UT coaches familiar but Florida still a mystery

The face of the Florida program is a new one, but it's familiar to Derek Dooley.

The Tennessee coach certainly knows Will Muschamp well from their time working under the same boss.

The Gators also have a first-year coordinator running their offense.

But the Vols have plenty of game tapes they can watch, and they even have an assistant who has prepared for and played against an attack with Charlie Weis at the controls.

UT isn't exactly flying blind when it heads down to No. 16 Florida for a critical early-season showdown on Saturday (TV: WVLT, 3:30 p.m.). But even with some built-in familiarity with the coaches and a good handle on the personnel, in many ways the Gators are still a mystery — which is why no possibility on either side of the ball hasn't been pursued throughout practice this week.

"We haven't seen hardly anything from them on offense because of the two games they played, and it's the same thing on defense," said Dooley, UT's coach. "I mean, they played vanilla defense the whole game — they're not going to do that against us. We're going to have to be able to handle stuff that our guys are not prepared for and that Florida hasn't shown.

"It's a new staff, they've played two games where it was over at halftime. They haven't shown their stuff, and we're going to see it this week."

Judging by those opening performances against over-matched competition, the Gators (2-0) have been productive in the transition to the pro-style offense favored by Weis and almost flawless defensively in allowing just three points in eight quarters. But Florida Atlantic and UAB aren't exactly a true test of success in the SEC, and those blowouts didn't require a whole lot of effort for a team still well-stocked with athletes.

Similarly, the level of competition for the Vols (2-0) is going up as well after easy victories over Montana and Cincinnati, particularly since they're dealing with some unknown quantities defensively preparing for Weis — whose work has been scouted back to his Notre Dame days.

"You've got a ton of formations and he obviously is excellent at what he does," UT defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox said. "You do the research on Weis and throughout his tenure he's got every play and formation known to mankind.

"So I would assume we're going to see something different than what we've seen on tape. There are a lot of games."

Peter Sirmon has had to prepare for a few of them in the past as a player, matching up on the field with the Tennessee Titans when Weis was pulling the strings for the New England Patriots.

But that kind of background only goes so far, and certainly there's a big difference in the personnel Weis is working with now.

"Ton of experience, he's been in a lot of systems, been with a lot of great players," Sirmon said. "He knows how to put his best players in the position to really kind of utilize their skills. He's seen every defense drawn up. A lot of resources to draw upon.

"I just hope he doesn't bring Tom Brady with him."

Bumps And Bruises: Devrin Young was wearing a white jersey for the first time this week, perhaps another sign the Vols are seriously considering giving the freshman a debut with the program on the road against the Gators.

Young, who is coming back from a shoulder injury, has seen work throughout the week on scout team, wearing a red jersey with the number belonging to Florida running back Chris Rainey. But the Bearden High product took that off Thursday morning and looks like he could be used on punt returns on Saturday.

The Vols also are still planning to have Dallas Thomas in the lineup at left tackle, and he practiced again with the starters during the open portion of the indoor practice.

Ben Martin was limited with his ankle sprain, and officially listed as day-to-day, the senior defensive end looks unlikely to play at this point.

Defensive back Prentiss Waggner (shoulder) and linebacker Curt Maggitt (wrist) were both in red, non-contact jerseys. Dooley indicated both were precautionary measures.

Hot Corner: Despite a couple high-profile breakdowns, freshman cornerback Justin Coleman still has the confidence of the coaching staff. But a veteran option is winning them over as well, and senior Art Evans could be in line for more work against the Gators.

"One thing about Art, especially going into a game like this, he's played in games like this before," defensive backs coach Terry Joseph said. "When you have such a group of young guys, you want guys out there who can kind of calm the game down.

"He's had a great two weeks of practice and he's playing better and better. We're starting to see the old Art."

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Comments » 29

tedstryker1980 writes:

Going back to 1976 we are 6-19 vs Fla. I hope Dooley can reverse this abysmal trend.

VolAlum03ISBACK (Inactive) writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

WhitePineVol77 writes:

This will be a pivotal game for the winner, as well as the loser. For once, in recent memory, the two seem well matched on most fronts. As for crippled coon, look what Spurrier has done in SC! Everyone's whipping post for years, w/out the HS talent. Talent means a whole lot, but do not discount superior conditioning and coaching. I believe DD is our coach, and it'll be Vols by 7.

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to MrDonCorleone:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Little zz you really have an obsession with the Vols as much as you are on this site

CarlChilders writes:

I agree with WhitePine. Big, big game. I'm saying it first. The winner in the east will have 2 losses. Just beat the 3 teams who could contend (SC, FL, and GA) and the schedule will play out.

TNVOLNTX writes:

in response to MrDonCorleone:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yawn...predictable, pitiful, unoriginal, and just not very good. Thanks for representing daily the ignorance of your fan base. Makes me even prouder of ours. Please keep posting.

tdforvols writes:

in response to MrDonCorleone:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Sounds like you have already forgotten that Florida lost 5 games last year and has a brand new coaching staff in place. Not exactly a situation that guarentees success by any means.

Twelvethirtyone writes:

Perfect article to re-post an earlier post I made...
What I am baffled by is all these articles I have seen over the past few years about the "greatness" of Charlie Weis.

True, Charlie was successful as OC at NE and coached Tom Brady for much of his early career. True, Matt Cassell thrived in Charlie's scheme last year with KC. However, at ND, he was marginal (35-27) and coached Brady Quinn and Jimmy Clausen, 2 QBs that strike the fear into nobody's hearts. I look at Weis and see a guy who seems to be great on the Pro level but mediocre in college (much like Spurrier is great on the college level but was lousy at the Pro level).

Jim Chaney, on the other hand, was OC at Purdue and coached Drew Brees 1997-2000 and Kyle Orton 2001-2004. Kyle, coincidentally starts in Denver while Brady Quinn keeps the bench warm behind him. Drew is touted as one of the Elite NFL QBs, like Tom Brady. I also read that when Urban Meyer took over at Bowling Green years ago, one of the people he consulted was Jim Chaney (at Purdue at the time) on how to implement the spread offense.

So what in the world is the big hullabaloo over Charlie Weis? I apologize, Gator fans, but I just don't get it. I am very happy to have Jim Chaney as UT's OC. If any coordinator actually makes a difference in Saturday's game, I will gladly put my faith in Jim Chaney's playcalling over that of Charlie Weis. Go Vols!! :)

CarlChilders writes:

Just hearing the name Brady Quinn again creates a flashback of Brent Musburger floating that off his tongue with unequivocal manlove.

Twelvethirtyone writes:

in response to CarlChilders:

Just hearing the name Brady Quinn again creates a flashback of Brent Musburger floating that off his tongue with unequivocal manlove.

LOL! Now that's funny! ;)

Bigger_Al writes:

I don't think there is a Hullabaloo in the world big enough to go over Charlie Weis.

Atuss writes:

in response to Twelvethirtyone:

Perfect article to re-post an earlier post I made...
What I am baffled by is all these articles I have seen over the past few years about the "greatness" of Charlie Weis.

True, Charlie was successful as OC at NE and coached Tom Brady for much of his early career. True, Matt Cassell thrived in Charlie's scheme last year with KC. However, at ND, he was marginal (35-27) and coached Brady Quinn and Jimmy Clausen, 2 QBs that strike the fear into nobody's hearts. I look at Weis and see a guy who seems to be great on the Pro level but mediocre in college (much like Spurrier is great on the college level but was lousy at the Pro level).

Jim Chaney, on the other hand, was OC at Purdue and coached Drew Brees 1997-2000 and Kyle Orton 2001-2004. Kyle, coincidentally starts in Denver while Brady Quinn keeps the bench warm behind him. Drew is touted as one of the Elite NFL QBs, like Tom Brady. I also read that when Urban Meyer took over at Bowling Green years ago, one of the people he consulted was Jim Chaney (at Purdue at the time) on how to implement the spread offense.

So what in the world is the big hullabaloo over Charlie Weis? I apologize, Gator fans, but I just don't get it. I am very happy to have Jim Chaney as UT's OC. If any coordinator actually makes a difference in Saturday's game, I will gladly put my faith in Jim Chaney's playcalling over that of Charlie Weis. Go Vols!! :)

Jim Chaney is top notch as an OC. What separates him from Weiss is three SB rings and a few years of experience. The two guys are very good friends and Chaney often visited with Weiss while Weiss was at New England.

VolAlum03ISBACK (Inactive) writes:

in response to CarlChilders:

Just hearing the name Brady Quinn again creates a flashback of Brent Musburger floating that off his tongue with unequivocal manlove.

Any comment that insults Brady Quinn and uses the term "unequivocal manlove" deserves two thumbs up.

secten#238516 writes:

no new game write ups in about 4 days now this staff is getting rather boring

Noogaorange writes:

in response to TNVOLNTX:

Yawn...predictable, pitiful, unoriginal, and just not very good. Thanks for representing daily the ignorance of your fan base. Makes me even prouder of ours. Please keep posting.

Could'n agree more. Makes you proud to be a Volunteer. GBO

Noogaorange writes:

in response to Twelvethirtyone:

Perfect article to re-post an earlier post I made...
What I am baffled by is all these articles I have seen over the past few years about the "greatness" of Charlie Weis.

True, Charlie was successful as OC at NE and coached Tom Brady for much of his early career. True, Matt Cassell thrived in Charlie's scheme last year with KC. However, at ND, he was marginal (35-27) and coached Brady Quinn and Jimmy Clausen, 2 QBs that strike the fear into nobody's hearts. I look at Weis and see a guy who seems to be great on the Pro level but mediocre in college (much like Spurrier is great on the college level but was lousy at the Pro level).

Jim Chaney, on the other hand, was OC at Purdue and coached Drew Brees 1997-2000 and Kyle Orton 2001-2004. Kyle, coincidentally starts in Denver while Brady Quinn keeps the bench warm behind him. Drew is touted as one of the Elite NFL QBs, like Tom Brady. I also read that when Urban Meyer took over at Bowling Green years ago, one of the people he consulted was Jim Chaney (at Purdue at the time) on how to implement the spread offense.

So what in the world is the big hullabaloo over Charlie Weis? I apologize, Gator fans, but I just don't get it. I am very happy to have Jim Chaney as UT's OC. If any coordinator actually makes a difference in Saturday's game, I will gladly put my faith in Jim Chaney's playcalling over that of Charlie Weis. Go Vols!! :)

Great post. I'm with you on this one. Certainly glad we've got Chaney instead of Weis!
GBO

Chappy writes:

in response to MrDonCorleone:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I always try to take the high road, but you make it very difficult at times.

VolGrad writes:

in response to MrDonCorleone:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

So you're saying Muschamp will have no excuse then if Florida loses to Tennessee. OK.

The gator-crow is marinated and about to go into the Crock-pot.

Go Vols!!!

VolGrad writes:

in response to tlrvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

+1 from the Amen corner.

DSmith1669 writes:

in response to CrippledCoon:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think the last few years they have had the better talent but during Fulmer & Spurrier's hey day I think we had the edge in talent if not at least equal.

KevDVol writes:

I would prefer to only see the "New and Improved" Art - he's the one that got that pick-six. The "old" Art scares me to death.

Timbo_Slice writes:

in response to Mama_Calls_Me_Precious:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And what do you call 7-5? I would call it mediocrity and I would call you and your post's pathetic!

RashaadSalabeb writes:

The Gators are scared! They can spin it any way they want to but they know it, we know it and everybody else knows it! Bray and Company are going to light up the airways! Look for our defense to step it up as well.

Go Rocky Top!

UTbassdrummer writes:

BREAKING NEWS: Vols fans prefer vols. Florida fans and other teams' fans disagree! See: above posts

Volunatic writes:

in response to Mama_Calls_Me_Precious:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

During the pre-game commentary, of course. After the game it will be all-Bray-all-the-time.

CheckerBoardMeanMachine writes:

According to ESPN the winning team the last 16 out of 19 games has been the one with the most rushing yards. And unfortunately coming into this game Floriduh has that edge! Kinda like where we are at right now with our young team but saturday at 3:30 is going to really tell where we are at as a football team. Really believe that Bray will see more Defensive pressure than he has ever seen as a quaterback in his career saturday and with that being said hope that he really is what everybody in VOL nation hopes he is and not just a great looking QB against lesser opponents. Either way this is the first time in several years that we are about equal with coaching and athletes on both teams and it will come down to which ever team was coached up the best this week and over the past months as to who comes out with the W! Like someone said in an earlier article about "Shock The World" I hope it happens saturday.And until the VOLS do shock the world with a quality win over a quality ranked opponent, we can expect less than quality respect from the college football world!

KevDVol writes:

Talent makes a "guru". There are plenty of coaches with great ideas but it takes talent to produce the results. Tomorrow, both sidelines will have good coaches and athletes.

I think we're all just really excited that we finally have some game changers on offense. We will soon find out if we still have a talent gap or a coaching gap...or both or neither. GO VOLS!!

VolGrad writes:

in response to KevDVol:

I would prefer to only see the "New and Improved" Art - he's the one that got that pick-six. The "old" Art scares me to death.

You may have something there.

:)

Go Vols!!!

fbmf624#277664 writes:

A Florida teacher asked her class to raise their hands if they love the Gators. The whole class raised their hands, except for Jimmy. "Who is your favorite team, Jimmy?" "The Vols!", replied Jimmy. "Why?" "Well my dad is a Vols fan and my mom is a Vols fan, so that makes me a Vols fan", Jimmy stated. The teacher huffed, "Well, if your dad is a moron and your mom is an idiot, what would that make you?" "A Gator fan!", says Jimmy I had to steal it Carole Gilbert!!!!! Roflmbo

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