Vols have 'good energy' at last practice before long weekend

Tennessee started off the bye week with one of the worst practices in Derek Dooley's time with the Vols, but back-to-back, "spirited" youth-oriented sessions left the coach satisfied heading into the long weekend.

"We had some guys who had gotten a lot of snaps, dinged up, so it gave us an opportunity to look at a lot of young guys and get them repped back up," Dooley said Thursday. "We're going to have to count on to play this year. I think that was a good, positive thing. Hopefully we'll benefit from it.

"It was good energy. Defense did a real good job today. It was two good days of work."

A number of those "dinged up" players were from UT's offensive line, as left tackle Dallas Thomas, left guard Alex Bullard and right guard Zach Fulton were limited. Fulton was seen at the end of practice with a walking boot on his right foot, but the injury is not considered serious.

Freshman running back Marlin Lane wore a red, non-contact jersey because of a minor ankle injury.

Defensive ends Ben Martin and Marlon Walls were both limited during the open viewing period. Linebacker Curt Maggitt, who was limited Wednesday, was back and appeared at full strength.

Senior running back Tauren Poole is recovering from a strained back he suffered on the first play of last week's 33-23 loss at Florida, but he did not miss any practice time.

"I've just got to fight through it," he said. "It's tough because running backs will get banged up. We take hits on every single play, whether it's pass blocking or running the football. I've just got to continue to take care of myself."

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 » 55

TheRealDragonSlayer writes:

I love the commitment of our players and the coaching staff. Thanks, Vols! Looking forward to a fruitful rest of the season. We are proud of you all.

usafvol writes:

We can still have a great season barring more serious injuries. All remainning games on our schedule are "winable" with the exception of maybe Bama. Not saying we'll win but having SC, Ga & LSU at home certainly helps. The running game WILL get better; wait and see!

tennvolsman19651965 writes:

I look forward to seeing the difference a week off, and a non SEC opponent game can do for our guys coming into the Georgia game. Heal up, and let's beat some Dawg Booty! GBO

TheRealDragonSlayer writes:

in response to usafvol:

We can still have a great season barring more serious injuries. All remainning games on our schedule are "winable" with the exception of maybe Bama. Not saying we'll win but having SC, Ga & LSU at home certainly helps. The running game WILL get better; wait and see!

I would say that if Bama can stay off the "winnable" list, then LSU deserves to as well. From what I have seen of both Bama and LSU this season so far, playing Bama on the road and playing LSU at home will be pretty much the same thing for us. Both scenarios are equally tough.

But I expect our team to perform at their highest level in all the remaining games. No exceptions. They will give it their all.

jobrando#216494 writes:

For Buffalo I'm hoping we see new RB's, Center, kick returner, punter, Tiny, and a bunch of fresh faces. I'm sure not expecting to see struggling except by Buffalo.

usafvol writes:

in response to TheRealDragonSlayer:

I would say that if Bama can stay off the "winnable" list, then LSU deserves to as well. From what I have seen of both Bama and LSU this season so far, playing Bama on the road and playing LSU at home will be pretty much the same thing for us. Both scenarios are equally tough.

But I expect our team to perform at their highest level in all the remaining games. No exceptions. They will give it their all.

I see your logic but thinking back to last year, we gave LSU all they could handle at their house. I think the team LSU had last year was better than this year's edition with the loss of players they had last year not to mention the starting QB maybe going to jail. Not saying we'll beat LSU but i'd rather play them than play Fla again..

TommyJack writes:

Reasonable to fear LSU every bit as much as bama.

tennvolsman19651965 writes:

in response to usafvol:

I see your logic but thinking back to last year, we gave LSU all they could handle at their house. I think the team LSU had last year was better than this year's edition with the loss of players they had last year not to mention the starting QB maybe going to jail. Not saying we'll beat LSU but i'd rather play them than play Fla again..

I would agree with you except for the fact that last year we had this running back, his name was Tauren Poole. Now we have this different running back, his name is Taurn Poole.

thevoice writes:

From now on, I hope a "Good Practice" includes the run game, kicking team (all aspects), and good D line penetration.

GreerVol22 writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Reasonable to fear LSU every bit as much as bama.

agree. 2nd team...feed 'em and coach 'em up.

UTbassdrummer writes:

This is a pretty level-headed string of comments so far!

I feel like any given game is "winnable" especially when the struggle for us is consistency (instead of talent/depth like last year). Bama and LSU are so tricky, bc with LSU we have a bunch of dudes trying to erase a bad memory, and that kind of emotion goes a long way. Bama is less tricky (and exponentially more talented than LSU), but in a long-term rivalry, all bets are. off. Never know what you're gonna get. As for every other game, we should approach on at least even ground. Hunter or not, we came in with PLENTY to be excited about and confident in.

ROCKYTOPBRAD writes:

could care less about the energy level last time i checked the team that was "jacked up" the most was not an automatic winner.

Ayres_Hall writes:

We are a much better team/program today than we were a year ago. Much better. We should be going into UGA week 3-1 with a very good opportunity to go 4-1 into LSU. With LSU and Les Miles there is always an opportunity for an upset. With that, we could go into Bama at 5-1.

SmokeDog1972 writes:

It sure seems like we have a bunch of dinged up players pretty regularly. When you consider that and the fact that we don't physically dominate anybody anymore, what does that mean? I am not trying to call anyone out, but does Dooley and Co. coddle these guys more than the elite programs in college football? Any thougts?

VolQB writes:

Vols could borrow Muschumps pom-poms. The girly man was competely out of control. He was very close to doing cart wheels after a made field goal. Then his wild mood swing with the refs were like a ranting woman. Weird dudette.

TheRealDragonSlayer writes:

in response to usafvol:

I see your logic but thinking back to last year, we gave LSU all they could handle at their house. I think the team LSU had last year was better than this year's edition with the loss of players they had last year not to mention the starting QB maybe going to jail. Not saying we'll beat LSU but i'd rather play them than play Fla again..

My concern would be that LSU's strength negates our strength. Their secondary is incredible, and wont need to play the jersey-pulling strategy that Florida's weak secondary employed. LSU's secondary can seriously impede a good passing game, whether it is at home or on the road. If our passing game comes out of the LSU game looking good, then the entire league will take notice...and will fear us the next year.

But I would be lying if I said that LSU didnt concern me. They are a damn good team, especially defensively. Exponentially better than Florida.

TheRealDragonSlayer writes:

in response to Ayres_Hall:

We are a much better team/program today than we were a year ago. Much better. We should be going into UGA week 3-1 with a very good opportunity to go 4-1 into LSU. With LSU and Les Miles there is always an opportunity for an upset. With that, we could go into Bama at 5-1.

If we go into the LSU game 4-1, we would already be in a position to post a remarkably improve season and a very good position going into next season. Even in the worst case scenario that we lose to Bama, LSU, and SC, we would still be looking at an 8-4 record. That wouldnt be shabby at all, and would give our team tremendous confidence going into next season.

That said, the reverse also applies..if we fall to GA and go into the LSU game 3-2, that doesnt mean we wont have a chance to upset LSU, or Bama, or SC. We will still be in a good position, but it will be more of an uphill climb.

Regardless, I look forward to a very good season. I already like what I see from them...yes, there are mistakes, but the energy and commitment to improve are there, and they play a full 4 quarters. I would take that any day over talented players who dont give it their all.

Packer_Park_Orange (Inactive) writes:

in response to Ayres_Hall:

We are a much better team/program today than we were a year ago. Much better. We should be going into UGA week 3-1 with a very good opportunity to go 4-1 into LSU. With LSU and Les Miles there is always an opportunity for an upset. With that, we could go into Bama at 5-1.

This site is pure insanity...We just got our brains beat out by a Florida team that everyone on here said wasn't very good...Now we're going to beat an LSU team that has a defense that we don't have one player who could start...The reason Dooley thinks it's a spirited practice is he knows he's got Buffalo coming...after chickening out on UNC.

givehim6 writes:

Man up guys need 4 more wins, we should get 3 at Buffalo, MTSU and UK, Vandy should be #4. UGA good chance, maybe USC. We will see about Ark. and bama. Did I leave anyone out? Could be 7-4

azorange writes:

Can we just focus on Buffalo first? One at a time, please. Still lots of football left to play and anything can happen.

dillpic writes:

in response to Packer_Park_Orange:

This site is pure insanity...We just got our brains beat out by a Florida team that everyone on here said wasn't very good...Now we're going to beat an LSU team that has a defense that we don't have one player who could start...The reason Dooley thinks it's a spirited practice is he knows he's got Buffalo coming...after chickening out on UNC.

I don't know what Dooley did to you, but you truly show a classless attitude. Coach Cafego wouldn't put up with you very long.

abnermc writes:

in response to VolQB:

Vols could borrow Muschumps pom-poms. The girly man was competely out of control. He was very close to doing cart wheels after a made field goal. Then his wild mood swing with the refs were like a ranting woman. Weird dudette.

You mean "Dan Akroyd" Muschamp

voloffaith writes:

in response to Packer_Park_Orange:

This site is pure insanity...We just got our brains beat out by a Florida team that everyone on here said wasn't very good...Now we're going to beat an LSU team that has a defense that we don't have one player who could start...The reason Dooley thinks it's a spirited practice is he knows he's got Buffalo coming...after chickening out on UNC.

You opened up the flood gate and be ready for it! You are going to see people agree with your first 5 words........They agree because with your rants and anti/always negative speech many of the masses plead insanity due to exposure to 'second hand spoke'.....Remember Hamilton did things based on $ for the most part. Home game with Buffs vs road game at Chapel Hill....uhhh we'll buy out. Do we have prooof Coach asked/told him get us out that one?

DANGER......SECOND HAND SPOKE KILLS......

wbsmd1 writes:

It would be nice for Dooley to get his first upset win this year. Currently he is 0 for 8. He may have to stop playing 3 linebackers with subpar speed at once to that.However the lack of speed does get the defense off the field quicker.

Packer_Park_Orange (Inactive) writes:

in response to givehim6:

Man up guys need 4 more wins, we should get 3 at Buffalo, MTSU and UK, Vandy should be #4. UGA good chance, maybe USC. We will see about Ark. and bama. Did I leave anyone out? Could be 7-4

This is the new Vol mentality...and Dooley expectation...WE should be happy with 6 wins over Montana, Cincy, Buffalo, MTSU, Ky, and Vandy...Then if we're really lucky we could get 7 wins...That means 2-6 or 3-5 in the SEC...And everyone would say...Yea Derek!

Packer_Park_Orange (Inactive) writes:

in response to voloffaith:

You opened up the flood gate and be ready for it! You are going to see people agree with your first 5 words........They agree because with your rants and anti/always negative speech many of the masses plead insanity due to exposure to 'second hand spoke'.....Remember Hamilton did things based on $ for the most part. Home game with Buffs vs road game at Chapel Hill....uhhh we'll buy out. Do we have prooof Coach asked/told him get us out that one?

DANGER......SECOND HAND SPOKE KILLS......

With even the slightest bit of research one can find a plethora of quotes from Hamilton stating flatley that the buyout of UNC was completed to get Derek Dooley 6 wins...One need not look much further to find quotes from Dooley stating he completely agreed with the decision.

VOLS151 writes:

in response to ROCKYTOPBRAD:

could care less about the energy level last time i checked the team that was "jacked up" the most was not an automatic winner.

I couldnt agree more. I dont care if they look like the New England Patriots at practice, its what you look like on Saturdays that matter!

Packer_Park_Orange (Inactive) writes:

in response to CroatianVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I thought we all agreed not to make losing Hunter an excuse for losing...The game was nowhere near as close as the score indicated...Besides, Hunter is a sophomore and all I hear is our freshmen and sophs can't play making us two years away...Nothing like trying to have it both ways in defence of the indefencible...Dooley

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to Packer_Park_Orange:

This is the new Vol mentality...and Dooley expectation...WE should be happy with 6 wins over Montana, Cincy, Buffalo, MTSU, Ky, and Vandy...Then if we're really lucky we could get 7 wins...That means 2-6 or 3-5 in the SEC...And everyone would say...Yea Derek!

Why do you base all your words on a few extremist. Folks have a right to dream that there team will win out. Dooley's progress will be evaluated at the end of the season. At first I thought 7-5 would be required but now I think most want him to have one more year even if he's 5-7 or 6-6. He's is bringing class back to the University. So right now your wasting your time. If things look bad next year and fans want go to the games then it will be time for a new staff.

BleednUrnge81 writes:

in response to Packer_Park_Orange:

This site is pure insanity...We just got our brains beat out by a Florida team that everyone on here said wasn't very good...Now we're going to beat an LSU team that has a defense that we don't have one player who could start...The reason Dooley thinks it's a spirited practice is he knows he's got Buffalo coming...after chickening out on UNC.

I dont see how you are included as a fan of the vols. you are the most negative person i have ever seen. go the hell away. we know there is reason to be negative, but we dont want to be. again, go the hell away. GO VOLS!!!!!!!

Voloyalty writes:

Packer_Park_Orange - I have read your negative posts over the last couple of weeks on numerous headlines, and your need for attention is becoming tiresome. I fully understand your motive. You attempt to lure people in with your negative comments so you can actually have something to do during the day while sitting at home collecting tax payers dollars. Instead of spending the money that I provide you on the internet, I suggest you do something for yourself and get a job. You have no credibility when you post a comment because it is the same old worthless garbage. Thanks for coming out.

pingkr62 writes:

in response to SmokeDog1972:

It sure seems like we have a bunch of dinged up players pretty regularly. When you consider that and the fact that we don't physically dominate anybody anymore, what does that mean? I am not trying to call anyone out, but does Dooley and Co. coddle these guys more than the elite programs in college football? Any thougts?

Possibly, but judging by what I heard earlier this week,, C.D.D. was raising hell with the team for having a bad practice. As I said before the season started, this football season will tell us all a lot about the team and the coaching staff. Let's let thing play out, and then we will know where we are. G.B.O.!!!!

GerryOP writes:

in response to Packer_Park_Orange:

With even the slightest bit of research one can find a plethora of quotes from Hamilton stating flatley that the buyout of UNC was completed to get Derek Dooley 6 wins...One need not look much further to find quotes from Dooley stating he completely agreed with the decision.

If you would research a bit more you would find that Hamilton said Fulmer and Kiffin requested the same thing. But, since that doesn't support your rant, no need to mention it.

Dooley agreed with his boss? Certainly sounds like a wise move on Dooley's part!

What planet do you live on?

Mama_Also_Calls_Me_Precious writes:

These so called fairweather "vol" fans pretending to support dooley really makes me chuckle. I saw how quickly they turned against Fulmer after his one bad season. Fulmer put UT on the map and look at how many of you so called fans treated him. It's rare these days that you have a coach who is/was committed to his school as Fulmer was.

pingkr62 writes:

in response to Mama_Also_Calls_Me_Precious:

These so called fairweather "vol" fans pretending to support dooley really makes me chuckle. I saw how quickly they turned against Fulmer after his one bad season. Fulmer put UT on the map and look at how many of you so called fans treated him. It's rare these days that you have a coach who is/was committed to his school as Fulmer was.

Just to inform you. First, Tennessee fans didn't turn on Fulmer after ONE bad season. Most of us that had even a little football since could see the program was slowly sliding down hill. Second, Fulmer didn't put Tennessee football on the map. He only benefited from what Johnny Majors did before him. I think a lot of your ignorance can be blamed on youth, because you are too young to remember anything before Fulmer, or you are just pain stupid.

Mama_Also_Calls_Me_Precious writes:

in response to pingkr62:

Just to inform you. First, Tennessee fans didn't turn on Fulmer after ONE bad season. Most of us that had even a little football since could see the program was slowly sliding down hill. Second, Fulmer didn't put Tennessee football on the map. He only benefited from what Johnny Majors did before him. I think a lot of your ignorance can be blamed on youth, because you are too young to remember anything before Fulmer, or you are just pain stupid.

I am in my twenties, but I do recall some of the later Majors years and he was a great coach too, but way more conservative than even fulmer. I was actually more of a Majors fan than a fulmer fan. And yes Fulmer did put Tennessee on the map and his NC came years after even replacing Majors. The program wasn't sliding, there were just many more competitive programs in the SEC and the fans didn't give Fulmer the chance to adjust. As a matter of fact the year before you fans got him fired, he got us in the SEC championship game. You just can't please some fans..

govolsbaby writes:

in response to usafvol:

We can still have a great season barring more serious injuries. All remainning games on our schedule are "winable" with the exception of maybe Bama. Not saying we'll win but having SC, Ga & LSU at home certainly helps. The running game WILL get better; wait and see!

I agree that all remaining games are winnable even bama.
But chaneys play calling makes it tough on the running backs. I love our offense don't get me wrong,its the style I've always dreamed we'd have but i never believed we would. Its just that we are constantly in the shotgun passing and if you pay attention closely almost 95% percent of the time when we are under center we run. its very easy for the D to key to. they're in I form? stuff the run! theres no 3 or 5 step drops out of multiple under center formations to keep the D guessing. thats my logic

Mama_Also_Calls_Me_Precious writes:

in response to govolsbaby:

I agree that all remaining games are winnable even bama.
But chaneys play calling makes it tough on the running backs. I love our offense don't get me wrong,its the style I've always dreamed we'd have but i never believed we would. Its just that we are constantly in the shotgun passing and if you pay attention closely almost 95% percent of the time when we are under center we run. its very easy for the D to key to. they're in I form? stuff the run! theres no 3 or 5 step drops out of multiple under center formations to keep the D guessing. thats my logic

I liked Cheney's play calling against Cincy, but then he goes and gets conservative against florida, especially in the first half. what was up with that??

69vol08 writes:

in response to Ayres_Hall:

We are a much better team/program today than we were a year ago. Much better. We should be going into UGA week 3-1 with a very good opportunity to go 4-1 into LSU. With LSU and Les Miles there is always an opportunity for an upset. With that, we could go into Bama at 5-1.

Love your optimism...and I sure hope you are correct! However, I think we will probably go into Alabama with a 3-3 record. I believe we will lose a close game to UGA and get beat easily (not necessarily by a bad score) by LSU.

I'm just giving my opinion...I love the VOLS either way and think we are heading in the right direction...just gonna take some time and more recruits!

Theo writes:

in response to Ayres_Hall:

We are a much better team/program today than we were a year ago. Much better. We should be going into UGA week 3-1 with a very good opportunity to go 4-1 into LSU. With LSU and Les Miles there is always an opportunity for an upset. With that, we could go into Bama at 5-1.

Good post - Les Miles (the luckiest man alive) is the second to worst game coach in the SEC. Houston Nutt being the best at snatching defeat from the mouth of victory.

Theo writes:

in response to VolQB:

Vols could borrow Muschumps pom-poms. The girly man was competely out of control. He was very close to doing cart wheels after a made field goal. Then his wild mood swing with the refs were like a ranting woman. Weird dudette.

Comparing Muschamps odd actions to a woman is an insult to women everywhere. That act has got to grow old.

Theo writes:

in response to Packer_Park_Orange:

This site is pure insanity...We just got our brains beat out by a Florida team that everyone on here said wasn't very good...Now we're going to beat an LSU team that has a defense that we don't have one player who could start...The reason Dooley thinks it's a spirited practice is he knows he's got Buffalo coming...after chickening out on UNC.

You left off the part about how great Fulmer is and may I remind you again. There is no we. You are not part of us. You are just a sad, little man with evidently nothing or no one to bring any joy into your life. You therefore compensate for this sad existence by trying to make others feel bad. Get help.

pingkr62 writes:

in response to Mama_Also_Calls_Me_Precious:

I am in my twenties, but I do recall some of the later Majors years and he was a great coach too, but way more conservative than even fulmer. I was actually more of a Majors fan than a fulmer fan. And yes Fulmer did put Tennessee on the map and his NC came years after even replacing Majors. The program wasn't sliding, there were just many more competitive programs in the SEC and the fans didn't give Fulmer the chance to adjust. As a matter of fact the year before you fans got him fired, he got us in the SEC championship game. You just can't please some fans..

After Fulmer won the national championship in 1998, the program continued to be competitive. When Jim Donnan at Georgia hired Rodney Garner away from Tennessee, the recruiting wasn't nearly what it was in the 1990's. To top that, David Cutcliff was hired as head coach at Ole Miss. that is when the program began to slide. I have followed UT football since Bill Battle was head coach, I saw the program begin to slide then as well. When UT hired Johnny Majors in 1976, the football program was in shambles. Johnny Majors published a book in 1996 titled, YOU CAN GO HOME AGAIN. In that book, he stated if he knew what the conditions were truly like, he would not have taken the job. My point is, the program has had some pretty bad times in the past, but has always bounced back. It will do so again. Sorry I called you stupid. That was un called for.

seadaddy writes:

in response to MrDonCorleone:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Bakcground?
Why don't you learn to spell dummy before you go trolling and looking for attention?

seadaddy writes:

in response to Theo:

You left off the part about how great Fulmer is and may I remind you again. There is no we. You are not part of us. You are just a sad, little man with evidently nothing or no one to bring any joy into your life. You therefore compensate for this sad existence by trying to make others feel bad. Get help.

Theo,
You got this clown figured out.
He's missing something in his life and is trying to find attention on this site.
Do you think that he has ever had a date?
He is such a lttle person trying to be big while hiding behind a computer screen.

Packer_Park_Orange (Inactive) writes:

in response to seadaddy:

Theo,
You got this clown figured out.
He's missing something in his life and is trying to find attention on this site.
Do you think that he has ever had a date?
He is such a lttle person trying to be big while hiding behind a computer screen.

There's lots of we in us Vols who actually recognize it's only going to take CDD two years to get to the 5-7 you wanted Fulmer fired for...After the SEC whuppings that are coming and the loss to a real coach, Franklin and Vanderpuke...Lots will be on this side.

forevervol writes:

we have to run the ball better. you cant live in the sec without it. but we have 4 sophmores starting on the line you cant expect them to play perfect every snap. give dd and the rest of the staff time and tennessee will be back on top. we have alot of young talent and i blv a great staff jus have to wait it out.and clean out all the fake fans.

OrangePsyched writes:

I've done something that a lot of people on here have suggested. I skip over Packer, Corleone, Jethro and others who troll this site. It's a breath of fresh air just reading Vol fans comments and discussing Vol football. Try it one time and I promise it will be more enjoyable than reading their nonsense.

Theo writes:

I wonder if it would be possible to set your account up so you could list posters you don't even want to see e.g., PPO, MCMP etc. Now that would be a cool feature.

SeminaryVol writes:

Can we please lay off the "buying off UNC" comments. I mean we are one of the only teams in the SEC (along with LSU, Bama, and sometimes Georgia) who plays ANYONE from out of conference just for the fun of it. So what if for one year we back of a little bit to give a rebuilding team a break? Get over it. We still have a decent schedule this year and next year we will get right back into it.

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