Vols want a more physical secondary

Evans: 'we've just got to challenge the receivers an awful lot'

Tennesse defensive back Art Evans tackles LSU wide receiver Rueben Randle at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010. UT lost the game 16-14 after a defensive penalty in the final play of the game.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Tennesse defensive back Art Evans tackles LSU wide receiver Rueben Randle at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010. UT lost the game 16-14 after a defensive penalty in the final play of the game.

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Tennessee would obviously prefer not to ever see a penalty flag.

But under the right circumstances, it might be fine with one or two from the secondary in the short term.

The coaching staff has publicly challenged the toughness of its defensive backs, tried to build their confidence, drilled them on playing more physically near the line of scrimmage and even slipped in a couple subtle suggestions to grab a receiver or two while getting their point across.

That message has been delivered clearly to the Vols over the last couple weeks in preparation for No. 7 Alabama on Saturday at Neyland Stadium (TV: ESPN, 7 p.m.). And in an effort to get the secondary to compete at a higher level than it has lately, in some respects UT might even be all right if it draws a few flags in the process.

"Right now, we probably want them to give us the opportunity to say, 'Whoa, we're probably sticking them too much,' " defensive backs coach Terry Joseph said. "That would be good."

That doesn't mean UT (2-4, 0-3 SEC) is encouraging dirty play or trying to get penalized, but after a rough first half defending the pass, it's definitely looking for more aggression in coverage - particularly at cornerback.

Statistically the Vols enter the weekend as the worst total defense in the conference, and allowing more than 227 yards per game through the air has certainly been a large part of their problems. The blame can be spread around to the defensive line for struggling to get consistent pressure on the quarterback or linebackers missing tackles in the short passing game, but junior Art Evans didn't even need to be told where the Vols could start working on cutting that number down.

"I think everybody can see it, it kind of looks like we've been playing a little soft," Evans said. "I'll at least say that about myself. But the coaches have been pointing that out, and we're going to respond to that.

"Whatever coverage we're in, we've just got to challenge the receivers an awful lot. You can tell the difference whether somebody's playing timid or soft or actually coming out and challenging them instead of just giving it to them. I know a lot of people could probably look at the TV screen and go, 'Why is he playing so far off?' Really it comes down to challenging the receivers more."

Crimson Tide (6-1, 3-1 SEC) leading receiver Julio Jones can obviously return the challenge right back, and he's also no stranger to contact on the perimeter, which should provide instant feedback on the progress Evans, Marsalis Teague and Eric Gordon are making at cornerback.

Teague has been a pleasant surprise in coverage since moving over from wide receiver at the start of the season, and his six passes defended are tied for fifth-most in the league. But none of those have gone for interceptions, and neither Evans nor Gordon have one yet for a team that needs an edge in the turnover battle against an Alabama team that leads the league in that category.

So just like maybe drawing a penalty or two, UT might also look the other way if a defensive back gets beat deep on occasion if it means he's confident enough to gamble on a big play.

"I think if you're going to make a mistake in football, you always want to make it on the aggressive side and going full speed," defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox said. "We're not out here teaching them to hold and cheat and do all that, but we need to play aggressive and we need to play confident.

"That's what we need those guys to do, not be afraid to make a mistake."

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Comments » 46

volsfaithful writes:

passing from your back is hard. even peyton couldn't do that and offense goes 3 and out. simms doesn't seem bad and his attitude seems good. on defense, I can't overlook boise state and believe that with the right talent and a short amount of time UT will be fine. CDD sees to have his head screwed on right. GBO and play your hearts out and we can win on Saturday

volsfaithful writes:

stars matter, you do need them. size matters. speed matters. we don't have the right combo this year and we don't have a center to anchor the line. but you don't need 10 five star players to win. Next year will be better than this year. Year three will turn it around. Someone said we broke the top 25 in recruiting. where is that info? Someone also said the demise of Spurrier led to Fulmer's laziness assuming we would be king (and I thought so too). Being good is not as good as being hungry. We have the right coaches and the right attitude (forgetting GA, we gave up on that one). The defense has s*cked, but I still point to the past and think the future looks very good. We just need some pounds to add to the speed and some arm strength to wrap up the tackles the first time. Saturday is going to be hard but I truly believe we can get pressure and turnovers early and swing the momentum. Gotta stay out of OT until we get our legs on the field. Bray will be great but simms is the one right now. if we get down by 3 tds, then let Bray mop up, but I think it is a ploy to make AL waste time on film. We also need to not abandon the run if we get down, otherwise we go back to passing from your back.... GBO

rudy123 writes:

in response to volsfaithful:

stars matter, you do need them. size matters. speed matters. we don't have the right combo this year and we don't have a center to anchor the line. but you don't need 10 five star players to win. Next year will be better than this year. Year three will turn it around. Someone said we broke the top 25 in recruiting. where is that info? Someone also said the demise of Spurrier led to Fulmer's laziness assuming we would be king (and I thought so too). Being good is not as good as being hungry. We have the right coaches and the right attitude (forgetting GA, we gave up on that one). The defense has s*cked, but I still point to the past and think the future looks very good. We just need some pounds to add to the speed and some arm strength to wrap up the tackles the first time. Saturday is going to be hard but I truly believe we can get pressure and turnovers early and swing the momentum. Gotta stay out of OT until we get our legs on the field. Bray will be great but simms is the one right now. if we get down by 3 tds, then let Bray mop up, but I think it is a ploy to make AL waste time on film. We also need to not abandon the run if we get down, otherwise we go back to passing from your back.... GBO

Yes, we are getting better every single week that we play. We are learning what the new coach expects and gaining valuable SEC experience. However; I disagree with you on your assessment of next season. I think next season will be as bad or worse than this year. Then in 2012, we will have a break out year.
This year, we will lose, Gerald Williams, Chris Walker, LaMarcus Thompson, Victor Thomas, Luke Stocker, Jarrod Shaw, Nick Reveiz, D. Moore, Lincoln, G. Jones, Savion Frazier, Chad Cunningham, Kevin Cooper & Monor Bowens. Jone and Moore already have capable replacements on campus but they need to gain experience. Lincoln and Cunningham have experienced
replacements on campus. Shaw has a replacement on campus already also. Who will replace Stocker? Who will replace Walker, Bowens and Williams? Who will replace Reviez, Thompson & Frazier? Their replacements aren't getting much experience or they aren't even at U.T. yet.
The D Line and the Linebackers will be positions that will struggle with experience next season.
In 2012, we will have a different q.b. and the rest of the team will either be Juniors or Sophomores with game experience as starters or have experience as 2nd string players. 2012 will be the bowl year and the next winning season.

SEC1 writes:

in response to rudy123:

Yes, we are getting better every single week that we play. We are learning what the new coach expects and gaining valuable SEC experience. However; I disagree with you on your assessment of next season. I think next season will be as bad or worse than this year. Then in 2012, we will have a break out year.
This year, we will lose, Gerald Williams, Chris Walker, LaMarcus Thompson, Victor Thomas, Luke Stocker, Jarrod Shaw, Nick Reveiz, D. Moore, Lincoln, G. Jones, Savion Frazier, Chad Cunningham, Kevin Cooper & Monor Bowens. Jone and Moore already have capable replacements on campus but they need to gain experience. Lincoln and Cunningham have experienced
replacements on campus. Shaw has a replacement on campus already also. Who will replace Stocker? Who will replace Walker, Bowens and Williams? Who will replace Reviez, Thompson & Frazier? Their replacements aren't getting much experience or they aren't even at U.T. yet.
The D Line and the Linebackers will be positions that will struggle with experience next season.
In 2012, we will have a different q.b. and the rest of the team will either be Juniors or Sophomores with game experience as starters or have experience as 2nd string players. 2012 will be the bowl year and the next winning season.

Well that sucks, Why is Gene C. at Auburn having success so early it did'nt take him 3 years to have a winning season... Auburn talent level is not much Different compared to Vols except Cam Newton.

cloudodust writes:

ALLVOLNC : Well, here you go. Just what you were asking for... To the point, Teague gave us '''that''' flag. IMO, it should have been a non-flag but it was flagged and put LSU on the goal line. My prediction as I never pick against Tennessee :
UT 16 Alabamastan 13...Palardy nails a 45 yarder at the horn to win it and all those who sold their seats to Bammers for a pocket full of silver shave their heads in shame.

psychovol2 writes:

Instead of the Big Orange, I'm starting to feel like UT's moniker should be Excuses-R-Us. I know the Vols are young, inexperienced and thin but I'm tired of all the apologists. Even DD's dad is making excuses. Quit preaching to the choir and play some football. I can live with losses like LSU but I have no stomach for games like GA when it's apparent they laid down and raised the white flag. Have some dignity; after all you're the Big Orange.

virginiavolfan writes:

Art Evans is my most hated Tenn player ever. Has to be the softest player to ever play at Tenn. Well I take that statement back. I forgot about Cody Pope who is sitting on the side line eating salads with what must be the worst stinger in football history.

Laydbakvol writes:

It's good to recognize where we need to improve and to say "we're going to respond to that". But did we have to wait 9 weeks? Nevertheless, Sock 'em in the mouth! Go Vols!

scvols writes:

It is not cheating if you do not get caught.

Big_Orange_Rocketman writes:

12-10 last year as Bama was in the midst of an undefeated Championship season. This game is not in Tuscaloosa. Bama has already had a loss. And this game is on General Neyland's High Holy Ground. So, this will be adefining moment for Vince's little boy. After all, the highly thought of Coach Lane Kiffin (you know SouthernCal's coach)was able to coach a lackluster volunteer team to within 3 points of a win. This game being a home game for Li'l Vinny that alone should be at least enough to give Tenn. a six point advantage. Two weeks ago SC beat Bama by 2 TD's. Last week, while UT rested and watch film, Bama narrowly defeated Ole Miss at home. So, If Vinny Jr. is worth his salt or not, better than Kiffin or not, the best coach UT could get or not, we'll have the answer Sat. My guess is we already know the answer. Bama by 34.

Big_Orange_Rocketman writes:

12-10 score last year as Bama was in the midst of an undefeated Championship season. This game is not in Tuscaloosa. Bama has already had a loss. And this game is on General Neyland's High Holy Ground. So, this will be a defining moment for Vince's little boy. After all, the highly thought of Coach Lane Kiffin (you know SouthernCal's coach)was able to coach a lackluster volunteer team to within 3 points of a win. This game being a home game for Li'l Vinny that alone should be at least enough to give Tenn. a six point advantage. Two weeks ago SC beat Bama by 2 TD's. Last week, while UT rested and watch film, Bama narrowly defeated Ole Miss at home. So, If Vinny Jr. is worth his salt or not, better than Kiffin or not, the best coach UT could get or not, we'll have the answer Sat. My guess is we already know the answer. Bama by 34.

Big_Orange_Rocketman writes:

in response to scvols:

It is not cheating if you do not get caught.

Aren't you supposed to use quotation marks when you use CBP words?

ericshoskins#523684 writes:

Why does anyone throw Minor Bowens' name out as a player we lose or have to replace? Why on earth would you ask who is gonna replace him? He can be replaced by 90% of the people on the roster. He's nothing but roster filler, and any walkon could replace him.

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to rudy123:

Yes, we are getting better every single week that we play. We are learning what the new coach expects and gaining valuable SEC experience. However; I disagree with you on your assessment of next season. I think next season will be as bad or worse than this year. Then in 2012, we will have a break out year.
This year, we will lose, Gerald Williams, Chris Walker, LaMarcus Thompson, Victor Thomas, Luke Stocker, Jarrod Shaw, Nick Reveiz, D. Moore, Lincoln, G. Jones, Savion Frazier, Chad Cunningham, Kevin Cooper & Monor Bowens. Jone and Moore already have capable replacements on campus but they need to gain experience. Lincoln and Cunningham have experienced
replacements on campus. Shaw has a replacement on campus already also. Who will replace Stocker? Who will replace Walker, Bowens and Williams? Who will replace Reviez, Thompson & Frazier? Their replacements aren't getting much experience or they aren't even at U.T. yet.
The D Line and the Linebackers will be positions that will struggle with experience next season.
In 2012, we will have a different q.b. and the rest of the team will either be Juniors or Sophomores with game experience as starters or have experience as 2nd string players. 2012 will be the bowl year and the next winning season.

I hope your assessment is not true because VOL fans will not allow this for another year. Solid progress leading to a 7-5 year has got to happen. It's the only method to see if the team is going in the right direction. Losing close games trying to say we are improving just want get it for these coaches. I hope you are wrong.

DooleyWagon22 writes:

If this game comes down to the last second,could Chad Cunningham kick field goals? I mean Palardy already missed a 47 yarder. What do you guys think? Bama by 14. Bama has all the star players. TN has no depth or speed. Go Vols and CDD!

Bellem13 writes:

Most comments today are well said and appreciated.
I think our DB's tomorrow should be as good as last year, Eric B. and Dennis R.

JJ and company, NO MORE EXCUSES! Get busy and get'er done. ya'll can do it. Enough practice. you're not rookies anymore. Poop or get off the POT!

TommyJack writes:

in response to DooleyWagon22:

If this game comes down to the last second,could Chad Cunningham kick field goals? I mean Palardy already missed a 47 yarder. What do you guys think? Bama by 14. Bama has all the star players. TN has no depth or speed. Go Vols and CDD!

Palardy will be a spectacular kicker before he's done. Good grief, man.

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to DooleyWagon22:

If this game comes down to the last second,could Chad Cunningham kick field goals? I mean Palardy already missed a 47 yarder. What do you guys think? Bama by 14. Bama has all the star players. TN has no depth or speed. Go Vols and CDD!

The excuse for that miss was a bad snap but could be a another kick or two to get ice in his veins.

Mobbdeep4life writes:

in response to volsfaithful:

stars matter, you do need them. size matters. speed matters. we don't have the right combo this year and we don't have a center to anchor the line. but you don't need 10 five star players to win. Next year will be better than this year. Year three will turn it around. Someone said we broke the top 25 in recruiting. where is that info? Someone also said the demise of Spurrier led to Fulmer's laziness assuming we would be king (and I thought so too). Being good is not as good as being hungry. We have the right coaches and the right attitude (forgetting GA, we gave up on that one). The defense has s*cked, but I still point to the past and think the future looks very good. We just need some pounds to add to the speed and some arm strength to wrap up the tackles the first time. Saturday is going to be hard but I truly believe we can get pressure and turnovers early and swing the momentum. Gotta stay out of OT until we get our legs on the field. Bray will be great but simms is the one right now. if we get down by 3 tds, then let Bray mop up, but I think it is a ploy to make AL waste time on film. We also need to not abandon the run if we get down, otherwise we go back to passing from your back.... GBO

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

Art Evans sucks, plain and simple. I'd rather he not be the spokesperson for the DBs when he's actually the problem. He takes bad angles turning 5 yd plays into 40 yarders, facemasks in critical situations, can't tackle, can't cover, can't int a pass, and he thinks he is all SEC. Did I miss anything?

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

The excuse for that miss was a bad snap but could be a another kick or two to get ice in his veins.

Yeah, plus it being a 45 yarder in Death Valley doesn't help. Palardy will be fine. It's Lincoln who continually lets the Vol Nation down.

volsoutwest writes:

in response to scvols:

It is not cheating if you do not get caught.

Not so fast my friend. Cheating is cheating whether you get caught or not. Is a murderer a murderer just because he appears to get away? Some things are just far worse than others. Just because a person seems to get away with cheating doesn't mean it isn't cheating. I do, however, get your drift. Go Vols!!!

volsoutwest writes:

in response to tweetdriver63#346474:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That was the reply I wanted to give. I'm glad I waited because you defined it perfectly.

justincredible369#357762 writes:

we will have malik jackson, ben martin, marlon walls, montori hughes, austin johnson, and most of the secondary bag as well as the 2 freshmen defensive ends

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to rudy123:

Yes, we are getting better every single week that we play. We are learning what the new coach expects and gaining valuable SEC experience. However; I disagree with you on your assessment of next season. I think next season will be as bad or worse than this year. Then in 2012, we will have a break out year.
This year, we will lose, Gerald Williams, Chris Walker, LaMarcus Thompson, Victor Thomas, Luke Stocker, Jarrod Shaw, Nick Reveiz, D. Moore, Lincoln, G. Jones, Savion Frazier, Chad Cunningham, Kevin Cooper & Monor Bowens. Jone and Moore already have capable replacements on campus but they need to gain experience. Lincoln and Cunningham have experienced
replacements on campus. Shaw has a replacement on campus already also. Who will replace Stocker? Who will replace Walker, Bowens and Williams? Who will replace Reviez, Thompson & Frazier? Their replacements aren't getting much experience or they aren't even at U.T. yet.
The D Line and the Linebackers will be positions that will struggle with experience next season.
In 2012, we will have a different q.b. and the rest of the team will either be Juniors or Sophomores with game experience as starters or have experience as 2nd string players. 2012 will be the bowl year and the next winning season.

Player- His replacement

1)Gerald Williams - Malik Jackson/ Corey Miller
2)Chris Walker - Jaques Smith/ Ben Martin
3)Victor Thomas - Marlon Walls
4)Luke Stocker - Mychal Rivera
5)Jarrod Shaw (LOL) - Zach Fulton
6)Nick Reviez - Austin Johnson
7)D. Moore - Justin Hunter
8)G. Jones - DaRick Rogers
9)Lincoln (LMFAO) - Palardy
10)Savion Frazier - Herman Lathers
11)Chad Cunningham - Michael Darr/ Palardy
12)Kevin Cooper - Channing Fugate
13)Minor Bowens (LMFAO) - Any walk on scrub that can fit into a jersey. How bout Alan Carson/ Maurice Couch?
14)Prentiss Waggner - Eddrick Loften

Next yr's team will be far better than this on. The QBs, O-line, WRs, D-Line, LBs, and kickers will all be better. And don't think for one damn minute that Devrin Young as a true frosh won't come in and improve our return game. Plus our depth will be better. It might be young depth, but talented depth. By yr three Dooley will have a team that can compete, and compete big. If we are still a 7 win team by yr 3, we along with Dooley may have a problem.

nocleats writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

Player- His replacement

1)Gerald Williams - Malik Jackson/ Corey Miller
2)Chris Walker - Jaques Smith/ Ben Martin
3)Victor Thomas - Marlon Walls
4)Luke Stocker - Mychal Rivera
5)Jarrod Shaw (LOL) - Zach Fulton
6)Nick Reviez - Austin Johnson
7)D. Moore - Justin Hunter
8)G. Jones - DaRick Rogers
9)Lincoln (LMFAO) - Palardy
10)Savion Frazier - Herman Lathers
11)Chad Cunningham - Michael Darr/ Palardy
12)Kevin Cooper - Channing Fugate
13)Minor Bowens (LMFAO) - Any walk on scrub that can fit into a jersey. How bout Alan Carson/ Maurice Couch?
14)Prentiss Waggner - Eddrick Loften

Next yr's team will be far better than this on. The QBs, O-line, WRs, D-Line, LBs, and kickers will all be better. And don't think for one damn minute that Devrin Young as a true frosh won't come in and improve our return game. Plus our depth will be better. It might be young depth, but talented depth. By yr three Dooley will have a team that can compete, and compete big. If we are still a 7 win team by yr 3, we along with Dooley may have a problem.

Would like to see some juco help at DTackle and LB, as well as some HS help there too. Also Tenn needs speed everywhere!

codybain13 writes:

in response to SEC1:

Well that sucks, Why is Gene C. at Auburn having success so early it did'nt take him 3 years to have a winning season... Auburn talent level is not much Different compared to Vols except Cam Newton.

gene chizik inherited upperclassmen, dooley inherited the youngest team in the country.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to nocleats:

Would like to see some juco help at DTackle and LB, as well as some HS help there too. Also Tenn needs speed everywhere!

Yeah, I here you. But Devrin Young ran a 10.68 100 in the state meet, and ran a 4.38 40 at a camp and 4.41 at another. Tino Thomas runs a 10.7, and soon to be Vol Derrick King runs a 10.68 100. We are getting speed and it's boys from Tennessee that are bringing it. As for Juco DTs, Maurice Couch will where orange. We will have a GREAT shot at Mickey Johnson, an absolute WOOLY MAMMOTH BEAST from La. Gabe Wright, well who knows? He seems to be enjoying his recruitment a bit too much for me. BUT, it's probably gonna be down to us and Auburn for him. Momma likes UT, but who knows? Don't sleep on Sylvester Williams either. He's a big Juco DT who has shown interst in us. We will be fine IMO.

As for LBs, we have a beast in AJ Johnson. In a perfect world, we would land Lamar Dawson out of Ky. But Ky doing well along with Charlie Strong doing a damn good job at Louisville will make it hard to get him. If he does leave Ky, he's wanted by every school in the SE. But we should land Gionni Paul, or Gaiari Dunnaway, landing Dawson being the BEST case scenario. I will agree, we need stud LBs. I think we will be ok at the DT spot if we land 2 more guys. 3 more would be lovely.

OrangePride writes:

Well exactly! The soft secondary and weak coverage has allowed even mediocre QB's to look like the second coming of Peyton Manning. It's EXACTLY why that ridiculous bubble screen has worked for 8-12 yards darn near every time it's been tried. And while we are at it, you secondary people, somebody needs to pick up the drag across the middle and STAY THE HECK WITH IT! Jeez, Louise, how many of those have killed us on third and 8 or more situations? The hitting has been physical enough, BUT when it's 9 yards downfield that is unacceptable. Now let me ask you, does ANYONE EVER remember total defense being this far down the line or so little pressure on the QB under the Chief? It ain't just talent....it's philosophy and coaching....so get it going!! GO VOLS!!!

OrangePride writes:

in response to mtnsvol44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Season ain't over just yet there, mtnsvol. If I were a Vandy fan, I wouldn't start gloating too early. So you can "lmao" for now, but let's see if you are still laughing in a few weeks. GO VOLS!!

seaplane#216536 writes:

Our weakest link, the defensive secondary. Even more so than the offensive line. They're way too small and can't tackle. They look like a JV high school secondary.

Need_2_Know writes:

Again, my apologies for two days of cross posting, I just wanted to get this out there.

Just a note to all Vol fans . . . while it's tough to watch our team struggle right now, it is imperative that we fill the stands Saturday with Orange, not Crimson. Please, if you can't or don't wish to attend, try to ensure that your tickets end up in the hands of Vol fans and not the "other guys". There are few things that get the attention of recruits, both in attendance and watching on TV, like seeing the visitors colors overwhelm the host teams colors in the stands (think of UT playing at Vandy, you'll get the picture). Two years ago it seemed that easily one-third of the fans were in 'Bama's colors, only exacerbated by the early exit of many UT 'fans' who didn't like the Vol's performance.

YOU can help rebuild this team by showing up, and staying throughout, as a VOL. Do it for yourself, your team, for John Ward . . . just do it! (Sorry, Nike).

GBO! ! ! Dam The Tide ! ! !

jack_2222#231746 writes:

"That's what we need those guys to do, not be afraid to make a mistake."

Wilcox should heed his own advice on 3rd and long.

illinoisvolfan writes:

in response to mtnsvol44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

How do you feel about Vandy scoring fewer points against Georgia than Tennessee did?

Btw, no one knows more about underachieveing in football than Vanderbilt--correction, Peabody High.

illinoisvolfan writes:

in response to virginiavolfan:

Art Evans is my most hated Tenn player ever. Has to be the softest player to ever play at Tenn. Well I take that statement back. I forgot about Cody Pope who is sitting on the side line eating salads with what must be the worst stinger in football history.

I don't hate any Tennessee player, period. I may dislike the fact that some underachieve and run their mouths for no apparent reason, but absolutely no hatred. I save that for Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, Southern Cal, etc.

Having said that, I agree with your opinion on Art Evans. We had a player like him on my high school football team. We called him "Toast" because he got burned so much on defense. I would also add Daniel Lincoln to your softest player list.

KptVol7 writes:

in response to rudy123:

Yes, we are getting better every single week that we play. We are learning what the new coach expects and gaining valuable SEC experience. However; I disagree with you on your assessment of next season. I think next season will be as bad or worse than this year. Then in 2012, we will have a break out year.
This year, we will lose, Gerald Williams, Chris Walker, LaMarcus Thompson, Victor Thomas, Luke Stocker, Jarrod Shaw, Nick Reveiz, D. Moore, Lincoln, G. Jones, Savion Frazier, Chad Cunningham, Kevin Cooper & Monor Bowens. Jone and Moore already have capable replacements on campus but they need to gain experience. Lincoln and Cunningham have experienced
replacements on campus. Shaw has a replacement on campus already also. Who will replace Stocker? Who will replace Walker, Bowens and Williams? Who will replace Reviez, Thompson & Frazier? Their replacements aren't getting much experience or they aren't even at U.T. yet.
The D Line and the Linebackers will be positions that will struggle with experience next season.
In 2012, we will have a different q.b. and the rest of the team will either be Juniors or Sophomores with game experience as starters or have experience as 2nd string players. 2012 will be the bowl year and the next winning season.

In response to replacing our DE's Chris Walker, who i agree will be tough to replace because hes a great player, and Gerald Williams you must not know the depth chart too well because UT is pretty stacked with talent at DE. Malik Jackson will be returning for his senior year to go along with youngsters Jacques Smith and Corey Miller both of which have shown signs of greatness so far this season and dont forget that we also have Willie Bohannon and a player that will probably fill Chris Walker's shoes if he can get healthy again in Ben Martin so I'd say we'll be just fine at DE.
At LB, I dont believe we'll be in too bad of shape either we have Herman Lathers, Nigel Mitchell-Thornton both of whom will be starters. We also have some talented guys that have played some in Robert Nelson, Darryl Vereen, John Propst and Greg King. UT also has Austin Johnson returning who has turned out to be a pretty darn good LB for us this season! Then you have some young talented LB's that we havent had the chance to see yet in Jerod Askew, Raiques Crump, and Martaze Jackson. And dont forget the big time LB that we have committed to UT right now in A.J. Johnson So I think we will be fine at LB as well.
Losing D-Moore and Gerald Jones will hurt but we shouldnt miss a beat at WR with all the talent we have returning and as far as the backfield is concerned we are also in great shape for next season with everyone returning. The TE position may take a hit like you said in losing Stocker, although Rivera has shown that he is capable of being a pretty descent SEC TE. The O-line, IMO, will be better because of all the young guys we are playing there this season. I believe we only lose Jarrod Shaw and we have a lot of guys that have seen some PT returning. The interior D-line will also be better since I believe we lose only Victor Thomas and he doesnt play a whole lot anyways. You have Montori Hughes, who is just a beast, returning along with Marlon Walls if he can get healthy. So to say that next season will be just as bad or worse is crazy to say because you obviously do not realize who UT has returning. Most of the players you named that we are losing can be replaced pretty easily other than probably Nick Reveiz and Chris Walker even though we have talent in both of those spots. We will be better next season, a lot better!!!

VOLliven2it writes:

We will need a VERY PHYSICAL secondary this Sat. I hope we show up and do it with a lot of heart!

DooleyWagon22 writes:

I've never seen a kicker that gets hurt as much as Lincoln. What's up with this?

volsoutwest writes:

in response to naffy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

So you guys are now authorities on physical toughness ? Have you walked in Lincoln's shoes? Do you know the whole story? Can you really say how he feels? Maybe he has played through pain for years and just can't go. Would we be better if he was indeed terribly hurt yet tried to go out and kick a game winner (which he may have done last year)? Wouldn't it be better for him to admit he couldn't and allow someone who wasn't in pain to kick? I agree, he seems to be soft, yet I refuse to be critical of a young man who I see as having been a an exemplary student athlete and Vol. So how about a little slack here?

hglover40#234154 writes:

in response to SEC1:

Well that sucks, Why is Gene C. at Auburn having success so early it did'nt take him 3 years to have a winning season... Auburn talent level is not much Different compared to Vols except Cam Newton.

Why? Looks like Auburn's starting Offense was more highly rated rated out of HS and has more experence too.
Auburn OL
LT Sr 4 *
LG Sr 4 *
C Sr 4 *
RG Sr 3 *
RT Jr 4 *

UT OL
RT FR 4 *
RG SR 3 *
C So 0 *
LG Fr 4*
LT so 3*

Auburn
QB Cam Newton

UT
QB Matt Simms - I like him be he's no CM

Auburn receivers
Sr 4 *
Sr 4 *
Sr 3 *

UT Rec
Sr 3 *
Sr 4 *
Sr 3 *

Auburn Backs
RB Fr 5 *
HB So 0 *

Ut Backs
RB jr 3 *
HB sr 3 *

cloudodust writes:

in response to naffy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The last coach to leave Tennessee in the middle of the night told the reporters as he hopped on the K-Chopper westbound, " I left it better than I found it." Indeed he did. With Freshman. We need more, though. We need more...and CDD will bag 'em.

cloudodust writes:

in response to jcvet33:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

This is not a Vandy blog...

volbald writes:

I wouldn't have thought that a Wilcox-coached defense would rate the worst in the SEC. Isn't LSU-Chavis' defense no. one in the SEC? I would have thought that the offensive coaches could by now have coached our 6'6'', 310 lb. offensive linemen to get in front of defensive pass rushers. I would have thought that by now the coaches could convince Simms to throw the ball away rather than keep taking sacks. Auburn and UT were both in the same sorry state of affairs two seasons ago and netither could go 10 yards in one quarter. But Auburn hired Chizic and is undefeated and now #4 in the country. And Dan Mullens' Miss. State team beat UF. While Kiffin and Co. were a disaster, we've had two top 10 recruiting classes in a row. Since so may fans still believe Fulmer was so great the last 8 years of his tenure, why can't UT keep up with Auburn and Miss. State?

hglover40#234154 writes:

in response to volbald:

I wouldn't have thought that a Wilcox-coached defense would rate the worst in the SEC. Isn't LSU-Chavis' defense no. one in the SEC? I would have thought that the offensive coaches could by now have coached our 6'6'', 310 lb. offensive linemen to get in front of defensive pass rushers. I would have thought that by now the coaches could convince Simms to throw the ball away rather than keep taking sacks. Auburn and UT were both in the same sorry state of affairs two seasons ago and netither could go 10 yards in one quarter. But Auburn hired Chizic and is undefeated and now #4 in the country. And Dan Mullens' Miss. State team beat UF. While Kiffin and Co. were a disaster, we've had two top 10 recruiting classes in a row. Since so may fans still believe Fulmer was so great the last 8 years of his tenure, why can't UT keep up with Auburn and Miss. State?

People keep comparing us to Auburn - look at who is on the field now for Auburn on Off and who is on the field for UT. Dooley did not inherit the talent Chizic did. This is just the starters I would, bet the 2nd string for UT doesn't compare well with Auburn either. I have not looked at the D yet.

Auburn OL
LT Sr 4 *
LG Sr 4 *
C Sr 4 *
RG Sr 3 *
RT Jr 4 *

UT OL
RT FR 4 *
RG SR 3 *
C So 0 *
LG Fr 4*
LT so 3*

Auburn
QB Cam Newton

UT
QB Matt Simms - I like him be he's no Cam N.

Auburn receivers
Sr 4 *
Sr 4 *
Sr 3 *

UT Rec
Sr 3 *
Sr 4 *
Sr 3 *

Auburn Backs
RB Fr 5 * (plays like what we thought Brown wud)
HB So 0 *

Ut Backs
RB jr 3 *
HB sr 3

volsoutwest writes:

Let's examine Auburn for a moment. Have any of you watched Cam Newton? The guy is almost unstoppable. We, and most others, don't have a quarterback to compare with him. He has been the difference in at least 3-4 of their wins this season. He is a definite difference-maker. Also, remember this: Lame K. didn't want him and probably some of us didn't either.

Big_Orange_Rocketman writes:

Did I Say "BAMA by 34." I didn't know about the friendship Nick and Vince share. Must be why they decided not to kick this sorry edition of vols a**es all the way to Nasville temporary home of "THE" University of Tennessee. Maybe in five or so years we will be able to reclaim that name for the Knoxville campus of what should be reffered to as "Tennessee University" until it deserves to be reclaimed. Hammy needs to be scheduled to meet with the New Prez tomorrow and relieved of his duties and transferred to the campus sanitation crew. I hope the New Prez has the cahonnes to be a man that listens to all but answered to none, i.e. Haslam or other big donors. The Athletics Department needs to be brought back to earth and the income form their programs should be shared at a higher rate with academics. Or we could go on being known as UT (University of Thugs).

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