovations (think Meyer and Gus Malzahn) have created new challenges for defenses and it'll be interesting to see how Wilcox' schemes work with and against the future NFL atheletes in the SEC.

I think Coach Wilcox's D will be fine in the SEC. Oregon runs a faster version of the spread, especially from the QB position, and they got shut out last season. No school had a more feared passing attack than Tech did under Mike Leach, and the D did the job. Will it be a challenge for him to move up to the SEC? Sure it will, but it will also be a challenge for the SEC to try and solve his brand of defense. GBO!

givehim6 writes:

Do all you can for the Big Orange this season young man.

Pompey writes:

in response to illinoisvolfan:

I think Coach Wilcox's D will be fine in the SEC. Oregon runs a faster version of the spread, especially from the QB position, and they got shut out last season. No school had a more feared passing attack than Tech did under Mike Leach, and the D did the job. Will it be a challenge for him to move up to the SEC? Sure it will, but it will also be a challenge for the SEC to try and solve his brand of defense. GBO!

Don't forget what he did to TCU in the bowl game. A lot of disguises....they never quite knew what was coming.

OrangePsyched writes:

Waggner and Wilks will both get a lot of playing time with the nickel defense and dime defense we will be playing. I hope to see a lot of blitz packages this year as we will need some turnovers until our offense jells. First hit wrap the runner, please don't tackle the ball first. We miss a lot of tackles that way. GBO!

lakesidegator writes:

Brantley will scortch them for at least four TDs.

ArkyVol73 writes:

in response to lakesidegator:

Brantley will scortch them for at least four TDs.

You bumped your head! Tearbow couldn't even do that.

OrangePsyched writes:

Wilcox will have Brantley's head spinning. Urbie will be in Knoxville ER with hyperventilation and we will be singing Rocky Top all night. I'm not wishing bad health on anyone but Urbie's is self inflicted. Take a pill coach, even with No.1 recruiting class you won't be as good this year and we'll be better because of coaching. Vols will shock the world in this game and Neyland will be rocking. ROCKY TOP!

RammerJammer123 writes:

in response to OrangePsyched:

Wilcox will have Brantley's head spinning. Urbie will be in Knoxville ER with hyperventilation and we will be singing Rocky Top all night. I'm not wishing bad health on anyone but Urbie's is self inflicted. Take a pill coach, even with No.1 recruiting class you won't be as good this year and we'll be better because of coaching. Vols will shock the world in this game and Neyland will be rocking. ROCKY TOP!

Ive heard this before.....

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

in response to FARRAGUT0406:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

YES......because the lord of the underworld makes no mistakes and this player was the shiznit.

Whatever. If Satan didn't want him we would hear the same stuff we hear from the UF fans........we didn't want him anyway.

american_pitvol_terrier writes:

in response to RammerJammer123:

Tough offseason huh vol fans lol

Get Rammed and Jammed a lot, I bet huh?

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

Let's see what the intelligence breeds in the 2nd poorest state in the US......

"yellow hammer"......huh? Really?
"rammer jammer".... yeah, that makes sense.
"give 'em hell alabammer"....ok that makes sense but the OTHER lines? Are they the 'let's rhyme' it with whatever 'neck stuff?

VolAlum2003 (Inactive) writes:

in response to AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons:

Let's see what the intelligence breeds in the 2nd poorest state in the US......

"yellow hammer"......huh? Really?
"rammer jammer".... yeah, that makes sense.
"give 'em hell alabammer"....ok that makes sense but the OTHER lines? Are they the 'let's rhyme' it with whatever 'neck stuff?

I'm sure these guys are one bushy mustache away from a wah wah guitar, KY jelly, and cinematic infamy. "yellow hammer"...better take that one to the free clinic, he's gonna need some cream.

DarthWilson writes:

in response to lakesidegator:

Brantley will scortch them for at least four TDs.

Ha HA Ha HA HA HA.... ok sorry.... Ha HA HA Ha... what a bunch of jesters we have on here. Thanks, I needed a laugh.

DarthWilson writes:

in response to Biggunzz44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well Said (applause in background)

secsecsec writes:

in response to Biggunzz44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Saban who? Who cares if Saban won a NC at Bama? And LSU. The man can't coach worth a lick. He lost to Louisiana-Monroe. What a maroon! And speaking of maroons- he lost to Mississippi State once as well. He can't beat anyone! What? He beat Tennessee the same year that he lost to LA Monroe? So what!? That doesn't prove anything. The man can't coach. National Championships are a dime a dozen. Any moron can go 2 straight seasons without losing a regular season game- but it takes a real loser to lose to Utah. Utah!!! What's a UTE anyway? But, I digress, who cares if we beat him out for a recruit- he can't judge talent anyway. Just look at Jamarcus Russell- an NFL bust. Saban smaben. Who cares if Dooley coached under him and is a protege? Dooley will wipe the floor with Saban- Saban can't even beat LA Monroe. Or UAB.

Lizardgrad89 writes:

in response to OrangePsyched:

Wilcox will have Brantley's head spinning. Urbie will be in Knoxville ER with hyperventilation and we will be singing Rocky Top all night. I'm not wishing bad health on anyone but Urbie's is self inflicted. Take a pill coach, even with No.1 recruiting class you won't be as good this year and we'll be better because of coaching. Vols will shock the world in this game and Neyland will be rocking. ROCKY TOP!

I just don't see how anyone can expect UT will win this game; all new coaching staff means new playbook to learn by game 3, O-line & QB are both very inexperienced, Eric Berry is gone, etc.

I DO think UT pride will have the kids play their very best game, and keep it fairly close, but UT is far less talented than UF, far less experienced than UF, and will be playing with a skinny playbook to boot.

I simply can't come up with a reasonable scenario where UT wins this game.

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