Malik Jackson's injury forces more math for front seven

0-for-7: Vols have new math for a couple weeks

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray (11) scores a touchdown during the second half Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010 in Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA. Tennessee  defensive end Malik Jackson (97) shoved Murray out of bounds but it was ruled he cross the goal line before going out.

Photo by Michael Patrick

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray (11) scores a touchdown during the second half Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010 in Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA. Tennessee defensive end Malik Jackson (97) shoved Murray out of bounds but it was ruled he cross the goal line before going out.

Derek Dooley talks after Thursday's practice

And then there were none.

At least for the time being.

Derek Dooley hasn't hesitated to offer reminders that Tennessee reported for camp this week with only one returning starter in the defensive front seven. Now the Vols coach is completely out of them for a while after he announced Friday that tackle Malik Jackson would be on the shelf for about two weeks with a sprained right knee.

"We are now zero out of seven, that's right," Dooley said. "But we weren't very good in the front seven last year, so some people would say that's the best news we've had all season.

"Think about it. You heard that saying, 'The good news is we've got everybody back. The bad news is we've got everybody back.' The bad news is we've got zero out of seven, the good news is we've got zero out of seven."

Dooley was clearly joking as he updated the math on his depth chart after Jackson took his pads off and replaced them with a sleeve on his right knee, and the fact the senior should be back in plenty of time for the season opener against Montana likely allowed him to smile.

The Vols do have serious expectations for Jackson coming into his second season with the program, and he was perhaps the most publicized player on the roster over the summer while picking up preseason All-SEC first-team honors from both the coaches and the media in addition to being named to three award watch lists.

Likewise, UT was counting on heavy contributions from linebacker Herman Lathers before he broke an ankle during the offseason to provide the first blow to an already low number of returning starters.

There's still no timetable for a return for Lathers, and the junior continues to watch practice on crutches as he rehabs from his surgery in June. The injury for Jackson is much less serious, but with him out in the short term, the Vols will be auditioning a completely new front seven.

Which, depending on the perspective, can be a good or bad thing.

"It should only be a couple of weeks," Dooley said. "We want Malik back, and we want Herman back.

"We want two out of seven."

Come together: The Vols united the entire roster for the first time since opening practice on Tuesday, and the results didn't seem to be what Dooley was looking for.

But he wasn't blaming a workout he called "sluggish" on the fact that everybody was on the field at the same time.

"It should be better having the whole team, because there are more bodies," Dooley said. "I think it got a little hot out there, they're in their pads and you go through a couple of bad plays, and when bad plays start happening, the coaches get louder and the players get quieter. Then the coaches get louder, and the players get quieter and I start having a headache.

"When the players learn how to get out of those bad plays by them getting louder and having a little leadership to affect others positively, we'll shut up. That's where we need to go."

On the move: The search for help at linebacker and a surplus in the secondary has yielded the first position change.

Dontavis Sapp is starting to get work at linebacker after a promising spring at safety, though the Vols aren't in a hurry to lock him in at either spot for now.

"We're going to move a bunch of guys around to try to figure it out," Dooley said. "We're just kind of getting them in sack, shaking them around and seeing what they can do.

"(Sapp) looks pretty good in there. He's instinctive, he's big and he gives us another body in there. It's good because he can play in sub at safety, so he's got a little hybrid in him."

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Comments » 32

givehim6 writes:

Dang that injury bug, gets use every year. But good it's only two weeks.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

Get well soon, Malik!! We need your leadership out there on the field.

Smokey is still on the prowl for a special medicine to heal Malik faster...

423tiger18 writes:

He'll be back...with a vengeance!!

FEARinSEC writes:

I doubt his knee is that bad and the coaches know we can't afford to lose anyone on the Dline, so "2 weeks" sounds like a precautionary measure. I'm sure Malik will be fine!

Heal up quickly, big guy, we need you!!!

FEARinSEC writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

pingkr62 writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I hate to say so, and I know National signing day is a long way off, but it looks like we are getting our arses kicked in recruiting. G.B.O.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

Jackson;Lathers and Janzen are the heart of this defense..I don't know how bad Lathers break was but anything concerning a knee;ankle or the dreaded achilles is BAD news..I don't think we'll see Herman till the end of Sept. at best..I get the feeling AJ Johnson and Maggitt may somewhat fill some gaps..If it was up to me I would keep Malik off the field 3 weeks to avoid any possible serious injury..Doesn't anybody know what the status of Couch is??Couch Iam sure will crack the starting lineup before season opens but so far based on KNS up to the minute fine reporting; Iam not sure if he's even on the summer roster..Same goes for Byron Moore!!

CroKev writes:

Just saw that Humphreys committed to UF. Said that UT had "to sell him a little more" than UF. After 5 visits to K'town, I guess he wasn't sold enough. Sure hopes he comes to his senses before NSD.

The_Ghost_of_Duke_DeLuca writes:

Told my brother earlier this week that we had to keep 6 guys healthy to even think about a winning season: Malik Jackson, Janzen Jackson, Tyler Bray, Matt Simms, and the best two offensive linemen to emerge.

Knees problems in August are never 100% during the season.

At least we play Buffalo and Montana or Montana Tech or whoever it is. That should be two wins. Four more and we could be .500.

The_Ghost_of_Duke_DeLuca writes:

in response to pingkr62:

I hate to say so, and I know National signing day is a long way off, but it looks like we are getting our arses kicked in recruiting. G.B.O.

You don't really know if you're getting whipped in recruiting until 3 years after the national signing date.

punkin writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

OrangePsyched writes:

We all should hit suggest removal on Bodeane, CSS and Volzfan when all they are contributing is sarcasm. Wanna talk some football...fine. If you just want to try to be funny stay on your on site and we'll stay on ours. Hopefully Malik will be fine for the season. We're due for some good luck healthwise.

SummittsCourt writes:

""We are now zero out of seven, that's right," Dooley said. "But we weren't very good in the front seven last year, so some people would say that's the best news we've had all season."

Thats just funny!

Mobbdeep4life writes:

The injury to Malik during camp allows other linemen to show their mettle. Hopefully one or two will take advantage of it. That would only increase depth on the D-line. Been hearing that Alan "Tugboat" Carson is making some plays.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

Yeah we missed out on Humphries, yeah it sucks. But the 4* LB from Texas who committed to us today sure does take the sting away. Especially being that we need LBs more than OTs. 6'2" 245lbs stud LB outta Texas with offers from everyone...yeah I will take it.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to Mobbdeep4life:

The injury to Malik during camp allows other linemen to show their mettle. Hopefully one or two will take advantage of it. That would only increase depth on the D-line. Been hearing that Alan "Tugboat" Carson is making some plays.

Agree. I also heard the same on Carson. They said he's not quite in shape either, yet he's doing good. This freshman class coming in is FANTASTIC. And EVERYONE who has seen Marlon Lane says he's the next great Vol. Not the next great RB, next great Vol. Names like Reggie Cobb and Jamal Lewis are being thrown up when discussing Lane.

Good to see you on here MD4L. Keep mob'n my man, keep mob'n

smokies_old_soul writes:

very tough hit to lose Humphries, especially to Fla - but we did get great news with a pledge from from prized four-star linebacker Dalton Santos of Van HS out of Texas. and we need LB's right now more than OL - tho we need both.

The 6-foot-2, 240-pound Santos was once pledged to Oklahoma State, but withdrew his commitment in June.

Among his other offers were Alabama, Arkansas, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas A&M and Texas Tech.

kletusfleabiscuit writes:

Dalton Santos is sick nasty as an ILB. Check out some of his film - the man can outright fly and loves to hit. He said he wanted to play in the SEC just for the fact that he can play downhill and hit people. Humphries would have been a great catch,,,but we need linebackers,,,nasty, angry linebackers. Santos had pledged to play for OU,,but backed out because it just wasn't in the SEC. He won't back out of UT.

Colliervol writes:

I never get hung up on recruiting/commitments and don't pay a lot of attention to it till signing day. However, it would appear that the ship is turning ever so slightly in a positive direction. Not just with recruiting but with the overall direction of the program---attitude, strength and size of the players, improved discipline etc. I'm certain we're in for more ups and downs but I'm semi-starting to like what I'm hearing. Until they get some improved depth though, injuries are going to be the key to any progress we see on the field.

I heard an interview on local radio yesterday with Wes Rucker and even he was giving Dooley credit for the progress. He said and I quote: "Few people realize how bad the situation was at UT when Dooley took the job." He intimated it was much worse than the average fan realizes. He stated it is a 3 to 4 year project to resurrect it and I fully agree with that. It didn't take one year for it to go downhill and Dooley (nor anybody else) would be able to bring it back in one year. Fulmer and Kiffin left this thing in a colossal mess and, if you don't believe that, you haven't been paying attention and really shouldn't bother commenting.

The other interesting note in the Rucker interview was he flat said that the Alleva hiring was much closer than anybody let on. He said there was a press conference scheduled for the following morning to announce the hiring before Alleva changed his mind. He said it appears that UT is going to go with Joan Cronan until next spring and see what candidates shake out. And that UT won't suffer one bit with Cronan at the helm while they wait.

hcjournals#206623 writes:

Linebackers are a specialty in Texas. They teach them how to play, and play tough. We got a good one there. T for Texas and T for Tennessee.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Couldn't agree more.

NickDanger-ThirdEye writes:

in response to punkin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

count me in.

VolGrad writes:

Coach 'em up from the sidelines, Malik. And take care of that knee.

GBO!

MusicCityVol writes:

Get well soon Malik. He is, perhaps, the most important Vol on the roster this season.

While Dooley reels in a good catch, a big fish gets away...
http://www.checkerboardchatter.com/20...

orangeman1 writes:

in response to Colliervol:

I never get hung up on recruiting/commitments and don't pay a lot of attention to it till signing day. However, it would appear that the ship is turning ever so slightly in a positive direction. Not just with recruiting but with the overall direction of the program---attitude, strength and size of the players, improved discipline etc. I'm certain we're in for more ups and downs but I'm semi-starting to like what I'm hearing. Until they get some improved depth though, injuries are going to be the key to any progress we see on the field.

I heard an interview on local radio yesterday with Wes Rucker and even he was giving Dooley credit for the progress. He said and I quote: "Few people realize how bad the situation was at UT when Dooley took the job." He intimated it was much worse than the average fan realizes. He stated it is a 3 to 4 year project to resurrect it and I fully agree with that. It didn't take one year for it to go downhill and Dooley (nor anybody else) would be able to bring it back in one year. Fulmer and Kiffin left this thing in a colossal mess and, if you don't believe that, you haven't been paying attention and really shouldn't bother commenting.

The other interesting note in the Rucker interview was he flat said that the Alleva hiring was much closer than anybody let on. He said there was a press conference scheduled for the following morning to announce the hiring before Alleva changed his mind. He said it appears that UT is going to go with Joan Cronan until next spring and see what candidates shake out. And that UT won't suffer one bit with Cronan at the helm while they wait.

I agree with most of your post except for the statement that Kiffin/Fulmer left us in a colossal mess. I think the firing of Fulmer and Kiffin bolting is what has left us in the shape we are in now. You do realize how many players quit the team because of Fulmer and Kiffin leaving and the recruits that we missed out on due to both coaches "leaving". Dooley is doing the best he can with what he has, but this roster is not void of talent. It definately wasnt without talent when Fulmer left because there were around 10 players signed to NFL teams the year after he was fired. So I would say that the coaching changes is what has left us in this mess.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to Others_Not_Receiving_Votes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I actually think the D-line will surprise some people this year as long as they can stay healthy. Jackson and J Smith are really good. Also there is more unproven talent that should be good too like Couch,Bohannon,Miller, Martin,Fowlkes, Jeffries, and Walls. This group has a shot at being really good and I think will surprise some people. I am concerned about linebackers, but if Lathers can get back soon, I think AJ and Lathers will do just fine.

Pompey writes:

in response to brown-bag-vol-fan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

....if all key players are either going to be on crutches or sidelined all bets are off for this season......

CincyOhVol writes:

in response to pingkr62:

I hate to say so, and I know National signing day is a long way off, but it looks like we are getting our arses kicked in recruiting. G.B.O.

Everybody keeps talking about Dooley signing depth. Well I guess we will get to see what kind of depth we have.

If our depth sucks then the natural question is who signed our depth to scholarships?

TNORANGEDOGDAD writes:

in response to OrangePsyched:

We all should hit suggest removal on Bodeane, CSS and Volzfan when all they are contributing is sarcasm. Wanna talk some football...fine. If you just want to try to be funny stay on your on site and we'll stay on ours. Hopefully Malik will be fine for the season. We're due for some good luck healthwise.

Add Papermate_Chinese_ Bandit to that List - Delete

VOODOOley-2011 (Inactive) writes:

This is what happens in October, when people start getting banged up after the Montana and Cincy game.. I would get injured on the way from the training table to the locker room, so I'm not complaining much.. yet..

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree Naval;I put us in the top 3 in SEC...Definitely have 4 solid starters...Add to that byron moore;Pat Martin and Justin Coleman

redbullet writes:

i've only been reading these sites for a year now, but these idiots must have a brain the size of a pea! DO YOU BRAINIACS THINK EVERY GOOD TEAM STARTED OUT AS NUMBER 1 AND JUST WIN EVERYTIME THEY ARE ON THE FIELD? DO YOU THINK THEIR RECRUTING , COACHES, TRAINERS, AND PLAYERS ARE SO GREAT? IF YOU EVER PLAYED OR COMPETED IN ANYTHING YOU WOULD REALIZE SOME PLAYERS AND COACHES START OUT BUILDING FROM THE BASICS AND CONTINUE TO IMPROVE GAME BY GAME AND EVEN THEN, THEY WILL HAVE SETBACKS!! It's like life if all you ever got was perfect or great you would never strive to improve and you would get complacent, then some little sorry group of players would sneak up and beat you, even the best do this occassionally. IF EVERYTHING WORKED LIKE YOUR STUPID LITTLE WORLD, THEN THERE WOULDN'T BE ANY REASON FOR ANY TEAM TO PLAY, FLORIDA OR BAMA WOULD JUST GET THE NAT. CHAMPIONSHIP TROPHY AUTOMATICALLY! WE ARE REBUILDING AND IMPROVING, AT LEAST WE ARE GOING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION!! WE MAY NOT WIN A GAME OR WE MAY WIN THEM ALL, BUT WE WILL, DO AS WELL AS ANYONE COULD EXPECT WITH WHAT WE HAVE, AND AFTER LAST YEAR WE SHOULD BE PROUD, DOOLEY DIDN'T HAVE ANYTHING TO BRAG ABOUT AND MOST OF YOU WOULD HAVE TURNED DOWN THE JOB IF THEY HAD OFFERED IT TO YOU, BECAUSE IT LOOKED LIKE A 2 WIN SEASON, SO EXPECT MORE SURPRISES THIS YEAR, BECAUSE WE WERE JUST A FEW BIG PLAYS AND A FEW BETTER PLAYERS FROM WINNING SEVERAL MORE. my point is you can put us down all you want but when this sorry Tenn. team beats your team then at least admit your team is a lot worse than you thought and your coaches are more terrible than you thought too!

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