Da'Rick Rogers says there's 'no controversy' on status with Vols

UT wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers during practice at Haslam Field on Saturday, March 31, 2012. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess, ©KNS/2012

UT wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers during practice at Haslam Field on Saturday, March 31, 2012. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Da'Rick Rogers on his absence last week and rumors of transferring

The communication outside the program was apparently misinterpreted, so Da’Rick Rogers is going to work on his social media skills.

Inside the walls of the Tennessee locker room, the junior wide receiver and the rest of the Vols seem to understand each other perfectly.

In his first public comments since missing a practice last Thursday and launching speculation that he intended to transfer, Rogers shot down suggestions that he would leave after two seasons with UT and repeatedly stressed that there are no lingering problems for him after a workout Monday morning.

“Oh man, no controversy,” Rogers said. “Just had some little things to handle off the field, got those handled and now we’re looking forward to becoming a championship-contending team. ... If I was a distraction, I really wasn’t trying to be a distraction. It was a situation that we got handled, and everything is good now.

“No transfer for me, no consideration. Maybe I need to do a little better job with my tweets, letting everybody know what’s really actually going on so next time it won’t be misinterpreted.”

The confusion and uncertainty that swirled around Rogers disappeared almost as quickly as they arrived, with the first-team All-SEC performer returning to the field on Saturday after just the one absence and a few public comments on Twitter and to a Georgia State recruiting site that hinted strongly that he was prepared to leave the Vols.

As UT coach Derek Dooley did last week when pressed about the situation, Rogers also declined to provide any specifics about the matters he needed to deal with other than they were “personal” and “not necessarily program issues.”

But both made clear they were ready to turn the page and get back to work building what could be an explosive passing attack, particularly with Rogers again showing off his impressive athleticism with a leaping, one-handed grab almost as soon as practice officially started. And his presence should provide a nice boost to fellow wideout Justin Hunter and quarterback Tyler Bray, two players Rogers singled out as invaluable sounding boards for him during his tumultuous 48-hour stretch late last week.

“He just needed to calm down,” Hunter said. “We were there for him, talking to him and telling him everything is going to be all right and we’d be there for him whatever he wanted to do. ... The talk that we had put him at 110 percent. He doesn’t have any more distractions; he’s a hard worker and he’s ready to work.

“I definitely felt it when he wasn’t there. I was tired, I was beat, getting double-teamed and all that. When he came back, I was real excited and happy — and got to get some rest sometimes on the side.”

The breather for Rogers forced just about everybody involved with the program to answer questions about him, but it put a particular strain on a receiving corps low on depth this spring.

With Hunter still not cleared for full-contact work yet and only two other targets with any experience currently on the roster, not having Rogers on hand left plenty of reps to go around and a long-term absence would have left a sizable hole in terms of production.

But he’s now been back for the last two workouts, and his return was accompanied by an apology to his teammates for the circus surrounding the one before that.

“Honestly I just think the conversations we had were more with the whole team and me moving forward with everything, getting back right with everything.” Rogers said. “I feel like it was a very good meeting we had. I think the whole team, we’ve all come together and I think this year is going to be the year. The chemistry on this team is great, and honestly I think this might be the year.

“Sometimes you just come to a point in your life where you have to be strong about things. I had a little weak moment, and that’s gone behind me and behind the team now. We’re ready to go.”

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

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Comments » 116

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor say so grown men reading tweets and then filling in the blanks and guessing what a 19-20 thinks? lol
Bones never lie.

JimmyGoVols writes:

Shoutout to all the "Vol fans" that tweeted Da'Rick some nasty things after the fake story broke.

jack4444 writes:

DaRick handled his 5 minutes of repetitive questions well. Not satisfied to rehash last week again and again, the reporters went to McKeefery, then winter workouts, then back to last week. 2 football questions. Hunter does a 3 minute interview and 20 secs on his knee, 1 other fottbal question and 2 minutes on DaRick. Like old women trying to get more gossip, my apologies to old women. No wonder Dooley gets impatient. Cover the football, ok.

Bigger_Al writes:

I heard a discussion about Rick Pitino on Saturday and his dealing with Russ Smith. Russ is a very atypical player for Pitino, and the discussion centered on how Pitino changed himself on how he would deal with Russ rather than force Russ to fit into a mold he couldn't fit into. The result was that Pitino grew as a coach, and Louisville won more games and made it to the Final Four.

I'm glad Da'Rick is back. The trolls will throw stones because they know their team can't cover Hunter and Da'Rick, and they'll cheer anything that keeps them off the field.

jakethevolguy writes:

There is very little that gets reported accurately by the media. I know from personal knowledge of a few instances that made the news and about 50% of what was reported was wrong. lol Anyway, glad you're back DR and I hope what you say about the team coming together is accurate, as well. GBO!!

The_rebirth_of_vol_nation_2012 writes:

d rogers!! wat up boi!!!! lol.. haha.. glad this is all over.. glad to see you are still a vol.. hope that this IS our year.. i been saying it for three years now, wait till we get this group and add some defensive stars... stars are coming together now.. cant wait !! hope the rest of vol nation is as excited as i am.. we may not win them all, but I feel this is the year to stun some people as well as being competitive with all teams on our schedule. cant wait!!

Navaloranges writes:

in response to jack4444:

DaRick handled his 5 minutes of repetitive questions well. Not satisfied to rehash last week again and again, the reporters went to McKeefery, then winter workouts, then back to last week. 2 football questions. Hunter does a 3 minute interview and 20 secs on his knee, 1 other fottbal question and 2 minutes on DaRick. Like old women trying to get more gossip, my apologies to old women. No wonder Dooley gets impatient. Cover the football, ok.

Amen,
Amen,
Amen,
Amen,

and

Amen!

AlexAndersonAAradio writes:

Darick is more of a distraction to fans and media than he is to the team.

oldster writes:

in response to Bigger_Al:

I heard a discussion about Rick Pitino on Saturday and his dealing with Russ Smith. Russ is a very atypical player for Pitino, and the discussion centered on how Pitino changed himself on how he would deal with Russ rather than force Russ to fit into a mold he couldn't fit into. The result was that Pitino grew as a coach, and Louisville won more games and made it to the Final Four.

I'm glad Da'Rick is back. The trolls will throw stones because they know their team can't cover Hunter and Da'Rick, and they'll cheer anything that keeps them off the field.

I have both played and coached teams that had players with the same or close to the same talent, relative to the level of competition that Rogers is involved with and who refused to workout, play hard every down, and slacked off in practice (never involved with one who cussed or threatened the coaches because the players I am talking about were in the Air Force and were children). Both teams were better off - in the way they played and their records without said "stars." I have also seen similar successes reached without problem "stars" at other levels. If, Rogers, is a problem as has been rumored, then he should go. If not, then everyone owes him an apology while we move on.

volsreign writes:

I totally agree with the comments concerning gossip and "fans" making nasty comments to DaRick. That's uncalled for. However, I don't believe this was a "fake" story or made up by the media. He did put out those tweets and he said in this story that he had a "weak moment". That, and the tweets sound like he really was considering leaving. Regardless, he's just a kid that makes mistakes like all of us. All programs have to put up with stuff from time to time and I don't believe that DaRick has come anywhere close to being a Terrell Owens or Ochocinco type distraction. I also don't believe that the media should be pummeled too bad about this one either because last week did happen.

Voloyalty writes:

You can blame social media and the media in Knoxville for making this a bigger story than it ever was. People keep on saying that this would have never happened on the 1998 team...was there govols.com in 1998?, was there Twitter?, were there 24-7 sports talk radio shows with hosts who enjoy making up a bunch of rumors about the program i.e. Clay Travis? The answer is no. We are far better with Da'Rick on the team then without him. You people want a perfect world where TN wins every game and there are no issues whatsoever. These are young kids who are going to say things and do things that they regret. Don't think for one minute that Jamal Lewis or Deon Grant were perfect model teammates in 1998. The only difference is that you didn't have the Knoxville media eat them up everytime they made a mistake. GBO!

HuttVOL100 writes:

There are some maturity issues there. Those tweets coupled with the fact that Georgia State's scout website posted a story saying that Rogers was transferring highlight the notion that there was some smoke. Add in the tweet from Mo Couch, and I say there was definitely some fire.

No matter what rumors are there, Rogers is a distraction. We're not talking about the progression of the defense under a new coordinator. We're not talking about Bray improving his command of the offense. Dooley's having to field questions about Rogers and his behavior/ tweets. That's not "much ado about nothing".

PUL4VOLS writes:

It's all Good Man. I think we can go on now. ROGER THAT or is it ROGERS THAT? All in the past, the coaches have a team to get ready and it looks as if Mr. Rogers is still in the Neighborhood!

WetumpkaThumpa writes:

in response to HuttVOL100:

There are some maturity issues there. Those tweets coupled with the fact that Georgia State's scout website posted a story saying that Rogers was transferring highlight the notion that there was some smoke. Add in the tweet from Mo Couch, and I say there was definitely some fire.

No matter what rumors are there, Rogers is a distraction. We're not talking about the progression of the defense under a new coordinator. We're not talking about Bray improving his command of the offense. Dooley's having to field questions about Rogers and his behavior/ tweets. That's not "much ado about nothing".

Of course there are some maturity issues there, he's a 20 year old KID! How are we so certain that his Wassup Ga State tweet didn't have something to do with him visiting friends that attend Ga. State, he's from Georgia you know? Most all of this was created by the media. Most all of this means abosolutely nothing.

volinlouisvilleky writes:

Written on Da'Rick Rogers absent from practice:
in response to CCLC:

Tough news. He sounds like Washaun Ealey, who is now a headliner at Jacksonville State.

Witch Doctor just gonna watch this one..Witch Doctor really not even hit anyone for a confirmation. Witch Doctor figured if he missed a practice this would happen..anybody shocked? Witch Doctor also not put it past someone writing a story based on Tweets...we've seen that! lol. Witch Doctor say Dooley wouldnt lie. if he up and quit..we'll know by tomorrow. Witch Doctor say T.O has found out his worth isnt worth him. Witch Doctor believe DR not that dumb. really.
Bones never lie.

WD You were right again! Bones don't lie!

Ayres_Hall writes:

When will Wes Rucker apologize for his distortions and misinformation?

keepitreal4vols writes:

I haven't seen Michael Palardy tweet an official statement from UT.

Navaloranges writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm sure he'll get nowhere near the attention that "crazy eyes" muskrat will get this year with his antics. Don't be so depressed and OBVIOUS about Rogers having the stone cold ability to burn any db uf can field, not even mentioning Hunter. The worm has turned, and you're still here. Told you that you would be. 2012 will be the year we pass you on your way down. What's that favorite gatroll saying, "book it".

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Gossippy gossippy Shame Shame Shame. Too little to do and no willingness to actually work for a real story leads to gossip. PLUS the readers love it...mostly.

JCJ1986 writes:

in response to BlueTickHound4:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Man, that was hilarious. I'm in tears at work from laughing. I needed that.

RoadTrip writes:

It's not over until he leaves. You don't resolve personality issues in a couple of days. The baggage is still there. If he truly wants it all to heal he will stop tweeting altogether, shut his mouth, and start being the best teammate and player on the team each and every day. His words mean nothing now - only his actions.

AllVol1 writes:

Da'Rick:

In this article, you are quoted as saying "There comes a point in your life where you have to be strong about things. I had a little weak moment..."

Can't tell you how good that is for this fan to read. I honor your personal realization of what it takes to mature into the man you want to be. And it takes that kind of maturity to admit that you had a "weak" moment. That is strong, brother.

Don't let some of these whiney, negative Nancies on these sites get to you. You are taking the steps you need to take in order to grow into a man and a Volunteer team player. You have so many of us out here happy to see you own your "mistakes" and move one. That's what it's all about.

Looking forward to seeing you on the field too! Go Vols!

Vol86 writes:

It is what it is. I think I was 20 once.

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say so grown men reading tweets and then filling in the blanks and guessing what a 19-20 thinks? lol
Bones never lie.

easy witchy, lot of conviction on this board buddy

bbmon13#478091 writes:

What Rogers doesn't understand yet is that NFL observers are paying more attention to character than ever - your stock can fall hard and fast if you are perceived to be a diva or a head case - If he doesn't get it, he stands to lose a lot of money and opportunity.

This is what coaches are talking about when they discuss 'maturity'. You can't go off on someone when they correct you. You can't get mad and take your toys and go home. It's hard for some of these kids to take criticism or even commentary on what they do.

It's the difference between Justin Hunter and Rogers.

TennesseeForever writes:

in response to 45ReVOLver:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The most irritating part with Jamal Lewis was his performance in 1999. We were stacked with returning starters, but several seemed more content with going through the motions and getting on to the NFL Draft. Lewis just mailed it in during the 1999 season, before cranking it back up on that 2000 Ravens Super Bowl team. Time has passed and I will just let it be now. He was a big-time player and did help us win a lot of games in his time at UT. Sure wouldn't mind having the 1999 version of Lewis on this year's squad.

gwbask writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

I haven't seen Michael Palardy tweet an official statement from UT.

his tweeter must have been taken from him

gwbask writes:

Don't care anymore who is or was right, wrong or indifferent. Let's move forward, stay focused and hope this team pulls out a great season. I for one welcome back a Da'Rick who proves that he is a good teammate and repeat All SEC player.

knoxchatter writes:

CDD and Rogers both keep saying 'some little things he had to take care of before coming back'...almost like he had to pick up his dry cleaning or get his oil changed or something. Geeeeez...actions speak louder than banter, Da'Rick...we need you on the field...that's one BIG thing YOU need to take care of! You hear us talking to ya boy?

gerwmor writes:

in response to BlueTickHound4:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I said in an earlier board that I was most interested in what would happen with Rogers this spring. Recent events have proved that I was picking the core story of the spring, and your post pretty much says what I was thinking. He can grow up and be a star in the NFL or he can be a JJ or BB failure. I hope you are right and we are about to see then end of all this, for his sake and for the sake of the team.

Pompey writes:

...using history as a guide Rodgers will be gone before fall....hope history is wrong this time.....!

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols and Nav A lOranges,

We'll be okay. As far as the kid/troll.......Bodeane is concerned........you know he isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer when he doesn't know the difference in the letters E and A.

VolGrad writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say so grown men reading tweets and then filling in the blanks and guessing what a 19-20 thinks? lol
Bones never lie.

And the tweet I posted on here from Maurice Couch makes even more sense now. He basically tweeted to Rogers to get his head on straight. Apparently, Da'Rick was able to do that.

After watching that interview, I have the utmost respect for Rogers. For a 20 year old superstar to stand there and take a barrage of the same question being worded a little differently over and over, reign in his testosterone, manage his emotions and temper his responses as well as he did..., that was pretty freaking impressive.

I wonder if the "media" realized how much they come off looking like a bunch of vultures to the rest of us with that approach.

rootin4volz writes:

in response to BlueTickHound4:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yep.

johnlg00 writes:

Well, as one who probably jumped the gun in assuming the worst about Da'Rick, I'm glad to hear him say that all this is behind him. I only hope it is true. Some people are just fine when you are talking sense to them in the moment, but then they just seem to forget all about that when things don't go their way. I HOPE Da'Rick's "conversion", if that is what it is, sticks and he becomes the kind of player and teammate we all want him to be, and STAYS that way. If so, the Vols are going to cloud up and RAIN on some folks this year.

papavol writes:

in response to slaw_way:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

yeah, thanks.. what else does your crystal ball say?

johnlg00 writes:

I had not actually seen the video before I commented. I gotta say I was impressed. He may still be putting on an act but if he is, he has a real future in acting! Like others on here, I was very favorably impressed with how patient he was with the repetitive questions. I admit I have a whole different impression of him than I had before. I just hope the one I have now is the right one.

TennesseeForever writes:

in response to 45ReVOLver:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Sure would have awesome if that crew could have won back to back titles. I guess it's hard enough to even win one, so I am thankful to have been a student up there during that time. Let's get things back on track this year. Go Vols.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to BlueTickHound4:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

This gets my vote for the best football post of the spring! Thanks for a great chuckle! You might have compressed the time frame somewhat, but I'll bet a good chunk of the substance went very much like that.

TexasKnoxVol writes:

in response to BlueTickHound4:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Funniest post of the day stone. Keep em coming.

klrigsby#1377153 writes:

This has nothing to do with Rogers but I NEED HELP. WERE CAN I BUY A VOL NAVY FLAG TO FLY NEXT TO MY POOL SO ALL MY cat fan FRIENDS CAN SEE IT . A BIG ONE LIKE THE ORANGE T ON BLACK FLAG OUT FRONT. THANKS

Vol43 writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say so grown men reading tweets and then filling in the blanks and guessing what a 19-20 thinks? lol
Bones never lie.

Doctor, when this story first broke, you called it right. Meanwhile people were running around setting their hair on fire. Much ado about nothing. Good call.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to Vol43:

Doctor, when this story first broke, you called it right. Meanwhile people were running around setting their hair on fire. Much ado about nothing. Good call.

Witch Doctor say oh well even a blind howler monkey find coconut ever now and then! lol
Bones never lie.

Witch_Doctors writes:

*Witch Doctor lucky quarter landed on heads and make Witch Doctor look smart. hehe
Bones never lie.

VolGrad writes:

in response to johnlg00:

I had not actually seen the video before I commented. I gotta say I was impressed. He may still be putting on an act but if he is, he has a real future in acting! Like others on here, I was very favorably impressed with how patient he was with the repetitive questions. I admit I have a whole different impression of him than I had before. I just hope the one I have now is the right one.

I agree with that last statement. And right now, it doesn't even matter how sincere Rogers was at that given moment. What he showed me was that he was at least smart enough to figure out the way things were going and the best stance he should take. I can think of about 5 other "characters" who never were able to figure that out..., and one in particular whose final demise he still blamed on everyone except himself.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to ScoonerTN:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch Doctor say just as excited wrestling Cub Scout leader in underwear as kid. Witch Doctor pull for Kentucky but dont be to unbearable afterward! lol.
Go Cats (cough cough)
Bones never lie.

Navaloranges writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Betting man or not, UT's been through a rough patch, now it's going to be fu's turn. But since your main concern is annoying folks, and not college football, you probably haven't caught up yet. Some never get past that junior high mentality. YES, you are one of those people.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

Oh everyone calm down. This situation was not a black or white , it was definately grey.
I read the tweets and I saw many take them too far. I also see now that he has "taken care of things", those that didn't take it too far, acting like there was never anything.
As usual, the truth is somewhere in the middle.
Whoever made the "conversation between Dooley and DR" post, was probably the closest.
If he puts forth the effort and new attitude that he states, glad to have him (He has Talent!). Dooleys statement of "if he wants to take care of those things, then he will be allowed back", shows that there was an issue. So both sides please, There was no wrong or right, just overreaction and overzealous reporting.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to ScoonerTN:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I thought there was going to be less blue from the "new scooner" lol.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Boy you just don't get it. I'm not totally sold on Dooley, but I don't see what has you so high on Muschamp. On top of that, your QBs are talented, but will be a first year starter. You lose both RBs. You have no wideouts. Andre Dubose this Andre Dubose that. That boy ain't done shpit as a WR since he got there. Now he is a nasty KR, I'll give him that. Your o-line was questionable at best last year. On top of that, you will have your 3rd offense installed in 3 years. If you think that doesn't matter...look no further than my Vols. because it does matter. Your D should be FILTHY this year, no doubt about that. I'm in no way saying UT will or won't beat UF. But by seasons end, I see absolutely no reason to think UF's record will be much, if any better than ours.

The east is gonna be tough this year IMO. Both UT and UF being tough opponents for anyone. But GA is loaded. They have had some suspensions, will be interesting to see how that plays out. But Crowell and Keith Marshall, anlong with Murray will be tough. On the other hand, I don't see how anyone can say South Carolina isn't the favorite. They kicked off Garcia and lost Lattimore only to win 11 games last year. Now that Connor Shaw has a year under his belt as a starter, he's by far and away the best QB Spurrier has had at SC IMO. Lattimore is back and their D will be good. Hard not to think Clowney isn't gonna wreak havoc. I hope they lose every game, but just calling it as I see it.

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