Derek Dooley: This is Year One and last year was Year Zero

Derek Dooley on personnel issues

Derek Dooley on the Vols' strength

Derek Dooley isn’t looking for a do-over.

But given the circumstances, the Tennessee coach can’t help but feel like this is actually his first season really in control of his program.

The slate hasn’t necessarily been wiped clean from the unusual situation he inherited before his first spring practice at this time a year ago, but heading into his second go-round with the Vols starting Tuesday, Dooley certainly appears more comfortable with the task ahead of him.

“I kind of feel like this is Year One and last year was Year Zero,” Dooley said in his pre-spring practice press conference on Monday. “It was such a unique situation that we walked into last season, it didn’t feel like your first year. I feel like right now, this is Year One.

“We obviously need improvement everywhere. I think every spring you want to come in and improve fundamentally at every position, you want to improve in the schematic knowledge that the players have, you want to improve in the intangible values that we kind of build our program on and you certainly want to start building a team dynamic, which this year will be very different than last year from that standpoint.”

That process begins with an afternoon workout on Tuesday, and officially his second full year in control will open with a few notable changes to the roster.

Star safety Janzen Jackson will miss the entire spring as he continues to deal with personal issues that led to his withdrawal from school last month.

“He seems to be managing his life well right now, on pace to come back (in the fall),” Dooley said. “But that’s day-to-day, month-to-month.”

Fellow starting safety Brent Brewer was reinstated after a five-week suspension following his arrest last month.

Offensive lineman Daniel Hood will be moving to the defensive side of the ball to fill a void at tackle and provide some size on the interior.

The Knoxville Catholic product checks in at 6-4, 292 pounds and will aid in a process Dooley called a “constant search to get bigger guys on the defensive line.”

For the first two practices, the UT defensive line will be missing on of its biggest guys up front as Montori Hughes serves a two-practice suspension for violation of team rules.

On the injury front, linebacker Herman Lathers and lineman Marques Pair will be limited throughout spring practice as they recover from offseason surgeries. Nash Nance will also be rehabbing following foot surgery for at least a few practices early in the spring.

Reserve quarterback Tyler Page will move to safety as the Vols continue to look for answers at another of their weakest areas in terms of depth.

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 » 32

Biggie writes:

Coach....PLEASE do it right. I can't take another disappointment in UT athletics.

iadvol writes:

Lets get through spring practice with NO serious injuries and NO DRAMA!!

Rachelerin1985 writes:

I am hopeful for the upcoming season. I've got to feel positive about something at Tennessee today.

crmcm44#321757 writes:

Hamilton should be gone, it is on his watch that football and basketball will have returned to mediocrity while pricing the average fans out of the stadium and the arena.

OTPVol writes:

Somebody's been programming in C.

FWBVol writes:

I like the move of Hood to DT. He probably wasn't going to see a lot of playing time on the offensive line and this gives another SEC size player on the defensive front.

easleychuck writes:

Ditto on the Hood move. By my count he is a redshirt freshman and should have a few years to develop.

I_BLEED_ORANGE writes:

in response to Whatthehellsgoingonoutthere:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree. Montori is a Kiffin guy if I remember right . Good potential but he's got to get his behavior in line.

finn writes:

in response to I_BLEED_ORANGE:

I agree. Montori is a Kiffin guy if I remember right . Good potential but he's got to get his behavior in line.

He was actually a supposed 'diamond in the rough' Phil and crew picked up as part of his last class. 2 seasons ago, it looked like they might have been right than last year Montori sort of imploded. I hope he gets his head on straight. If not, give Hood a shot and see what he can do.

MontanaFlyfishing writes:

Another article said the charges had been reduced and would be dismissed in September. Perhaps this is where he should have been charged in the first place, which COULD make the punishment to fit the crime.

born2ride writes:

Hiring Dooley was another mistake by Hamilton.

He went 4-8 at LA Tech and was not ready for the SEC.

I give Dooley 2 to 3 mediocre years at UT before he is fired.

winVol writes:

in response to born2ride:

Hiring Dooley was another mistake by Hamilton.

He went 4-8 at LA Tech and was not ready for the SEC.

I give Dooley 2 to 3 mediocre years at UT before he is fired.

YES IT WAS, i agree with u, with a whole heart,UT just got CDD to say something today to take the heat off hamliton AZZhole ,or they hope it will

allvol32 writes:

#!/usr/bin/perl -wT

my $theCowsComeHome;

do {
print "Go Vols!!!\n";
sleep 5;
} until $theCowsComeHome;

TNVOLFN writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That is very enlightening. I am sure you know the specifics of each situation and you know exactly what goes on within that locker room, don't you?

jrobi124 writes:

CDD is going to bring this program back to winning the SEC and competing for the National title

hglover40#234154 writes:

in response to winVol:

YES IT WAS, i agree with u, with a whole heart,UT just got CDD to say something today to take the heat off hamliton AZZhole ,or they hope it will

Hey Jack - He spoke because spring practice starts tomorrow. And Dooley has hired great assistant coaches and put together two good recruiting classes. And the team improved some as the season went on. Does any of these facts give you hope he can get the job done? Sorry you are so negative - it must be rough being depressed all the time. Hopefully you will get some help.

movol77 writes:

Go Vols! Go Dooley!

(Whiners, go away.)

seadaddy writes:

in response to TheMemphisSlim:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I guess you think that your comment is cute and funny,but it really makes you look like a very dumb person.

seadaddy writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well I see that you are back seeking attention..after the toiletdores were one and done................Get lost West End Queen!

lguy (Inactive) writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You're such a pathetic person, coming on to this board to post your opinions, that no one cares about. You need to develop a life away from here. First, start with establishing some self-esteem, and try to respect those around you. I don't believe I've ever witnessed such futility and anger and stupidity.

jack_2222#231746 writes:

Hamilton got lucky on CDD only because his first few choices- none as good as Dooley- refused. UT got very lucky with CDD.

Hamilton must go. Now.

dvol writes:

in response to PrideOfTheSouthlandBanned:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Dooley couldn't carry Saban's clip board. He can't count to 11. He let his D.C. run off our D.L. coach. We had to buy him a win this year. If he had picked Saban's brain so good why couldn't he win at L.T. Saban went undefeated his second year at Bama until he met Fla. in the C.G. lets see what Dooley does.

CroKev writes:

I'll say it again: I think I would rather have Dooley than any other coach in the SEC. The only possible exception would be Mullen at Miss. St. There are a lot of gifted coaches - Petrino and Saban, but I don't see those guys as very loyal to whatever programs they happen to be at at the time. There are great recruiters who happen to be mediocre coaches - Chizik, Miles, McNutt. There are great coaches who could retire any day - Spurrier. There are huge question marks - Muschamp.

Sure, you could say Dooley is a big question mark as well but I just can't help but conclude from what I've seen so far that the guy can recruit (based on what he's done at UT, Bama, and LT), he has hired a terrific staff, he is an honorable guy (VFL program, etc.), and based on the little amount of talent he has had to work with (LT and UT), he can coach. His long-term focus has been on recruiting the big guys on both sides of the line and attention to detail on special teams and I cannot help but think this will pay off in a big way in a couple of years. Yes, we were very fortunate that the guys offered before him said "no." The question will be whether or not he'll stay loyal to UT in a couple of years when a top five program recognizes his success and comes calling.

OTPVol writes:

in response to allvol32:

#!/usr/bin/perl -wT

my $theCowsComeHome;

do {
print "Go Vols!!!\n";
sleep 5;
} until $theCowsComeHome;

It's a bit ironic you're using PERL, but you guys crack me up.

givehim6 writes:

in response to hglover40#234154:

Hey Jack - He spoke because spring practice starts tomorrow. And Dooley has hired great assistant coaches and put together two good recruiting classes. And the team improved some as the season went on. Does any of these facts give you hope he can get the job done? Sorry you are so negative - it must be rough being depressed all the time. Hopefully you will get some help.

Thank you, UT is in a bad need of a breath of spring air. Spring football practice could not have come at a better time. A few fans have some negative energy in them about the Pearl thing and yes I like the man and hate what happend. But it's football time! 2010 was CDD interim season, now time to see what he's got. But let ues give him to Nov anyway?

orangecountyvols writes:

Prideofthesouthland,

Listen friend, the trolls like cantstandhimself
cannot be helped. We should know that by now.

If we can get back to recognizing the troll screen names, and just scroll on over them we can enjoy the site much more. Hard to do I know because we all know who the trolls are and they aren't going anywhere..........and Jack Lail won't remove them.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to givehim6:

Thank you, UT is in a bad need of a breath of spring air. Spring football practice could not have come at a better time. A few fans have some negative energy in them about the Pearl thing and yes I like the man and hate what happend. But it's football time! 2010 was CDD interim season, now time to see what he's got. But let ues give him to Nov anyway?

Dooley can say its year one all he wants, but fans arent going to fall for it. This is his second year and I expect to see improvement on the field and in the win/loss column. I expect 4 out of conference wins, 2 wins vs Vandy and Ky, and 2 wins against the swing games-S.C., Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, or a bowl team. That puts UT at 8 wins next season imo. Anything less will be a disappointment for me. Did I just say 8 wins will make me happy???? Oh how things have changed. I do like Dooley and hope he is successful at UT. He reminds me more and more of Fulmer everyday with his discipline though. Not that its a bad thing as long as they're winning.

murrayvol writes:

in response to Biggie:

Coach....PLEASE do it right. I can't take another disappointment in UT athletics.

Don't think we've got anything to worry about with CDD. A few guys will screw up (they always do) but Dooley won't.

BobbyBoober writes:

Where’s Lane Kiffin? They need to bring him back. Dooley’s a disgrace.

OrangeCounsel writes:

in response to wallandhiker:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No, bud. This is Tennessee. The disgrace was letting the cat out of the bag on Pearl the day of the football presser (and of the LV tourney game). There are four seasons in Knoxville: Spring Practice Season, Weight Training Season, Football Season, and Recruiting Season. Allowing basketball news to interfere with those things was nigh on to blasphemy.

GiveHim6TDTennessee writes:

in response to born2ride:

Hiring Dooley was another mistake by Hamilton.

He went 4-8 at LA Tech and was not ready for the SEC.

I give Dooley 2 to 3 mediocre years at UT before he is fired.

More like born2beapessimist... try a positive outlook for a change

GiveHim6TDTennessee writes:

It's unbelievable how negative a lot of the attitudes are on this page. If all of you are so upset, why don't you take off that beautiful T and go find another team to pour your blood, sweat, and tears into? When I was young, this type of behavior would have been treachery, but now it seems to be common place. What happened to pride in the Tri-Star, the "Power T," and the institution? It's unreal to me that most of you are taking out your frustration on the football program based on what happened to Bruce. Do any of you negative nancies have anything positive to say? Ever??? Dooley is exactly the type of influence that is needed in Big Orange Country. He's a Southern man, with Southern morals. I wish that you all would have some pride in what made my child hood in the 90s. As a student of UT, and a life long citizen of Knoxville, Tennessee, I am throughly embarrassed of some of the posts "fans" have posted on here. If you don't want to support the team with your attendance/money, then don't. There are plenty of people in Knoxville who would love the opportunity to go to UT football games but don't have the money to do so. How dare you defile something that is bigger than any one individual; for God's sake, have some pride. Coaches and players come and go, but the Power T is forever. Get your priorities in order if this relates to you. Go Vols.

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