Derek Dooley sees positives in second scrimmage

University of Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray passes the ball as the team warms up for a scrimmage on Saturday, April 9, 2011.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

University of Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray passes the ball as the team warms up for a scrimmage on Saturday, April 9, 2011.

Derek Dooley after Saturday's scrimmage

The Tennessee offense waited a whole week to try to change Derek Dooley’s tune.

It only took one drive for it to give the Vols football coach something worth singing about.

Publicly blistered by Dooley for its lackluster debut in the opening scrimmage of spring, the offense capitalized on the first chance it had in the second on Saturday at Neyland Stadium, quickly marching down the field for a touchdown that helped set a much more encouraging tone for UT as it closes in on the end of camp.

“Nobody likes to get ripped by the head coach, so that was a big thing for us,” receiver Da’Rick Rogers said. “That made us more competitive, and we were more focused.

“There’s always going to be coaching points, but I feel like he’ll say it’s way better than last week. He’ll probably say we still have a few things to work on, though.”

Dooley is unlikely to ever be totally satisfied, but he clearly was more pleased with the production and improvement the Vols put on display after they were challenged last week.

According to statistics provided by the program after the closed workout, quarterback Tyler Bray was much more efficient, running back Tauren Poole was significantly more effective and a tempo that was widely panned as sluggish was ramped up by a no-huddle attack on the opening drive that needed just six plays to produce a touchdown for Rogers. And it quickly provided Dooley with some evidence that his team has been paying attention.

“The main thing was I wanted to see a little intensity level,” Dooley said. “The intensity level was there. The mental intensity, the physicality was better. And they absolutely came out with a real aggressive mindset and got the defense on their heels. So that was a lot better.

“They went six plays, touchdown, first drive. Right down the field. No huddle and they just came out in a real aggressive manner. And Da’Rick had a big play for a touchdown. The next drive they come out, had a big play to Justin Hunter for a touchdown. So the first two drives, they set the tone.”

The Vols weren’t exactly perfect after that, but they were much closer than they were a week before.

Bray threw an interception, but he completed 17 of 30 passes for 258 yards with four touchdowns to more than offset that mistake. Poole didn’t punch in a touchdown, but he popped a 23-yard carry on the way to a total of 70 yards on 13 carries. And the receiving corps had an impressive afternoon led by Rogers, who opened the scoring with his touchdown grab early and finished with six catches for 120 yards.

How much credit goes to the faster tempo from the no-huddle approach is debatable, but it apparently was valuable enough to become a more consistent part of the game plan.

“It’s something we wanted to do more of,” Dooley said. “We didn’t do much last year just because Tyler was so new. But it’s something we want to keep building.

“There are times in the game when we need to get it going, pick it up a little bit, the tempo. And sometimes things aren’t working for you in the regular and so we want to be able to change our tempos more often.”

It needed a different look after UT had trouble just getting to the line of scrimmage and properly aligned during its only significant live action prior to Saturday. And since getting in and out of the huddle also was a problem, just eliminating it entirely was an effective short-term fix.

“I think (Saturday) when you watched them the first few drives, it’s what the expectation is going to be going forward,” Dooley said. “Our trick now is it shouldn’t take us 11 practices and a lot of screaming and ranting and raving to get it going.”

Austin Ward covers Tennessee football. He may be reached at 865-342-6274. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Vols_Beat and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/ward.

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Comments » 62

Pullingguard writes:

No huddle, fast pace....I like it...

Give_em_six writes:

Maybe Leach rubbed off on the offense. I like up tempo.

volll1 writes:

Hate Bama early and often

BankerVol writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Shut up IDIOT.

mountainbrook writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"I hate to tell you this, but in the SEC, every team has decent wideouts,running backs and QB's with much better O Lines than UT threw together"

Not your Vandy team. They will safely make 2-10 again.

TNORANGEDOGDAD writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If you know so much how come one of the TV networks has'nt signed you as an analyst. Conehead

VolinCalif writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

CSS
You know the edge is in Bama's favor but it sure isn't a run-a-way.
Maybe you have forgot that only a blocked kick saved you a couple of years ago. Last year was the only time you have really had an easy game and for the first half of the season all schools playing a bunch of kids that had gone through what the Vol team had gone through were very lucky. A Tenn Wesleyan team of the early 50's would have a good shot at beating them. So pat your self on the head and butt at the same time because Dooley is going to beat you very soon. As for Fl. We'll do that this year. So P. In Your left ear.

JBruce writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You sir are an idiot! This is a website that covers UT sports. You will have to forgive us for not cowering at the thought of our SEC counterparts. The truth is that this football team will be much improved over last season's team. We will have more depth and more experience than we had last year. Also, the coaches have had time to implement their gameplans and schemes, which was not the case last season. Given, this is not an SEC title team most likely, but we will be MUCH better, you can take that to the bank. All UT fans can hope for is improvement. Tennessee football is on the rise and better days are ahead!

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"That may be true, but we are not stupid enough to proclaim greatness like UT fans"

You're right... you're just stupid enough to talk trash all year about how Vandy would beat a UT team depleted in talent and depth and still come up short. UT fielded one of its worst teams ever and you still lost.

Franklin has been saying since he got here that 'losing is not an option'. He's right... it's a certainty!

Perhaps after you crawl out of the SEC cellar you can begin talking trash. Until then, your credibility is shot!

orangecountyvols writes:

Mountainbrook and other Vols,

Finally I took my own advice and just scrolled on down to your intelligent comments.

So much more enjoyable as opposed to looking at the troll...........Cantstandhimself.

I don't know what this troll said, and don't care to know. As we all know by now, this individual is so infatuated with Tennessee here that you'd think he was a Vol fan.

However, not true. He is about as envious as can be with the Vols.

Anyway, aside from this troll..........back to the subject. Nice to see improvement in the second scrimmage and it appears more good things are on the way.

Looking forward to comments from you genuine Tennessee fans.

volunteermailman writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

vol fans don't let an idiot who has never touched the field piss you off. I mean his favorite team is VANDY..... enough said. best thing to do as hard as it may seem is to ignore this clown who is so negative. vandy sucks so bad he has to talk trash about tenn instead of positive things about vanderbilt. THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT ORANGE

volunteermailman writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Mountainbrook and other Vols,

Finally I took my own advice and just scrolled on down to your intelligent comments.

So much more enjoyable as opposed to looking at the troll...........Cantstandhimself.

I don't know what this troll said, and don't care to know. As we all know by now, this individual is so infatuated with Tennessee here that you'd think he was a Vol fan.

However, not true. He is about as envious as can be with the Vols.

Anyway, aside from this troll..........back to the subject. Nice to see improvement in the second scrimmage and it appears more good things are on the way.

Looking forward to comments from you genuine Tennessee fans.

agreed

CCLC writes:

Goodness..can't we all just get along.

manoffewwords writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

All of us are simply wasting time replying to your post. Why do you even care about Tennessee?

BAFO writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Living in the past??? Really!? Since you are only wanting to look back 4 years, I am guessing you are 5 years old? You're analytics is where the phrase "cherry picking" comes from. What is the all time record between UT and VU...when n (population) is available you will get the best distribution and standard deviation. By the time you get to the 5th grade you'll learn this. Happy learning... :)

mhsvol writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You forgot to mention LSU in your rant.

cage952 writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

the o-line played pretty good against bama and oregon, and those are pretty good teams (especially considering how young the line was) tauren poole had the same number of 100 yard games as cam newton (he was 1 off from getting one more) i agree with you on the receivers. and as for uab and kentucky, nobody really cares what happened because we won those games. (BTW why are you so negative all the time. are you even a tn fan?)

RashaadSalabeb writes:

We'll be ready by fall. We're going to surprize some folks. Ready or not here come the VOLS!

Go Big Orange!

RoadTrip writes:

If CSS is not a KNS plant to get y'all riled up, he ought to apply for the job and make some money at it. Why do you give a rat's arse what he says? If a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it, does it make a noise?

Fact is the boys are back and things are going as they should on the Hill. Just think of all the first year players on last year's team that went up against numerous Top 25 teams and still made it to a bowl. Those same guys will not have the deer in the headlights look this season - they know what to expect and are battle tested. Meanwhile they got a whole lot stronger and faster. They learned more about the system and the playbook expanded. The only coaching change found an existing GA with previous coaching experience - who was a solid NFL LB - taking the spot.

Let's sit back and enjoy what is inevitable - the Big Orange returning to its rightful place at the top of the pecking order.

hueypilot writes:

I'm thinking of changing my screen name to CantStandCantStandSaban, but viewing his posts, there is already way too much redundancy as it is now.

VolFanNC writes:

in response to WildcatsOne:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Kentucky does have a dream team next year of freshmen, but you may want to change you screen name to WildcatsOneandDone, because none of these kids really care about Uk. They just want to quickest path to the money. Kentucky needs a few of these to stay a couple of years to win the tourney.

OldNumber7 writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That part about being ahead of Vandy by only 7 really did hurt...that was low.

SEC1 writes:

in response to RashaadSalabeb:

We'll be ready by fall. We're going to surprize some folks. Ready or not here come the VOLS!

Go Big Orange!

wrong, 6-6 at best

cinny= pic em
gators= 7 in a row
buff= w
ga=l
lsu=l
bama=l
usc=l
mtsu=w
pigs=l
vandy=w
kentucky=w

write it down..... guaranteed! only one that might be a flip for ut is uga ... mark right always find a way to coach down the dawgs on the road

OldNumber7 writes:

in response to WildcatsOne:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Quick question, who was president last time you won a football game against Tennessee? No, it wasn't Lincoln..earlier than that.

LibertyVolance writes:

in response to Pullingguard:

No huddle, fast pace....I like it...

Say, if we could run it like Oregon ran it last year, it would wear some defenses out.

ChrisUTvol writes:

I'm sorry I tought that I'd brought up a University of Tennessee site.Must of pushed the wrong key and gotten the SEC TROLL edition Site since this is full of Vandy and Florida people.

ChrisUTvol writes:

in response to ChrisUTvol:

I'm sorry I tought that I'd brought up a University of Tennessee site.Must of pushed the wrong key and gotten the SEC TROLL edition Site since this is full of Vandy and Florida people.

Also QUE the Wildcat fans!!!!!!!!!!!

Razzle writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Be honest, you love getting slapped around on here like a pinball. You should get that mental disorder checked out.

Razzle writes:

And then some lamers like SEC1YEAROLD aren't even worth replying to.

dislikethemtrolls writes:

in response to SEC1:

wrong, 6-6 at best

cinny= pic em
gators= 7 in a row
buff= w
ga=l
lsu=l
bama=l
usc=l
mtsu=w
pigs=l
vandy=w
kentucky=w

write it down..... guaranteed! only one that might be a flip for ut is uga ... mark right always find a way to coach down the dawgs on the road

Hey biscuit lips, you need some new schtick or whatever its called. You and CantStopCrying keep puking up the same garbage. Get a life. Be visiting your lizards website this fall. Especially after each arse whooping you get. And there will be quite a few. Write it down troll!!!

thevoice writes:

in response to volunteermailman:

vol fans don't let an idiot who has never touched the field piss you off. I mean his favorite team is VANDY..... enough said. best thing to do as hard as it may seem is to ignore this clown who is so negative. vandy sucks so bad he has to talk trash about tenn instead of positive things about vanderbilt. THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT ORANGE

Just curious why folk keep replying to foolish comments. Imps like CSS come back because you and others supply a fresh food source (that means you reply to them). Is it too much to ask for UT fans to control themselves enough so as to help clean up the board? Am I missing something? What comment from CSS or similar has ever influenced a single gram of my being? Is it not the same for everyone else?

VOLKING writes:

in response to WildcatsOne:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm so sorry, Miss Wildcat...we thought you were a man. All men know that football is a man's game, basketball is for men in shorts.

jcherrie#219531 (Inactive) writes:

in response to SEC1:

wrong, 6-6 at best

cinny= pic em
gators= 7 in a row
buff= w
ga=l
lsu=l
bama=l
usc=l
mtsu=w
pigs=l
vandy=w
kentucky=w

write it down..... guaranteed! only one that might be a flip for ut is uga ... mark right always find a way to coach down the dawgs on the road

Tennessee had exceeded preseason expecatations last year and will do so again!

Unlike the loser Gators that were a consensus top-5 pick and lost 5. Kind of like the year before when in the preseason they were considered one of the greatest teams of all time until Tebow ended up crying like a school girl. Even Urbie couldn't take any more losing.

Things go in cycles - The Gators couldn't win with great players so look for them to be mediocre again.

Meanwhile the Vols will win with underclassmen.

jcherrie#219531 (Inactive) writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Wrong! (at least the first sentence was - the vast majority wouldn't read your crock).

The only thing that's for sure is that internet bullies exhibit signs of mental illness.

Sell crazy somewhere else - nutjob!

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to Mama_Calls_Me_Precious:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We also deal with you being a scum bag

punkin writes:

in response to WildcatsOne:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Like Memphis State, all you KY fans have is BB and you're not even that great in that. Maybe you should go sit under the bridge and throw your line in.

VOL1972 writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well, I guess we should just call the regular season off.

Give me a break! For better or worse, this is a different team than last year, with a different schedule in the fall with different teams than we played last year. You need to get over last year -- It's 2011!

69grad writes:

How did the defense look?

volnvette03 writes:

in response to WildcatsOne:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Let's see, how many times has our "mediocre" basketball program beat KY since the last time Ky's football program won against UT's "mediocre" football team?

nfdeng13 writes:

See you at the Orange and White game!!!

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

What's the troll count today?

I count at least the usual 3.

Cantstandhimself---------or anyone
WildcatOne
Sec1

Vols.........we have the most envious group of trolls here..........probably more than any other sites in the country.

If they claim to support other teams, they are doing those schools an injustice because surely they don't have enough time to be here as much as they are, and give their ( probably bandwagon ) teams equal time.

I am really surprised the KNS keeps this troll
Cantstandhimself or anyone, here as long as they have, since they have banned others for far less. ( Unless he's "family." )

VOLSGURLINCHARLOTTE writes:

in response to WildcatsOne:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Elite talent? Is this the group that will help you win the Championship, just like the past couple of years? Very doubtful because the little kitty cats have a bad habit of choking in the big games, remember UCONN last weekend? I would rather watch paint drying on my wall.

ChrisUTvol writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Vols,

What's the troll count today?

I count at least the usual 3.

Cantstandhimself---------or anyone
WildcatOne
Sec1

Vols.........we have the most envious group of trolls here..........probably more than any other sites in the country.

If they claim to support other teams, they are doing those schools an injustice because surely they don't have enough time to be here as much as they are, and give their ( probably bandwagon ) teams equal time.

I am really surprised the KNS keeps this troll
Cantstandhimself or anyone, here as long as they have, since they have banned others for far less. ( Unless he's "family." )

AMEN BROTHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!These guys must really be worried about us for them all to tune into this site and be so interested in reading about how a VOL scrimmage went.

VOLSGURLINCHARLOTTE writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey douche bag - let me explain all the optimism for you because we are TENNESSEE VOLS fans and we support our teams all the time through everything. GO BIG ORANGE!!!!

VOLSGURLINCHARLOTTE writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Once again we proclaim greatness because we are TENNESSEE VOLS fans and we support our team through everything. You can list all the excuses you want as to why your boys lost to the Big Orange last year but the fact still remains that VANDY LOST! Sorry that turkey farmer dude did not work out as a coach for you guys...HAHA

HtownVol writes:

Man, this site is getting worse daily. "VandyCantStandTheTruthGrad" is polluting this site with his immature comments.

It is just ludacris that a Vandy fan comes on any teams site to talk smack.

Has Vandy ever won anything that matters?

He/She may have the lone Vandy Win over UT in his/her lifetime recorded on VHS and when mom and dad is not home he/she plays it and that is the way he/she wants to remember UT and Vandy. Holding onto hope that Vandy will land another Jay Cutler that is capable of beating UT 1 out of 4 games (that is if UT ever has another losing season since that is the only way Vandy has a chance).

Anyway, I will take Poole, Neal, Lane and company over the Vandy group any year.

I cant wait to see this UT offense just put up points in bunches for the next few years.

Bray and Worley have the QB position in great hands for 4-5 years
Hunter, Rogers, Arnett, Dallas and Milton could be one of the best 5 deep WR groups in the country (by next year at least)
And the O-Line is loaded with all-americans and UT can go 2 deep at almost every position on the OL with some of the most talented, highly recruited O-Linemen in the country.

At TE, what is the word on Clear? I really want to see him become the next great TE at UT. Rivera is capable of doing the job and Downs has potential to be very good.

It is going to be great to watch this team grow every week and UT will be back in contention for the SEC by 2012

GO VOLS!

jomo11 writes:

Lets not forget that in 4 years as a head coach Dooley STILL has ZERO wins against teams that have finished with a winning record......

CroKev writes:

OK, when I was in grade school there was this kid named Ernie who was the smallest kid in our class. Ernie wasn't very bright and to try to make up for his lacking in size, smarts, eloquence, etc., he would taunt the bigger kids. Of course, they all ignored him because... well, he was just Ernie. It would have been embarrassing to have retalitated. Why? Well, again, he was just Ernie and it just would not have been right to respond.

illorangevol writes:

To all true Vol fans. Ignore those who are obviously here to tear down the progress and positives for Tennessee. Any reply to the vitriolic commentary from these people just fuels their provocative behavior.

ChrisUTvol writes:

in response to illorangevol:

To all true Vol fans. Ignore those who are obviously here to tear down the progress and positives for Tennessee. Any reply to the vitriolic commentary from these people just fuels their provocative behavior.

But it's so much fun.

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