Vols receivers working to cut down drops

ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL
Tennessee wide receiver Zach Rogers, right, misses a high pass as LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne defends in a loss at Neyland Stadium last Saturday.

Photo by Adam Brimer, copyright © 2011

ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee wide receiver Zach Rogers, right, misses a high pass as LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne defends in a loss at Neyland Stadium last Saturday.

Alabama is neither nameless nor faceless

On the field, the bad memory has to be ignored.

Put a catchable ball on the ground? Forget it, move on and focus on the next one.

Off the field, the same bad memory is pretty difficult to dismiss.

Drop a pass in the game? It's going up on a board in the meeting room for all to see, providing a reminder for Tennessee wide receivers throughout the rest of the week.

It can be a difficult balancing act for position coach Charlie Baggett as he tries to get the Vols to not dwell on mistakes while at the same time stressing how important every ball thrown their way is in games like the one at No. 2 Alabama on Saturday (TV: ESPN2, 7:15 p.m.). But there might not be anything that bothers Baggett or can disrupt an offense more than receptions slipping away at the last second, and he's not going to pretend like they didn't happen.

"I don't think there is (anything worse), and we expect to catch every ball," Baggett said after practice Wednesday. "But reality is that a lot of guys drop balls — and drop easy balls. You know, we try to minimize them and we try to eliminate them, but when it does happen, I think the best thing you can do that I learned over the years, all you can do is tell them to forget about it and move on, catch the next one.

"But we do keep track of them, and I put them on every Sunday. It's up for everybody to see in our meeting room. These guys know how many they've dropped, how many they've caught, how many were thrown to them. We use them as a motivating force."

The Vols (3-3, 0-3 SEC) put a

couple more on the board in a loss last week to No. 1 LSU, with starters Da'Rick Rogers and Zach Rogers both mishandling some throws that slowed down a passing game struggling to find a rhythm.

Against the best defenses in the nation, like the talented, complex unit Alabama (7-0, 4-0) has at its disposal, those mistakes are often magnified. Even one drop can prove costly, driving Baggett and offensive coordinator Jim Chaney crazy.

"It's a confidence deal," Chaney said. "They've got to believe in themselves and they've got to believe Matt (Simms) is going to deliver the ball to them. We've worked on that all week, we've talked a lot about confidence with our kids, being able to go out and make the play when you're called upon to make the play.

"They understand that, and they're trying their butts off to do better at that. We don't accept the drops, we don't want that, but occasionally it happens."

Ideally the coaches would just eliminate them completely, and they certainly make an effort to emphasize the fundamentals and get the receivers to take some extra reps on the JUGS machine after practice.

And in some cases, it's also up to the quarterback to help make it as easy as possible for his targets.

"I mean, stats don't lie," Simms said. "But nobody really knows what the ball looked like or how it came out of my hand or whatever. I mean, the stats were what they were.

"Obviously it hurt to have drops like that on third down and stuff like that. But that's out of your control sometimes, and against a good team like that, we had to stay on the field to keep their offense off the field and that running attack at a minimum. We didn't do that, and that falls on my shoulders."

But if the ball falls out of somebody's hands on the other end, it's still going on Baggett's board as a reminder.

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 » 57

MtJ_Orange writes:

Seriously, does #83 have more drops than receptions? It sure seems like it to me.

doh writes:

in response to MtJ_Orange:

Seriously, does #83 have more drops than receptions? It sure seems like it to me.

i would say his picture is up there the most. they need to move him to defensive back. thats where they put the receivers who cant catch.

allvol8 writes:

For every pass dropped... They should run top to bottom of Neyland...10 times

nocleats writes:

One of the first things that is done with receivers at the NFL combine is timing their 20 and their 40, measuring their vertical, broad and long jump, and measuring the size of their HANDS. Rogers is adequate until his hand size is measured. Not big enough to grab the football easily.. It takes tons of work to overcome.

VOLS_SEC_RULES writes:

in response to MtJ_Orange:

Seriously, does #83 have more drops than receptions? It sure seems like it to me.

He always drops the first pass thrown to him each game.

bobbettac writes:

if we think Z. Rogers is so bad, just imagine how bad Milton is. Geesh! He could've attempted to replace Hunter. But he can't even beat out short skinny freshman. Someone needs to talk to him about stepping up his game BIG TIME!

Down_The_Field writes:

in response to allvol8:

For every pass dropped... They should run top to bottom of Neyland...10 times

they are drive killers that put the defense back on the field.

i agree. i would make the offense show up one hour before practice and run one 20 yard sprint per each play the defense is on the field in a game.

i saw a coach do this once to his team for committing penalties in a game. the offense miraculously began to make fewer mistakes.

GoSmokeyGo writes:

Wonder why 85 not getting much pt? 6'5" and long arms...guess coaches have their reasons....just seems he has range...

GiveHimSixMoreYears writes:

Saban 59 Do-Leave 3

But that's progress. What a joke we've become.
5-7 maybe 4-8. Keep it up Dooley-lovers. Just keep watering that bamboo, the La. Tech hybrid variety.

hcjournals#206623 writes:

You have to do whatever it takes to cure the hands of stone...

Munsterlander writes:

in response to GiveHimSixMoreYears:

Saban 59 Do-Leave 3

But that's progress. What a joke we've become.
5-7 maybe 4-8. Keep it up Dooley-lovers. Just keep watering that bamboo, the La. Tech hybrid variety.

GiveHimSixMoreYears and maybe he'll have something to say indicative of at least a few brain cells. What a sad douche.

Baffling that you and several similarly slow-witted "fans" on this site actually seem to think a "good" coach would have us winning right now(!), kind of like a bunch of 4 years olds stomping your feet and screaming that you don't care what the player personnel reality is -- a reality that, combined with unbelievably bad timing and a larger than normal neanderthal fan population, incidentally, is what kept some big name coaches away - who wants to come and guaranteed lose for at least a couple of years with a bunch of sphincters like you to cheer them on?

And to make sure you're incessant crybaby rant is heard, you'll give no acknowledgement whatsoever to clear indications that personnel is moving in the right direction. But, but, but Auburn is winning with all freshman! Completely not true. We effectively lost 2 classes. Auburn, LSU, Bama, UF - all have the pipeline every school needs - impact freshman are the exception, not the rule. Huge difference between a red-shirt sophomore (translates to a junior) and a true 18-yo freshman.

But, as has been said before, somebody has to balance out that IQ bell curve.

No coach bats 1.000, there will _always_ be player evaluation misses no matter the stars, injuries happen, sometimes staff has to be mixed up, and it won't matter so much if we should have got two more plays in instead of one when we're beating the cr@p out of teams like LSU and Bama are at the moment (if Lucky Les doesn't make you see that, nothing will). CDD is doing just fine in my book.

Go CDD, go Vols!

ReVolver writes:

in response to GiveHimSixMoreYears:

Saban 59 Do-Leave 3

But that's progress. What a joke we've become.
5-7 maybe 4-8. Keep it up Dooley-lovers. Just keep watering that bamboo, the La. Tech hybrid variety.

sorry, "GiveMeSixMoreTears" you big crybaby...what an incompetent joke of a football fan you've become. yer outta here.

DannyVol writes:

in response to GiveHimSixMoreYears:

Saban 59 Do-Leave 3

But that's progress. What a joke we've become.
5-7 maybe 4-8. Keep it up Dooley-lovers. Just keep watering that bamboo, the La. Tech hybrid variety.

Is that you, Adams?

pdhuff#552644 writes:

in response to Pat777:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Sadly, you nailed it.

BruisedOrange writes:

These guys can catch anything, even the Miltons. It's when that other thought enters your head after you see the ball is coming to you: "Where's the first down marker?" "Is the corner closing from my left or right?" "Did I leave enough room from the sideline?" Catching (especially easy) passes when your attention is divided is the challenge.

How often do we see basketball players make the first free throw and miss the second? Because on the second free throw they've reminded themselves what their responsibility is on defense--"Where's my man? Are we pressing if I make it?"

I had a football coach who would ask us math questions while the ball was in the air. It made a difference.

(He used to ask history questions, but one guy just answered every "when" question with "1848" and every "who" question with "George Washington." There's one on every team, and they're usually a second-string receiver!)

tennvolsman19651965 writes:

Well, someone needs to step up. The main reason is because the guys behind Hunter and DaRick are our future. If they cant catch now, they wont be able to catch after Hunter and Rogers take off for the NFL after next years season. Or maybe they will shock me and stick around through their senior year.

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to GiveHimSixMoreYears:

Saban 59 Do-Leave 3

But that's progress. What a joke we've become.
5-7 maybe 4-8. Keep it up Dooley-lovers. Just keep watering that bamboo, the La. Tech hybrid variety.

It's just next year to see if this staff measures up. If it's not 9-3 then we have a problem. I fully expect to see a big difference by this time next year.

Classof72 writes:

This seems like beating a dead horse. The best catches on our offense are the QBs trying to catch the snap from center. The drops from the receivers are consistent with the rest of the play of our offense. GBO, anyway!

At least the band plays well.

dvhill100 writes:

Despite all the doom and gloom, we are making progress. Not as fast and consistent as we all would like, but it is there to see if you have open eyes.

rockytn2jc writes:

Zack Rogers should not be starting. He might make the catches in practice, but definitely doesn't make them during the game. I believe in our coaching staff and they know who's the best personnel to have out there, but some guys are game players. There are players that play above their talent when the lights come on and its definitely not Z.Rogers. Based on our record i believe we should be getting these freshman seasoned for next year. Zack has had three yrs behind great WR's and still hasn't got it, he's not even considered a leader on a young receiving core. When i found out he was the one to replace J.Hunter all i could do is....... SMH!!!

mlpmal writes:

I'm glad to hear Stone is being replaced as center for the Bama game! Its about time, he should have been taken out after his awful performance against FL.

podjo#230743 writes:

in response to GiveHimSixMoreYears:

Saban 59 Do-Leave 3

But that's progress. What a joke we've become.
5-7 maybe 4-8. Keep it up Dooley-lovers. Just keep watering that bamboo, the La. Tech hybrid variety.

What's this "we" stuff?

smokey-vol writes:

in response to MtJ_Orange:

Seriously, does #83 have more drops than receptions? It sure seems like it to me.

83 drops about 4 a game. Most are right in his hands. I would like to see the freshman get their chances instead of those key drops from 83.

smokey-vol writes:

in response to Classof72:

This seems like beating a dead horse. The best catches on our offense are the QBs trying to catch the snap from center. The drops from the receivers are consistent with the rest of the play of our offense. GBO, anyway!

At least the band plays well.

Amen brother.

tennvolsman19651965 writes:

in response to Classof72:

This seems like beating a dead horse. The best catches on our offense are the QBs trying to catch the snap from center. The drops from the receivers are consistent with the rest of the play of our offense. GBO, anyway!

At least the band plays well.

Good Call. lol

Volfan51 writes:

in response to Pat777:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The only good thing I can say about Zach Rogers is that he saved a run back TD on that interception before the first half ended. Da'Rick didn't even try to run the DB down after the inteception.

GONAVY writes:

in response to Pat777:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Rogers was not that highly recruited out of highschool (Lipscomb in Nashville)but UT made him the offer based mostly on his older brother's performance and the fact that Fulmer really liked the family. The dad made a statement pubicly early on that Zach was going to UT so the recruiting process was basically over before it started. I know Vanderbilt, UK, UTC and Western Kentucky showed interest but knew he was commited by his dad to go to UT. Actually, in highschool, he was a burner (has legit 4.5 speed) and made lots of catches for yards...but, one needs to understand the AA-AAA highschool kids he was doing this against.

JayTee writes:

I saw Da'Rick drop a couple against LSU. On yeah wasn't that him that didn't even try to catch or knock the ball down to prevent an INT.

People only see what the want to see.

volaholic45 writes:

Seems like WRs would be working on cutting down on their drops since, like, middle school.

82cat writes:

If the team want to cut down on WR drops it's easy

LEAVE ROGERS ON THE BENCH FOR HOME GAMES
LEAVE HIM IN KNOXVILLE FOR AWAY GAMES.

It just shows what a loss Hunter was, not only did we lose Hunter we also now have Rogers.We went from a future NFL player to a guy that wouldn't make the travel team by most SEC schools.

Rogers drops are nothing new he has done this since arriving in Knoxville and if I remember correctly had a huge drop against LSU last year when we were trying to kill clock at the end.

nothing personal I am sure he is probably a good kid but come on man this is "big boy" football you drop the ball you don't play.

chrisw2967 writes:

in response to 82cat:

If the team want to cut down on WR drops it's easy

LEAVE ROGERS ON THE BENCH FOR HOME GAMES
LEAVE HIM IN KNOXVILLE FOR AWAY GAMES.

It just shows what a loss Hunter was, not only did we lose Hunter we also now have Rogers.We went from a future NFL player to a guy that wouldn't make the travel team by most SEC schools.

Rogers drops are nothing new he has done this since arriving in Knoxville and if I remember correctly had a huge drop against LSU last year when we were trying to kill clock at the end.

nothing personal I am sure he is probably a good kid but come on man this is "big boy" football you drop the ball you don't play.

look another idiot who should be coaching instead of working at 7-11.Rogers will be in the NFL period.you wasnt talking this bs the first 3 or 4 games this year.
now run along and go sweep the parking lot.

volinlouisiana writes:

I want to root for Zach Rogers, but I have seen nothing this year from him except for dropped balls and killed drives. Arnett has produced more in less pt. Zach must be a good practice player, and that's fine, leave him in for practice, but let's put Arnett in the games.

johnnyvol writes:

in response to Munsterlander:

GiveHimSixMoreYears and maybe he'll have something to say indicative of at least a few brain cells. What a sad douche.

Baffling that you and several similarly slow-witted "fans" on this site actually seem to think a "good" coach would have us winning right now(!), kind of like a bunch of 4 years olds stomping your feet and screaming that you don't care what the player personnel reality is -- a reality that, combined with unbelievably bad timing and a larger than normal neanderthal fan population, incidentally, is what kept some big name coaches away - who wants to come and guaranteed lose for at least a couple of years with a bunch of sphincters like you to cheer them on?

And to make sure you're incessant crybaby rant is heard, you'll give no acknowledgement whatsoever to clear indications that personnel is moving in the right direction. But, but, but Auburn is winning with all freshman! Completely not true. We effectively lost 2 classes. Auburn, LSU, Bama, UF - all have the pipeline every school needs - impact freshman are the exception, not the rule. Huge difference between a red-shirt sophomore (translates to a junior) and a true 18-yo freshman.

But, as has been said before, somebody has to balance out that IQ bell curve.

No coach bats 1.000, there will _always_ be player evaluation misses no matter the stars, injuries happen, sometimes staff has to be mixed up, and it won't matter so much if we should have got two more plays in instead of one when we're beating the cr@p out of teams like LSU and Bama are at the moment (if Lucky Les doesn't make you see that, nothing will). CDD is doing just fine in my book.

Go CDD, go Vols!

Very well said my man.

holleyab writes:

In other news... "quarterbacks work on throwing better" "linebackers work on tackling better" "kickers work on kicking better".....

Volunatic writes:

in response to RockyMountainVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Don't hold your breath, Rocky. KNS just gave PPO a 25 cent raise for sheer quantity of troll posts.

VolCrazie5 writes:

Mr. Rogers needs to take a seat or tansfer... Not an SEC WR!! #cantplay

GBO!!

Volunatic writes:

in response to podjo#230743:

What's this "we" stuff?

Good point. PPO is the joke. He doesn't get to drag the rest of us into it.

Volunatic writes:

in response to smoky_moUnTain_sasqUaTch:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It was synthetic weed? Weird. I guess they weren't hanging out with Janzen Jackson after all.
Okay, that leads me to my next question:
WHAT IS synthetic weed? Is it like 7-leaf Astroturf or something?

Volunatic writes:

in response to smoky_moUnTain_sasqUaTch:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I always thought the OT stood for "old turd".

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to MerlOT_GoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch Doctor tell Walt to go take a nap and stop yelling at the computer screen.
Bones never lie.

Munsterlander writes:

in response to Volunatic:

I always thought the OT stood for "old turd".

Oscillating turnip...

shorttail writes:

in response to Munsterlander:

GiveHimSixMoreYears and maybe he'll have something to say indicative of at least a few brain cells. What a sad douche.

Baffling that you and several similarly slow-witted "fans" on this site actually seem to think a "good" coach would have us winning right now(!), kind of like a bunch of 4 years olds stomping your feet and screaming that you don't care what the player personnel reality is -- a reality that, combined with unbelievably bad timing and a larger than normal neanderthal fan population, incidentally, is what kept some big name coaches away - who wants to come and guaranteed lose for at least a couple of years with a bunch of sphincters like you to cheer them on?

And to make sure you're incessant crybaby rant is heard, you'll give no acknowledgement whatsoever to clear indications that personnel is moving in the right direction. But, but, but Auburn is winning with all freshman! Completely not true. We effectively lost 2 classes. Auburn, LSU, Bama, UF - all have the pipeline every school needs - impact freshman are the exception, not the rule. Huge difference between a red-shirt sophomore (translates to a junior) and a true 18-yo freshman.

But, as has been said before, somebody has to balance out that IQ bell curve.

No coach bats 1.000, there will _always_ be player evaluation misses no matter the stars, injuries happen, sometimes staff has to be mixed up, and it won't matter so much if we should have got two more plays in instead of one when we're beating the cr@p out of teams like LSU and Bama are at the moment (if Lucky Les doesn't make you see that, nothing will). CDD is doing just fine in my book.

Go CDD, go Vols!

you would think that after reading your post these [ don't know phooey about sports ] would shut the he;; up

RUstilltalking writes:

Why are we just now working on not dropping the ball? Wasn't there two-a-days for all Universities to practice before the season? Not an indictment just an observation.

GiveHimSixMoreYears writes:

Funny how the DooLeave faithful will seize upon any excuse to explain the ineptitude of this coaching staff. Before, it was an offensive line that despite having 65+ collective starts was just to young and inexperienced for UT to gain a single yard against SEC competition. Now, come to find out, Tennessee linemen aren't allowed access to the weight room until they're coming into their senior year. They can't run block because the poor babies are just to frail to pump iron before Duhley has a chance to run us into the ground a couple of more years.

Better start working on your Vanderbilt excuses now. They're going to need to be very creative.

I'm sure you'll all come up with something. Glad you folks like 5-7 coaches. Enjoy the band. I won't.

With fans like you guys, we sure don't need enemies - Disgusting.

vols2#227315 writes:

If doodley want to win games, then we would be playing another quarterback(one of the freshman or sophmore) and some of the freshman recievers. Trooper Taylor used to make player find and pull the ball out of rice when they drop ball.

fshnhol writes:

in response to volinlouisiana:

I want to root for Zach Rogers, but I have seen nothing this year from him except for dropped balls and killed drives. Arnett has produced more in less pt. Zach must be a good practice player, and that's fine, leave him in for practice, but let's put Arnett in the games.

I couldnt agree more!!! Why isnt Arnett playing as much?? He impressed me!

chrisw2967 writes:

in response to 82cat:

If the team want to cut down on WR drops it's easy

LEAVE ROGERS ON THE BENCH FOR HOME GAMES
LEAVE HIM IN KNOXVILLE FOR AWAY GAMES.

It just shows what a loss Hunter was, not only did we lose Hunter we also now have Rogers.We went from a future NFL player to a guy that wouldn't make the travel team by most SEC schools.

Rogers drops are nothing new he has done this since arriving in Knoxville and if I remember correctly had a huge drop against LSU last year when we were trying to kill clock at the end.

nothing personal I am sure he is probably a good kid but come on man this is "big boy" football you drop the ball you don't play.

If your talking about ZR then I apologize to you.

tE8OwPHELch35 writes:

in response to Volunatic:

It was synthetic weed? Weird. I guess they weren't hanging out with Janzen Jackson after all.
Okay, that leads me to my next question:
WHAT IS synthetic weed? Is it like 7-leaf Astroturf or something?

sounds like marinol, its a drug for cancer patients to help them eat

Rookie2 writes:

Zach Rogers can't catch with his hands. Watch anytime he's running a quite slant, instead of catching in stride with his hands and running for another 10 yards he jumps so he can catch it and cradle it in his stomach. Two different ways of catching the same ball, except one is a 20 yard gain whereas the other is an 8 to 10 yard gain. His drops come when he has no choice but to catch it with his hands, (ball over the top or on his back shoulder) but for the other balls there is missed opportunity even when he does catch it because of the way he has to catch it. His brother had hands of stone too.

Navaloranges writes:

in response to MerlOT_GoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Dang man, you make packer, aka snake, aka etc., look like a football genius. That's an extremely difficult thing to do.

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