Players react to Dooley's post-practice rant
Vols football practice - Sept. 20, 2011
Derek Dooley didn't hold anything back from his team.
When the Tennessee coach was done ranting at it after practice, he apparently didn't have any words left to offer the media.
For the first time in his career with the program, Dooley declined to speak with reporters after a workout on Tuesday morning at Haslam Field. But he could be easily heard reading the Riot Act to the Vols after a session that clearly didn't meet his standards coming off a 33-23 loss on Saturday at No. 15 Florida, and the players had no trouble interpreting his message.
"I mean, it's good to see his energy out here," wide receiver Zach Rogers said. "But we came out with the wrong mindset. We were kind of dragging around all practice, it wasn't a very good practice — myself included.
"As we grow as a team and as we grow in maturity, I think we'll get better in that and learn the importance of this open week to get better."
The Vols have plenty to sort out without a game to prepare for right now, obviously starting with its offense as it begins life without Justin Hunter.
UT has issues to correct on both sides of the ball, and Dooley indicated during a public appearance on Monday that he would be treating practices like they were training camp this week.
That included a spirited, physical drill with offensive and defensive players battling each other inside a circle of teammates early in the open portion of practice that seemed to have the Vols energized. But based on the comments from the players afterward and the absence of them from Dooley, it might not have lasted.
"It was just a sluggish practice," wide receiver Matt Milton said. "We didn't come out focused like we needed to be, and he let us know.
"I mean, we needed it though. I'm glad he did it."