Coping not a snap for James Stone

Center carries burden of errant hikes to Tyler Bray against Florida

Tennessee center James Stone had several mis-snaps during their 33-23 loss to the Florida Gators in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on the University of Florida campus Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011.

Photo by Michael Patrick, copyright © 2011

Tennessee center James Stone had several mis-snaps during their 33-23 loss to the Florida Gators in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on the University of Florida campus Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011.

James Stone had no idea what Tyler Bray was yelling about.

The Tennessee center was snapping the ball with his opposite hand — like he always does — and popping up to block his man — like he always does — during UT’s loss at Florida. The time between those two actions is nanoseconds. With a player like Gators defensive tackle Jaye Howard making his life miserable snap after snap, Stone could barely afford to complete his follow-through before looking upward, let alone look backward at Bray, who was primarily in the shotgun, to admire the fruits of his labor.

It wasn’t until Stone had a good angle at the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium JumboTron that he saw just how low and problematic his snaps were.

“I was like, ‘What happened?’ ” Stone said after practice Monday. “Then I was like, ‘Oh, man.’

“I was just thinking too fast and I was thinking it was all right and it wasn’t. It was going bad.”

Stone’s disappointment and frustration, though, went much deeper than that.

It followed him into the interview room immediately after the Vols’ 33-23 loss, into the film room in the days immediately after the biggest setback of his sophomore season and onto the practice field all throughout the bye week.

“It wasn’t a good deal at all,” offensive coordinator Jim Chaney said. “It struggled with the rhythm of the offense.

“James is the most accountable young man you’ll ever find. It bothered him greatly what took place.”

All indications are that time and reaffirmed trust from his teammates have healed Stone’s wounds. After two weeks’ worth of practice that saw him and Bray resuming the extra snapping sessions that consumed their summer, Stone is hoping to slip back into anonymity Saturday when the Vols (2-1, 0-1 SEC) take on Buffalo (1-3, 0-1 MAC) at Neyland Stadium (TV: CSS, 12:30 p.m.).

“Anytime any of us don’t do something good, if we have pride, we’ll come back and fight and work and try to do it better,” offensive line coach Harry Hiestand said. “That’s what James has done.”

The healing process was, perhaps, made easier by a care-free attitude from Bray. His confidence in Stone, he said, hasn’t wavered.

And, as Bray put it after practice recently, it wasn’t as if the bad snaps resulted in too many missed opportunities. Outside of one that trickled past Bray for a 13-yard loss late in the third quarter, there were no catastrophes, only annoyances.

“It really doesn’t (disrupt the play),” Bray said. “You know where everyone is going to be at. It doesn’t help see where the defense is. We still threw two touchdowns with the low snaps. So it didn’t make that big of a difference.”

If anything, Bray came into the game prepared for a wayward snap or two. In between all the time Bray and Stone, who is naturally left-handed but snaps with his right, worked to perfect their exchange, there also was time devoted to the inevitable during the summer.

Quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw said there’s no such thing as sympathy for a quarterback who receives a bad snap. It’s still his responsibility to know exactly where the receivers are after he locates and secures the football.

“Whether it’s a bad snap, good snap, whatever the situation. We’ve got to go execute the offense and go make it happen,” Hinshaw said. “We’ve got to be a baseball player, a shortstop. If there’s a bad snap, go make a play.”

Stone, of course, would prefer Bray avoids reliving his baseball days as much as possible. Remaining a fixture in the starting rotation, along with the rest of his fellow linemen who have been the target of criticism because of the Vols’ struggle to run the ball, went a long way to restoring the confidence he carried through a spotless first two games of the season.

He said he’s more “honed in,” especially during situations when he’s tired and forced to think on the fly.

Seemingly everyone around him has noticed the change.

“It was a little bit of a dip back,” coach Derek Dooley said. “He hasn’t performed like that in the first two weeks and certainly he didn’t go against D-linemen like that in the first two weeks.

“We’ll see if we learn from it and improve. We’ll have plenty of opportunity going forward in the same situations.”

Andrew Gribble may be reached at 865-342-6327. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Andrew_Gribble and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/gribble

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 » 48

GreerVol22 writes:

look...this is getting old. Either he can snap it or he can't. It's not Stones fault being forced to do something he isn't good at. However, he must be the best we have so shut up about it already and let him do the best he can. Good grief.

PHAT_VOL writes:

Sounds like the only person it really effects is the fans.
GO VOLS !!!

bspurlingcac#225603 writes:

"His confidence in Stone, he said, hasn’t wavered."

That is the best example of leadership that I have heard from Bray. I hope that is a sign of things to come. Go Vols!!!

CoverOrange writes:

The low snaps went on for most of the game. Does Bray yell in Portugese? Did no other coach come to Stone when the defense was on the field to ask what was going on? Stone is suppose to be really smart, is he so honed in he can't listen or did no sideline coach say anything?

rockypop writes:

Seems like the center position is one of the most difficult of all to recruit and teach. I've never understood why centers are never very high on recruiting radars, because it's one of the most important positions on the team. Yet there are examples all over the country of young men being asked to change positions from guard or tackle to center. What's the deal?

Prostar writes:

You have to look up at the Jumbotron to see that you've snapped the ball poorly? Did no one tell him at least after the second bad snap to quit rolling the ball to Bray? Heck fire, Bray is what 6'6", get the dang ball some 5 feet up in the air.

voloffaith writes:

in response to Prostar:

You have to look up at the Jumbotron to see that you've snapped the ball poorly? Did no one tell him at least after the second bad snap to quit rolling the ball to Bray? Heck fire, Bray is what 6'6", get the dang ball some 5 feet up in the air.

Just have a little question for you sir.....have you walked a mile in mister Stone's shoes? Had a Big athletic d lineman waiting to tee off on you again and again? If not perhaps you might reconsider the thought that this is so simple"a caveman could do it." Food for your thoughtful consumption.

RoadTrip writes:

Which is why Scott Wells is still starting in the NFL for the Super Bowl champs. He was not the most imposing recruit ever. Kind of short, better wrestler than HS football player. Yet he understood the position, could make the 0-line calls, could snap the ball right virtually all of the time, could react quickly to the guy in front of him. It sure would be better to recruit a guy from the region that could do those things than make a guard/tackle into one. Which is another reason we are still a team in transition. Crowder is that guy, they just don't think he is physically ready yet I guess.

Voluvr writes:

IT WOULD SEEM that under center it matters.... IN the Shotgun it doesn't matter...let him go left handed.

SummerfieldVol writes:

I agree Mack Crowder is the person to solve the center problem. He is a natural center can snap the ball right handed. Move Stone back to Guard and work with Crowder to learn the blocking assignments. Tyler is being very supportive of Stone, but he knows how much the low snaps change the timing of the plays. Give Crowder a shot. I would bet he would do better. It is not Stone's fault for the bad snaps, after all he is lefthanded. It is very hard to try and do something that is not natural to you , just try writing a letter with your other hand and making it look good, not to easy is it.

CroKev writes:

I cannot figure out what was going on as far as communication in the huddle and on the sidelines with young Mr. Stone. Anyway, I think he'll get it ironed out.

On another note, did you guys hear Trent Taylor (DE formerly committed to Miami) just switched to us? Should put us in the top 15 and we still have a ways to go! His HS coach said that Dooley and company never put Miami down; they just kept selling the kid on how great UT is and how he'd fit in.

oldster writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Just have a little question for you sir.....have you walked a mile in mister Stone's shoes? Had a Big athletic d lineman waiting to tee off on you again and again? If not perhaps you might reconsider the thought that this is so simple"a caveman could do it." Food for your thoughtful consumption.

Although I usually played end, both ways, I was called upon to snap for punts. This was back in the days when there were no rules against "ducking" or hitting the snapper. I remember several times that the first thing I saw after snapping the ball was the punters leg coming down over my head (i.e. I got rolled head over heels back the 10-12 yards). I never, ever missed the box that I was aiming at. I was not exceptional. There is, simply, no excuse for bad snaps.

Jovol642 writes:

Let's get real. This is outrageous. I want to have confidence in CDD, however this far into the season and having trouble with a simple thing as a snap is unbelievable. We are so low as a team that we can't play on the same field as the other SEC teams. It is hard to believe that our program is at such a low point. We are the University of Tennessee. A school that used to strike fear into the hearts of programs like Alabama and Florida and now we are just a weak sister that can't snap a football. How many more years and coaches will we have to go through until we can once again have any respect? The future is very dim from my prospective.

rabidvol1998 writes:

Two fine young men working it out and getting it right. Glad they are Vols. GBO.

Dobervol writes:

in response to Jovol642:

Let's get real. This is outrageous. I want to have confidence in CDD, however this far into the season and having trouble with a simple thing as a snap is unbelievable. We are so low as a team that we can't play on the same field as the other SEC teams. It is hard to believe that our program is at such a low point. We are the University of Tennessee. A school that used to strike fear into the hearts of programs like Alabama and Florida and now we are just a weak sister that can't snap a football. How many more years and coaches will we have to go through until we can once again have any respect? The future is very dim from my prospective.

"Let's" get real? Well, that would include you and fans like you, too. Stone should do better? Agreed. But expecting what you and so many like you do from CDD (or any other coach, given what he he had to work with) is both unreasonable and un-REAListic. The night Kiffie-boy flew the coop, I knew the REALity was that if we hired Nick Saban, it would take roughly 5 years for us to REALly be contending for championships. 3 coaches in 3 yrs. 45 players gone from Fulmer's and Kiffin's teams with eligibility remaining, (and only about 83 schollies avail., total). CDD recruits well, but has only the freshmen and good character but untalented seniors last year. Looking ahead to this year, you have very little talent on the front 7 on defense, and despite a good bit of talent on paper on offense, there is little depth anywhere. We play LSU this year, not Ole Miss, and now our best player, Hunter, is out for the year. It's REALly quite possible that we may be better than last year's team, but still have a worse W-L record to show for it. I desperately wanna be wrong in Justin's particular case, but the REALity is that most ACL tears (esp. w/an MCL also torn) take over one year, not to fully heal, or be turned loose by the orthos to full contact, but to "get back up to full speed." CDD's building this program the right way, but in today's "I want improvement that can be seen in wins and losses NOW" fan world (full of the same bunch that loved Kiffin's jerk mouth until he left us in the lurch), no one's willing to wait. Again, unREAListic. Most folks just don't get how far down this program really was.

woodwr#217203 writes:

There might be some reason to teach a lefty to snap wrong-handed up close, but shotgun calls for Stone's strongest fastest arm.

flatrock writes:

Question: when Stone started spraying his snaps (at about the same time that UF started lining up
with a man on his nose), why did the OC continue to call plays from the shotgun. Why not bring Bray back under center?

bvdisc writes:

Wow, what a bunch of horsecrap fan opinions. Hey, anybody remember Pauncey from FLA and his troubles snapping the ball. Wow, you would think a team with the recruiting classes of FLA could have sat that looser, but at least he has now moved on to selling insurance or whatever he does.....oh wait, he was a FIRST round draft pick. I think it is great that the fan/ former center never missed the box he aimed at, but in college ball, you can't watch the QB under your legs while you snap, you actually have blocking assignments that are more advanced and dynamic than just being a big obstacle. And for the guy who has doubts about the future of UT based on the fact that a sophomore, at his second year at a new position, in his first year using his off hand, had 1 bad game, and hasn't been benched (I guess that is where you are seeing the failure in CDD), you have some reality issues that should best be addressed by a professional.

chattavfl86 writes:

I was at the game and I can assure you heistand wasn't just hanging out on the sideline. I remember at one point he was out almost past the numbers screaming at the line. After the low roller when they called a time out he came out on the field and grabbed stone by the face mask to give him some coaching. Guess they didn't show that on tv. Stone will be fine. Everyone in the stadium could tell he wasn't struggling with the mechanics. It had more to do with floridas d line than anything. Quit freaking out y'all.

Noogaorange writes:

in response to Jovol642:

Let's get real. This is outrageous. I want to have confidence in CDD, however this far into the season and having trouble with a simple thing as a snap is unbelievable. We are so low as a team that we can't play on the same field as the other SEC teams. It is hard to believe that our program is at such a low point. We are the University of Tennessee. A school that used to strike fear into the hearts of programs like Alabama and Florida and now we are just a weak sister that can't snap a football. How many more years and coaches will we have to go through until we can once again have any respect? The future is very dim from my prospective.

Look into that crystal ball and tell us who to bet on this weekend, apparently you are able to tell what the future looks like.....not! Good grief you don't have a clue...nobody cares what you think Mr.the future looks dim. GBO

Couchdummy writes:

in response to Voluvr:

IT WOULD SEEM that under center it matters.... IN the Shotgun it doesn't matter...let him go left handed.

Agree. There is such a thing as overcoaching.

snakeplissken writes:

in response to chattavfl86:

I was at the game and I can assure you heistand wasn't just hanging out on the sideline. I remember at one point he was out almost past the numbers screaming at the line. After the low roller when they called a time out he came out on the field and grabbed stone by the face mask to give him some coaching. Guess they didn't show that on tv. Stone will be fine. Everyone in the stadium could tell he wasn't struggling with the mechanics. It had more to do with floridas d line than anything. Quit freaking out y'all.

I'm not understanding what you are trying to convince us of. That there wasn't any problem during the ENTIRE game?
Why didn't Heistand make an adjustment, or switch centers? If Florida's defensive line strikes that much fear into our offensive linemen, or baffles our offensive braintrust, imagine what Alabama's and LSU's will do!!!

MusicCityVol writes:

in response to rockypop:

Seems like the center position is one of the most difficult of all to recruit and teach. I've never understood why centers are never very high on recruiting radars, because it's one of the most important positions on the team. Yet there are examples all over the country of young men being asked to change positions from guard or tackle to center. What's the deal?

+1. This is a great point.

GONAVY writes:

I think the bad snaps had to do more with who was on his nose rather than anything else...

MusicCityVol writes:

This center/quarterback exchange is just one of several things we need to make sure are fixed during the Buffalo game. We need to be firing on all cylinders heading into Georgia week.

Vandy>UConn>Buffalo Logic
http://www.checkerboardchatter.com/20...

deshl693#310102 writes:

I'm not sure why I read the comments on these articles. Some of them drive me absolutely nuts. There are a few here that seem to get it but many have such unrealistic expectations of this team and CDD. Yes, we all want UT to be the force that it has been in the past but people, it takes time. The program has been through a lot. I know a lot of people here like Fulmer and he was great in his day but UT held onto him too long. It got way out of hand before they finally said, "enough" and got a new coach. Then, that coach turned out to be a snake who decided to up and leave after a year. And, he didn't just leave, he did his best to dismantle the team as he went. So, now we're out there playing predominantly freshman and sophomore....in the SEC. I, for one, have not thought they look too bad considering their youth and it gives me great hope for the future unlike all you pessimists who are all depressed because once again, we didn't beat FL.

And, that brings me to something else I want to say. Why the heck is everyone so upset about this loss to FL? Sure, it was disappointing. FL isn't as good as they have been in some past years and so there was great hope that even though our team is pretty green, we would win out this year. I get that. BUT, FL is not a complete chump team, either. They have some great talent on that team and the Swamp is no easy place to play. So, while I get the disappointment (I was disappointed, too), I don't get all the doom and gloom freaking out. I keep reading about how embarrassing the loss was. Really? A 10 point loss is embarrassing? Disappointing, yes, but embarrassing? KY's 48-10 loss on their own field qualifies as embarrassing. TN's 33-23 loss in the Swamp, not so much.

Please, people...be disappointed all you want. It's hard to watch your team lose. But, support these guys, get some positive thoughts in your head, and look to the future. It is not all dark and dank if you can just look forward. The experience these young guys are getting this year is invaluable and will only make them better in the future. The rebuilding has started. Let's all try to calm down, keep things in perspective, and give it enough time to come to fruition.

GO Vols!

allvols4life writes:

in response to deshl693#310102:

I'm not sure why I read the comments on these articles. Some of them drive me absolutely nuts. There are a few here that seem to get it but many have such unrealistic expectations of this team and CDD. Yes, we all want UT to be the force that it has been in the past but people, it takes time. The program has been through a lot. I know a lot of people here like Fulmer and he was great in his day but UT held onto him too long. It got way out of hand before they finally said, "enough" and got a new coach. Then, that coach turned out to be a snake who decided to up and leave after a year. And, he didn't just leave, he did his best to dismantle the team as he went. So, now we're out there playing predominantly freshman and sophomore....in the SEC. I, for one, have not thought they look too bad considering their youth and it gives me great hope for the future unlike all you pessimists who are all depressed because once again, we didn't beat FL.

And, that brings me to something else I want to say. Why the heck is everyone so upset about this loss to FL? Sure, it was disappointing. FL isn't as good as they have been in some past years and so there was great hope that even though our team is pretty green, we would win out this year. I get that. BUT, FL is not a complete chump team, either. They have some great talent on that team and the Swamp is no easy place to play. So, while I get the disappointment (I was disappointed, too), I don't get all the doom and gloom freaking out. I keep reading about how embarrassing the loss was. Really? A 10 point loss is embarrassing? Disappointing, yes, but embarrassing? KY's 48-10 loss on their own field qualifies as embarrassing. TN's 33-23 loss in the Swamp, not so much.

Please, people...be disappointed all you want. It's hard to watch your team lose. But, support these guys, get some positive thoughts in your head, and look to the future. It is not all dark and dank if you can just look forward. The experience these young guys are getting this year is invaluable and will only make them better in the future. The rebuilding has started. Let's all try to calm down, keep things in perspective, and give it enough time to come to fruition.

GO Vols!

Wow...probably the most logical, sane comment I have read in over a week. I could not agree with you more. Was the Florida game ugly? Yes! Was it embarrassing? No! We lost by 10 to a team that was supposed to win by 10. We had chances to make plays and didn't. Florida made the plays when they had a chance. I, too, believe the future is looking better. I think we will get back to where we want to be, but it will take TIME.

CrankE writes:

Enough about "the mess left behind when Kiffin left". No more. It's starting to sound like Obama continuing to blame Bush 3 years later. Be honest. Dooley owns it.

Nobody is expecting championships out of this team. (Though that should be the goal every year.) We're talking about Snapping. The. Ball.

And despite what Bray says, bad snaps require time and attention from the QB. That's time and attention subtracted away from actually executing the play.

But take this upstream. If UT's running game was working, then would the shotgun be necessary all afternoon(and the errant snaps that accompanied it)? While the snap problem has to be fixed, it is a symptom, not a cause.

Bigger_Al writes:

Crowder needs to redshirt. We DO NOT need another True Freshman who isn't physically ready for the SEC to be thrown into action on the OL this year. If he can beat Stone out next Spring and Fall Camp, so be it.

deshl693#310102 writes:

in response to CrankE:

Enough about "the mess left behind when Kiffin left". No more. It's starting to sound like Obama continuing to blame Bush 3 years later. Be honest. Dooley owns it.

Nobody is expecting championships out of this team. (Though that should be the goal every year.) We're talking about Snapping. The. Ball.

And despite what Bray says, bad snaps require time and attention from the QB. That's time and attention subtracted away from actually executing the play.

But take this upstream. If UT's running game was working, then would the shotgun be necessary all afternoon(and the errant snaps that accompanied it)? While the snap problem has to be fixed, it is a symptom, not a cause.

Well, I don't know if some of that was directed my way but since I brought up Kiffin, I'm going to reply. I agree that Dooley now owns it. I wasn't trying to say otherwise. However, you (general you) cannot take an honest & realistic look at a team's present state without looking a bit at it's history. The history made it what it is. It's CDD's now and he must make it what it will be. We, as the fans, need to be patient enough to let him do it. And, while you say nobody is expecting championships....have you been reading the comments on all these articles lately? While I agree that it should be the goal every year, the fans should not realistically expect it right now. However, you have people on these articles calling for CDD's head, more or less. People saying he should be fired, that we have the wrong coach, blah, blah, blah. I'm simply pointing out that people need to calm down and give him some time. You know....the whole 'Rome wasn't built in a day....' line.

I certainly wasn't disagreeing that there are improvements to be made and changes that should be implemented. However, I am not a coach, nor are most (if any) here, so I'm not going to panic about one disappointing game and what may be a disappointing Oct. I, like you, think the running game is our most needed improvement. Not sure if it's the O-line or the actual RB's (or a combo) at fault but something has got to change there. We will not live beyond the first quarter against LSU & Bama if it doesn't. But, again, that does not mean I am not very hopeful for the future of the program. It just means that right now our run game stinks. So, not making excuses....just keeping it in perspective.

Volunatic writes:

in response to bvdisc:

Wow, what a bunch of horsecrap fan opinions. Hey, anybody remember Pauncey from FLA and his troubles snapping the ball. Wow, you would think a team with the recruiting classes of FLA could have sat that looser, but at least he has now moved on to selling insurance or whatever he does.....oh wait, he was a FIRST round draft pick. I think it is great that the fan/ former center never missed the box he aimed at, but in college ball, you can't watch the QB under your legs while you snap, you actually have blocking assignments that are more advanced and dynamic than just being a big obstacle. And for the guy who has doubts about the future of UT based on the fact that a sophomore, at his second year at a new position, in his first year using his off hand, had 1 bad game, and hasn't been benched (I guess that is where you are seeing the failure in CDD), you have some reality issues that should best be addressed by a professional.

Solid post. Well said.

volfan#207874 writes:

in response to deshl693#310102:

I'm not sure why I read the comments on these articles. Some of them drive me absolutely nuts. There are a few here that seem to get it but many have such unrealistic expectations of this team and CDD. Yes, we all want UT to be the force that it has been in the past but people, it takes time. The program has been through a lot. I know a lot of people here like Fulmer and he was great in his day but UT held onto him too long. It got way out of hand before they finally said, "enough" and got a new coach. Then, that coach turned out to be a snake who decided to up and leave after a year. And, he didn't just leave, he did his best to dismantle the team as he went. So, now we're out there playing predominantly freshman and sophomore....in the SEC. I, for one, have not thought they look too bad considering their youth and it gives me great hope for the future unlike all you pessimists who are all depressed because once again, we didn't beat FL.

And, that brings me to something else I want to say. Why the heck is everyone so upset about this loss to FL? Sure, it was disappointing. FL isn't as good as they have been in some past years and so there was great hope that even though our team is pretty green, we would win out this year. I get that. BUT, FL is not a complete chump team, either. They have some great talent on that team and the Swamp is no easy place to play. So, while I get the disappointment (I was disappointed, too), I don't get all the doom and gloom freaking out. I keep reading about how embarrassing the loss was. Really? A 10 point loss is embarrassing? Disappointing, yes, but embarrassing? KY's 48-10 loss on their own field qualifies as embarrassing. TN's 33-23 loss in the Swamp, not so much.

Please, people...be disappointed all you want. It's hard to watch your team lose. But, support these guys, get some positive thoughts in your head, and look to the future. It is not all dark and dank if you can just look forward. The experience these young guys are getting this year is invaluable and will only make them better in the future. The rebuilding has started. Let's all try to calm down, keep things in perspective, and give it enough time to come to fruition.

GO Vols!

HEAR, HEAR....Well said! Hardly ever is success measured in one or two seasons, with three different coaches. Bear with the program, revel in the successes and try a little understanding when we fail to win. No one wants to win more than the players on the field. Again, your thoughts on the game is "on spot!"

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

in response to Voluvr:

IT WOULD SEEM that under center it matters.... IN the Shotgun it doesn't matter...let him go left handed.

I have never understood why he would have to snap right handed in the shotgun formation. I have never even seen anyone try to give an explanation for that. Actually, I don't think it would be that big of a problem under center. The quarterback would just have to get used to the ball coming at a slightly different angle. The result couldn't be any worse than it was at Florida with him snapping right handed.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to Jovol642:

Let's get real. This is outrageous. I want to have confidence in CDD, however this far into the season and having trouble with a simple thing as a snap is unbelievable. We are so low as a team that we can't play on the same field as the other SEC teams. It is hard to believe that our program is at such a low point. We are the University of Tennessee. A school that used to strike fear into the hearts of programs like Alabama and Florida and now we are just a weak sister that can't snap a football. How many more years and coaches will we have to go through until we can once again have any respect? The future is very dim from my prospective.

UUUHHHH??? I'm guessing here but you didnt follow the Florida game, right? and I bet you don't eat popcorn because it takes too long to pop in the microwave....my goodness guy be a man....Do you really understand anything about this situation at all??? Just asking.....

givehim6 writes:

in response to Jovol642:

Let's get real. This is outrageous. I want to have confidence in CDD, however this far into the season and having trouble with a simple thing as a snap is unbelievable. We are so low as a team that we can't play on the same field as the other SEC teams. It is hard to believe that our program is at such a low point. We are the University of Tennessee. A school that used to strike fear into the hearts of programs like Alabama and Florida and now we are just a weak sister that can't snap a football. How many more years and coaches will we have to go through until we can once again have any respect? The future is very dim from my prospective.

Hay jovol, did ya here the sky is falling in Knoxville? Come on guy beening a bit dramatic arn't you? I do not think we have ever struck fear in the gators hearts in a while now, can't play on the field with other SEC teams? You must be listing to the troll to much you've been brain washed, just ask a UK fan. This is Stones first year snapping, he did fine aganst Montana and Cincy,he will be ok Sat. And probably most games this season. Think he was under presser aginst UF, he was up aginest a good D line had to think about snapping the ball with his right hand and then blocking a beast pressure got to him.

TheRealDragonSlayer writes:

in response to bvdisc:

Wow, what a bunch of horsecrap fan opinions. Hey, anybody remember Pauncey from FLA and his troubles snapping the ball. Wow, you would think a team with the recruiting classes of FLA could have sat that looser, but at least he has now moved on to selling insurance or whatever he does.....oh wait, he was a FIRST round draft pick. I think it is great that the fan/ former center never missed the box he aimed at, but in college ball, you can't watch the QB under your legs while you snap, you actually have blocking assignments that are more advanced and dynamic than just being a big obstacle. And for the guy who has doubts about the future of UT based on the fact that a sophomore, at his second year at a new position, in his first year using his off hand, had 1 bad game, and hasn't been benched (I guess that is where you are seeing the failure in CDD), you have some reality issues that should best be addressed by a professional.

Brilliant post. Thanks, bvdisc. Those were my sentiments exactly, and you communicated them perfectly.

snakeplissken writes:

in response to CrankE:

Enough about "the mess left behind when Kiffin left". No more. It's starting to sound like Obama continuing to blame Bush 3 years later. Be honest. Dooley owns it.

Nobody is expecting championships out of this team. (Though that should be the goal every year.) We're talking about Snapping. The. Ball.

And despite what Bray says, bad snaps require time and attention from the QB. That's time and attention subtracted away from actually executing the play.

But take this upstream. If UT's running game was working, then would the shotgun be necessary all afternoon(and the errant snaps that accompanied it)? While the snap problem has to be fixed, it is a symptom, not a cause.

I agree with you. We're three years removed from a forced coaching change, yet we're really no better of as of yet. As much as I disliked Kiffin, our QB and a few other good players on our team came as a result of his short tenure. It's time to move on and stop the excuses.
As a fan I don't expect to win the sec east, but I do expect to see a better product on the field than I saw last year. Our out of conference schedule is much, much easier and most of our starters in in their second year with this staff and their system. As down as the sec east is we "should" expect to win two of the games against the trifecta of Georgia, South Carolina, and Arkansas from the west. These teams are beatable. If we just beat Vandy and Kentucky and the Sisters of The Poor teams, then it simple - we've not improved. So I'm expecting an 8 win season which is not unreasonable at all.
Back to the present ... bad snaps suddenly developed but our coach didn't make an adjustment the ENTIRE game, and that concerns me deeply. There were many other things our staff didn't adjust during the Florida game. Add in a couple of strategic errors by Dooley, and you can see why many Vol fans are concerned. All we want is to see progress, and I hope we'll see that during the remainder of this season.

TheRealDragonSlayer writes:

in response to Jovol642:

Let's get real. This is outrageous. I want to have confidence in CDD, however this far into the season and having trouble with a simple thing as a snap is unbelievable. We are so low as a team that we can't play on the same field as the other SEC teams. It is hard to believe that our program is at such a low point. We are the University of Tennessee. A school that used to strike fear into the hearts of programs like Alabama and Florida and now we are just a weak sister that can't snap a football. How many more years and coaches will we have to go through until we can once again have any respect? The future is very dim from my prospective.

Thats because you have a retarded perspective. Replace that "retarded" with a "realistic" perspective, and things wont seem so gloomy.

TheRealDragonSlayer writes:

in response to snakeplissken:

I agree with you. We're three years removed from a forced coaching change, yet we're really no better of as of yet. As much as I disliked Kiffin, our QB and a few other good players on our team came as a result of his short tenure. It's time to move on and stop the excuses.
As a fan I don't expect to win the sec east, but I do expect to see a better product on the field than I saw last year. Our out of conference schedule is much, much easier and most of our starters in in their second year with this staff and their system. As down as the sec east is we "should" expect to win two of the games against the trifecta of Georgia, South Carolina, and Arkansas from the west. These teams are beatable. If we just beat Vandy and Kentucky and the Sisters of The Poor teams, then it simple - we've not improved. So I'm expecting an 8 win season which is not unreasonable at all.
Back to the present ... bad snaps suddenly developed but our coach didn't make an adjustment the ENTIRE game, and that concerns me deeply. There were many other things our staff didn't adjust during the Florida game. Add in a couple of strategic errors by Dooley, and you can see why many Vol fans are concerned. All we want is to see progress, and I hope we'll see that during the remainder of this season.

The onus of proof is on you. You say that you expect to see a better product on the field than last year...then prove to us that the product on the field this year is not as good as last year.

At this point last year, we were 1-2. We are now 2-1.

At this point last year, we had lost to Florida 31-17, and nobody had given us any chance to win. This year, we lost to them 33-23, and Kirk Herbstreet pickes us to upset Florida (he obviously expected Hunter to play the entire game, as did we).

At this point last year, Matt Simms was our QB, we had umpteen sacks, and neither our passing game nor our running game was anything to write home about. This year, we are in the top 10 in passing yards per game, and our QB is in national conversation as one of the better passers.

At this point last year, we were not even in the conversation for being in the top 25. This year, we have gotten several votes...and had we pulled off an upset over FL, we would be in the top 25 right now. But I digress...I wont bring in hypotheticals...we got votes this year, we didnt last year. Simple as that.

Now, I have made the case, even though I didnt have to, thta we are clearly better this year than we were last year. Just because you said something doesnt make it true. You have to prove it. And we all know that you cant.

arkyvol writes:

if you're dealing in "nano-seconds" and timing, the last thing you need to be doing is wasting time chasing down the ball. keeping stone at center makes as much sense as trying him at wide receiver.

snakeplissken writes:

in response to TheRealDragonSlayer:

The onus of proof is on you. You say that you expect to see a better product on the field than last year...then prove to us that the product on the field this year is not as good as last year.

At this point last year, we were 1-2. We are now 2-1.

At this point last year, we had lost to Florida 31-17, and nobody had given us any chance to win. This year, we lost to them 33-23, and Kirk Herbstreet pickes us to upset Florida (he obviously expected Hunter to play the entire game, as did we).

At this point last year, Matt Simms was our QB, we had umpteen sacks, and neither our passing game nor our running game was anything to write home about. This year, we are in the top 10 in passing yards per game, and our QB is in national conversation as one of the better passers.

At this point last year, we were not even in the conversation for being in the top 25. This year, we have gotten several votes...and had we pulled off an upset over FL, we would be in the top 25 right now. But I digress...I wont bring in hypotheticals...we got votes this year, we didnt last year. Simple as that.

Now, I have made the case, even though I didnt have to, thta we are clearly better this year than we were last year. Just because you said something doesnt make it true. You have to prove it. And we all know that you cant.

You've only proved your case in your own mind, which you're entitled to. I don't see the improvement that you "clearly" see - because we played a cupcake this year instead of Oregon, which shows the results of the records of the comparitive seasons.
The record at the end of the year will dictate whether we've improved or not, so that's where the onus will come in.

TheRealDragonSlayer writes:

in response to snakeplissken:

You've only proved your case in your own mind, which you're entitled to. I don't see the improvement that you "clearly" see - because we played a cupcake this year instead of Oregon, which shows the results of the records of the comparitive seasons.
The record at the end of the year will dictate whether we've improved or not, so that's where the onus will come in.

You have made a statement in your post that I actually agree with...that the "record at the end of the year will dictate whether we've improved or not." Absolutely! Which is why I challenged you to prove your premature statement from your earlier post that we were worse already this year than a year ago. It makes no sense to make such a statement...and even less so when the record actually shows that we have shown some improvement, even if not much. It is also clear that we have a playmaker of national significance in Bray, which we didnt have until past midseason last year.

We may have played a cupcake this year instead of Oregon, but the manner in which the cupcakes were dispatched was a far cry from the last several years. We are throughly pummeling the teams we should be beating, as opposed to going to overtime or keeping it close. The difference is clear...not just in my mind, but for any objective eyes.

In any case, I am confident that even before the end of the year, we will clearly have shown how much more improved we are...but definitely at the end of the season, when all is said and done.

snakeplissken writes:

in response to TheRealDragonSlayer:

You have made a statement in your post that I actually agree with...that the "record at the end of the year will dictate whether we've improved or not." Absolutely! Which is why I challenged you to prove your premature statement from your earlier post that we were worse already this year than a year ago. It makes no sense to make such a statement...and even less so when the record actually shows that we have shown some improvement, even if not much. It is also clear that we have a playmaker of national significance in Bray, which we didnt have until past midseason last year.

We may have played a cupcake this year instead of Oregon, but the manner in which the cupcakes were dispatched was a far cry from the last several years. We are throughly pummeling the teams we should be beating, as opposed to going to overtime or keeping it close. The difference is clear...not just in my mind, but for any objective eyes.

In any case, I am confident that even before the end of the year, we will clearly have shown how much more improved we are...but definitely at the end of the season, when all is said and done.

We're certainly MUCH WORSE in our running game through three games, depsite having ALL the linemen and running backs from a year ago. Our tackling is worse than a year ago.
So, if you agree with me that the record at the end of the year will show if we've improved or not, how do you project we will finish during the regular season? Since I've predicted an 8-4 record I might have more confidence that we'll improve than many others.

VolsFanInAfghanistan writes:

Wow, I remember when I was younger and watched Tennessee football I couldn't stand them, because my father paid more attention to them than he did me. Fast forward eight or so years after that I started to root for my Vols because they were exciting and they gave me something to talk about with my Navy buddies that were rooting for their hometown teams. Now fast forward another 15 years and I still enjoy watching our team win or lose. When did it become all about winning and not enjoying rooting for you team no matter what. Yes, we all want to see Tennessee win and go far, but it's not really up to the coaches as far as having that winning attitude. Kids today want more, they want the goods that go with it. I know i'm off topic with this post because we are talking about a kid that had a few bad snaps. I love Tennessee football no matter how bad they suck or how good they are because they give me something to root for in a far away place that i'm in now. Like one poster said before, Rome wasn't built in a day. We'll be fine guys, lets just pull for our team like everyone else does, with the exception of the trolls that linger around in here and cause discontent. GBO. Vol for life!!!

voloffaith writes:

in response to VolsFanInAfghanistan:

Wow, I remember when I was younger and watched Tennessee football I couldn't stand them, because my father paid more attention to them than he did me. Fast forward eight or so years after that I started to root for my Vols because they were exciting and they gave me something to talk about with my Navy buddies that were rooting for their hometown teams. Now fast forward another 15 years and I still enjoy watching our team win or lose. When did it become all about winning and not enjoying rooting for you team no matter what. Yes, we all want to see Tennessee win and go far, but it's not really up to the coaches as far as having that winning attitude. Kids today want more, they want the goods that go with it. I know i'm off topic with this post because we are talking about a kid that had a few bad snaps. I love Tennessee football no matter how bad they suck or how good they are because they give me something to root for in a far away place that i'm in now. Like one poster said before, Rome wasn't built in a day. We'll be fine guys, lets just pull for our team like everyone else does, with the exception of the trolls that linger around in here and cause discontent. GBO. Vol for life!!!

Agreed. Thanks for serving(assuming) our country as one in the words of Leon Russell,"a stranger in a strange land."

UTVOL2001 writes:

in response to deshl693#310102:

I'm not sure why I read the comments on these articles. Some of them drive me absolutely nuts. There are a few here that seem to get it but many have such unrealistic expectations of this team and CDD. Yes, we all want UT to be the force that it has been in the past but people, it takes time. The program has been through a lot. I know a lot of people here like Fulmer and he was great in his day but UT held onto him too long. It got way out of hand before they finally said, "enough" and got a new coach. Then, that coach turned out to be a snake who decided to up and leave after a year. And, he didn't just leave, he did his best to dismantle the team as he went. So, now we're out there playing predominantly freshman and sophomore....in the SEC. I, for one, have not thought they look too bad considering their youth and it gives me great hope for the future unlike all you pessimists who are all depressed because once again, we didn't beat FL.

And, that brings me to something else I want to say. Why the heck is everyone so upset about this loss to FL? Sure, it was disappointing. FL isn't as good as they have been in some past years and so there was great hope that even though our team is pretty green, we would win out this year. I get that. BUT, FL is not a complete chump team, either. They have some great talent on that team and the Swamp is no easy place to play. So, while I get the disappointment (I was disappointed, too), I don't get all the doom and gloom freaking out. I keep reading about how embarrassing the loss was. Really? A 10 point loss is embarrassing? Disappointing, yes, but embarrassing? KY's 48-10 loss on their own field qualifies as embarrassing. TN's 33-23 loss in the Swamp, not so much.

Please, people...be disappointed all you want. It's hard to watch your team lose. But, support these guys, get some positive thoughts in your head, and look to the future. It is not all dark and dank if you can just look forward. The experience these young guys are getting this year is invaluable and will only make them better in the future. The rebuilding has started. Let's all try to calm down, keep things in perspective, and give it enough time to come to fruition.

GO Vols!

good post! true vol! I agree

Dwinsgames writes:

remember the Budwiser commercial where the horse is hiking the ball, the horse is better than Stone and its not Stone's FAult.

lakesidegator writes:

It is a crude analogy, but apt: a bad snap is like a bad fart -- it affects everybody in the vicinity...but most of all the guy directly behind you. Don't be Pounceying Bray no mo'.

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