John Adams: Run game a source of frustration for Vols

John Adams
Seven minutes and forty-seven before the kickoff with the Montana Grizzlies Saturday, Sep. 3, 2011 in Neyland Stadium the game was delayed because of weather in the area. Everyone on the field level, including the UT cheerleaders, were asked to leave the field. Fans were advised to take shelter.  (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Michael Patrick, copyright © 2011

Seven minutes and forty-seven before the kickoff with the Montana Grizzlies Saturday, Sep. 3, 2011 in Neyland Stadium the game was delayed because of weather in the area. Everyone on the field level, including the UT cheerleaders, were asked to leave the field. Fans were advised to take shelter. (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Game recap: Tennessee 42, Montana 16

Ask the Montana Grizzlies about southern hospitality, and they will tell you it's a myth. They have Saturday to prove it.

The Grizzlies were exposed to 90-something-degree heat in the afternoon, a rogue thunderstorm that struck faster than Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray, and a 93-minute weather-induced kickoff delay.

By then, they were probably looking overhead for locusts. Instead, they got Air Vols.

Bray passed for 235 yards and three touchdowns in the first half as Tennessee jumped out to an early four-touchdown lead en route to a 42-16 victory in their season opener before an announced crowd of 94,661.

Don't slight the fans for failing to fill Neyland Stadium. This was a day for staying indoors, even before the lightning struck.

Temperature: About 95 degrees. Felt like: A sauna.

And the air quality was as bad as the heat.

But that was just a warm-up. Then came a sharp-breaking curveball from Mother Nature that the local weather guys never saw coming.

It's a wonder the thunderstorm didn't chase everybody home. Those who stuck around were treated to an offense that was both promising and disappointing — depending on whether the Vols were passing or running.

Bray often made it look easy in the first half, setting up comfortably in the pocket before flicking fastballs to Justin Hunter and Da'Rick Rogers. Passing was a breeze. Running was a source of frustration.

And no one was more frustrated than second-year UT coach Derek Dooley.

"We're not running the ball like we need to,'' was his opening comment in a brief halftime interview on the Vol Network.

His frustration was understandable. He has preached the significance of running the ball since the end of the 2010 season, during which the Vols averaged only 109.2 yards rushing per game.

Freshman Marlin Lane had an 18-yard run in the first quarter. But that wasn't a sign of runs to come.

Even if you took away the 17 yards Bray lost attempting to pass, the Vols averaged only 3.3 yards on 25 first-half carries. That's right out of the 2010 stat book.

If you can't run the ball on the FCS Grizzlies, what can you expect against the likes of Alabama and LSU?

Answer: nothing good.

The consensus preseason take on the Vols: An offense that returned the large majority of its starters would do the heavy lifting until a young defense gained experience over the course of the season.

But the defense more than held its own against Montana. In fact, cornerback Art Evans accounted for UT's only third-quarter score when he returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown.

While the defense was stepping up, the offense was stepping backward. It didn't score again until the 9:10 mark of the fourth quarter after a fumble recovery set up a six-play, 44-yard drive that included a 28-yard run by Tauren Poole and a 1-yard touchdown by Lane.

The final score was a comedown from UT's last two season openers — a 63-7 victory over Western Kentucky in 2009 and a 50-0 win against UT Martin last season. Credit the Grizzlies for that.

They were an upgrade over either Western Kentucky or UT Martin. And you didn't have to see the final score to know that.

You only had to see the Vols try to run the ball.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2011, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2011 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 80

RockyToptoNeyland writes:

tauren poole is overrated, there I said it

mattnchatt writes:

The run game was pretty sad. Cincy will be a tougher test and we can't win if Poole doesn't get 100 on fewer carries. Ride Hunter and Rodgers until we can. Go Vols!

richvol writes:

I was extremely disappointed in our OL...they could not move the Montana DL nor make any kind of holes. It was frustrating to watch as the OL was supposed to be a strength. The pass protection was OK but if we expect to compete in the SEC this OL had better get their s--- together.

claiborneh writes:

Poole likes to dive into the ground instead of make a cut or fight for yards

standfast#211788 writes:

The offense's inability to punch the ball into the end zone against a second tier team was remarkable. What happened to all the experience and cohesiveness the OL was supposed to have?

OldNumber7 writes:

This was about 30% Poole, 40% OL, and 30% Montana's linebackers...who seemed to plug every hole Poole hit (when there was a hole). Then the holes quit appearing and Poole failed to move outside. No adjustments on either OL or Poole. The question is why?

volsfannsc writes:

Okay, a win is a win and we got that. In fact, looking at the score it was a big win albeit disheartening. The OL could not move Montana's front for even the slightest push. Granted, most plays their were seven or eight in the box. What is even more perplexing, several times Poole could have gained yardage by cutting outside but instead chose to run up the back of a stalled block. I am a big Poole fan, but I just could not figure out why he would never cut outside. Given that we could not punch up the middle, I expected a sweep or reverse to be called but instead we relied on Bray's arm which everyone in the house knew was coming. Congrats to Bray, Rogers and Hunter- but if we don't get something that resembles a running game our days are numbered.

VOLliven2it writes:

I'm sorry, I am not too quick to give Montana all the credit many are. They played tough and disciplined football. But we are TENNESSEE! I am so disappointed in the offensive line. They should have been able to involk their will on the Montana d-line and it is the o-line's responsiblity to move linebackers out of the way. It was the first game but we have a long way to go to be ready for about any SEC defense. I was in the stadium and have to believe our fellow SEC defenses are licking chops, waiting to play us. Either we get a run offense or we are in a lot of trouble in a few weeks.
Still, we won and made some exciting plays in the passing game. But I was nowhere near satisfied with our running the ball.

OakRidgeBredNashvilleVol writes:

Is it just me or is Adams softening in his old age? I was prepared to read a thorough thumping.

TKO writes:

giving up sacks against Montana? Looks like no work was put in regarding the offensive line

dwa7#337691 writes:

early predict:
UT 40
Cincy 28
that's about right.......and no RAIN!

Mtnbiker writes:

All the doom and gloom after one game is terrible. We had largely the same OL from last season and *gasp* they didn't run block all that well last year either. Like everyone here I thought the OL had grown and would give our Running game some legs to be more productive. They still might, but we'll sink or swim on Brays development along with our WR's. Cincy will be a big test. One I had thought would be an easy win, though tougher than Montana. Now, depends on our ability to win the Turnover margin. Had we lost all those fumbles/INT the final score might still have been a Win, but I bet it would have been much closer. We'll not be so lucky next time. Next time it could cost us a game.

snakeplissken writes:

Offensive linemen don't appear to be strong, nor did they stay with their blocks. Offensibe playcalling left much to be desired in the running game. Tennessee didn't even cover the line @ -29 against a fcs team. Defensive line was disappointing, as well as our secondary. Should beat Cincy but beginning to worry about Florida who looked a LOT more organized and physical than we did.

huntined#565710 writes:

Good passing game and they could have had a lot more rushing yards if they would have went around the ends more as all they did was try to hit it up the middle

BIGORANGEDOG writes:

The sign of a "Good Team" is its ability to make the needed adjustments by all parties. That means in the coaches room, film room and on the field beginning last night, and there were adjustments made. First game in and the recliner coaches are out in force. Watch for the improvements. Still young everywhere on the roster and still learning the system. Nice win to start the season. Take care of your business in a business like manner! V F L

wsmows writes:

Funny, Tyler Bray waiving bye,bye to Hunter on TD pass.

Huttdawg100 writes:

in response to CrippledCoon:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yup. Manhandled! Bullard got destroyed when we gave up the safety. I looked at the replay, and he got pushed 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage. Poole missed some holes. He's serviceable, but he ain't Jamal Lewis. But the big thing I took away was the need for improvement along the O Line.

BTW, Justin Hunter is the best Wide Receiver in the SEC.

kazoo writes:

Once again, we hear about how potentially good the OL will be--and once again they how that they aren't good, that they can't block that well, individually. It's a ritual here to talk up the OL in August--Fulmer did it practically every year--and then in September we see that the unit is a paper tiger.

jmovol79 writes:

in response to mattnchatt:

The run game was pretty sad. Cincy will be a tougher test and we can't win if Poole doesn't get 100 on fewer carries. Ride Hunter and Rodgers until we can. Go Vols!

How are 5 guys supposed to block 8 or 9? Montana took away the run so we passed. Look at the tape, Montana was determined to take away the run and hope Bray would force a few.

nepperso#220348 writes:

I'm not worried about the O-line at all. Let's not forget that they are very young, still. The delay before the game probably didn't help matters either. This team is still one season away from being really good but I saw a lot of improvements from last year especially on defense. The O-line will spend this season getting better each week and by next fall Tennessee is going to be one of the best teams in the SEC. Relax boys, we knew this was going to take time to rebuild. But it's fun watching it progress!

therightstuff writes:

in response to BIGORANGEDOG:

The sign of a "Good Team" is its ability to make the needed adjustments by all parties. That means in the coaches room, film room and on the field beginning last night, and there were adjustments made. First game in and the recliner coaches are out in force. Watch for the improvements. Still young everywhere on the roster and still learning the system. Nice win to start the season. Take care of your business in a business like manner! V F L

Good post. Good stuff.

TKO writes:

offensive line and special teams...hopefully year 1 and 2 is not repeated in 3 -4- 5.
The mechanics and adjustments are in one thing, but where was the intensity and fire in these guys?

TKO writes:

in response to wsmows:

Funny, Tyler Bray waiving bye,bye to Hunter on TD pass.

and those childish antics is what's going to fire up another defense.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to RockyToptoNeyland:

tauren poole is overrated, there I said it

Not so much sure its Poole but our OLINE REALLY struggled to create much spacing for the tailbacks....pass blocking???looked okay...run blocking??? man we need some work and quick...you CAN NOT win in the SEC without running the ball and stopping the run on defense...I'm not pessimistic about our team...just a wee bit concerned....

bannervol writes:

in response to jmovol79:

How are 5 guys supposed to block 8 or 9? Montana took away the run so we passed. Look at the tape, Montana was determined to take away the run and hope Bray would force a few.

Absolutely; 7 to 9 players in the box. Montana dared us to beat them with the pass and we stubbornly tried to run up the middle instead of checking to passing plays. Bet we won't do this against SEC schools. Look for Bray to get 500 yards against Cincy.

tmcretired writes:

Enjoy the win soon we will have to play SEC teams and I think it won't be as good as I wished

movol77 writes:

in response to RockyToptoNeyland:

tauren poole is overrated, there I said it

Wrong focus. The O-line is overrated!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to slaw_way:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I pretty much agree with your first two points, guessing your third was a joke. One of the older cliches about college football is that a team makes as big an improvement from its first game to its second as it will make all year. I surely hope this is the case with the Vols! We will probably not know until the end of the season just how good Montana is, but chances are they are not as good as Alabama, UF, USCe, LSU, etc. Shouldn't be much problem getting the team's attention during practice this week, especially the O-line and RB's. All the fumbles and most aspects of special-teams play were also rather disappointing. Plenty of room for improvement in several areas.

movol77 writes:

Couple of thoughts trying to bring clarity to my own disappointment in the o-line.

1. CDD knew the run game was a question mark. He was relentless in trying to run the ball up the middle with 7-8 in the box. This will give him leverage to make the line listen to the coaching staff.
2. UT could have run the score up through the air and outside play. Again, CDD chose to fight the inside game.
3. The game outcome was never in question. CDD chose to work on the inside game because he knows it will be necessary in conference play. He primarily threw the ball with regard to down and distance. There was little mix in the play calling. There wasn't much inside/outside game calling. Very bland offensive game plan. The playbook is MUCH bigger than we saw.

abnerPeabody writes:

Good news. Tennessee leads the nation in fumble recoveries.Bad news. It was our own fumbles we recovered.

Tennessee played 11 true freshmen in the 1st half last night.Add 7 sophs. and only 2 srs. and you have a very young and somewhat inexperienced team.

They will improve as the season continues.Maybe not as much nor as fast as some of us want,but they will improve.There will be some moral victories(who wants that though)this year.

Keep the faith.Remember,God is all powerful,but it took him 6 days to create the earth.It will take 3 or 4 years for Dooley or anyone else to create a great football team.(Not comparing Dooley with God).We are on our way and it will take a few wrong turns and some stumbling blocks before we get there.WE WILL GET THERE.Be patient my fellow Vols.Just be patient.

givehim6 writes:

Come on guys it was a W right? We knew Montana was not a cupcake team they have won the subdivision, or class II or what ever it's called now a few times or been in the running for it, WKY (that UK barely beat) or UTM Montana is not. We got weakness exposed early so know what we need to work on before next Sat. At least we didn't look like Auburn or UK. You know the trolls are loving the way your talking. Adjustment will be made, let's not throw in the towel after one game. Remember WE ARE UT, GO VOLS!

snakeplissken writes:

in response to nepperso#220348:

I'm not worried about the O-line at all. Let's not forget that they are very young, still. The delay before the game probably didn't help matters either. This team is still one season away from being really good but I saw a lot of improvements from last year especially on defense. The O-line will spend this season getting better each week and by next fall Tennessee is going to be one of the best teams in the SEC. Relax boys, we knew this was going to take time to rebuild. But it's fun watching it progress!

Oh boy, the excusathon has begun about the youth on the team. Seems I heard that two seasons ago from the Kiffinites. Having ALL the starters back on the offensive line in the same system should show improvement, especially against a daggum fcs team that was something like 7-5 last year. Montana High didn't even win their wimpy conference. Watching Florida's youthful offensive line yesterday with a totally new system and new coach I didn't see the problems Tennessee's offensive linemen had last night. Don't you find that strange? Oh yeah, just wait til next year! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

RoadTrip writes:

O-line was plain vanilla on blocking schemes last night. No traps, counter treys, etc. Remains to be seen if that is in the overall scheme or not. Montana's front 7 were big and strong. Poole is not a prime time back - he dances too much in the hole and only one time bounced to the outside when it was there several times during the game. Instead he cuts inside 90+% of the time. Lane has a really good presence and second effort. He will get better and better.

Bray/WR's are NFL quality. This year's team needs to be pass first, run second until opponents stop loading the box with 8 guys and having 10-11 within 10 yards of the line.

Still issues in the secondary. Loved Gordon at nickel. We need Wagg back at CB so we can shut down the other team's WR's with Teague at the other side. Hopefully Randolph, Moore, Lanier will step up at FS. Evans made a big play but got caught on a 30 yarder watching the QB. Front 7 will be OK - a lot of talent there. Just need playing time.

tdforvols writes:

No mention by Adams (or anyone else for that matter) that Montana was continually stacking the box all night to stop the run. This opened up the passing game with which the Vols took full advantage. I was suprised that Montana never adjusted their defense to defend the pass a little more but I guess that let's us know what they really feared was the Vol ground game. There is room for improvement in the ground attack but let's see how they do against Cincy before we get too excited.

RoadTrip writes:

in response to snakeplissken:

Oh boy, the excusathon has begun about the youth on the team. Seems I heard that two seasons ago from the Kiffinites. Having ALL the starters back on the offensive line in the same system should show improvement, especially against a daggum fcs team that was something like 7-5 last year. Montana High didn't even win their wimpy conference. Watching Florida's youthful offensive line yesterday with a totally new system and new coach I didn't see the problems Tennessee's offensive linemen had last night. Don't you find that strange? Oh yeah, just wait til next year! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

It seems to me that you might want to wait a couple of weeks before making these comments.

hueypilot writes:

in response to RoadTrip:

O-line was plain vanilla on blocking schemes last night. No traps, counter treys, etc. Remains to be seen if that is in the overall scheme or not. Montana's front 7 were big and strong. Poole is not a prime time back - he dances too much in the hole and only one time bounced to the outside when it was there several times during the game. Instead he cuts inside 90+% of the time. Lane has a really good presence and second effort. He will get better and better.

Bray/WR's are NFL quality. This year's team needs to be pass first, run second until opponents stop loading the box with 8 guys and having 10-11 within 10 yards of the line.

Still issues in the secondary. Loved Gordon at nickel. We need Wagg back at CB so we can shut down the other team's WR's with Teague at the other side. Hopefully Randolph, Moore, Lanier will step up at FS. Evans made a big play but got caught on a 30 yarder watching the QB. Front 7 will be OK - a lot of talent there. Just need playing time.

Your analysis sounds like you have some knowledge, Road, either as player or coach. I have neither and can't comment on schemes, altho I thought the playbook was totally vanilla and I understand why the way the schedule lays out, which I think couldn't be better ramping up to Cincy then the Gators on the road before we hit the October meat grinder.

But to this untrained eye, it seems Poole never looks off tackle, or to bounce it outside and maybe after seeing him on his long run, is that he's not that adept at the full speed cut. Just not in his arsenal. More of a head/shoulder fake guy.

Lane on the other hand shows much better vision in going to the open spot.
'
They always say the biggest improvement is game one to game two. I hope so.
I liked what I saw on the front 7 particularly Smith and Martin and Maggitt. The young DB Coleman got burnt for a meaningless TD for a valuable teaching moment that might help him down the line against tougher opponents. After all he is a true freshman starting as a CB in the SEC. Pretty tough if he was Eric Berry. Even Berry didn't start in first game but saw the field early against Cal and got scorched several times. Best thing about freshmen is next year they're not.

treytn writes:

in response to RoadTrip:

O-line was plain vanilla on blocking schemes last night. No traps, counter treys, etc. Remains to be seen if that is in the overall scheme or not. Montana's front 7 were big and strong. Poole is not a prime time back - he dances too much in the hole and only one time bounced to the outside when it was there several times during the game. Instead he cuts inside 90+% of the time. Lane has a really good presence and second effort. He will get better and better.

Bray/WR's are NFL quality. This year's team needs to be pass first, run second until opponents stop loading the box with 8 guys and having 10-11 within 10 yards of the line.

Still issues in the secondary. Loved Gordon at nickel. We need Wagg back at CB so we can shut down the other team's WR's with Teague at the other side. Hopefully Randolph, Moore, Lanier will step up at FS. Evans made a big play but got caught on a 30 yarder watching the QB. Front 7 will be OK - a lot of talent there. Just need playing time.

The OL was vanilla last night and the problem I have with that is that everybody you play knows you won't do that all season. Why didn't we see how the traps and counter-plays worked rather than waiting until we need it in the middle of a tight game??? This philosophy reminds me of a high school jamboree where you think you're fooling other teams you'll be playing. Still, our OL stood straight up on running plays and couldn't even move a fcs team's DL - something we should have been able to do! Our OL looks like they don't have any strength, as well as bad technique. Even though Dooley harped on running to the players at halftime, they still couldn't get it done.
Passing game looked good, but we all know you won't compete well in the SEC with that offensive mindset. Dooley has even said many times YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO RUN THE BALL IN THE SEC!!!! Plain English, but they failed last night against a middle of the pack lesser opponent.
DL and secondary played average - again, not well enough considering the opponent. And our special teams only show marginal improvement. CAN'T ANYONE FIELD A PUNT CONSISTENTLY????
I hope they get all these issues straightened out before Florida. Cincy should give us a little test, though we should beat them by a couple TD's.

treytn writes:

in response to RoadTrip:

It seems to me that you might want to wait a couple of weeks before making these comments.

I think he made a very valid point. Don't bury your head in the sand to the problems with this OL. It won't magically go away with hope.

BigOrangeSmoker writes:

in response to OakRidgeBredNashvilleVol:

Is it just me or is Adams softening in his old age? I was prepared to read a thorough thumping.

johnboy softening.... just keep watching him this is just a sucker in move,next story will be blasting the vols or Dooley in some sort of was.I really wish KNS would give him his walking papers

Pompey writes:

in response to RockyToptoNeyland:

tauren poole is overrated, there I said it

....sadly even Kiffin knew it.....

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to movol77:

Couple of thoughts trying to bring clarity to my own disappointment in the o-line.

1. CDD knew the run game was a question mark. He was relentless in trying to run the ball up the middle with 7-8 in the box. This will give him leverage to make the line listen to the coaching staff.
2. UT could have run the score up through the air and outside play. Again, CDD chose to fight the inside game.
3. The game outcome was never in question. CDD chose to work on the inside game because he knows it will be necessary in conference play. He primarily threw the ball with regard to down and distance. There was little mix in the play calling. There wasn't much inside/outside game calling. Very bland offensive game plan. The playbook is MUCH bigger than we saw.

All these are very logical and makes complete sense.

Smokey says that indeed, the playbook is MUCH bigger than we saw..

GainesvilleVol1 writes:

1st game,we knew Dooley wasn't going to show all his game plays. Still, I wanted the offense to shove the ball down Montana's throat. Didn't happen, and don't know if it can be fixed in time for league play. I don't care if they stacked the line, we should be able to knock them on their backs, and the running backs need to find the holes, or at least quit diving to the ground.

Glad we won, maybe we have to pass to set up the run, not what I call classic SEC football.

GO VOLS!!!

tdforvols writes:

in response to RockyToptoNeyland:

tauren poole is overrated, there I said it

Yeah, and that's what you and thousands of others said a few years back about Arian Foster - Now one of the top RB's in the NFL.

RashaadSalabeb writes:

Hey, we won 42-16! I had predicted 42-20. It's about what I expected except we were able to pass on them a little easier than I thought going in to the game. We did have trouble running the ball but they took that away from us. That's why it was so easy to pass. That's what you have to do when a team loads up in the box. The OL don't concern me so much. They are average at best but still young. I was more surprized at us putting the ball on the ground so much. Luck and the fact that our players were awake and hussled to to the ball saved our butts. It was good to see so many young guys playing! We are rebuilding at a quick pace. All will be good. We could have scored more but as some of you have already said...we were working on our run game. I'll take it! Cory Miller really looked good I thought!

Go Vols!

dgcarter43 writes:

It's just possible CDD didn't want to show everything in this first game, just enough to win. Also, wasn't this(Montana) a big, veteran line loaded with juniors and seniors. It was supposedly the strength of their team but UT has to improve in the run game to be ready for the SEC.

treytn writes:

in response to dgcarter43:

It's just possible CDD didn't want to show everything in this first game, just enough to win. Also, wasn't this(Montana) a big, veteran line loaded with juniors and seniors. It was supposedly the strength of their team but UT has to improve in the run game to be ready for the SEC.

Showing everything doesn't have much to do with our pitiful dismal offenive line performance. As far as you bragging on Montana's defensive line. I guess I had overlooked that Montana's defensive lenemen are projected to be first round picks in the next NFL draft, and that is why they totally OWNED our offensive line last night.

flatrock writes:

in response to RockyToptoNeyland:

tauren poole is overrated, there I said it

Can't blame Poole for inconsistency. OL is a real
disappointment. On all the goal-line plays (both coming out and going into the end zone), Montana won the line of scrimmage and RBs had no chance. OL needs another year in the weight room- too bad that they had to be rushed into action a year or two before they were ready. When the OL gets better, Poole will be fine.

FearTheVols1252 writes:

Funny listening to all the self-proclaimed 'coaches' here. The first game will expose a lot of 'bugs' that need to be worked out. Rather than predicting our entire season based on one game, let's see how much they improve going forward. If they don't improve, THEN you will have reason to be concerned. Until then... quit whining!!!

tovolny writes:

in response to OakRidgeBredNashvilleVol:

Is it just me or is Adams softening in his old age? I was prepared to read a thorough thumping.

It does seem Adams is beginning to act more like he is living in Knoxville. I was hard on him in a response last week, and I probably went a little too far. His work through August, I believe, was more directed toward providing VOL FANS with real pictures of reality, while also staying on a Pro UT tract --- which for me was a delight. Then, from out of the swamp, comes the Proctor cartoon of the Titanic fiasco from last year. The resurfacing of the Titanic upset me so much that I reacted too quickly. KNS has the worst timing I have ever seen. I blame Adams for this, but it might be coming from one of the Jacks...who knows?

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

Perfect headline for this article because that is how I felt as I was watching the game...Admit that I was expecting a little more from Poole and the OL but also tried to keep in mind that it is only the first game..Hopefully Hiestand will get the OL woes corrected before the Cincy game and they will open up more holes for Poole or Lane or whoever is in the backfield..The thing that bothers me about Poole is that he ran right into the pile instead of run toward either side because there was plenty of room to do that..Hope that these problems will be fixed, so I will stay optimistic that they will.

Smokey says get the OL and the RB's gelling as a unit..

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features