Poole 'trying to do way too much'

Hitch motion drew Allison Dooley's eye

Tennessee  running back Tauren Poole (28) escapes South Carolina's Ladi Ajiboye (91) during the second half Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010 in Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C.

Photo by Michael Patrick

Tennessee running back Tauren Poole (28) escapes South Carolina's Ladi Ajiboye (91) during the second half Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010 in Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C.

Is Tauren Poole trying too hard?

Tauren Poole didn't need to watch the film. Allison Dooley had done it for him.

After one of the Tennessee junior running back's worst efforts of the season, a 16-carry, 33-yard game against South Carolina that featured more stutter steps than actual steps, coach Derek Dooley's wife had a pointed question for Poole.

" 'Why does Tauren get the ball and stop?' " the coach recalled his wife asking after the 38-24 loss to the Gamecocks. "I told Tauren 'I saw you outrun the entire Alabama secondary but then you get the ball on the outside zone, you got green grass and you stop and you don't trust your speed.'

"I think that's what it is."

Sure, South Carolina has one of the best defensive lines in the country and touts the top rushing defense in the SEC. But Poole, who has 100-yard games against nationally ranked foes Alabama, LSU and Oregon on his resume this season, wasn't ready to give too much credit to the Gamecocks. He didn't throw the new fullback that blocked in front of him, freshman Channing Fugate, under the bus, either.

It was all Poole, he said.

"I was trying to do way too much," he said. "I wasn't trusting it and you could see it throughout the whole entire game. Stopping my feet, just trying to do way too much."

Dooley described Poole's style Saturday as "a little jumpy," but "sometimes when you play a real good defensive line, they can make you a little jumpy."

Poole, who is fifth in the SEC with 628 rushing yards, may be one of UT's few veterans on offense, but he didn't begin to see regular carries until the 2010 season.

"That had to contribute to it," Dooley said. "Those guys are quick, they're slanting, they're moving, they're on edge, so you didn't have clean reads all the time and then you lose your trust a little bit. That's an experience issue."

Bray Watch: Dooley said he's noticed nothing different in the attitude or performance of quarterback Tyler Bray since he named the freshman his starter for Saturday's game against Memphis (TV: CBS College Sports, 8 p.m.).

"He's been the same," Dooley said. "Both of them (Bray and Matt Simms) have and that's good. Business as usual. Don't notice anything better or worse. The same ol' methodical approach."

Injury Roundup: Cornerback Eric Gordon (concussion) and linebacker Herman Lathers (back spasms) wore red, non-contact jerseys at Tuesday's practice.

Kicker Daniel Lincoln (quadriceps), who has not played since September, dressed out in pads but did not kick.

Hot Start: While his team went through early-practice stretching Tuesday, Dooley was unusually animated, getting in the face of a number of players in hopes of shooing away the "Tuesday mully-grubs."

"It's the standard Tuesday 'feel sorry for me late in the season,' " Dooley said. "I wanted to go ahead and put an end to it in the beginning instead of waiting to start screaming during practice. And it was good. It picked it up."

Bobby's World: Bobby Bowden, the legendary former Florida State coach, talked to the Vols before Monday's practice. Bowden was in Knoxville for a speaking engagement with the Knoxville Quarterback Club and was able to make the rounds before getting out of town.

Before he arrived, Dooley said he had to educate some of his younger players about the 44-year coaching veteran.

"It's amazing what some of these guys don't know," Dooley said. "So I had to give them a little bio."

Dooley said Bowden left the room on quite the high note.

"He ended it by saying 'Darrell, keep up the good work you're doing,' " Dooley said. "That was a nice touch."

Poole Party: Poole has four games to compile 372 yards and reach the elusive total of 1,000 - a benchmark most tailbacks consider paramount.

He's taking the pursuit seriously.

"It would mean a lot," he said. "I've worked toward getting 1,000 yards and I'm going to continue to work toward that. I know the guys up front are going to work with me to do the same thing."

Poole said he would take the offensive line out to dinner if he reached 1,000. That was news to left tackle Dallas Thomas.

"Thank y'all for telling me," Thomas said with a smile. "Now that I know that he said that, we're going to the meeting room, we're going to look at all the film, look at all their defenses and go over everything."

Andrew Gribble covers Tennessee football and recruiting. He may be reached at 865-342-6327. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Andrew_Gribble and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/gribble/

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Comments » 38

dvols writes:

wish he could of run behind some of the offensive lines of old....no offense to the current...

98memories writes:

Coach 'em up Darrell! Lol!

mercyseat writes:

I for one am glad Bray is starting. I think he'll open up our running game,and would'nt be surprised if poole's and neal's numbers increased dramatically. He gets the ball out so much more quicker than simms. Now if our coaches are not going to work on our sorry azz tackling, maybe than can work on Bray's interception percentage. Gosh I hope he's not another Ainge or Crompton. It seems like it's been years and years and years since we've had a good quarterback. Oh wait... it has! Anyway, tear em up Bray... cause you da man,and show off your young guns. We are all proud of you!

VolinCalif writes:

Bray will look very good this Sat. But I think that Matt will play the second half and look better. This isn't a team that should give UT any trouble, if it does.... Well Poo. The problem is will it really be a confidence booster? WE need to be high for the month of Nov.

VOL03_NC writes:

I am not sure why one meal would change the attitudes. Have you seen the athleatic departments cafeteria? These guys get good!

nocleats writes:

Would love to let Coach Majors work with the running backs.. The man could develop running backs better than almost anyone.. It took time but once he taught them to run low, with their heads UP, and to pick up their feet when they met contact, he turned good runners into great ones

nocleats writes:

in response to nocleats:

Would love to let Coach Majors work with the running backs.. The man could develop running backs better than almost anyone.. It took time but once he taught them to run low, with their heads UP, and to pick up their feet when they met contact, he turned good runners into great ones

And what kind of double secret probation is Oku on?

FWBVol writes:

Allison Dooley doesn't have to stay at a Holiday Inn Express, she really is a doctor. And it seems she has a pretty good football mind too.

Overseas_VolFan writes:

in response to KingFulmer:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Nice one... I agree

PUL4VOLS writes:

Go get a thousand Poole man. We will need your running in the next four games. I would love to see you get a bunch of the needed 372 on Sat. One thing is for sure. It will not happen without the support of the O-line. I hope they come through, Bray comes through and we have a big win even if it is against a lesser opponent.

volsfannsc writes:

If all it takes for the offensive line to get motivated is a meal, I'll buy from here on out. Who knew?

Bearwuzacheater writes:

in response to nocleats:

Would love to let Coach Majors work with the running backs.. The man could develop running backs better than almost anyone.. It took time but once he taught them to run low, with their heads UP, and to pick up their feet when they met contact, he turned good runners into great ones

as long as he was just the running backs coach that would be ok, because during his time as UT head coach, majors was better at running off super quality assistant coaches than he was at coaching players!

RockyToptoNeyland writes:

"Thank y'all for telling me," Thomas said with a smile. "Now that I know that he said that, we're going to the meeting room, we're going to look at all the film, look at all their defenses and go over everything."

They could have picked any week to do that and they chose the memphis week? They should be doing this every week.

TennVol01 writes:

Men and women basketball starts this week. Should take a lot of the news and cameras off this young football team. All of us Monday morning quarterbacks can back off and let this team get more experience. Go Vols.

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to TennVol01:

Men and women basketball starts this week. Should take a lot of the news and cameras off this young football team. All of us Monday morning quarterbacks can back off and let this team get more experience. Go Vols.

If freshman aren't starting want be much to talk about. Negativity

allvols4life writes:

in response to MerlOT_GoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And I assume you have all the answers to make this team a Championship contender? If you have not noticed, we are just not very good this year. Some coaching mistakes, but a lot of it is simply lack of talent and youth. We will be better in the coming years. Go away with your negativity. We don't need you!

pdhuff#552644 writes:

in response to nocleats:

And what kind of double secret probation is Oku on?

He has been diagnosed with molasses feet.

nicknack1 writes:

I miss the days where Tennessee used to be in the top 10 every week and playing in big bowl games. It's about time we finally get a great QB and I hope Bray can be that next great QB. Yeah, Erik Ainge was good and when Crompton tried he was good, but it's time we get someone like Peyton, Tee, or Casey Clausen.

allvols4life writes:

in response to MerlOT_GoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

So you can post and run your chops, but I need to just read. Gotcha. Remember this. When we are NOT 4-8, you can come back and say that I told you so. 6-6. We will win the last 4.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to nicknack1:

I miss the days where Tennessee used to be in the top 10 every week and playing in big bowl games. It's about time we finally get a great QB and I hope Bray can be that next great QB. Yeah, Erik Ainge was good and when Crompton tried he was good, but it's time we get someone like Peyton, Tee, or Casey Clausen.

Look around the conference, heck even the nation, and tell me how many QBs of that quality are playing today. Not Brantley, not McElroy, not Garcia. Mallet, Newton come close. Not that many out there.

CarlChilders writes:

in response to volsfannsc:

If all it takes for the offensive line to get motivated is a meal, I'll buy from here on out. Who knew?

Has to be some kind of violation.

gc_scvol writes:

I agree completely with Mrs. Dooley. Poole is one of the best backs anywhere, but he looked a little timid against SC. A couple of times, when it looked like he had the outside, he stopped and turned back inside. It's easy to say that in your recliner. Mr. Poole, you have the ability. Just have a good time, and run like you know how.

mlynn1 writes:

in response to MerlOT_GoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Haha, what a dork

Tau_of_Tennessee writes:

in response to 98memories:

Coach 'em up Darrell! Lol!

Bowden was walking out of the kitchen haven mistaken it for the men's room when he said that.

Loud_Proud writes:

I love those new tech fit jerseys! While not a different design, it looks much better than those silky and baggy jerseys.

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

in response to jrod:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

HA!

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

in response to KingFulmer:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

a VandyGrad by any other name is still stupid.... get over yourself.

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

in response to MerlOT_GoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

My cocker spaniel knows more about football than your sorry azz

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

in response to gc_scvol:

I agree completely with Mrs. Dooley. Poole is one of the best backs anywhere, but he looked a little timid against SC. A couple of times, when it looked like he had the outside, he stopped and turned back inside. It's easy to say that in your recliner. Mr. Poole, you have the ability. Just have a good time, and run like you know how.

I think he will... these guys are all growing one game at a time.

kiddtigger#228291 writes:

Dooley having to educate some of his players on Bobby Bowden's success got me to thinking, just like we blame some coaches for not embracing the Tennessee traditions, I sometimes wonder if players who didn't grow up watching SEC don't understand it's traditions and don't really "get up" for every SEC game. Maybe the players need a course it UT/SEC history. There's a lack of passion in the mix.

hueypilot writes:

in response to MerlOT_GoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Not a lot of thinking going into this Fire Mike Hamilton mantra.

then we have a new AD, and all of a sudden none of the current coaches are the ones picked by the new AD. So then maybe we fire or lose both Dooley and Pearl and get to start all over in both sports building new coaching staffs, establishing new recruiting networks. That would be great. Maybe next we could burn down Thompson Bowling and take the wrecking ball to the new football stadium changes.

illinoisvolfan writes:

in response to KingFulmer:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

On the subject of counting, try holding your breath and counting to 1,000.

shorttail writes:

in response to usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid:

I think he will... these guys are all growing one game at a time.

MRS. DOOLEY QUOTED [nearly word for word] one of my posts a few days ago ABOUT POOLE

cooper65#432178 writes:

in response to MerlOT_GoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

allvols4life called it right. You are an ignorant twit. You may be right about 4-8 (it's not much of a prediction considering we are 2-6), but it's not really about coaching as much as it's about size, speed, and experience.

MerlOT, you've been drinking too much Merlot and it's pickled your miniscule brain. Remember when we are 9-3 in 2012 if you doubt I know what I'm talking about.

harleyln1956#415938 writes:

in response to KingFulmer:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey, why don't you stick your head in the john and count to eleven. There always a smart azz who thinks they're cute GBO

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to hueypilot:

Not a lot of thinking going into this Fire Mike Hamilton mantra.

then we have a new AD, and all of a sudden none of the current coaches are the ones picked by the new AD. So then maybe we fire or lose both Dooley and Pearl and get to start all over in both sports building new coaching staffs, establishing new recruiting networks. That would be great. Maybe next we could burn down Thompson Bowling and take the wrecking ball to the new football stadium changes.

Hueypilot,that was a great explanation.I feel the same way.
Some folks just don't use their God given ability to think.In only a very few cases have fireing a coach or AD accomplished anything more than turmoil.There are times when it is necessary but not here.Hamilton has made a few bad decisions just like those that are calling for his and Dooleys head.Hamilton has done more for this university sports program than most people will admit.There can not be a true evaluation of Hamilton or Dooley until ample time is given.People need to sit back and see what transpires the next couple of years.I believe with every fiber of my being that we will be real happy .It would really be insteresting to know how efficient some of these posters carry out their work day.I would bet some of them would not be in high demand for employment with another employer.

The1 writes:

Tauren, just watch some of Hardesty's film from last year. There is no time for indecisiveness - no dancing please. Hardesty ran like a man and he punished people.

Juzkruzin writes:

in response to abnerPeabody:

Hueypilot,that was a great explanation.I feel the same way.
Some folks just don't use their God given ability to think.In only a very few cases have fireing a coach or AD accomplished anything more than turmoil.There are times when it is necessary but not here.Hamilton has made a few bad decisions just like those that are calling for his and Dooleys head.Hamilton has done more for this university sports program than most people will admit.There can not be a true evaluation of Hamilton or Dooley until ample time is given.People need to sit back and see what transpires the next couple of years.I believe with every fiber of my being that we will be real happy .It would really be insteresting to know how efficient some of these posters carry out their work day.I would bet some of them would not be in high demand for employment with another employer.

What makes you think all these posters have a job. You know the library has PC's for the public to use. I havee said many of times Hamilton isn't going anywhere as long as he keeps his friendship going with Jim Haslam, the unofficial president of UT). That is a dead subject. Whose jet did they fly to LA Tech to hire CDD and bring him back to Knoxville on. Wasn't Jet Blue, but if you choose Pilot Oil Company, you hit the nail on the head. You can post 10,000 times a day that Hamilton needs to be fired, but it is not going to happen. Now if Hamilton pi**d Haslam off he would be gone over night. Haslam today, Hamilton tomorrow with sometype of a family emerency causing a quick departure, with more info to come, which never does. So poster's you are wasting your time posting that Hamilton needs to be fired. It should have been a package deal (Fulmer and Hamilton) but I knew that wasn't going to happen, when this site went crazy about getting rid of Hamilton at that time. NOT GONNA HAPPEN!!!!!

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