Poole playing with 'chip on my shoulder'

Praise for Tauren Poole

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The chip on his shoulder was acknowledged.

Tauren Poole also admitted playing with something to prove now that he's been given the opportunity to actually play.

But given the chance to deliver the message verbally that he's made crystal clear while leading the SEC in rushing through two early games, the Tennessee running back showed some restraint on Monday afternoon. That's been the opposite of his rushing style so far as UT's feature back, but with No. 10 Florida (2-0) arriving in town Saturday (TV: WVLT, 3:30 p.m.), Poole is mostly content to let the numbers do his talking.

"I'm really just focused on being productive for this offense, for this team and just getting better," Poole said. "That's the biggest thing. It'd easy for me to say, 'I told you so.' But that's not what I'm trying to prove. I'm just trying to win football games.

"I've had the ability and just haven't had the chance to show it. I always knew that when I got my opportunity I was going to try my best to make the most of it, and I'm doing it. But I've got a long ways to go. I'm definitely not where I want to be."

Poole might still be looking for more, but after his first two games as the starter for the Vols (1-1) he couldn't be in a better spot on the SEC rushing leader board.

After opening the season with a relatively easy 110 yards against UT Martin, Poole really opened eyes with a breakout, 162-yard effort last week against No. 5 Oregon - including 111 yards in the first quarter. Thanks in part to his limited playing experience after getting buried on the depth chart last year behind Montario Hardesty, Bryce Brown and David Oku, that huge 15 minutes qualified as a career high by itself.

Hardesty was obviously established as the workhorse a season ago, and Poole wasn't realistically going to steal many carries from him. But the junior has surely strengthened a case early this year that the Vols could have benefited if he had gotten more work in the past.

"It's hard for me to say that, because Hardesty, the guy went in the second round (of the NFL draft), and I've never seen Bryce," UT coach Derek Dooley said of the two running backs no longer with the Vols. "So, it's hard for me to say if it was deserving or not. What I will say is, he's taken advantage of his opportunity as well as anybody has.

"If everybody on our team had the competitive character and the personal character that Tauren Poole has, we'd have a heck of a little squad. He's a special guy. I don't know how he's going to perform, and when I say special, I don't mean God just blessed him with all this ability. But to me, he's exactly what every competitor should strive for - and that's to play to your capacity as a player. Tauren is playing to his capacity."

Poole might disagree with that assessment, though he didn't reveal exactly how much more he expected of himself. Clearly the standards are high since Poole isn't satisfied even at the top of the rushing charts.

"If leading the SEC is going to make us win games, then fine," Poole said. "If it doesn't, that's fine also. I don't have to lead the SEC for us to win games, but if I have to, I will and we'll continue to work together with those guys in front of me.

"It's just my drive. My whole life, people have always told me what I can and can't do, and then that's just kind of my mentality. I always run with a chip on my shoulder, and I always play with a chip on my shoulder. I always approach each game like I've got something to prove."

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Comments » 55

SEC1 writes:

in response to FirstAndGoal:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

He will not look great against gators front 7, he want gain 90 yards saturday or i want post for 2 months!

mercuryvol writes:

Check out Richardson @ UA vs.PSU,then look at Poole's effort vs. UO-near identical style and effort.Outstanding RBs.

smokeybitesback writes:

in response to SEC1:

He will not look great against gators front 7, he want gain 90 yards saturday or i want post for 2 months!

you must have missed the 160 yards he put up against oregon..and oregon is much better then florida..so i guess we won't be hearing from you on here for 2 months..too bad

rockytopatl writes:

This sounds SO FAMILIAR, zz. You've made the same offer before -- lost the bet -- and then broke your promise.

Even if the Vols lose and lose big, Poole will gain 100 on your Gators. You can book it.

And you will have lied once again and you'll post and post and post because that's just the kind of .... you are.

shulessjo writes:

Poole is one of few Vols with SEC talent and some experience. We must all remember the word "rebuilding". It's no secret OR surprise...We're in bad shape, relatively speaking..... been talking about it for a whole summer. Let's give these boys a chance including what I think is a great coaching staff.....and more importantly let's cut everyone some slack!

In the meantime, Go Tauren.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to SEC1:

He will not look great against gators front 7, he want gain 90 yards saturday or i want post for 2 months!

I hope you remember what you just said because people will be holding you to that!

govols1234567 writes:

Man I love this guy. He doesn't answer to anybody as far as his success goes. And doesn't let anybody mandate how successful he ll be. That's almost a life lesson right there

duncanvol writes:

One of our biggest problems is that we dont have a play maker at QB. Matt I hope you prove me wrong but in my opinion your not the guy. Bray is better and should be starting! Bray will make some bad plays and throw a few to the other team but his strong arm and play making ability gives us better chance to win. he will make more good plays then bad.Hell all I know is simms missed a lot of passes and does not look like a SEC QB to me.

RichmondKyVol writes:

You're thrill to watch, Mr. Poole. You've taken what God gave you and made the most of it. I hope your teammates take their cue from you. You lead by example, and I think you will help lead us back to greatness.

shulessjo writes:

in response to SEC1:

He will not look great against gators front 7, he want gain 90 yards saturday or i want post for 2 months!

It's won't.... not want... just in case you care

BigOrangeBill writes:

It was so inspiring to see Tauren Poole clearly be the TOP RUNNER in TWO STRAIGHT O&W spring games. Then, after so clearly winning his spurs, to be put on the pine was almost unacceptable to this and MANY other Vol fans. Your outstanding performance Saturday night was no surprise to us at all. Tauren, you've got a TON of Vol fans clapping every time you run on the field. Even after such unfair treatment, you still wear the O&W with great pride! We share your pride and wish you all the luck in the world, both for the rest of your time here at Tennessee...and hopefully, on into the NFL. You've got what it takes my young friend!! Congratulations.

ncvol17 writes:

boy, it is tough to read through all the junk responses t read the few interesting football centric posts. Poole seems to be the kind of kid CDD is trying to recruit. Good character and a tough work ethic. We can go a long way with talent like that. Look at Nebraska & Iowa, and others who never have a lot of 5 stars but traditionally field tough winning teams. GBO..

FEARinSEC writes:

in response to SEC1:

He will not look great against gators front 7, he want gain 90 yards saturday or i want post for 2 months!

If only you would do what you say you'll do...

Nah, we all know better....

duke.moses#299699 writes:

in response to SEC1:

He will not look great against gators front 7, he want gain 90 yards saturday or i want post for 2 months!

Promises, Promises!!! If he get's 180, will you stay off forever???
Tauren should have been #2 last year, but the coach who can't be named had to play his illegitimate son. GBO!!! and we'll forget Oregon with a win this week.

Kill the GatorS!!

tennrich1 writes:

in response to shulessjo:

in response to SEC1:

He will not look great against gators front 7, he want gain 90 yards saturday or i want post for 2 months!

It's won't.... not want... just in case you care

Now why did you have to go and point that out...we were having such a jolly time laughing at his expense..discussing how ignorant someone must be to use "want" instead of "won't" in that context.....now, well, you've ruined all that.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to VandyGrad:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Are you serious? VandyGrad...What in the name of all that's good could you POSSIBLY say intelligent about football? Just light-hearted ribbing...figured if you were brave enough to use that name you could take the jab!

new_era_vol writes:

in response to SEC1:

He will not look great against gators front 7, he want gain 90 yards saturday or i want post for 2 months!

With that attitude, I will look forward to not hearing from you for two months. He will put his yards up, and if the rest of the team plays with confidence after laying down for the damn ducks, we will begin to see the early stages of a turn-around and what this team is actually capable of. GO VOLS, and non-believers, GO AWAY.

new_era_vol writes:

in response to VandyGrad:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I have read your posts for months and felt sorry for you. Anyone this stupid cannot possibly be a Vandy grad, well maybe they can but furthermore if you are not a VOL. fan, then why post on our forums? If you think our o-line and backfield is that bad with the stats they have put up even after quitting after one quarter (pretty much) playing Oregon, then you must really be a (Vandygrad). Give me a break!!!!!

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to SEC1:

He will not look great against gators front 7, he want gain 90 yards saturday or i want post for 2 months!

You want be back as SEC1 after Saturday..Book it

new_era_vol writes:

Where in the he__ did vandygrad and some of these others even come from? JEESE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

new_era_vol writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

You want be back as SEC1 after Saturday..Book it

Aamen dog!!!!!!!!!

jimr07 writes:

in response to duncanvol:

One of our biggest problems is that we dont have a play maker at QB. Matt I hope you prove me wrong but in my opinion your not the guy. Bray is better and should be starting! Bray will make some bad plays and throw a few to the other team but his strong arm and play making ability gives us better chance to win. he will make more good plays then bad.Hell all I know is simms missed a lot of passes and does not look like a SEC QB to me.

Dooley will make a deal with you. He will not try to do your job if you don't try to do his.

jobrando#216494 writes:

I hate to say this on this site because we have spies reading what we say but CDD will have a surprise for the game Saturday. Traditional football will never be the same. An offensive scheme that is light years ahead of all others will be introduced. Based on a secret laser guided football. That's all I can say.

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to new_era_vol:

Where in the he__ did vandygrad and some of these others even come from? JEESE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

New Era,

Are you new here my friend? What you are seeing are posts from trolls.........that's T R O L L S.
They continually ramble on and on because of their obcession with Tennessee.

Of course, some of them are kids. They are mysteriously drawn to our site. Tennessee is paying for being a tradition rich school that has enjoyed success for years. The Vols rank 2nd all-time in home football victories and are in the top 10 all-time in wins. So, the trolls realize Tennessee is going to come back and this is probably what bothers them.

A word to Vol fans though. I would be very disappointed in you if you behaved as the trolls do here. Surely you aren't wasting your time on their sites are you? I thought not.

That's our message to you.........trolls.

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to duncanvol:

One of our biggest problems is that we dont have a play maker at QB. Matt I hope you prove me wrong but in my opinion your not the guy. Bray is better and should be starting! Bray will make some bad plays and throw a few to the other team but his strong arm and play making ability gives us better chance to win. he will make more good plays then bad.Hell all I know is simms missed a lot of passes and does not look like a SEC QB to me.

Remember Crompton had some good games so lets hope Matt can put one together. It's all in the foot work the old ball coach chanted.

HallowedHill writes:

I can't recall the last time I saw a back run with such determination. I'm really happy to see his hard work paying off this year. Am I the only one, or does it seem Poole's determination is rubbing off on Oku too?

GO VOLS!

Joevolsxtra writes:

in response to SEC1:

He will not look great against gators front 7, he want gain 90 yards saturday or i want post for 2 months!

There, you've posted on every article. Now go to bed. You have school tomorrow.

new_era_vol writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

New Era,

Are you new here my friend? What you are seeing are posts from trolls.........that's T R O L L S.
They continually ramble on and on because of their obcession with Tennessee.

Of course, some of them are kids. They are mysteriously drawn to our site. Tennessee is paying for being a tradition rich school that has enjoyed success for years. The Vols rank 2nd all-time in home football victories and are in the top 10 all-time in wins. So, the trolls realize Tennessee is going to come back and this is probably what bothers them.

A word to Vol fans though. I would be very disappointed in you if you behaved as the trolls do here. Surely you aren't wasting your time on their sites are you? I thought not.

That's our message to you.........trolls.

I am fairly new, yes. Not meaning I am a kid. I am a vol grad, and no doubt a true vol fan win or lose although I really believe if we can put together four quarters soon we can defeat anyone. We have the talent, just not the depth or the true fight of Tennessee Volunteers. All I can say is, Boys, if you put your all in it,(and stay healthy at some key positions), you can go as far as you want to. Let's get it done, and go VOL NATION. Florida better bring it, that is if our guys play with there hearts and do not listen to people telling them what they can't do. Go Big Orange..........

Loud_Proud writes:

I posted a comment on here a couple of weeks ago requesting that all of us vol fans get behind our team and quit posting such negative comments. As i sign on today, i am noticing that we have quit doing that, and have gotten behind our team and coach Dooley. I did not single handily do this, nor am i writing to say so. Thanks to all VOL fans as we head into a new direction as well. GO BIG ORANGE!!

new_era_vol writes:

in response to Loud_Proud:

I posted a comment on here a couple of weeks ago requesting that all of us vol fans get behind our team and quit posting such negative comments. As i sign on today, i am noticing that we have quit doing that, and have gotten behind our team and coach Dooley. I did not single handily do this, nor am i writing to say so. Thanks to all VOL fans as we head into a new direction as well. GO BIG ORANGE!!

YES SIR, YOU ROCK. AND TO THE NON-BELIEVERS, GO AWAY!!!!!!!!!!! GO VOLS!!!!!

Loud_Proud writes:

in response to new_era_vol:

YES SIR, YOU ROCK. AND TO THE NON-BELIEVERS, GO AWAY!!!!!!!!!!! GO VOLS!!!!!

A-men brother!

HollySpringsVOL writes:

in response to SEC1:

He will not look great against gators front 7, he want gain 90 yards saturday or i want post for 2 months!

During your two month hiatus, learn the meaning of the words "want" and won't". You credibility will rise a little bit if you have a better grammatical command of the English language than that of a 5th grader.

new_era_vol writes:

in response to HollySpringsVOL:

During your two month hiatus, learn the meaning of the words "want" and won't". You credibility will rise a little bit if you have a better grammatical command of the English language than that of a 5th grader.

WHAT ABOUT YOUR'S IN (YOU CREDIBILITY ?) COME ON DOG !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

new_era_vol writes:

in response to naffy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

HATE TO SPEAK NEGATIVE BUT THIS IS CORRECT. TOO MUCH YOUNG TALENT TO DEAL WITH THIS BE IT SLOW OR JUST LAZY. STILL GO VOLS.

Bear1 writes:

in response to SEC1:

He will not look great against gators front 7, he want gain 90 yards saturday or i want post for 2 months!

Get ready to sut down the key board. 120 yards plus.

Down_The_Field writes:

in response to SEC1:

He will not look great against gators front 7, he want gain 90 yards saturday or i want post for 2 months!

i'll say he'll at least score ONE touchdown on his home turf.

back to the subject.....good game kid, you played your heart out.

oh, by the way; tauren, can you cover kick offs and punts????

OTPVol writes:

Every year or two, a team has a leader who is p**sed off and has something to prove. By doing so, he inspires his team and his fan base. Recently, Manning, Berry. Poole would fit in there nicely.

Down_The_Field writes:

in response to HollySpringsVOL:

During your two month hiatus, learn the meaning of the words "want" and won't". You credibility will rise a little bit if you have a better grammatical command of the English language than that of a 5th grader.

i'll bet he can't spell misssisippee.

IndyVolFan writes:

in response to SEC1:

He will not look great against gators front 7, he want gain 90 yards saturday or i want post for 2 months!

Just learn to spell by Saturday please. I understand a typo but the 'a' is on the opposite side of the keyboard from the 'o'. I won't even go into apostrophe use.

mdvol writes:

Poole is a great player and he will easily be a 1000 yard rusher. Let's remember our O-line was dominating in the first half. Our freshman receivers will get better each week. Six wins will win the SEC East. Five could get us to the Capital One bowl.

You can join the naysayers that want to dwell on the second half. You can criticize the coaches if you want. You can blame Fulmer if you wish. Or, you can believe.

We are going to surprise some damn people.
We will upset either Florida or Alabama.

volpreacher writes:

in response to HallowedHill:

I can't recall the last time I saw a back run with such determination. I'm really happy to see his hard work paying off this year. Am I the only one, or does it seem Poole's determination is rubbing off on Oku too?

GO VOLS!

I agree Poole is running with determination but I would like to ask you, did you not watch Hardesty last year? No one ran harder than that young man.

everydayisorange writes:

in response to SEC1:

He will not look great against gators front 7, he want gain 90 yards saturday or i want post for 2 months!

Is this promise for real? If you post can we all take turns beating you down [verbally of course]? I think he will continue to run as hard maybe harder than ever. Here's hoping to not ever hearing from you again!

usnavyvol writes:

in response to naffy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What have u done lard azz? Pricks like u just piss me off. Because you and your life suck, doees not mean life sucks for the rest of us. I was more than happy to fly from San Deigo to Knoxville for the Oregon game and I'll be there for Florida as well. Get away from the keyboad and get a life.
UT class of 98'

EverybodyDuck writes:

Poole easily gets 100 yards, but Simms needs to open up the running lanes with some completions. Simms missed a couple of open receivers and had a couple of dropped balls that would have helped his cause. Florida is not as good as Oregon, and Vols can win this game.

duncanvol writes:

in response to jimr07:

Dooley will make a deal with you. He will not try to do your job if you don't try to do his.

Not trying to do his job. Im just commenting on what i saw on the field sat. I hope he proves me wrong and i will be his biggest fan. I dont dislike or wish anything bad on the kid i just dont think hes sec qb. Agree or disagree its up to you and its your opinion. I also have the right to my opinion. That being said if you want to talk football im all ears but dont speak for coach Dooley speak for yourself.

OTPVol writes:

in response to naffy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

LOL By the way, has Urbie found him a new bed buddy yet?

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to naffy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yeah… almost as pathetic as trolling other teams websites. :-/

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to naffy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yeah, it's not like Manning has ever won the SuperBowl, is a guaranteed NFL hall of famer, or is about to be this highest paid player in the NFL. I'm pretty sure Floriduh and the always bureaucratic BS surrounding the Heisman will just eat away at him... pffft

akwelker writes:

Okay, so I might have a bit of a man-crush. This kid is incredible. Not only quite the athletic specimen, but he seems to have his head on straight as well. We all know that that can mean the world to a young group to have a leader like Mr. Poole.
It was funny how quickly peoples opinions of UT football changed in the first half last Saturday. Let's shock 'em with a whole game! Go Vols!

oskie_score writes:

I truly enjoyed watching TP run against Oregon. Yes, credit the OL, but once through the line not only was Tauren elusive he too was hard to bring down...running over & through people.
Chip on his shoulder, determination, call it what you want---just keep bringing it TP!

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