No superheroes in UT's backfield

Cast of running backs offers different looks

Maybe Tennessee hasn't identified a Superman in its backfield.

But if the Vols don't wind up with just one do-it-all running back, they appear to have a cast of characters capable of giving them a complete package.

Tall or small, speedy or strong, the search for improvement on the ground after a disastrous season rushing the ball isn't short on possible candidates. And rather than focus on finding just one to move the ball, the Vols might lean on the entire group instead.

"It's kind of like the superhero thing," sophomore Devrin Young said. "You've got your strong man, you've got your fast man. It's just, everybody is different. Everybody is built different, and that's just awesome that everybody is so good at what they do.

"It's good to know that our backfield is so versatile. We have a man that can do everything, and I feel like that could be real frustrating to our opponents."

Before UT can worry about taking on any outside competition, for now all it can do is battle with itself during spring camp. And if the first week of practice is any indication, the jockeying for work in the backfield figures to be heated and could drag on for a while.

Marlin Lane and Rajion Neal came into camp as the likely picks at the top of the depth chart, and they don't seem to have done anything at this early stage to change that. But the Vols are getting close looks at a couple other tailbacks that bring unique traits to the table, and finding ways to deploy the quickness of Young or unleash the

power of a rusher like Tom Smith can be as challenging as establishing an overall pecking order.

"You like to have different tempos, and backs come in all different shapes and sizes and they all have different runs that they have a different comfort level with," UT coach Derek Dooley said. "Figuring all that out is the real trick, figuring out how to use them when you don't have that big workhorse.

"Obviously a guy like Devrin is a great example, he's a smaller guy, he's got a lot of burst and speed, he's explosive, so you've got to figure out how you want to manage it.

"Part of it is schematic and part of it is number of reps."

Dooley has indicated before he'd prefer a simpler formula, one that relies on a "Heisman Trophy winner" instead of a committee of rushers.

But both approaches have worked for teams in the past, and Dooley in particular has been a part of a staff that spread the carries around for a handful of players on the way to a national championship. So if the Vols don't wind up with a clear-cut, every-down superhero to hand the ball to, they may be able to build something similar with the parts they already have on hand.

"They're running the ball really well, they're doing what we're coaching them to do and they just have to keep doing it with consistency," Dooley said. "The progress we're making is everywhere. Here's what I'm seeing: the offensive line playing with a little more aggression, the receivers taking a greater interest in helping us block on the perimeter and the runners run with a lot more discipline, hitting the holes a lot faster and playing behind their pads.

"Now, it's only been two days in pads, so we're not ready for a national declaration that we can run the ball now."

The Vols also don't seem ready to just pick one guy to do it for them.

But they aren't low on options.

"You know, it's really exciting and it promotes a lot of competition," Young said. "It forces you to stay on your 'A' game.

"It's just refreshing to know that the next man beside you can fill the job in just like you."

Austin Ward covers Tennessee football. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Vols_Beat and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/ward.

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Comments » 53

WhitePineVol77 writes:

This fan wants a winning season, a bowl win, and some consistency.

Dalton writes:

Bourque Lane and Neal...don't know the order...coaches' job...will cheer whoever's in there..make Coach Dooley's job status a dead issue young men...you have the power!

ncvol17 writes:

RB by committee does not sound good to me. This does not have the makings of Cobb-Webb

VolinCalif writes:

in response to WhitePineVol77:

This fan wants a winning season, a bowl win, and some consistency.

OK! OK! You've got it!
It was 9-3 + a bowl now it is 10-2+ a bowl and a great run at the Sec East

Supersayin1 writes:

Marlin Lane & Rajon Neal are to UT what Demps and Rainy were to Florida. It's gonna kinda be like that, with a great experienced O-line blocking, and then we will have Tom Smith clean up with some bruising running! Again like i've said before i'd love to see Cam Clear come out of the backfield as either a runner or blocker, mainly a runner on Short yard situations. That would be AWESOME!! GO VOLS!!

scvols writes:

I want the back that gets hit after a 2 yard gain, but falls forward for 2 more.

asleep#212036 writes:

One thing Dooley said that has been completely overlooked by most is the absolutely non-existent blocking by our receivers on the perimeter. Watch Bama's, LSU's, or South Carolina's receivers on a run play, then watch ours. Their guys had the opponents' DBs on the ground, our guys couldn't even engage them long enough to keep them from making the play. Our guys didn't seem to understand that "receiver" is the position, not all you have to do to make it work. IF our perimeter guys could have blocked better our run game would have improved from awful to below average. Doesn't sound like much but an extra first down here and an extra 3 or 4 yards there, you never know... With opposing DBs crashing every play from the edges all Poole could do was run between the tackles - where the teeth of the defense was waiting. No wonder he and the O-line had issues moving the ball on the ground. If Dooley really wants to run the ball this year, our receivers are gonna have to take the opposing DBs out of every running play. If not, all the scheming, conditioning, and "reps" in practice by the O-line and RBs isn't going to amount to a hill of beans. Go Vols!!!

BR_549 writes:

in response to Supersayin1:

Marlin Lane & Rajon Neal are to UT what Demps and Rainy were to Florida. It's gonna kinda be like that, with a great experienced O-line blocking, and then we will have Tom Smith clean up with some bruising running! Again like i've said before i'd love to see Cam Clear come out of the backfield as either a runner or blocker, mainly a runner on Short yard situations. That would be AWESOME!! GO VOLS!!

My god what you been drinking or smoking...i want some.

BR_549 writes:

in response to Supersayin1:

Marlin Lane & Rajon Neal are to UT what Demps and Rainy were to Florida. It's gonna kinda be like that, with a great experienced O-line blocking, and then we will have Tom Smith clean up with some bruising running! Again like i've said before i'd love to see Cam Clear come out of the backfield as either a runner or blocker, mainly a runner on Short yard situations. That would be AWESOME!! GO VOLS!!

and who the h3ll is tom smith?

Voltillyafall writes:

Our backs may be versatile as a group, but all of them are really the same...you need three yards, they get you three yards. You need five yards, they get you three yards.

givehim6 writes:

1 guy, 2,3 what ever I want a 100 or 150 yard running game and a few TD that go with it.

77VolFS writes:

in response to BR_549:

and who the h3ll is tom smith?

Did you bother to read this article or any other thread on running back depth chart before making this comment ??

PHAT_VOL writes:

What this tells me is we have no running back. Yet! And we had no running game last year.

Who's gonna kick and punt?

With DaRick going to Georiga and our prize recruit of the 2012 class not having the grades to enter school whos going to catch the ball?

A lot of holes to fill.

Tennfan4075 writes:

The problem is the new enthusiasm from running backs, receivers and blockers is against the same guys, who last year were giving up 30 or 40 points against the real teams in the conference, but only time will tell.

VolGrad writes:

We just need to develop some consistency and it all starts on the offensive line with run blocking. I don't think we even know how good any of our RBs truly are yet. However, we should get some answers to that this year. This is the most veteran and deepest group of OL we've had since this whole fiasco started back in 2008. And it is their third year in the same scheme.

Go Vols!

VolGrad writes:

in response to BR_549:

and who the h3ll is tom smith?

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to 10seVol85:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Perhaps he did coach blocking and he was working with unruly player(s). One thing I've noticed. You'll go to any length to defend DaRick and Dooley. You can go coast to coast and you won't find many better than Baggett. And if he's so bad, who hired him? But Baggett is gone so that's that.

brokendownoldvol writes:

in response to scvols:

I want the back that gets hit after a 2 yard gain, but falls forward for 2 more.

That walk on Dooley played in one game last yr. looked like the toughest back on the team. He always fought for extra yardage but never played again.I can't think of the kids name .

CrankE writes:

"...we're not ready for a national declaration that we can run the ball now."

Don't worry coach, there's no danger of THAT happening.

PUL4VOLS writes:

Thankful for the internet and all the experts who know how to coach and how to criticize our team. They are making progress. Sure we all want them to do better. But I don't care how hard and disciplined holes are hit by rbs or how well the downfield blocking by receivers is, if the O-line does not learn how to sustain their blocks significantly longer than the last two years, our running will be about the same. I'm believing they can do it but...I need to see it in Atlanta as the season begins and especially on 9/15 when those "inarow" lizards come to town. Let's not be too hasty to jump on the "we don't have a back" wagon and see how the rest of spring plays out and how we start the season. For all in the Knoxville area, come on out to the Orange and White Game and see for yourself what we may be in for come fall.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

I think Neal is gonna be a player. He looked really good as a freshman then got moved to WR, which was rather puzzling to me. I think folks are gonna be wondering why in the heck he got moved to start with? Both he and Lane are great at catching the ball out of the backfield as well. However, both at times have had problems with ball security. I'm excited to see what the big boy Alden Hill from Ohio can do as well. But the real Wildcard here is Devrin Young. Where and how much will he pay. While he might be a guy who plays limited snaps, he's a guy that MUST see the field IMO. Doesn't matter if it's at RB, slot WR. All I know is the kid is DANGEROUS! He's a threat to score anytime he gets the ball. He'll be a good decoy as well. Bring him in in certain situations and once he makes a few plays people start keying on him. When he comes in for his "package", they think he's the key to the play, then BOOM... Hit'em with something they never imagined with someone else. Well I could go on and on. I'll shut up now, I'm just fired up!

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to brokendownoldvol:

That walk on Dooley played in one game last yr. looked like the toughest back on the team. He always fought for extra yardage but never played again.I can't think of the kids name .

Jeronn Toney. Hes from Alcoa Tenn, and holds the state TD record in HS with 52 in one season. I agree, he can run the ball. Nothing flashy, just see the Hole hit it. That's why I say the o-line wasn't as bad as some say. He came in against MTSU and did good. I know it was MTSU, but I sat and watch Poole and Lane struggle. Then this kid comes in, running behind THE SAME o-line and started hitting holes. With Jay Graham watching film with these kids, they're ALL gonna see holes that they didn't before. The RBs might be the most improved unit on this team IMO.

thevoice writes:

in response to WhitePineVol77:

This fan wants a winning season, a bowl win, and some consistency.

Me too. Don't care if Barbara Dooley runs the ball, just start populating the W column. Just getting tired of going into games hoping for a win and not expecting one.

phippo writes:

in response to PHAT_VOL:

What this tells me is we have no running back. Yet! And we had no running game last year.

Who's gonna kick and punt?

With DaRick going to Georiga and our prize recruit of the 2012 class not having the grades to enter school whos going to catch the ball?

A lot of holes to fill.

did not know da'rick was going anywhere, he's having a press conference today. i suggest you watch it and then you will know the facts dilrod!

slb#1351874 writes:

in response to BR_549:

and who the h3ll is tom smith?

BR-549 listen closely. Tom Smith is a great kid from Apopka, Florida who will knock your weenie stiff on the football field if he is healthy.
Graham will see his abilities and give the kid the opporunity to prove what we in Apopka fla. know for a fact.

chuckfromwoodberry writes:

in response to BR_549:

and who the h3ll is tom smith?

Idiot troll

Bubba_Knows writes:

in response to BR_549:

and who the h3ll is tom smith?

Dr. Smith? Lost in Space? Come on Zippy?

TitanandVolfan4life writes:

CDD has new rules and new coaches enforcing them so it's going to be produce or sit the bench now.

We finally have a little more depth at most positions so competition is going to force everyone to work harder to get better and consistency is the key word I keep hearing so play hard every play or someone else will.

Sam Pittman is a really good coach and will pound our O line into using better and more consistent techniques and how to better use their power and leverage and with more O line depth most all of the linemen know they're fighting for a job this season no matter who they are such as "Tiny" getting the chance to start now that he knows the playbook alot better.

Our RB's all know it's a wide open competition for starting and playing time and Jay graham is a really good RB coach as well as a VFL so we may just see certain RB's set in a rotation for certain plays and that kind of RB by commitee can work well as we see more of that in the NFL too.

Our WR's MUST learn how to block much better especially for those that want to play in the NFL because good recievers have been benched because they wouldn't block well and I see that's part of the WR job that's being pushed alot harder this season which can only help our running game.

WR's have to learn to make the 1st HIT and hit the D player HARD and either put him on his butt or to maintain a strong block to let the RB get past them.

I love what I'm hearing so far and now I look forward to good execution on the field.

VFL...GBO!!!

Razzle writes:

in response to BR_549:

and who the h3ll is tom smith?

You're goofy.

RaineyVol writes:

Just give the ball to Devrin.. he makes people miss.

Navaloranges writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

I think Neal is gonna be a player. He looked really good as a freshman then got moved to WR, which was rather puzzling to me. I think folks are gonna be wondering why in the heck he got moved to start with? Both he and Lane are great at catching the ball out of the backfield as well. However, both at times have had problems with ball security. I'm excited to see what the big boy Alden Hill from Ohio can do as well. But the real Wildcard here is Devrin Young. Where and how much will he pay. While he might be a guy who plays limited snaps, he's a guy that MUST see the field IMO. Doesn't matter if it's at RB, slot WR. All I know is the kid is DANGEROUS! He's a threat to score anytime he gets the ball. He'll be a good decoy as well. Bring him in in certain situations and once he makes a few plays people start keying on him. When he comes in for his "package", they think he's the key to the play, then BOOM... Hit'em with something they never imagined with someone else. Well I could go on and on. I'll shut up now, I'm just fired up!

It is nice to have that small, explosive player like florida has made a living off of for the past 15 or more years. Young IS that guy. Even better, we have that, and a mix of power, and a mix of all around type backs. If this staff will quit tinkering with the OL and let the guys get settled in, our running game just might be the biggest surprise of the season. The junior year, more often than not, is when the light comes on for the potentially really good offensive linemen. That bodes really well for UT's offense.

Smith could be a big surprise if he "gets it" early on. It would be nice to be able to mix in a bull and a rabbit with the every down backs. Could be dangerous.

WetumpkaThumpa writes:

No superheros in ut's backfield? HELLO!!! That's been painfully obvious since about 2001!!!

Navaloranges writes:

in response to Sammy_Burklows_Revenge:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Blah, blah, blah, Doolittle. Blah, blah, blah, this, blah, blah, blah, that. Geeze packer, you need to move on. You're the biggest WHINER/POSER I've ever seen. You've convinced NOBODY with your psychotic agenda. Dooley IS rebuilding this team the proper way. UT WILL get over the debacle of Fulmer's last years and kiffy's one year. And YOU will deal with it, like it, or MOVE ON. NOBODY buys your BS. Never have, never will. This isn't your personal site to air your little sour grapes. Grow up LITTLE MAN.

SouthPaVol writes:

in response to ncvol17:

RB by committee does not sound good to me. This does not have the makings of Cobb-Webb

NC, agree, but Cobb-Webb was up there with Pony-Dickerson, the one at Auburn about 10 years, and a couple more elite backfields in the last three decades. Right now I'd settle for 4 yds in a cloud of dust--if we can find any dust on that perfect S-W field. Go Vols!

AllVol1 writes:

in response to Navaloranges:

It is nice to have that small, explosive player like florida has made a living off of for the past 15 or more years. Young IS that guy. Even better, we have that, and a mix of power, and a mix of all around type backs. If this staff will quit tinkering with the OL and let the guys get settled in, our running game just might be the biggest surprise of the season. The junior year, more often than not, is when the light comes on for the potentially really good offensive linemen. That bodes really well for UT's offense.

Smith could be a big surprise if he "gets it" early on. It would be nice to be able to mix in a bull and a rabbit with the every down backs. Could be dangerous.

Yes, Young is that kind of player. And using him in the offense will set up another small slasher coming in this fall: Pig Howard. This boy's film is impressive. He can learn that part of the offense where Devrin can really hurt other teams and provide yet another slasher. Very exciting.

If Da'Rick, Justin, Devrin, Raijon (out of the backfield), and Rivera/Clear/Downs are all running clean routes, defenses will be on their heals and totally winded. They will have to back off the line. That's when our blockers start bulldozing and our running backs start picking up the big gains.

Said it before and will continue to repeat: We have the special position players on offense, but we must answer the questions on the line. Defense has some special players too, but we need d-backs who can cover consistently and d-linemen who can win some battles and disrupt. Those are the big questions. Oh, and we need consistent kicking. COULD be great this year. Go Vols.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Tennfan4075:

The problem is the new enthusiasm from running backs, receivers and blockers is against the same guys, who last year were giving up 30 or 40 points against the real teams in the conference, but only time will tell.

If you will recall, most of those points were given up in the second half after the thin defense we had last year got worn down because the offense couldn't stay on the field. The problem with the defense wasn't lack of talent, it was lack of depth. That shouldn't be as much of a problem this year. As you say, only time will tell how any of this works out, but you weren't telling the correct story about last year.

CrankE writes:

in response to thevoice:

Me too. Don't care if Barbara Dooley runs the ball, just start populating the W column. Just getting tired of going into games hoping for a win and not expecting one.

Barbara? Didn't she use her eligibility and turn pro?

allvol32 writes:

in response to Navaloranges:

Blah, blah, blah, Doolittle. Blah, blah, blah, this, blah, blah, blah, that. Geeze packer, you need to move on. You're the biggest WHINER/POSER I've ever seen. You've convinced NOBODY with your psychotic agenda. Dooley IS rebuilding this team the proper way. UT WILL get over the debacle of Fulmer's last years and kiffy's one year. And YOU will deal with it, like it, or MOVE ON. NOBODY buys your BS. Never have, never will. This isn't your personal site to air your little sour grapes. Grow up LITTLE MAN.

Good old fashioned troll thumping there Navaloranges. Is SBR our old PPO troglodyte troll reincarnated (unflushable) yet again? These idiots are unfortunately like whack-a-mole targets - swat 'em down and they just pop back up with a new handle and the same dum@zz BS.

It sure would be nice if KNS actually cared about maintaining decorum on what should a site where respectful people could have intelligent conversation about UT sports, but they apparently don't.

Classof72 writes:

It just sounds like we have no running backs. Everything depends on blocking. With blocking, these players may do OK. We'll see.

pingkr62 writes:

in response to Sammy_Burklows_Revenge:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I would like to send you a large jar of BEAN-O. Your flatulence is killing us and making you look foolish.

AlexAndersonAAradio writes:

Coaches don't know what they are doing if Neal is a RB. Did you see him against Ky last year? He was fabulous as a WR. I thought that was one good that come from the game was establishing a new WR but never mind.

Navaloranges writes:

in response to allvol32:

Good old fashioned troll thumping there Navaloranges. Is SBR our old PPO troglodyte troll reincarnated (unflushable) yet again? These idiots are unfortunately like whack-a-mole targets - swat 'em down and they just pop back up with a new handle and the same dum@zz BS.

It sure would be nice if KNS actually cared about maintaining decorum on what should a site where respectful people could have intelligent conversation about UT sports, but they apparently don't.

I can see this guys aquaintances (can't have friends) and family when they have to be around him...

(Thinking to self-Oh ship, he's about to speak again. What kind of BS is fixing to come out of his mouth this time.)... "Uh, yeah honey whatever...sorry I can't listen to you right now...have to go clip the cats toenails." (Thinking to self again- Whew, that was close, almost had to talk to him.)

Some folks are just born blowhards. This guy is the King of them.

volguy#211935 writes:

in response to slb#1351874:

BR-549 listen closely. Tom Smith is a great kid from Apopka, Florida who will knock your weenie stiff on the football field if he is healthy.
Graham will see his abilities and give the kid the opporunity to prove what we in Apopka fla. know for a fact.

Nice to see another Big Orange fan from Apopka! There are a few of us!

Volfan4445 writes:

in response to PHAT_VOL:

What this tells me is we have no running back. Yet! And we had no running game last year.

Who's gonna kick and punt?

With DaRick going to Georiga and our prize recruit of the 2012 class not having the grades to enter school whos going to catch the ball?

A lot of holes to fill.

you sir are terribly misinformed

Basketvol writes:

I hope they figure out a running back or two by the time the season starts. From what I've seen, two running backs sharing the load can work out okay. Anything more than that and no one back can seem to get into rhythm, unless you're the New Orleans Saints. Not saying it can't happen (or hasn't ever happened) by committee, just saying I haven't seen it.

Navaloranges writes:

in response to Sammy_Burklows_Revenge:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You have a very active imagination. DY is a 4.45/4.5 speed guy depending on which site you pick. YOU are just a miserable big mouth with an ax to grind with Dooley. You waste REAL VOL FANS' time on here, as well as your own, since everybody knows you are full of it. Like I said, "King of the Blowhards".

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

"It's good to know that our backfield is so versatile. We have a man that can do everything, and I feel like that could be real frustrating to our opponents."

Unfortunately Mr. Young, it won't be. If running multiple backs was a formula for success in the SEC, then that would be the norm. It isn't, because it isn't going to be successful.

It's pretty standard that a successful SEC running game combines no more than two running backs. The first stringer gets more carries than the second string guy.

Why not have three or four? The same reason that you don't start three QBs...experience. Running is instinctive, but that instinct develops during games and during reps with the first string O-Line. By placing a third back in the line-up, you're either going to split the opportunity for reps and game experience between three backs and thus impair each runner's ability to gain experience or neglect whoever is lowest on the totem pole and reap the results of that on game day (fumbles, two yard gains, impatience and indecision, etc.).

If anyone can point out a team that has had success against modern SEC defenses with either three starting RBs or a starter and then a rotating second string or whatever rotation you like...I will admit that I am wrong. Oh and Ward is wrong about "both approaches have worked in the past." During LSU's 2003 run to the BCS championship, the leading rushers were Justin Vincent (201 yds in the SEC championship and four games with over 100 yds) and Joseph Addai (coming in second with 520 yds on the ENTIRE season). That's not using a "committee" of running backs...that's Vincent being the starter and Addai being the second string running back. Not a novel concept.

If splitting first string reps and playing time between three or more backs worked on gameday in the SEC, other teams would be doing it. But, it doesn't work. Reps are too important to split between three backs...and while I dislike Dooley, he isn't stupid enough to actually follow through on a multiple starting RB practice scheme.

One guy will emerge as the starter and then we'll have a second string guy. The starter will get the majority of the touches and the second stringer will get less. The third string guy will be brought in if injury occurs to the guys in front or if we're crushing our opponent.

This whole idea of a "committee" of RBs in the backfield is ridiculous.

TheVolSnake writes:

We keep looking better and better this year from what I can see from the net. The D appears to be happy about the change to 3-4 which leads me to believe they have bought in to their new roles. The O. Line has another year of experience and if they stabilize positions early will be strong both pass and run.

Running back by committee may work in our favor and keep the running backs fresh and keep defenses off balanced, however I do favor one primer running back this may not be the case this year. We have two quality QB’s backing up Bray so no worries there this year. Our receivers should be lights out and we should lead the SEC in passing this year.

Worries are kicking games and this need to be fixed this spring and fall. If Howard and Lane return kick offs we should be improved on one area of special teams. If the 3-4 can put pressure on the punter we could be improved on the punt return.

Regardless of rumors and bad media coverage and negative posts we have a great team this year and have good to great backups at nearly every position first time in at least 4 years so I see us very strong this year. I don’t think we will win the SEC but will be much improved over all and will have a winning record.

Now like most on this thread I like Young as a running back also and this Fall everything will be sorted out, but isn't it great seeing all the options this year.

Go Vol’s

Basketvol writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

"It's good to know that our backfield is so versatile. We have a man that can do everything, and I feel like that could be real frustrating to our opponents."

Unfortunately Mr. Young, it won't be. If running multiple backs was a formula for success in the SEC, then that would be the norm. It isn't, because it isn't going to be successful.

It's pretty standard that a successful SEC running game combines no more than two running backs. The first stringer gets more carries than the second string guy.

Why not have three or four? The same reason that you don't start three QBs...experience. Running is instinctive, but that instinct develops during games and during reps with the first string O-Line. By placing a third back in the line-up, you're either going to split the opportunity for reps and game experience between three backs and thus impair each runner's ability to gain experience or neglect whoever is lowest on the totem pole and reap the results of that on game day (fumbles, two yard gains, impatience and indecision, etc.).

If anyone can point out a team that has had success against modern SEC defenses with either three starting RBs or a starter and then a rotating second string or whatever rotation you like...I will admit that I am wrong. Oh and Ward is wrong about "both approaches have worked in the past." During LSU's 2003 run to the BCS championship, the leading rushers were Justin Vincent (201 yds in the SEC championship and four games with over 100 yds) and Joseph Addai (coming in second with 520 yds on the ENTIRE season). That's not using a "committee" of running backs...that's Vincent being the starter and Addai being the second string running back. Not a novel concept.

If splitting first string reps and playing time between three or more backs worked on gameday in the SEC, other teams would be doing it. But, it doesn't work. Reps are too important to split between three backs...and while I dislike Dooley, he isn't stupid enough to actually follow through on a multiple starting RB practice scheme.

One guy will emerge as the starter and then we'll have a second string guy. The starter will get the majority of the touches and the second stringer will get less. The third string guy will be brought in if injury occurs to the guys in front or if we're crushing our opponent.

This whole idea of a "committee" of RBs in the backfield is ridiculous.

I agree with your analysis; curious to see if there is evidence of running back by committee working in the SEC. I hope you're right about the last part, that TN doesn't try the committee approach.

hueypilot writes:

in response to Supersayin1:

Marlin Lane & Rajon Neal are to UT what Demps and Rainy were to Florida. It's gonna kinda be like that, with a great experienced O-line blocking, and then we will have Tom Smith clean up with some bruising running! Again like i've said before i'd love to see Cam Clear come out of the backfield as either a runner or blocker, mainly a runner on Short yard situations. That would be AWESOME!! GO VOLS!!

Is it just me or are you channeling the late Chris Farley?

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