Derek Dooley has practice schedule meticulously planned, but still a bit nervous

Tennessee defensive backs Janzen Jackson, left, and Brent Brewer drill during practice at Haslam Field on  Tuesday, August 16, 2011.

(Saul Young/News Sentinel)

Photo by Saul Young, Saul Young

Tennessee defensive backs Janzen Jackson, left, and Brent Brewer drill during practice at Haslam Field on Tuesday, August 16, 2011. (Saul Young/News Sentinel)

UT coach Derek Dooley talks about Matt Milton

Earlier in the month, when Derek Dooley said he had spent three years working on what is now Tennessee's revamped practice schedule for the upcoming school year, some understandable snickers could be heard throughout the room.

Dooley, though, wasn't joking.

The UT coach is the first to admit that he's a meticulous planner. And even though all the details appear to be smoothed out heading into its debut Thursday, Dooley said Tuesday that there will always be components of the switch that will cause him to lose sleep.

"I'm really more nervous about what we haven't thought of," Dooley said. "This will be a little different. But I feel pretty good about the schedule."

All weekday practices from Thursday until the end of the season will be held in the morning. Previously, the Vols, who are off today, would go through their classes in the morning before arriving at Haslam Field for a practice that typically began around 4 p.m.

Also changing is the team's day of rest. Instead of Sunday, the Vols will now take Mondays off during the season.

Dooley said both changes are designed to help the players and his coaches, who will now start fresh with their focus squarely on the upcoming game Monday morning.

"I think it cleans up the game for the players on Sunday, so you don't have to wake up Monday and still revisit Saturday," Dooley said. "And then, I think it's going to help the players manage their weeks better. They're going to get in bed earlier. They're going to eat better. And they won't be oversleeping for class because they have practice, so I just feel like it will be a better routine for everybody.

"Time will tell."

Wide receiver Justin Hunter initially grimaced at the prospect of early-morning practices, which will typically start at 9 a.m. Hunter said he would have to set his alarm for 6 a.m. to insure that he would make it to the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center in time.

Players such as offensive tackle Dallas Thomas and defensive end Marlon Walls were open to a new way of doing things.

"I think for some of the guys, it's going to be pretty hard," Walls said. "But I'm a morning person, anyways. I'm usually up by about 7 o'clock anyways, so now I've just got to push it back a couple of hours."

Bumps and Bruises: Greg King was the newest addition to UT's walking wounded Tuesday, as the oft-injured linebacker nursed swelling in his right knee.

Running backs Tom Smith and Rajion Neal were out for a second consecutive day because of their respective knee injuries.

Prentiss Waggner, DeAnthony Arnett, Steven Fowlkes and Zach Rogers all practiced in red, non-contact jerseys in the evening practice. None of their injuries were disclosed, but Dooley hasn’t identified any of them as dealing with a problem of significance.

Just for Kicks: Michael Palardy said he didn't need to make a 52-yard field goal in Saturday's scrimmage to boost his confidence, but it certainly didn't hurt.

What made it more reassuring was that his longest make as a Vol during a scrimmage or actual game wasn't even his best kick.

"I didn't hit it as well as I should have," he said. "It got in there, cleared it by a yard and a half, 2 yards. I know I can hit it 5, 6 yards further than that."

Palardy, who struggled through a pulled groin muscle that lingered from last season all the way through spring practice, said he has been completely healthy for nearly two months. He credited a less taxing workout regimen for the success he's had not only with long field goals, but longer kickoffs.

He and Dooley both said that the majority of his kicks have landed inside the 5-yard line, a marked improvement from last season.

"I'm feeling good," Palardy said. "It's what I needed."

Bigger is Better: Izauea Lanier is 194 pounds, and he's hoping to use every one of them to his advantage as he vies to become one of UT's starting cornerbacks.

The junior-college transfer played safety at East Mississippi Community College last season, but knew well before camp that he would be moved to cornerback.

"I really try to test every receiver I go up against," Lanier said. "I know most receivers I play against are going to be physical. Me being this big at corner, I really feel like it will be a tougher challenge to a receiver to really push me of."

Dooley has been impressed with Lanier thus far.

"He's instinctive," Dooley said. "He's had a great work ethic and attitude, and so, as long as he stays on that pace, he's going to help us.

"And we need him to, because we don't have a guy right now that we say, 'All right, we're done at corner.' "

Roster Management: The final verdict is in: Geraldo Orta will take the final scholarship available spot this fall, with Tino Thomas taking a grayshirt and sitting the season out.

The Vols confirmed the move prior to the evening workout on Tuesday night, one day before classes were set to begin this morning. Both players are coming off shoulder surgeries in the summer, but Orta appears likely to be cleared physically first — which perhaps gave him the edge in getting on UT’s roster right away.

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Comments » 34

richvol writes:

I love Dooley's attention to detail...

FEARinSEC writes:

The only thing I don't like about working out in the morning is that your muscles are still tight from inactivity during the nights rest. Afternoon workouts seem to work better for me because my muscles have already been used throughout the day and stretched, or "warmed up" so to speak. Seems like every time I pull something it's during a morning workout.

I'm sure the training staff knows something I don't know.
Go VOLS!!!

VOLliven2it writes:

Just Get Sept. 3rd here quickly, of course after they have everything in place on Rocky Top. I am looking forward to being there for a Grizzly opening...for Montana any way. GO BIG ORANGE!

Prostar writes:

I like his attn. to details. Sometimes it's the little things that get overlooked that can mess you up. On a side note, Dooley says they are bigger and faster. I wish KNS had given us more info on their strength and conditioning regimen.

Mtnbiker writes:

Morning vs afternoon workout....I prefer morning,gets the metabolism running early and on high octane for most of the day. So long as your not a couch potato the rest of the day your muscles won't be as tight as you think. The next morn be ready to work the stiffness out and rinse an repeat the rest of the day. Dunno how they do workout there, but I always end a workout with a post workout recovery drink. Almost never really sore afterwards.

I'm sure this will help on and off the field, they'll be fully alert in those early day classes. They shouldn't be out late since they'll have practice early. No one wants to have a hangover and go to practice. If anyone does they deserve to puke all morning for being an idiot.

uttcut writes:

My only concern is in the AM (esp early AM)your body is typically not hydrated as well as in the afternoon...just walking to the practice field will be sufficient to warm them up, and I'm sure the coaches will put them through warmups as well. Not putting good fluids and foods in their body for workouts might be the downside though. Also, is 9 AM considered EARLY AM now? I was thinking more like 7 AM practice. If they go for 2 hours, it might be after noon before they get to classes...bet there will be some comments from professors about that.

dgcarter43 writes:

Does anyone know why Khalid Henderson is not rated on Volquest list of commits when he is a 4* on Scout?

VolinCalif writes:

in response to Prostar:

I like his attn. to details. Sometimes it's the little things that get overlooked that can mess you up. On a side note, Dooley says they are bigger and faster. I wish KNS had given us more info on their strength and conditioning regimen.

Yep. Like being able to count to twelve.

dvhill100 writes:

The military usually works out early morning (at least we did in the Marines), so I don't see the morning being a problem. Mind over matter, if you don't mind, it don't matter.

CroKev writes:

I'm up by 5 am every day but I still have a hard time loosening up before lunch time. Also, what's with Sunday practices? Why mess with the Sabbath if you don't have to?

springtx_vol writes:

in response to FEARinSEC:

The only thing I don't like about working out in the morning is that your muscles are still tight from inactivity during the nights rest. Afternoon workouts seem to work better for me because my muscles have already been used throughout the day and stretched, or "warmed up" so to speak. Seems like every time I pull something it's during a morning workout.

I'm sure the training staff knows something I don't know.
Go VOLS!!!

If I remember previous info from CDD on this issue, most, if not all of the NFL teams practice in the morning. If it is good enough for them, it should be just fine for the Vols. Plus, it aught to have them in bed early and stay out of trouble. Like I tell my kids all the time, nothing good happens after midnight.

AtLannaVol writes:

Not sure about that last roster spot. Maybe a new development in the am.

Is it September yet!?

Go Vols!!

M_VOL writes:

in response to springtx_vol:

If I remember previous info from CDD on this issue, most, if not all of the NFL teams practice in the morning. If it is good enough for them, it should be just fine for the Vols. Plus, it aught to have them in bed early and stay out of trouble. Like I tell my kids all the time, nothing good happens after midnight.

When I was at UT, I had a lot of good things "happen" to me after midnight.

FWBVol writes:

in response to uttcut:

My only concern is in the AM (esp early AM)your body is typically not hydrated as well as in the afternoon...just walking to the practice field will be sufficient to warm them up, and I'm sure the coaches will put them through warmups as well. Not putting good fluids and foods in their body for workouts might be the downside though. Also, is 9 AM considered EARLY AM now? I was thinking more like 7 AM practice. If they go for 2 hours, it might be after noon before they get to classes...bet there will be some comments from professors about that.

Yes, if the go two hours it will probably be after noon before they get to class. It seems the players would have less chance of being late for a class after practicing than they would by having to get up for an 8 a.m. class.

I really don't think a professor cares what time of day a player, or any other student, takes a class. I can't imagine a professor standing at the door of their classroom at 1:55 before a 2 p.m. and commenting on Tyler Bray being in the 2 p.m. history class.

springtx_vol writes:

in response to M_VOL:

When I was at UT, I had a lot of good things "happen" to me after midnight.

I suspect that your definition of good and this father's definition of good probably aren't the same! In fact, I suspect that those definitions are probably at the opposite end of the possible meanings of good!

castoff121 writes:

in response to VOL_GOD:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Did anything happen before midnight? It's all fuzzy.

thevoice writes:

in response to FEARinSEC:

The only thing I don't like about working out in the morning is that your muscles are still tight from inactivity during the nights rest. Afternoon workouts seem to work better for me because my muscles have already been used throughout the day and stretched, or "warmed up" so to speak. Seems like every time I pull something it's during a morning workout.

I'm sure the training staff knows something I don't know.
Go VOLS!!!

Only the practices are in the morning. Weights, etc. would be later in the day I think.

claiborneh writes:

I do not respect the decision by Mr. Dooley to have practice on Sundays. It is the wrong thing to do.

wjackson#226202 writes:

I get up at 3:15 in the morning to hit the bike. Then the treadmill and then I stretch. And then at work by 6. I'm 45. I've been working out in the morning for over 20 years. Never had an injury from it. Only from thinking I'm stronger than I am. (Back in my 20's)lol. I am ready to take on the day after I get out of the shower. I think this is an excellent decision. As far as Sundays go. I live in MD now. The "Sabbath" thought is strange to hear up here. No offense meant. I was in Tennessee back in June (Knoxville, Nashville, and Chattown.) I was invited to Church 3 times by 3 different strangers. For the most part. That is still unique to the south. I grew up in Knoxville and still bleed Orange!! Go Vols!!!

kthoma14 writes:

in response to claiborneh:

I do not respect the decision by Mr. Dooley to have practice on Sundays. It is the wrong thing to do.

Yeah! And what about them playing on Shomer Shabbat!?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPo9OB...

VOLinATL writes:

in response to kthoma14:

Yeah! And what about them playing on Shomer Shabbat!?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPo9OB...

Plus, they have been practicing all during Ramadan! Heretics!!!

VOODOOley-2011 (Inactive) writes:

This sounds more like my schedule.. you get up early and get your work done for the day early, then Happy Hour starts "promptly" at 4pm.. then you can slug a few down on the Strip, get something to eat and get to bed like me at 9pm.. what' wrong with that?

GO VOLS!!

go_vols84 writes:

in response to dgcarter43:

Does anyone know why Khalid Henderson is not rated on Volquest list of commits when he is a 4* on Scout?

Pretty sure I heard Hubbs say they had him rated a 2* and then took the rating down because no one had actually seen him.

I took from that that Rivals, and most likely all of these commercial recruiting services, just take stabs in the dark. It further confirmed to me that all I care about is what the coaches think, and secondarily, who else has offered.

These ratings really are a joke. How do you think they came up with 2*?? Some idiot just being lazy was in the 2* mood? The only reason they took it down is because the kid committed to UT and they realized their pants were down and people might take notice.

kingofthevols writes:

So classes will need to be scheduled around football practice. Anything wrong with this picture?

UTengr36 writes:

in response to CroKev:

I'm up by 5 am every day but I still have a hard time loosening up before lunch time. Also, what's with Sunday practices? Why mess with the Sabbath if you don't have to?

The Sabbath is Saturday, nobody keeps the Sabbath anymore anyways. There would be no football. Sunday is the day for worship.

Noogaorange writes:

in response to M_VOL:

When I was at UT, I had a lot of good things "happen" to me after midnight.

ah the memories. I'm with you on that M_VOL

volcraze writes:

in response to castoff121:

Did anything happen before midnight? It's all fuzzy.

"Fuzzy"---That was the word I was thinking of!

CroKev writes:

in response to UTengr36:

The Sabbath is Saturday, nobody keeps the Sabbath anymore anyways. There would be no football. Sunday is the day for worship.

If you're Jewish, the Sabbath is still Saturday. If you're Christian, it is now Sunday. If anyone saw Chariots of Fire they'll understand. We've had a lot of great players at UT over the years (in my time it was Allen Duncan and Reggie White) who would not practice on a Sunday.

CroKev writes:

One quick correction - Yes, White did play on Sundays in the NFL. No choice in the matter. I like Chik-Fil-A's take on the matter: Taking a day off to rest and reflect is a very positive thing (UT players do have Monday off from practice but not classes).

OrangeCounsel writes:

in response to kingofthevols:

So classes will need to be scheduled around football practice. Anything wrong with this picture?

I scheduled all my classes around band practice for four years and walked out with two degrees. Lots of kids schedule around breakfast and lunch, too. They even have class in the evenings. I wouldn't worry too much about it.

UTbassdrummer writes:

He gave his reasons, which make sense, for having practice on Sunday. And sunday practice hardly impedes a person from worshipping. A lot of people jog before church. It baffles me, the stuff that people try to turn into argument/debate on this forum.

CroKev writes:

in response to UTbassdrummer:

He gave his reasons, which make sense, for having practice on Sunday. And sunday practice hardly impedes a person from worshipping. A lot of people jog before church. It baffles me, the stuff that people try to turn into argument/debate on this forum.

Enjoy remaining baffled.

woodwr#217203 writes:

in response to FEARinSEC:

The only thing I don't like about working out in the morning is that your muscles are still tight from inactivity during the nights rest. Afternoon workouts seem to work better for me because my muscles have already been used throughout the day and stretched, or "warmed up" so to speak. Seems like every time I pull something it's during a morning workout.

I'm sure the training staff knows something I don't know.
Go VOLS!!!

Morning requires starting slowly and stretching a bit.

Ideally the workout would be at the same time of day as the game.

Morning will help getting ready for noon SEC network kickoffs but we hope to become the 3:30 CBS and Eventually the 7:30 PM ESPN Team.

VolinVirginia writes:

in response to claiborneh:

I do not respect the decision by Mr. Dooley to have practice on Sundays. It is the wrong thing to do.

No: "it is the wrong thing to do" for you.

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