Pistol is a snappy change for Vols

The first snap in practice had Derek Dooley thinking about alternatives.

After the Tennessee coach watched Tyler Bray take a couple more, there was no question he'd need another approach.

The pain in the sophomore quarterback's right thumb isn't gone yet, and it only took a broken handful of exchanges under center for the Vols to begin exploring a way to limit the discomfort and get Bray the football. The shotgun was an easy answer for the Vols in the passing game, and as they prepare for a critical conference date with Vanderbilt on Saturday (TV: ESPNU, 7 p.m.) at Neyland Stadium, it also appears to be the likely solution on the ground as they tinker with a Pistol formation.

"It was him putting his hand under, he took the first snap and (grimaced)," Dooley said after practice on Wednesday. "Forget it, back up, that's the end of that. Think about it, the guy has got a broken thumb, so we're going to start every play by doing this — POW! Right? That's real intelligent.

"I thought to myself, how stupid was I to even say, 'All right, let's take a snap.' Should have thought about that before we even took the first snap."

Since then, Bray's work during open portion of workouts has come almost exclusively in the shotgun, with the added wrinkle that running backs are lined up behind him as they would traditionally with him under center.

That adjustment limits the shock on Bray's thumb, and other than slight modifications with the handoff and footwork, there are no significant differences to be made. And since the Vols (4-6, 0-6 SEC) can run their offense in that package without sweeping changes, that tweak might help make the difference in getting Bray back to take on the Commodores (5-5, 2-5).

"Some of the mesh, you've got to work on the ball-handling, that's different," Dooley said. "But with our running game, when you get in the Pistol, there's a Pistol offense and then there's getting into a Pistol formation. Alabama runs the Pistol formation but it's really a traditional, pro-style offense. Nevada runs the Pistol offense, which is veer-option and all the other stuff.

"It's really just a formation, you're just backing the guy up to eliminate (the snap) and a couple of steps. It's just a shotgun snap for him. You're talking about a half-yard difference."

Whether that might help the tailbacks pick up more yardage going the other direction remains to be seen.

But it should benefit Bray, and that's the key right now for UT.

"That's what you do, you find a way," offensive coordinator Jim Chaney said. "As coaches, you find a way. If Tyler has to play in the ballgame, then we have to do some of that stuff, and that's just the reality of what we're dealing with.

"I don't believe it restricts you one bit on what you can do schematically. That's just what you have to do if he ends up being able to play in the ballgame."

Air Jordan, Ground Jordan: With his arm, Jordan Rodgers is completing almost 54 percent of his passes and has thrown six touchdowns.

With his legs, the junior quarterback rushed for 211 yards and four more scores.

Since becoming the starter for Vanderbilt four games ago, Rodgers also has two wins to his credit and has given UT defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox plenty to think about this week.

"He moves the chains, and he does it in a lot of different ways," Wilcox said. "He'll throw it. He'll run it. He'll scramble. He just makes plays and when it's third-and-6, he finds a way to get a first down. That's probably the best way to describe him, so he's done an excellent job.

"Schematically, they do a lot of different things. He gives you issues because of the runs and those types of things."

Bumps And Bruises: Starting right guard Zach Fulton was limited during the open portion of practice with a brace on his left arm protecting a minor elbow injury. JerQuari Schofield took first-team reps in his place, but Fulton is expected to play against Vanderbilt.

Wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers again practiced with a brace on his left knee.

Safety Prentiss Waggner, running back Marlin Lane and linebackers Raiques Crump and Herman Lathers all practiced in green, non-contact jerseys.

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Comments » 48

chuckfromwoodbury writes:

Don't say pistol to a vandy hockey player. They're a little jumpy right now.

LJS1984 writes:

If only Nevada was actually on the field for us too.

Volunteer-Varmint writes:

"Whether that might help the tailbacks pick up more yardage going the other direction remains to be seen."

The only way these RBs gain yardage is if they run the wrong direction. Being positioned behind the QB will give them a slight head start.

chuckfromwoodbury writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

New poll for KNS. If you were starving, who would you rather be behind in the cafeteria line? Fulmer or Weis?

pingkr62 writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What ever works. At least they aren't afraid to experiment. Fulmer sure wouldn't do it.

flatrock writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Weis may be the most over-rated OC in the nation...He shows you a bunch of formations and a few cleverly-designed plays, but his offense seems to be out of sorts a great deal of the time...I don't hink he can hold a candle to Bobby Petrino's offense, IMHO.

vol75 writes:

The more I read of Dooley's comments to the press, the more I think he is saying things designed to take the pressure of the fragile psyche of a young team. His lawyer background taught him to never say anything without a calculated result. To some he may come off a little flaky right now. To me he is crazy like a fox. He is just trying to hold things together now. Over time, I believe we will see some very positive results. He is building a culture for success. Some may disagree. We won't know until a couple of years from now.

MikeTheTiger writes:

you know what people sometime do with pistols....shoot themselves in the foot.

pingkr62 writes:

in response to vol75:

The more I read of Dooley's comments to the press, the more I think he is saying things designed to take the pressure of the fragile psyche of a young team. His lawyer background taught him to never say anything without a calculated result. To some he may come off a little flaky right now. To me he is crazy like a fox. He is just trying to hold things together now. Over time, I believe we will see some very positive results. He is building a culture for success. Some may disagree. We won't know until a couple of years from now.

I agree! One thing I have looked for over the past few weeks were signs of Coach Dooley losing the team. Although the team has endured some tough losses, they keep playing hard, if for only the first half. Coach knows what he is doing. G.B.O.!!!

1986sugarbowl writes:

If Bray is that tender, and CDD keeps telling us "The guy has a broken thumb!" Tells me CDD should not risk further injury to the thumb of our QB's throwing hand!! I don't care how much pressure is put upon beating Vandy, you have to do the smart thing!!!

arkyvol writes:

in response to pingkr62:

I agree! One thing I have looked for over the past few weeks were signs of Coach Dooley losing the team. Although the team has endured some tough losses, they keep playing hard, if for only the first half. Coach knows what he is doing. G.B.O.!!!

you guys amaze me with your ability to see a silver lining in this cloud. i guess trashing the hog debacle tape was a pure stroke of genius. i can only wonder how taken you would be with dooley had he had two winning seasons on his resume instead of one.

mountainbrook writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

How's that "Brantley for Heisman" campaign going for you?

Vol_Stuck_in_GA writes:

in response to vol75:

The more I read of Dooley's comments to the press, the more I think he is saying things designed to take the pressure of the fragile psyche of a young team. His lawyer background taught him to never say anything without a calculated result. To some he may come off a little flaky right now. To me he is crazy like a fox. He is just trying to hold things together now. Over time, I believe we will see some very positive results. He is building a culture for success. Some may disagree. We won't know until a couple of years from now.

Well said and I agree with you completely.

NottaVol writes:

in response to mountainbrook:

How's that "Brantley for Heisman" campaign going for you?

Mountain Brook my arse, you live in Shannon and ashamed to admit it. I'm almost embarrased for you hillbillies, this Dooley guy is pathetic. I thought Mike Shula was dumb but this dude takes the cake. Not watching game film and ceramic dogs on the practice field and taking the team on field trips to the fire hall to slide down the pole, it's no wonder Vandy is favored in your house.

givehim6 writes:

I know nothing about the Pistol formation, can anyone enlighten me?

NeylandWest writes:

in response to 10seVol85:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You, sir, have made my night. That was hilarious!

NottaVol writes:

in response to givehim6:

I know nothing about the Pistol formation, can anyone enlighten me?

I wouldn't lose much sleep over it now. I mean the rest of the SEC teams have only been using the Pistol formation for the last four or five years. And all of a sudden DooDoo is getting ready to play Vandy and Kentucky and a light goes off in his head. IDIOT is all you can say.

NottaVol writes:

Has DooDoo ever heard of the quick kick? If not some of you older vols might wish to school him on it, that may be a productive play on second down.

Snapshot writes:

in response to NottaVol:

I wouldn't lose much sleep over it now. I mean the rest of the SEC teams have only been using the Pistol formation for the last four or five years. And all of a sudden DooDoo is getting ready to play Vandy and Kentucky and a light goes off in his head. IDIOT is all you can say.

Yeah, that pretty much says it all about you, IDIOT troll.

tennvolsman19651965 writes:

in response to pingkr62:

What ever works. At least they aren't afraid to experiment. Fulmer sure wouldn't do it.

Yeah, Fulmer was awful! He just won our last national title with all of his awful calls! He also never had back to back losing seasons, like we are about to experience.

Sir_Spanky writes:

Running game's a serious issue that's probably going to require an OL coaching change. Hard to run block standing straight up. Also, not having a running back's coach is unexplainable. Certainly not the best way to attract top talent. Bray alone can't offset those negatives - not in the SEC. It's time to get serious.

ClemCash writes:

in response to vol75:

The more I read of Dooley's comments to the press, the more I think he is saying things designed to take the pressure of the fragile psyche of a young team. His lawyer background taught him to never say anything without a calculated result. To some he may come off a little flaky right now. To me he is crazy like a fox. He is just trying to hold things together now. Over time, I believe we will see some very positive results. He is building a culture for success. Some may disagree. We won't know until a couple of years from now.

Yeah, Dooley is a regular genius. I mean, look at all those huge wins his use of psychology has generated.

Maybe he should stop worrying about fondling "the fragile psyche of a young team" and worry more about winning a GD football game.

ClemCash writes:

in response to 1986sugarbowl:

If Bray is that tender, and CDD keeps telling us "The guy has a broken thumb!" Tells me CDD should not risk further injury to the thumb of our QB's throwing hand!! I don't care how much pressure is put upon beating Vandy, you have to do the smart thing!!!

Dipsy Doo is trying to make a bowl game, and if that means setting Bray back another month or two, so be it.

I think he's starting to realize he's got a few games and one more season to do something, anything, or he's a goner!

bigorangebolt writes:

Vol Fans:

This Vandy game is huge for us! We must win this game to keep our dignity and help us in recruiting! I dont want to hear any excuses! Just win, and beat Vandy! If we don't beat Vandy, I think we should go after Coach Petrino! He would win at TN! Go Vols!

wwww.craigsteronline.com

Ayres_Hall writes:

Thanks to the previous comments, I feel a lot more mature and intelligent.

Thanks!

Chappy writes:

in response to arkyvol:

you guys amaze me with your ability to see a silver lining in this cloud. i guess trashing the hog debacle tape was a pure stroke of genius. i can only wonder how taken you would be with dooley had he had two winning seasons on his resume instead of one.

What would you suggest? We should fire Dooley in the middle of his 2nd year? We should all go hang ourselves?

Volunatic writes:

in response to chuckfromwoodbury:

New poll for KNS. If you were starving, who would you rather be behind in the cafeteria line? Fulmer or Weis?

Probably Fulmer. Jabba the Weis might eat the guy behind him in the cafeteria line.

Volunatic writes:

in response to vol75:

The more I read of Dooley's comments to the press, the more I think he is saying things designed to take the pressure of the fragile psyche of a young team. His lawyer background taught him to never say anything without a calculated result. To some he may come off a little flaky right now. To me he is crazy like a fox. He is just trying to hold things together now. Over time, I believe we will see some very positive results. He is building a culture for success. Some may disagree. We won't know until a couple of years from now.

I hope you're right. He's the Vol coach for two more seasons, at least, unless next season is a disaster.

Vol_in_Mich writes:

in response to Chappy:

What would you suggest? We should fire Dooley in the middle of his 2nd year? We should all go hang ourselves?

Either, or both. Maybe just hang Dooley. Why is this guy being paid over $2,000,000?

brokendownoldvol writes:

Oh no. Crompton lined up 4 yds. deep in that disasterous 2008 UCLA game. I still never figured out what Clawson was trying to do but there was someone om Crompton's face every play.

Chattmatt123 writes:

I hope Bray can start and also Lathers.I think it would give the team some postive karma and after last week lord knows they need it.With Lathers back the Vols at times could have its 3 starters for next year.A.J Johnson in the middle and Maggit and Lathers on the outside.Vols need to win next 2 games and hopefully a bowl game to get the ball rooling for next year.

OrangeinCarolina2 writes:

in response to vol75:

The more I read of Dooley's comments to the press, the more I think he is saying things designed to take the pressure of the fragile psyche of a young team. His lawyer background taught him to never say anything without a calculated result. To some he may come off a little flaky right now. To me he is crazy like a fox. He is just trying to hold things together now. Over time, I believe we will see some very positive results. He is building a culture for success. Some may disagree. We won't know until a couple of years from now.

The fact that Dooley is building a culture for success I totally agree with. His VFL program is brilliant. I truly hope that he is successful as our Head Coach. But sometimes I wonder if he wouldn't have been more successful as our AD. I think he is adamant about cleaning up UT's image and adhering to the NCAA's rules. Maybe it's just that so many adversities have occurred this year that we just want someone to blame. I know that winning these last 2 games of the season would go a long way in restoring faith in Coach Dooley and staff. Maybe he just needs to make some assistant changes in the offseason. We'll know for sure in the next 1-2 years if he's the man to return us to prominence. GO VOLS!

OrangeinCarolina2 writes:

in response to mountainbrook:

How's that "Brantley for Heisman" campaign going for you?

About as good as Chompin' Charlie's diet. GO VOLS!

givehim6 writes:

in response to 10seVol85:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thanks Buddy!

VolinOK writes:

I was at the game Saturday night and had sideline passes. Bray came over to us and when we asked about the thumb he said he was ready to go but the coaches wouldn't let him. He was slinging some pretty good passes pregame and half time. I say watch out 'dores'

givehim6 writes:

in response to NottaVol:

I wouldn't lose much sleep over it now. I mean the rest of the SEC teams have only been using the Pistol formation for the last four or five years. And all of a sudden DooDoo is getting ready to play Vandy and Kentucky and a light goes off in his head. IDIOT is all you can say.

A vol buddy has already helped, but thanks for the sarcasm I will be all warm and fuzzy all day. Butt just asked some basic info not your out look on the vols season.

CoverOrange writes:

I fear a fumble coming inside the 10 yard line.

kwcoach writes:

This is one of the dumbest plans ever. We are going to run new plays? We can't run the one's we've been practicing all year. Losing faith in this nice guy coaching staff.

martinvol34 writes:

in response to arkyvol:

you guys amaze me with your ability to see a silver lining in this cloud. i guess trashing the hog debacle tape was a pure stroke of genius. i can only wonder how taken you would be with dooley had he had two winning seasons on his resume instead of one.

And you idiots amaze me with your inability to look past your past allegiances and find comfort in the integrity and competence of Derek Dooley.

I am proud to be a Tennessee Volunteer fan, now more than ever. It is much better to know we have work to do and see improvements than to see top 5 recruiting classes underachieve year after year. Even in our greatest days - the Peyton years, we still didn't beat Alabama and Florida and we always had more talent.

I am giving these guys a chance. Go VOLS! Beat the DORES!

kwcoach writes:

in response to givehim6:

Thanks Buddy!

I like the offense just not putting it in right now. We will fumble. A lot. Mark it down.

RealisticVol writes:

I thought from the title that after practice Dooley went into his office and sat for a long time looking at his pistol. I was going to say no matter had bad it is, it is not worth considering that.

Volunatic writes:

in response to martinvol34:

And you idiots amaze me with your inability to look past your past allegiances and find comfort in the integrity and competence of Derek Dooley.

I am proud to be a Tennessee Volunteer fan, now more than ever. It is much better to know we have work to do and see improvements than to see top 5 recruiting classes underachieve year after year. Even in our greatest days - the Peyton years, we still didn't beat Alabama and Florida and we always had more talent.

I am giving these guys a chance. Go VOLS! Beat the DORES!

I agree with your outlook for the most part, but Peyton DID beat bama 3 out of 4 times.

navarrebeachvol writes:

in response to martinvol34:

And you idiots amaze me with your inability to look past your past allegiances and find comfort in the integrity and competence of Derek Dooley.

I am proud to be a Tennessee Volunteer fan, now more than ever. It is much better to know we have work to do and see improvements than to see top 5 recruiting classes underachieve year after year. Even in our greatest days - the Peyton years, we still didn't beat Alabama and Florida and we always had more talent.

I am giving these guys a chance. Go VOLS! Beat the DORES!

Florida, you are correct. But Manning only faced them once in Knoxville and almost got them out of a huge hole that day. I believe Todd Helton faced them during Manning's freshman year. And Florida wasn't losing to anyone else either, except FSU. Manning beat Bama in 95, 96 and 97. All 3 times he faced them. But your point is we had better talent, I have to agree.

volnodoubt writes:

people , fellow fans of the orange and white , please remember where we are and where we will be one day ... it takes time and for the comments about dooley , thats pathetic.... he is trying to work this pistol thing all for the ability for bray to play !! nothing is wrong with that its simply playing smart .... DOOLEY WILL MAKE IT JUST GIVE HIM TIME IF NEGATIVE COMMENTS TURN YOU ON BECAUSE YOUR WIFE DOESNT NO MORE THEN FIND A NEW ONE "WIFE" !! I

mrvol2u writes:

in response to 10seVol85:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The shorter distance lessons the chance that our center will snap it at Bray's shoelaces all day.

Volunatic writes:

in response to thicknthinvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Good stuff right there.
GO VOLS!!!

Bubba_Knows writes:

in response to ClemCash:

Yeah, Dooley is a regular genius. I mean, look at all those huge wins his use of psychology has generated.

Maybe he should stop worrying about fondling "the fragile psyche of a young team" and worry more about winning a GD football game.

Fondling only occurs at Penn State. This is Tennessee Flem, Clem or whatever your name is.

ACWLY writes:

in response to Chappy:

What would you suggest? We should fire Dooley in the middle of his 2nd year? We should all go hang ourselves?

I'm with you on this one ARCKY, they just can't seem to see the picture, or maybe they just don't want to, you gotta understand.

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