Tauren Poole talks about 'dysfunctional' last few years, frustrations

Tennessee running back Tauren Poole (28) leaps for a touchdown in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game against Vanderbilt on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

Tennessee running back Tauren Poole (28) leaps for a touchdown in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game against Vanderbilt on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

Tauren Poole

Tauren Poole

Asked if he could do it all over again, former Tennessee running back Tauren Poole needed a few seconds to ponder the question.

Poole, speaking Tuesday on "The Drive," an afternoon sports talk show hosted by former Vol Terry Fair on WNOX-FM, said he and his former senior teammates — who were recruited by former coach Phillip Fulmer and wound up playing for three different coaches — would often discuss what life would have been like had they gone somewhere other than UT.

His answer went in a couple of different directions.

"If you'd have told me Coach Fulmer would have gotten fired and then this coach, that coach, this strength coach, that position coach, I probably wouldn't have came here because I knew it would have been a dysfunctional setup, an unstable program," Poole said. "Now that I've been through it, I'm stronger as I come out it. It was a tough situation.

"It was a roller-coaster ride ... I got to do a lot as a young man and all of us seniors came out better for it."

After Saturday's 10-7 loss at Kentucky, which ended UT's hopes of qualifying for a post-season bowl game and served as the Vols' first to the Wildcats since 1984, Poole was critical of how a number of the team's younger players approached the season finale. On top of saying "people were out of it," Poole said it was "embarrassing just to be a Vol right now."

On Tuesday, while reflecting positively on most aspects of his UT career, Poole stuck by his comments geared toward the players who will return in 2012.

"Guys kind of shut it down," Poole said. "All the seniors, we cared. We cared more than a lot of those guys out there. And that's expected, but we weren't getting it back. Those guys have next year to look forward to. We don't. My career is over at UT."

Throughout the game, Poole said he, linebacker Austin Johnson and defensive tackle Malik Jackson all tried to rally their fellow teammates with motivational words of encouragement.

Some players, Poole said, simply couldn't be reached.

"Guys are only going to listen to certain people and listen to certain things," Poole said. "You can't control what people listen to. All you can control is what you say and how you encourage people. We tried to do that. It just didn't happen."

Asked about the candid nature coach Derek Dooley, who has been sharply denounced by a number of ex-Vols for how he regularly criticizes players' performance in

media settings, Poole said he didn't have a problem with it during his two years under his third UT coach.

"Coach Dooley is a very critical guy. He's critical of his players and coaches," Poole said. "It's criticism and you've got to take it in. Guys just got to have thick skin with Coach Dooley.

"He's going to speak his mind. Every minute of the day, every moment, if he's got an opinion, he's going to tell you. That's just the type of guy he is."

Andrew Gribble may be reached at 865-342-6327. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Andrew_Gribble and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/gribble

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Comments » 321

SmokeDog1972 writes:

Of course, Poole's lack of consistency running the ball did not help the stability of things over the last couple of years too much either.

Voloyalty writes:

Poole needs to shut his mouth and move on. He shouldn't regret or even be upset for playing at the only school in the SEC where he would start. Poole was clearly not an SEC calibar RB. He would be 4th string on Bama and USC. Like Dooley, he refuses to take any accountability for his poor performance the entire year. Seniors trying to create noise after their last game just rubs me the wrong way. Get your degree and move on.

Dwinsgames writes:

Sure wish he was asked about the dysfunctional offensive staff. How in the world can Doodley keep any of those clowns? "If you always do what you always did then you're gonna always get what you always got" and that is what we have to look forward to next year if we do not get a better support crew, especially on offense. Recruiting 4.6 rinning backs tells you all you need to know about The OC's understanding of the run game. Send them all back to the "BIG 10" it aint southern football.

tensie2004 writes:

Why was only Poole, Johnson, and Jackson the only ones trying to reach the other players to give it their all. Where was Dooley all this time? Where was the Offensive coordinator, position coaches? I believe they were just going through the motions also. I and more than half of the Vol Nation are not pleased with the coaching staff. Changes have to be made and made quickly.

Lean_and_Hungry writes:

I hate that those seniors had to experience the KY game. The indifference of their teammates does not speak well for the type of competitor that Dooley (and Kiffin, though his top recruits backed out) has brought to Knoxville.

rtrchatt writes:

in response to Voloyalty:

Poole needs to shut his mouth and move on. He shouldn't regret or even be upset for playing at the only school in the SEC where he would start. Poole was clearly not an SEC calibar RB. He would be 4th string on Bama and USC. Like Dooley, he refuses to take any accountability for his poor performance the entire year. Seniors trying to create noise after their last game just rubs me the wrong way. Get your degree and move on.

VFL is really working.

mdvol writes:

Poole certainly never reminded us of our recent senior tailbacks...
Hardesty, Houston, Riggs, Stephens and Henry.

bearbull95#206250 writes:

The lack of running productivity should not all fall onto Poole. In games such as Alabama, he was the only bright spot on offense. I haven't seen a Tennessee offensive line take so little pride in moving the ball right down a defense's throat. I wouldn't be a bit surprised that some of the underclassmen players took the same attitude as many of the fans, which was, "Just wait until NEXT year when our stars return from injury." The hardest thing for a young player to learn is that all one has is that very moment in time. Until they learn that there may not be a tomorrow for all of them, then they will not reach their potential.

WV_Vol writes:

I played in a game like that. We needed one win to make the state playoffs for the first time in school history. Got beat by our cross town rival who was 1-8 at the time. We should have won by 50. I remember everyone just being out of it. We lost 15-0. We beat the eventual state champions that year in a preseason scrimmage. Two of us from that team played college football but when I come back to town and see old high school teammates they always bring it up. It's like it haunts them forever. Oddly enough, an old man in my old church brings it up every time I see him. He always asks the same question: "What happened?" I can't answer him.
Thank you for indulging in my "Al Bundy" glory days story.

skyhawk836 writes:

in response to kiffinsux:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That's where I am with him. He was out there in that mess for four years. He's earned the right to say whatever the heck he wants.

SunshineVol writes:

The Chevy Chase of running backs.

clvolfan writes:

in response to tensie2004:

Why was only Poole, Johnson, and Jackson the only ones trying to reach the other players to give it their all. Where was Dooley all this time? Where was the Offensive coordinator, position coaches? I believe they were just going through the motions also. I and more than half of the Vol Nation are not pleased with the coaching staff. Changes have to be made and made quickly.

I agree,and it seems that the TV announcers of the KY game,only talked about OC Chaney's success at Purdue,with the QB's and offense.
Guess maybe they are trying to make him a great oc,meanwhile he needs to start showing it if he is that great.Otherwise he should move on.

WhatWhatWhat writes:

I think Dooley deserves one more year, I do not believe Chaney nor Wilcox do however...Chaney has done nothing in three years and Wilcox nothing in two.....We lost the best to LSU cause we had to bring Daddy Kiffin here who was NOT as good as John. I give Dolley one more year if he fires both of them guys...

CroKev writes:

I'm just wondering out loud but what would have happened if Poole had committed early for the draft last year. He did have an explosive mindset and he played behind an all freshman OL against the SEC's and PAC-10/2's best. I guess he bought into the linemen saying they'd get him 2,000 yards but he only got about 660 for the whole year. Nobody will look at him now.

Anyway, I wonder if Johnson or anybody besides Malik will be drafted this year.

eVOLved writes:

in response to mdvol:

Poole certainly never reminded us of our recent senior tailbacks...
Hardesty, Houston, Riggs, Stephens and Henry.

But he might remind us of an even more recent senior tailback: Arian Foster. For all we know, Poole is greatly talented and will dazzle in the NFL, and was just being held back by the team's rebuilding.

Different subject, I never liked hearing Dooley "put down" the players. I hope he is finished talking like that. Even if reporters ask him a million questions, he is in control of how he answers them.

kantanuuv writes:

'dysfunctional'

'unstable program'

'embarrassing to be a Vol'

'players can't be reached'

'CVDjr criticizes players in front of the media'

Uh oh...

jumby92 writes:

Wilcox needs to go. I have never seen such a lack of defensive coaching as well as technique. These guys couldn't tackle a wet paper bag. Poor coaching in high school followed by poor coaching in college. Wilcox was with a joke of a defensive team before he got here. I also think our "O" coordinator is over-rated too. Dooley is the CEO so he needs to put good operations guys in place to get it done and we have vacancies right now.

The_Ghost_of_Duke_DeLuca writes:

in response to kiffinsux:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thanks, Tauren Poole !

GloryDays writes:

I have serious doubts about Dooley's leadership. It sounds like his players "quit" on him. I think next year the Vols will hit rock bottom. Justin Wilcox will leave the Titanic and go to UCLA, Washington, Arizona, or Boise State. I hope Dooley brings in some hard nose coaches that can get the best out of these underachievers. Hopefully Dooley will prove me wrong.

rockypop writes:

I too, have wondered about Dooley's on-going criticism of players in the media. One of his favorite phrases is, "We just didn't execute." And, his favorite catch-phrase, "We're just not a very good football team." This kind of stuff is bound to cause friction, no matter how much the players tend to claim they're taking it in stride.

But, I think the good news is that Dooley's a smart guy. I'm hoping and believing that he will learn from this year and take corrective steps. We've seen glimpses of the kind of talent that UT has - both offensively and defensively. Now, we need to see commitment and heart - and a will to win. That's the kind of stuff that coaches get paid to instill. That's really where they earn their money.

flatrock writes:

in response to Voloyalty:

Poole needs to shut his mouth and move on. He shouldn't regret or even be upset for playing at the only school in the SEC where he would start. Poole was clearly not an SEC calibar RB. He would be 4th string on Bama and USC. Like Dooley, he refuses to take any accountability for his poor performance the entire year. Seniors trying to create noise after their last game just rubs me the wrong way. Get your degree and move on.

Interesting perspective. Here is mine: Poole gained 1,000 yards last year behind the weakest and youngest O-line in UT history...If you go back and check the game-by-game stats, Poole averaged almost 100 ypg when anyone other than T. Bray was playing QB...Combine that with Alex Bullard's remarks about Sims' ability to manage the run game (and check to the plays that the staff taught) and you should get a glimpse at what Poole really meant when he said "some players caring only about their individual stats"...As bad as the Vols played vs. UK, that game was very winnable, if T. Bray had checked down to Poole and the TE instead of continuing to force throws to the double- and triple-covered D. Rogers...It is one thing to be a gun-slinger, it is a completely different story to be a stupid / selfish gun-slinger...If T. Bray doesn't grow up this winter and devote himself to learning the little things that make a team better, I am for shipping him off to the WAC and turning this team over to Justin Worley. I was very impressed with him and believe he has ALL the physical, mental and character tools to help move this team back to SEC relevance. Thanks T. Poole! Go Vols!

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to jumby92:

Wilcox needs to go. I have never seen such a lack of defensive coaching as well as technique. These guys couldn't tackle a wet paper bag. Poor coaching in high school followed by poor coaching in college. Wilcox was with a joke of a defensive team before he got here. I also think our "O" coordinator is over-rated too. Dooley is the CEO so he needs to put good operations guys in place to get it done and we have vacancies right now.

no raise = he'll be gone I hope back west where the needs to be

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to flatrock:

Interesting perspective. Here is mine: Poole gained 1,000 yards last year behind the weakest and youngest O-line in UT history...If you go back and check the game-by-game stats, Poole averaged almost 100 ypg when anyone other than T. Bray was playing QB...Combine that with Alex Bullard's remarks about Sims' ability to manage the run game (and check to the plays that the staff taught) and you should get a glimpse at what Poole really meant when he said "some players caring only about their individual stats"...As bad as the Vols played vs. UK, that game was very winnable, if T. Bray had checked down to Poole and the TE instead of continuing to force throws to the double- and triple-covered D. Rogers...It is one thing to be a gun-slinger, it is a completely different story to be a stupid / selfish gun-slinger...If T. Bray doesn't grow up this winter and devote himself to learning the little things that make a team better, I am for shipping him off to the WAC and turning this team over to Justin Worley. I was very impressed with him and believe he has ALL the physical, mental and character tools to help move this team back to SEC relevance. Thanks T. Poole! Go Vols!

Thanks,,,,I could not agree more

mhwhite63 writes:

Bring Fulmer back!

jjsteel writes:

in response to mhwhite63:

Bring Fulmer back!

who is fulmer?

RoadTrip writes:

Thanks for the effort, Tauren. I know you were as confused with all this stuff the last few years as the rest of us. Wish it could have been better for y'all. Most of all, thanks for your honesty now. It will help us understand what happens from this point on.

WV_Vol writes:

in response to flatrock:

Interesting perspective. Here is mine: Poole gained 1,000 yards last year behind the weakest and youngest O-line in UT history...If you go back and check the game-by-game stats, Poole averaged almost 100 ypg when anyone other than T. Bray was playing QB...Combine that with Alex Bullard's remarks about Sims' ability to manage the run game (and check to the plays that the staff taught) and you should get a glimpse at what Poole really meant when he said "some players caring only about their individual stats"...As bad as the Vols played vs. UK, that game was very winnable, if T. Bray had checked down to Poole and the TE instead of continuing to force throws to the double- and triple-covered D. Rogers...It is one thing to be a gun-slinger, it is a completely different story to be a stupid / selfish gun-slinger...If T. Bray doesn't grow up this winter and devote himself to learning the little things that make a team better, I am for shipping him off to the WAC and turning this team over to Justin Worley. I was very impressed with him and believe he has ALL the physical, mental and character tools to help move this team back to SEC relevance. Thanks T. Poole! Go Vols!

I don't see Poole being as good as Foster in the NFL. He just doesn't have the ability to break tackles like the aforementioned Foster, Hardesty, Henry. Travis Henry was a great back because of that attribute. He was a physical, hard runner. He bounced around in the league because he wasn't a flashy 4.3 guy. He was a 4.5/4.6 guy who ran downhill and had tremendous leg drive. To me, that's more special than a guy who just outruns everyone. I always hated to tackle guys like that... especially later in the game when you're tired.

manniesghost1903 writes:

Earthquakes happen suddenly and unexpectedly but they leave a lasting affect. Hamilton, Kiffin and,alas, Derek Dooley have been an earthquake to the UT Football program.

Despite the cries of youth, injury and a lack of depth, good coaches look at their personnel with there various strengths and weaknesses and design a plan that makes the team competive. If you start with a game plan which is disrupted by key injuries,you re-assess your strategy. You change your tactics to try to give your team a chance to be successful.

I can assure you recruiting has already been harmed whether Derek Dooley is retained or fired. Recruiters can either go to prospects and ask them if they really want to go to UT where the competency of the coaching staff has been questioned or negatively demonstrated. On the other side, opposing recruiters can ask "Do you want to play for a coaching staff which most likely will not be there next year".

You also need to ask why a few of Tennessee's top high school prospects perfer to remain commited to Ole Miss with no coach to UT with Derek Dooley. What has Coach Dooley done to improve relationships with Tennessee High School football coaches?

There are rumors that Justine Hunter,counted upon to be an important playmaker at UT next year, is leaving the football program in order to prepare for participation in the Olympics. You wonder if other young stars will leave for greener pastures.

You have to question the security of current "verbal" commitments and the number of SEC caliber candidates among those commitments.

From the lack of intensity (like Al Wilson and Leonard Little) it appears the current team members have lost respect for the coaching staff. You have to question Derek Dooley and his staff's ability to motivate the team. Rest assured opposing recruiters will be pointing this out to prospects who hope one day to play in the NFL. You say you don't want a parade of coaches. I say let the parade begin until UT gets it right.

dvols writes:

Tyler Bray.......who?

bvol1inSC writes:

in response to flatrock:

Interesting perspective. Here is mine: Poole gained 1,000 yards last year behind the weakest and youngest O-line in UT history...If you go back and check the game-by-game stats, Poole averaged almost 100 ypg when anyone other than T. Bray was playing QB...Combine that with Alex Bullard's remarks about Sims' ability to manage the run game (and check to the plays that the staff taught) and you should get a glimpse at what Poole really meant when he said "some players caring only about their individual stats"...As bad as the Vols played vs. UK, that game was very winnable, if T. Bray had checked down to Poole and the TE instead of continuing to force throws to the double- and triple-covered D. Rogers...It is one thing to be a gun-slinger, it is a completely different story to be a stupid / selfish gun-slinger...If T. Bray doesn't grow up this winter and devote himself to learning the little things that make a team better, I am for shipping him off to the WAC and turning this team over to Justin Worley. I was very impressed with him and believe he has ALL the physical, mental and character tools to help move this team back to SEC relevance. Thanks T. Poole! Go Vols!

Great post - and clearly reflects on the COACH's and team's youth and immaturity. Moreover, Dooley is "critical" because he's an attorney turned coach...VERY FEW "critical" coaches succeed in recruiting, retaining and motivating players. Can a "Saban" or a "Spurier" get by with being openly critical...maybe yes...because of legacy AND surrounding themselves with coaches that can establish relationships with players without compromising discipline. I don't envy Dooley because he does not have the experience or resources to deal with so many complexities. I fear for UT football - Dooley was the wrong man for the job. It's a shame that Hamilton can't be held more accountable for wrecking the program.

tedstryker1980 writes:

I wish Poole the best of luck. I feel for what he went through... The negative comments posted about this young man over the course of the last year are disgraceful.

Dooley was a desperation hire. I have heard many compare him to Mike Shula. Mike Shula went 10-2 in his third year at Bama. Dooley is no Mike Shula. I expect him to win 6 or 7 games next year before being let go. For the record I hope Dooley does win 10. I just don't think it will happen.

OrangePsyched writes:

For a year and a half TB was a very accurate QB. The last 2 games he was not. That thumb was bothering him. This time next year with a healthy Bray and Hunter we will be looking at the Cotton or Citrus Bowl. The year after a BCS Bowl. We had to lose to KY eventually. This was the year. Oh and thanks to Mr's Poole, Johnson and Jackson. VFL!

vols37 writes:

I'm a 42 year old UT graduate. I have four kids and have never even coached a down of little league football in my life. Give me the job as UT head coach. I could do just as good as this clown the last 2 years with his assistants. This (lawyer,charletan)snakes his way into the job based on what. Coaching under Saban for a few years and being Vince Dooley's son. I'm serious, this guy is making millions and name me one positive thing he has done on the field with UT in the last 2 years. Anyone and I mean ANYONE could have done as well as this pathetic group of guys. I'm not even going to give them the respect of calling them coaches. Quit blaming everybody and everything else for your problems Dooley, be a man not a child, and take responsibility for the pathetic job you have done. Millions of dollars and not one quality win in 2 years. Please someone give me all the reasons why we should keep this guy.

CrankE writes:

in response to tedstryker1980:

I wish Poole the best of luck. I feel for what he went through... The negative comments posted about this young man over the course of the last year are disgraceful.

Dooley was a desperation hire. I have heard many compare him to Mike Shula. Mike Shula went 10-2 in his third year at Bama. Dooley is no Mike Shula. I expect him to win 6 or 7 games next year before being let go. For the record I hope Dooley does win 10. I just don't think it will happen.

You know what's funny? That Derek Dooley bears a pretty good resemblance to Robert Hays (Ted Stryker).

And similar to Stryker, Dooley has taken on the job of piloting UT when both the previous pilots are gone. Also, few have confidence in Stryker...uh Dooley's ability to safely land the plane. Plus, his stories to fellow travelers (Germans at Normandy, Bamboo, Ceramic Orange Dog) cause them to entertain thoughts of suicide (which a few follow through on). Now if only Leslie Nielsen could deliver one good motivational speech to Coach Derek Stryker so that he could get his stuff together....

Did I break the code and win a prize?

Still, I dig the user name.

bvol1inSC writes:

in response to vols37:

I'm a 42 year old UT graduate. I have four kids and have never even coached a down of little league football in my life. Give me the job as UT head coach. I could do just as good as this clown the last 2 years with his assistants. This (lawyer,charletan)snakes his way into the job based on what. Coaching under Saban for a few years and being Vince Dooley's son. I'm serious, this guy is making millions and name me one positive thing he has done on the field with UT in the last 2 years. Anyone and I mean ANYONE could have done as well as this pathetic group of guys. I'm not even going to give them the respect of calling them coaches. Quit blaming everybody and everything else for your problems Dooley, be a man not a child, and take responsibility for the pathetic job you have done. Millions of dollars and not one quality win in 2 years. Please someone give me all the reasons why we should keep this guy.

Painful to read your post...the truth hurts! I just hope that this type of candor, Poole's transparency, and honesty are given proper consideration by Hart. Great post - and I have played football from age six through 21 - and will volunteer to be your offensive coordinator...

tedstryker1980 writes:

in response to CrankE:

You know what's funny? That Derek Dooley bears a pretty good resemblance to Robert Hays (Ted Stryker).

And similar to Stryker, Dooley has taken on the job of piloting UT when both the previous pilots are gone. Also, few have confidence in Stryker...uh Dooley's ability to safely land the plane. Plus, his stories to fellow travelers (Germans at Normandy, Bamboo, Ceramic Orange Dog) cause them to entertain thoughts of suicide (which a few follow through on). Now if only Leslie Nielsen could deliver one good motivational speech to Coach Derek Stryker so that he could get his stuff together....

Did I break the code and win a prize?

Still, I dig the user name.

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

I read a lot of the comments on here and a lot of you guys are telling Poole to stop being negative, shut up, take his degree, and move along. Why? Because he's criticizing a program that chewed him up and spit him out? Because he didn't express his undying manlove for a coach that didn't recruit him and that was forced on him at the last minute?

Poole, who probably lost his chance to sign with an NFL team due to Mike Hamilton's repeated experiments in coaching, has every right to come out and tell people the truth. If that truth is negative...then suck it up, realize that it's not all sunshine and unicorn farts, and adjust your perspective accordingly.

Also, consider how negative he could have been. He could rip Dooley. He could rip Hamilton. He could call out specific players. He has earned the right to be much more negative and he wasn't. Tough if you think that he's being too negative and it isn't helping the program.

Plus, Dooley's already declared this program to be at rock bottom. Poole could have gone on air and described the scenery at the bottom. He didn't. Give the guy a break.

bvol1inSC writes:

in response to tedstryker1980:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey "Ted"...too sad and serious...and too funny! It's awful that were in the position where this type of humor is about the only thing we have to smile about (and personally, the fact that UT football is not "my life" - as much as I love UT football, I'm certainly more thankful for my wife, children and situation in life). If the "Airplane" situation isn't analogous to current state of UT football, I don't know what is! Problem is: who is our Leslie Nielsen?

tombo7 writes:

What is the status of Justin Hunter?

TarheelVol writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

born2ride writes:

I am glad Poole is speaking out about how bad UT football has fallen instead of making excuses like Dooley and his remaining supporters.

hueypilot writes:

in response to jumby92:

Wilcox needs to go. I have never seen such a lack of defensive coaching as well as technique. These guys couldn't tackle a wet paper bag. Poor coaching in high school followed by poor coaching in college. Wilcox was with a joke of a defensive team before he got here. I also think our "O" coordinator is over-rated too. Dooley is the CEO so he needs to put good operations guys in place to get it done and we have vacancies right now.

Actually Wilcox coached a pretty good defensive team before he came here. Boise St. had one of the best defenses in the country, holding Oregon State and TCU, two of the highest scoring teams in the country, under 14 points each in Wilcox's last year with Boise going undefeated. And Boise State has never had a 4 star recruit, never finished in the top 25 in recruiting. Ever. I think the defense's problems were more a lack of depth and an anemic offense that kept them on the field far too long.

tedstryker1980 writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

I read a lot of the comments on here and a lot of you guys are telling Poole to stop being negative, shut up, take his degree, and move along. Why? Because he's criticizing a program that chewed him up and spit him out? Because he didn't express his undying manlove for a coach that didn't recruit him and that was forced on him at the last minute?

Poole, who probably lost his chance to sign with an NFL team due to Mike Hamilton's repeated experiments in coaching, has every right to come out and tell people the truth. If that truth is negative...then suck it up, realize that it's not all sunshine and unicorn farts, and adjust your perspective accordingly.

Also, consider how negative he could have been. He could rip Dooley. He could rip Hamilton. He could call out specific players. He has earned the right to be much more negative and he wasn't. Tough if you think that he's being too negative and it isn't helping the program.

Plus, Dooley's already declared this program to be at rock bottom. Poole could have gone on air and described the scenery at the bottom. He didn't. Give the guy a break.

To CrankE:

This is the man with coolest name on the board. If you have not seen Idiocracy, please, do yourself a favor and rent it. We could all use a laugh about now.

Volfan1 writes:

I wish Al Wilson, Steve Kiner, Jack "Hacksaw" Reynolds, Dale Jones, and Doug Atkins would be invited to "speak" to the team and jerk a knot in some of those punk players who evidently care more about stats than wins. They need to see what it means to wear the Orange jersey.
I also wish we could resurrect Coach Cafego to restore our kicking game.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

in response to Voloyalty:

Poole needs to shut his mouth and move on. He shouldn't regret or even be upset for playing at the only school in the SEC where he would start. Poole was clearly not an SEC calibar RB. He would be 4th string on Bama and USC. Like Dooley, he refuses to take any accountability for his poor performance the entire year. Seniors trying to create noise after their last game just rubs me the wrong way. Get your degree and move on.

My understanding was that Poole was ASKED about his time at UT, so telling him to shut up would kinda be a dumb thing to say.
Poole did not have a good year, but you know what? Just about every player on the team had a bad year. That makes them a bad team. Whether Dooley can bring them out of that funk or not remains to be seen. But Poole did a lot of good for the team in other ways, and for that he is to be commended.

tedstryker1980 writes:

in response to bvol1inSC:

Hey "Ted"...too sad and serious...and too funny! It's awful that were in the position where this type of humor is about the only thing we have to smile about (and personally, the fact that UT football is not "my life" - as much as I love UT football, I'm certainly more thankful for my wife, children and situation in life). If the "Airplane" situation isn't analogous to current state of UT football, I don't know what is! Problem is: who is our Leslie Nielsen?

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

AllforTenn writes:

in response to flatrock:

Interesting perspective. Here is mine: Poole gained 1,000 yards last year behind the weakest and youngest O-line in UT history...If you go back and check the game-by-game stats, Poole averaged almost 100 ypg when anyone other than T. Bray was playing QB...Combine that with Alex Bullard's remarks about Sims' ability to manage the run game (and check to the plays that the staff taught) and you should get a glimpse at what Poole really meant when he said "some players caring only about their individual stats"...As bad as the Vols played vs. UK, that game was very winnable, if T. Bray had checked down to Poole and the TE instead of continuing to force throws to the double- and triple-covered D. Rogers...It is one thing to be a gun-slinger, it is a completely different story to be a stupid / selfish gun-slinger...If T. Bray doesn't grow up this winter and devote himself to learning the little things that make a team better, I am for shipping him off to the WAC and turning this team over to Justin Worley. I was very impressed with him and believe he has ALL the physical, mental and character tools to help move this team back to SEC relevance. Thanks T. Poole! Go Vols!

Don't you think the play called by the offensive coordinator had a lot to eo with having Bray ait it out and Worley and/or Simms being more run oriented? Some bad calls at critical times.

graphpro#231211 writes:

I find it amazing that someone that runs out of bounds more than any other running back in the SEC and has NEVER finished a run with impact, power and aggressiveness has anything to say about someone else's efforts. He truly has shown he's not a "leader" nor a good running back.
Thanks for the memories and welcome to the workforce of a non professional athlete.

graphpro#231211 writes:

Someone should show Poole how to finish a run...
See Trent Richardson he bruises people and WON'T run out of bounds... scared of contact.

I hope UT can find that type of runner... committed and determined.

huntined#565710 writes:

Got to feel for these seniors as they were put through a lot and it was no fault of theirs..3 head coaches a lot of different o.c and d.c and a new scheme every year..maybe we can just get some stability in there for a few years and things will improve...that is about all we can hope for at this point...

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