Derek Dooley, Tyler Bray expect more from run game

Derek Dooley chose the conservative approach.

Citing a veteran running back, a more experienced offensive line and a deeper stable of rushers to help carry the load, the Tennessee coach made clear he expected his ground game to be improved and that it would be a letdown if it wasn't.

Quarterback Tyler Bray took a much more aggressive style in breaking down the offense.

The Vols quarterback also had some examples to support his stance, rattling off the credentials of the top three tailbacks on the depth chart and praising the offensive line as well.

The message was the same after practice on Tuesday, but it was delivered in widely different ways.

"We can run the ball pretty much whenever we want — on any down," Bray said. "I mean, we have Tauren (Poole), who is a strong and fast back. We have Marlin (Lane), who's quick. We have Rajion (Neal), he's quick, and the offensive line has been blocking well."

The Vols also have Tom Smith back in the fold, who, like Neal, has missed time in camp with a knee injury that slowed both down for a couple weeks.

Collectively that personnel has raised the bar for a rushing attack that was far and away the least productive in the SEC last year, finishing nearly 30 yards behind Vanderbilt at the bottom of the rankings with just 109 yards per game.

"I'm hoping it's improved, and it should be," Dooley said. "No. 1, we've got more guys who have played on the offensive line who we feel like are going to be really good players for us. That's No. 1. Then we also have a guy who ran for over 1,000 yards last year, which last year he hadn't. No. 3, we feel like we have a little better stable of backups to help him.

"Given all that, we should be running the ball better. I'll be disappointed if we don't."

Each of those factors would seem to point to a more consistent offense on the ground, which also could pay dividends for the passing game as well.

The relative abundance of options in the backfield could be the biggest help, particularly for Poole after having to carry much of the load last season. With 204 carries, the senior logged exactly half of the attempts for the Vols in his first campaign as the feature back, and Dooley has made clear he'd like to distribute some of those touches elsewhere to keep Poole fresh.

"Marlin is going to play, and he's going to play a lot," Dooley said. "Rajion, we'll try to figure it out. Rajion has missed a lot.

"But we'll try to integrate him into the game, shape some plays for him a little bit and see how he goes."

Early Returns: Two up, two down for Dooley.

Both of the first two workouts of game week for the Vols have come with some positive reviews afterward, and the practice field seemed to buzz even before the speakers were blasting some hip-hop music during an early stretching period.

"We had another good day," Dooley said. "These days, the emphasis is third down and red area. Most of the physical work starts getting back down and it becomes a bigger investment on the mental preparation.

"Two good days of work, and we head into tomorrow (focusing on) moving the field."

Perfect Catch: The two-deep includes his name.

The coaching staff has praised his quick transition to wide receiver.

Now even some decorated teammates at his new position are offering rave reviews for converted defensive back Anthony Anderson.

"Man, I think he's real good at receiver," Justin Hunter said. "I think he should have been with us awhile back — like in the spring. He's come (in) and made a big impact.

"He's making hard catches that some of us couldn't make."

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Comments » 40

thevoice writes:

And after God took a rest, he created college football on the 7th day.

bearbull95#206250 writes:

Anthony, when your number is called, make the most of it, young man. You will have earned it.

ncvol17 writes:

run run run - we need another Cobb-Webb attack

VolinCalif writes:

in response to thevoice:

And after God took a rest, he created college football on the 7th day.

I kind'a think he created C Football on the sixth day. Because he watched it while resting on the seventh day.

GainesvilleVol1 writes:

The running game sets up every other play. If you can run you can pass. Run Tauren Run!!!

GO VOLS!!!

pdhuff#552644 writes:

It's time to be ready.

Saw the doldrums going down the road on their old truck moving out.

MidTennVol writes:

"We can run the ball pretty much whenever we want — on any down," Bray said.

Brave words, son. Love the confidence...but remember those words during the AL and FL games...

...and I'd love to hear that from the offensive line...

secten#238516 writes:

in response to InDestruCtible:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

that is because he has never coached in the sec.

FLORIDAGATORHATER writes:

Once again, more preseason hype. Get ready folks, we are gonna be very average. Keep expectations low. You will thank me later. I still don't trust Bray yet. I have a feeling he's gonna start throwing some serious ducks when he's rushed by some real defenses, unlike last year. We'll see what he's made of pretty fast. I hope I'm wrong.

RatherBeDrivingaTitleist writes:

It has been obvious to me that Chaney likes to throw the ball more than run it. When you are last in the conference in rushing that is not a good thing. When it is 3rd and 1 and you are passing, that is not a good thing. You have to be able to run the football to be competitive in the SEC. It looks like we have now gotten enough talent on the OL to move some people and run the ball again. That is a good thing.

go_vols84 writes:

I've got my ankles shaved and taped, cherries soakin... ITS FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEEEE!!!!

CantStandCantStandSaban writes:

in response to InDestruCtible:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Whoa...that IS shocking! It's really surprising that an incoming coach on any level would praise his new players. That probably means you're going to win the NC this year. Thanks for sharing. I went ahead and added a nonsensical, idiotic post on the Sentinel's website to express my gratitude for all of the pearls of wisdom you regularly drop on govolsxtra.com.

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to InDestruCtible:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I wouldn't get too cocky. We were a little inconsistant in the run game last year, but still logged 100+ on Bama's defense (not many can say that). We have a more experienced line this year and I'm anticipating a more balanced attack.

Demps and Rainey were just as fast last year and behind a more experienced line, so this isn't anything new... except for Weis. I'm expecting them to be average at best. Granted, if they get into the open field they're gone, but I doubt that will happen very often.

MusicCityVol writes:

The running game will be a key to Tyler Bray avoiding the dreaded sophomore slump. I think with the OLine that we have our running game could be really solid.

This is Why I Love Tennessee Football: State Pride
http://www.checkerboardchatter.com/20...

Volunatic writes:

"With 204 carries, the senior logged exactly half of the attempts for the Vols in his first campaign as the feature back"

Actually, Poole's 204 carries were MORE than half of the rushing attempts in 2010. 41 of the other 204 Vol "rushes" were sacks by the opposing team.
(Side note-- as a stats nut, I've always hated that sacks are included in rushing attempts/yardage-- I think they should count against passing attempts/yardage stats.)

Volunatic writes:

in response to CantStandCantStandSaban:

Whoa...that IS shocking! It's really surprising that an incoming coach on any level would praise his new players. That probably means you're going to win the NC this year. Thanks for sharing. I went ahead and added a nonsensical, idiotic post on the Sentinel's website to express my gratitude for all of the pearls of wisdom you regularly drop on govolsxtra.com.

Good response.
(I had to do a double take on your posting moniker-- pretty funny choice.)

CantStandCantStandSaban writes:

in response to MusicCityVol:

The running game will be a key to Tyler Bray avoiding the dreaded sophomore slump. I think with the OLine that we have our running game could be really solid.

This is Why I Love Tennessee Football: State Pride
http://www.checkerboardchatter.com/20...

Hope you're right, MCV. Just the other day, I was reminded of E. Ainge's promising freshman season that gave way to his disastrous sophomore season, which was the catalyst for Randy Sanders' resignation (not an all together bad thing) and our <gasp> first loss to Vandy since the Paleolithic era.

Volunatic writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"Bulletin board material" is irrelevant. No one except you and possibly a UNC player's momma cares about the throat slash gesture, and the "loco" gesture was just him joining in the fun with the Senior receivers last season. Teams don't play better because of "bulletin board material" from their opponent. Only losers need something like that to provide motivation.
The opposing teams will try to hit Tyler Bray hard because (a) he is the QB, and (b) he is going to LIGHT UP THE SCOREBOARD ALL SEASON. I expect they will fail to hit him hard very much-- he's shifty and his line is greatly improved.
He WILL be hated by opponents because he and the Vol receivers are going to be great, and are going to make a lot of highly-regarded opposing defenses look stupid frequently on ESPN highlight reels.
(He will also make GVX trolls look even more stupid than they look now.)

Volunatic writes:

in response to CantStandCantStandSaban:

Hope you're right, MCV. Just the other day, I was reminded of E. Ainge's promising freshman season that gave way to his disastrous sophomore season, which was the catalyst for Randy Sanders' resignation (not an all together bad thing) and our <gasp> first loss to Vandy since the Paleolithic era.

I think that some of Erik's "softmore slump" was a result of Ricky "Locker Room Poison" Clausen's infectious attitude, coupled with Fulmer's lack of control over the team. Erik made some dumb mistakes, but the line did not block well for him.

Volunatic writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yes-- "SHIFTY".
Every time he was on the field last season, he seemed to have a very good sense of where the pass rushers were, and no one ever succeeded in hitting him hard. He got sacked, but wasn't hit hard much.
Some QBs seem to always be able to avoid the bone crushing full-on charges from opposing DLs. From what I've seen on the field last season and from footage of him in HS, he is one of those guys.

allvols4life writes:

in response to CantStandCantStandSaban:

Hope you're right, MCV. Just the other day, I was reminded of E. Ainge's promising freshman season that gave way to his disastrous sophomore season, which was the catalyst for Randy Sanders' resignation (not an all together bad thing) and our <gasp> first loss to Vandy since the Paleolithic era.

Love the screen name. Wish I would have thought of it. I have gotten into the very bad habit of looking for his posts, just for a laugh and to see how many stupid answers he will spout off trying to spin his argument to the good for him. It gets pretty comical.

PHAT_VOL writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Is your comment an act of provocation or are you really that ignorant?

hueypilot writes:

Haven't Demps and Rainey been the two fastest players in the SEC for several years now, since Harvin left? I think one of them recorded the fastest or near fastest prep dash time in HS.
They are burners, no doubt, and for the life of me I can't figure out how they weren't featured more under Pope Urban. Not at all like he used Harvin, when healthy. While many think Urban was the greatest, I'm not sure how great a coach he was with all that talent, and maybe his vulnerability showed when Timmy left.

Volunatic writes:

in response to hueypilot:

Haven't Demps and Rainey been the two fastest players in the SEC for several years now, since Harvin left? I think one of them recorded the fastest or near fastest prep dash time in HS.
They are burners, no doubt, and for the life of me I can't figure out how they weren't featured more under Pope Urban. Not at all like he used Harvin, when healthy. While many think Urban was the greatest, I'm not sure how great a coach he was with all that talent, and maybe his vulnerability showed when Timmy left.

Tebow and harvin could have made Dave Clawson look like a genius.

hueypilot writes:

in response to InDestruCtible:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

NFL? Big deal. Demps is the NCAA spring king, indoors and out. Gator lore says Rainey beat him in a match race behind the dorm over 40 yards when they were freshman. A little research on the internet looking for the fastest players ever in the NFL won't find anybody playing when Weis coached in the league with the kind of Bob Hayes, Willie Gault, Reynaldo Nehemiah speed that these two guys have. (Maybe Randy Moss but he'd be the only one) Not saying it makes Rainey and Demps great football players, but they can fly, which again makes me wonder why the Gator offense was so anemic last year.

hueypilot writes:

Oops. Make that "NCAA sprint king...."

CantStandCantStandSaban writes:

in response to hueypilot:

Oops. Make that "NCAA sprint king...."

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

CoverOrange writes:

in response to Volunatic:

I think that some of Erik's "softmore slump" was a result of Ricky "Locker Room Poison" Clausen's infectious attitude, coupled with Fulmer's lack of control over the team. Erik made some dumb mistakes, but the line did not block well for him.

Don't forget that Clausen's attitude was brought on by Erik's arrogance, Erik's drug induced inattention to game prep, and Fulmer's promise to start Erik no matter what Randy Sanders said about him not being ready. Not excusing Ricky but there were other factors.

keviningeorgia writes:

in response to CantStandCantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Blah bablahh bllaahhh. Blah, blahh UT bad. Blahhh blaahh, bablahh, Dooley bad. Blahhh blahh I'm Brett Maverick, sports idiot, Vol envier…

bkwats2003#237114 writes:

in response to InDestruCtible:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Demps and Rainey are the fastest RBs Weiss has ever seen? Aren't these the 2 guys that had 800yds rushing combined last season in the spread offense that's designed to open holes for RBs? Talk about drinking the kool-aid... LOL

StuAberdeeneFan writes:

Does anyone remember what the pro scouts said about Tyler before he came to Tennessee? I do. Tyler, take what the defense gives you. You have my complete support. All I ask is act like you've been there after making a play. Leave the theatrics to us fans.

Volunatic writes:

in response to keviningeorgia:

Blah bablahh bllaahhh. Blah, blahh UT bad. Blahhh blaahh, bablahh, Dooley bad. Blahhh blahh I'm Brett Maverick, sports idiot, Vol envier…

I didn't see the post in question (it was removed by site staff before I got a chance), but I will point out it was by Can'tStandCSS, not CSS.

keviningeorgia writes:

in response to Volunatic:

I didn't see the post in question (it was removed by site staff before I got a chance), but I will point out it was by Can'tStandCSS, not CSS.

Thanks for pointing that out to me, Volunatic. That was a mistake. Sorry for the error, Can'tStandCSS! My comment was not intended for you.

keviningeorgia writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Blah bablahh bllaahhh. Blah, blahh UT bad. Blahhh blaahh, bablahh, Dooley bad. Blahhh blahh I'm Brett Maverick, sports idiot, Vol envier…

There! All better now.

tnaseevol writes:

in response to Volunatic:

I think that some of Erik's "softmore slump" was a result of Ricky "Locker Room Poison" Clausen's infectious attitude, coupled with Fulmer's lack of control over the team. Erik made some dumb mistakes, but the line did not block well for him.

I think E Ainge's sophmore slump and many of the slumps of his teammates was due to E Ainge and his doing drugs each and every year.I think these dumb mistakes could be attributed to doing drugs. Drugs and smart playing football do not mix very well!

Volunatic writes:

in response to tnaseevol:

I think E Ainge's sophmore slump and many of the slumps of his teammates was due to E Ainge and his doing drugs each and every year.I think these dumb mistakes could be attributed to doing drugs. Drugs and smart playing football do not mix very well!

How do you explain his great performances in his Freshman, Junior, and Senior years? Ainge said he was doing the drugs the entire time he was at UT, not just his Sophomore year.

Colliervol writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Another week, another ignorant post. You do realize that Dooley has been there one season, right? Considering the lack of talent we had last year (yes, thanks to Fulmer and Kiffin), it is a wonder we were competitive in as many games as we were. Bottom line- It took Fulmer more than one year to tank the program and it would take any new coach more than one year to rebuild it.
Of course, to understand that concept would mean that one would need to know something about football programs and what it takes to build one. Obviously, as a Vandy fan, you don't qualify. Never mind.

Colliervol writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The other guy flipping the hash browns with him at the Waffle House? Oh wait, that was MorristownVol.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

I see that CSS is harping on the same ole cr@p that a lot of us have forgotten..If he is really that tore up over the Vols giving up over 500 yards to UAB last year, then he needs to get professional help..I have never seen someone so obsessed with one game..oh wait...yes I have..I digress on that.

Smokey says CSS needs to get over it..

BigVolFaninSC writes:

I'm pulling big time for Anthony Anderson! I hope he continues to improve enough to get on the field! GBO!

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