Brian Randolph maturing before UT's eyes

Without a glance at the roster before getting to know his safeties, Josh Conklin might have had a hard time pinning down an age for Tennessee's top returning starter.

The guy seemed to have the maturity of a veteran.

He had game experience, plenty of highlights already on his film and came to meetings with the new position coach with a solid understanding of the game and a willingness to expand it.

If Conklin hadn't known better, he admitted it wouldn't have been easy for him to peg Brian Randolph as a rising sophomore still going through his first year of college with the Vols.

"You know, I probably wouldn't have thought that," Conklin said on Wednesday. "He does have a level of maturity, there's no question. He's a guy that is pretty solid back there, and I think football is important to him. He wants to win and wants to learn, and he works hard at it.

"But I think for me as you work with him every day, you see the potential of where he's going to be in two, three, four years."

If Randolph is only in the early stages of that development, the Vols still have little to complain about the work already in progress.

After breaking into the rotation as a true freshman last fall, Randolph quickly established himself as on the most reliable tacklers on the team. The next element was to produce some bigger plays by forcing turnovers, and with an interception in each of the first two scrimmages after picking off a pass Saturday to end a two-minute drill for Vols quarterback Tyler Bray, there are signs that might already be in Randolph's repertoire.

But even as he walked off the field with the blood under his nose barely dry after another impressive performance in the secondary, Randolph was already focusing on what he could have done better instead of his latest takeaway as UT heads into the final week of spring camp.

"I'm not satisfied," Randolph said. "I think I can do better, and I am still getting better. I think there's still room for improvement.

"You have to perform and produce on the field to get people to respect you. Throughout my career, I've always wanted to be a leader. It takes a lot of work to be a leader, you have to make plays, you have to lead by example and start saying stuff."

There has never been any doubt expressed by the Vols about his willingness to put in

the necessary work, and before the scrimmage even started there was a clear example of Randolph leading the safeties as he went first in every drill.

He followed that up with five tackles and the interception to take care of the play-making aspect. And while it may be a bit more challenging to get a true gauge of how vocal Randolph really is during closed workouts or team meetings, there's no question the Vols are expecting his voice to have as much impact as a body that appears better equipped to handle the rigors of the SEC now.

"We want him to be a quarterback out there on the defense," Conklin said. "He's got game experience, and we want him to be a leader, we want him to make plays.

"It's the production factor. He blocked a kick (in the first scrimmage), too, I mean he's productive, there's no doubt. When a guy is productive and he keeps showing up, he's showing up for a reason. For me, we've talked to him about where he's got to get better, this is where you have to keep pushing yourself and you'll have an opportunity to make more plays."

Perhaps even better for Conklin is the fact that Randolph has more time to make them for the Vols than he might have guessed.

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

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Comments » 57

lofter writes:

He had me at "start saying stuff."

frblalack writes:

Brian Randolph - All American!!!

Been saying this for a while, he's the best safety we've had since EB! He may turn out to be the best safety we've ever had; wouldn't it be great if we could keep this kind of talented individual on the hill 'till graduation...like Peyton, etc. Can always dream for the best! The NFL will always be there, but 4 years of being on the Hill...PRICELESS!!!!!

Go Vols - All the Time - Vol for Life - Believe!

born2ride writes:

<sigh> If only we had linebackers and linemen.

givehim6 writes:

I can see the next great UT safty/DB is being groomed for his day in the sun.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

Randolph will play in the NFL. Dude caused 3 or 4 fumbles last year and didn't start but about half the games. The Gatorade player of the year in the state of Ga playing for Tennessee. Now that's what I'm talking about!

AllVol1 writes:

I am really excited. BR emerged last year as a freshman, continued to improve throughout season. Now he and Brewer will be back there with Byron Moore coming on strong in spring, too. Our secondary will be stout if our DB's really can cover man to man. Go Vols!

TitanandVolfan4life writes:

If he stays for his senior year and graduates then he'll be a 1st round pick in the NFL as long as he keeps working hard and learning to keep getting better.

Keep pushing yourself and everyone else young man and we'll keep cheering you on.

VFL...GBO!!!

DannyVol writes:

in response to born2ride:

<sigh> If only we had linebackers and linemen.

At LB, we only have A.J. Johnson, who recorded 80 tackles and was a freshman all-American last year and fellow sophomore Curt Maggitt, who recorded 56 tackles. Throw in the return of Herman Lathers, who had 75 tackles in 2010 and a switch to the 3-4 that will allow Jacques Smith to play LB quite a bit, and the cupboard isn't exactly bare at LB. With the addition of a few highly touted freshman coming in, some say it's pretty well stocked.

On the defensive line, we have a group of defensive tackles who will fit the 3-4 like a glove. Jucos Sentimore and McCullers were 4-star recruits and O'Brien was a 4-star high school player that the entire nation was after. Add in players like Couch and Walls and size, depth, and quality at DT isn't a problem anymore.

So, you can take that <sigh> ... somewhere else.

Huttdawg100 writes:

in response to frblalack:

Brian Randolph - All American!!!

Been saying this for a while, he's the best safety we've had since EB! He may turn out to be the best safety we've ever had; wouldn't it be great if we could keep this kind of talented individual on the hill 'till graduation...like Peyton, etc. Can always dream for the best! The NFL will always be there, but 4 years of being on the Hill...PRICELESS!!!!!

Go Vols - All the Time - Vol for Life - Believe!

McNeil is coming this summer too. We've got some talent at defensive back. What's the depth chart at corner? I'm assuming Prentiss Waggner is at one. What about the other?

rich182x writes:

in response to lofter:

He had me at "start saying stuff."

The greatest of leaders! lol

volfanz writes:

in response to frblalack:

Brian Randolph - All American!!!

Been saying this for a while, he's the best safety we've had since EB! He may turn out to be the best safety we've ever had; wouldn't it be great if we could keep this kind of talented individual on the hill 'till graduation...like Peyton, etc. Can always dream for the best! The NFL will always be there, but 4 years of being on the Hill...PRICELESS!!!!!

Go Vols - All the Time - Vol for Life - Believe!

He may end up being great, but EB was just about a once in a lifetime-or-so athlete that we were blessed to have. Berry was out of this world!

volfanz writes:

in response to DannyVol:

At LB, we only have A.J. Johnson, who recorded 80 tackles and was a freshman all-American last year and fellow sophomore Curt Maggitt, who recorded 56 tackles. Throw in the return of Herman Lathers, who had 75 tackles in 2010 and a switch to the 3-4 that will allow Jacques Smith to play LB quite a bit, and the cupboard isn't exactly bare at LB. With the addition of a few highly touted freshman coming in, some say it's pretty well stocked.

On the defensive line, we have a group of defensive tackles who will fit the 3-4 like a glove. Jucos Sentimore and McCullers were 4-star recruits and O'Brien was a 4-star high school player that the entire nation was after. Add in players like Couch and Walls and size, depth, and quality at DT isn't a problem anymore.

So, you can take that <sigh> ... somewhere else.

Wish I could "LIKE" this post, lol! You hit it dead on my man. This is the best we have looked in years. If our Offense can get the ground game going and keep our defense from going onto the field every two minutes, we will be more than ok.....It's all about the run game!

brokendownoldvol writes:

All I heard this time last yr. was how great the secondary was going to be and it turned out to be probably the worst in school history.

AllVol1 writes:

in response to brokendownoldvol:

All I heard this time last yr. was how great the secondary was going to be and it turned out to be probably the worst in school history.

But if you look back, it was not the coaches saying it, it was the press. Things like the fact that Justin Coleman broke up two passes in a row to Justin Hunter. That got blown out of proportion. And this year I hear the coaches saying they like the attitude/effort, but that we still have a long way to go. The press will spin to sell. That's a given.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to brokendownoldvol:

All I heard this time last yr. was how great the secondary was going to be and it turned out to be probably the worst in school history.

In all fairness, I think when we had to move Prentiss to safety it crushed us. He's an all conference level CB, but an average to good safety. So that left us with the loss of a superb CB and a downgrade at safety due to injury/dismissal (Janzen). Having him at CB with solid safeties as well as depth at safety should leave us in much better shape. There should also be good comp at the other CB spot. Between Gordon, Lanier, and Coleman, we should have a really good corner to play opposite of Prentiss.

CB-Prentiss
CB-Lanier/Gordon/Coleman (whoever wins out)
FS-Randolph
SS-Brewer

That's pretty darn solid if you ask me. And I don't know what it is about Randolph and Prentiss, but EVERY time the ball pops loose or is intercepted one of those two just always seem to be involved. Can't explain it, just seems to happen that way. Some guys just have that about them. You always want a guy on your team like that. Rarely do you have two of them. Two of them playing in the same unit at that. So I don't disagree with your assessment of last years defensive backfield, they were pretty bad. But I do think they have the chance to be better this year, a good deal better.

PUL4VOLS writes:

Guess we will only know for sure when the fall gets here. I am hopeful we will show the improvement we wanted last year. Maybe just maybe...ok trolls come on now.

rockytn2jc writes:

Brent Brewer will not be starting at safety....

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to rockytn2jc:

Brent Brewer will not be starting at safety....

Who will? Perhaps Byron Moore?

rockytn2jc writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

Who will? Perhaps Byron Moore?

I hope so, but Brewer will be playing linebacker...

witcherjk10 writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

In all fairness, I think when we had to move Prentiss to safety it crushed us. He's an all conference level CB, but an average to good safety. So that left us with the loss of a superb CB and a downgrade at safety due to injury/dismissal (Janzen). Having him at CB with solid safeties as well as depth at safety should leave us in much better shape. There should also be good comp at the other CB spot. Between Gordon, Lanier, and Coleman, we should have a really good corner to play opposite of Prentiss.

CB-Prentiss
CB-Lanier/Gordon/Coleman (whoever wins out)
FS-Randolph
SS-Brewer

That's pretty darn solid if you ask me. And I don't know what it is about Randolph and Prentiss, but EVERY time the ball pops loose or is intercepted one of those two just always seem to be involved. Can't explain it, just seems to happen that way. Some guys just have that about them. You always want a guy on your team like that. Rarely do you have two of them. Two of them playing in the same unit at that. So I don't disagree with your assessment of last years defensive backfield, they were pretty bad. But I do think they have the chance to be better this year, a good deal better.

Throw LaDarrell McNeil on that list as well. The kid is fast and can absolutely lay the wood. I know its all conjecture at this point, but some of the recruiting experts have said he is the most SEC-ready player in the class, after Patterson.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to 45ReVOLver:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Not big on Teague. I think he gives his best effort, but we simply have better guys IMO. I agree with the switch to the 3-4. It might take a bit for the transition to fully set in.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to witcherjk10:

Throw LaDarrell McNeil on that list as well. The kid is fast and can absolutely lay the wood. I know its all conjecture at this point, but some of the recruiting experts have said he is the most SEC-ready player in the class, after Patterson.

I've not forgotten about McNiel. I just don't put much stock in freshmen coming in at DB and being dominant. Not being negative. It's just a hard position to shine at as a freshman. Plus I think we have enough depth to where we shouldn't have to rely on freshman unless he's just the best we have. JMO.

BleednUrnge81 writes:

in response to born2ride:

<sigh> If only we had linebackers and linemen.

are you serious? you get the hell out of here right now!!!!! come on man, we have the backers. and now that jacques smith is comin off the edge standing as an olb, he will kill some quarterbacks.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to BleednUrnge81:

are you serious? you get the hell out of here right now!!!!! come on man, we have the backers. and now that jacques smith is comin off the edge standing as an olb, he will kill some quarterbacks.

I ain't gonna lie...You just got me fired up!!!!

GerryOP writes:

Stay cool guys, we still have 138 days to go ... and counting!

Everything we are hearing sounds good and it just keeps getting better every day. Maybe it's time to welcome our footVols back to the Top 25.

All Vol... All Day... Every day...

GerryOP writes:

A guy who appears to be a well-respected poster on VQ just pridicted our Vols winning the SEC East ... this year! Interesting...

Navaloranges writes:

in response to GerryOP:

A guy who appears to be a well-respected poster on VQ just pridicted our Vols winning the SEC East ... this year! Interesting...

Dooley should be getting more credit for the last two years as far as rebuilding our roster. We are in a position to AT LEAST compete for the East, in my opinion. A few "fans" have been too busy batching about our record to notice he's recruited for our needs, and recruited some very good players that are actually still here. By him bringing in some big DE/DT's from juco, he's even gotten us into shape to run the 3-4, which I believe has been his plan the whole time. I think he had a 2-3 year rebuilding plan that has prepared us for 2012 better than some folks realize. With all the youngsters getting so much playing time for the past two years, and even though the growing pains have been rough, I think the payoff is going to take some by surprise.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to GerryOP:

A guy who appears to be a well-respected poster on VQ just pridicted our Vols winning the SEC East ... this year! Interesting...

We should be in the thick of it. The talent is there as well as the depth. That's why I'm scratching my head when folks keep yelling 7-8 wins. I'm looking at the roster and wondering how someone could even think 7 wins is acceptable. 8 wins IMO is decent. I think we should have 9 wins INCLUDING a bowl game. This roster is loaded with talent and experience. Again, I'm not saying we should or shouldn't WIN the East, but we SHOULD be in the mix of things. From this season on, we SHOULD be Tennessee....meaning we should be tougher than nails.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to Navaloranges:

Dooley should be getting more credit for the last two years as far as rebuilding our roster. We are in a position to AT LEAST compete for the East, in my opinion. A few "fans" have been too busy batching about our record to notice he's recruited for our needs, and recruited some very good players that are actually still here. By him bringing in some big DE/DT's from juco, he's even gotten us into shape to run the 3-4, which I believe has been his plan the whole time. I think he had a 2-3 year rebuilding plan that has prepared us for 2012 better than some folks realize. With all the youngsters getting so much playing time for the past two years, and even though the growing pains have been rough, I think the payoff is going to take some by surprise.

I've never question the job he's done building the foundation to have success. IMO he's done a GREAT job of recruiting. The talent is there, starting this year, I don't think there needs to be much "re-building" talk, JMO. But I have questioned his coaching and decision making in game, but I don't think we need to get into that. However, he's endured a gutted program and valiantly re-built it talent wise. Now it's time to show us what he has. Don't mean that in a negative way, though it might sound like it. I'm just saying...folks talking about a 5 year re-building plan are smoking the ole peace pipe. Being that he HAS done such a good job recruiting, IMO we HAVE re-built. We've got a SOLID 2 deep, and it's not filled with scrubs. We've got the option to actually RS guys. This will be a VERY interesting year without a doubt.

VirtualMadness writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

I ain't gonna lie...You just got me fired up!!!!

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to VirtualMadness:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Feel better?

Navaloranges writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

I've never question the job he's done building the foundation to have success. IMO he's done a GREAT job of recruiting. The talent is there, starting this year, I don't think there needs to be much "re-building" talk, JMO. But I have questioned his coaching and decision making in game, but I don't think we need to get into that. However, he's endured a gutted program and valiantly re-built it talent wise. Now it's time to show us what he has. Don't mean that in a negative way, though it might sound like it. I'm just saying...folks talking about a 5 year re-building plan are smoking the ole peace pipe. Being that he HAS done such a good job recruiting, IMO we HAVE re-built. We've got a SOLID 2 deep, and it's not filled with scrubs. We've got the option to actually RS guys. This will be a VERY interesting year without a doubt.

I'll be expecting 8 wins, 9 if we really take to the 3-4 solidly. We just need two authentic 3-4 NT's for the whole year. That's sooo important to run that D. I absolutely agree that we are sufficiently rebuilt to compete in the East. I haven't been giving Dooley any "excuses", like some have accussed, I've just wanted him to have time. Time to rebuild the roster, and time for some of the young guys to get some PT. I think that's in place now. We not only have sufficient players and depth, we have some very good players with decent depth. We could use more depth as fart as PT goes, but at the same time, we should have enough to challenge anybody, and beat most.

As far as coaching goes. I guess I've given Dooley a pass on a few things as he's been getting accustomed to head coaching on the biggest stage in college football. I think he's the kind of guy that can and will learn from his mistakes. You're right, it should be a VERY interesting year. The first one I've looked forward to with REAL optimism in about 6 years of so.

Navaloranges writes:

in response to Navaloranges:

I'll be expecting 8 wins, 9 if we really take to the 3-4 solidly. We just need two authentic 3-4 NT's for the whole year. That's sooo important to run that D. I absolutely agree that we are sufficiently rebuilt to compete in the East. I haven't been giving Dooley any "excuses", like some have accussed, I've just wanted him to have time. Time to rebuild the roster, and time for some of the young guys to get some PT. I think that's in place now. We not only have sufficient players and depth, we have some very good players with decent depth. We could use more depth as fart as PT goes, but at the same time, we should have enough to challenge anybody, and beat most.

As far as coaching goes. I guess I've given Dooley a pass on a few things as he's been getting accustomed to head coaching on the biggest stage in college football. I think he's the kind of guy that can and will learn from his mistakes. You're right, it should be a VERY interesting year. The first one I've looked forward to with REAL optimism in about 6 years of so.

oops, meant "as FAR as PT" of course. PT is nothing to far (t) about...

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to Navaloranges:

I'll be expecting 8 wins, 9 if we really take to the 3-4 solidly. We just need two authentic 3-4 NT's for the whole year. That's sooo important to run that D. I absolutely agree that we are sufficiently rebuilt to compete in the East. I haven't been giving Dooley any "excuses", like some have accussed, I've just wanted him to have time. Time to rebuild the roster, and time for some of the young guys to get some PT. I think that's in place now. We not only have sufficient players and depth, we have some very good players with decent depth. We could use more depth as fart as PT goes, but at the same time, we should have enough to challenge anybody, and beat most.

As far as coaching goes. I guess I've given Dooley a pass on a few things as he's been getting accustomed to head coaching on the biggest stage in college football. I think he's the kind of guy that can and will learn from his mistakes. You're right, it should be a VERY interesting year. The first one I've looked forward to with REAL optimism in about 6 years of so.

Yeah, we pretty much have the same view. Our depth in a couple areas could handle a few snaps, but it's quality...in most areas blue-chip quality depth. In an earlier post I said 9 wins, that's after a bowl game. The talent is there to have 10 wins after a bowl. See, if we would have had 8-10 wins each of the past 5 years and then had this SAME EXACT roster this year, I think folks would be saying 9-10 wins. But the recent troubles with the program have caused some to second guess how talented this team is IMO, it's kinda like they've lessened their standards or expectations. They still think we are in re-build mode. I think this year comes down to coaching, barring we don't have a rash of injuries.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to Navaloranges:

I'll be expecting 8 wins, 9 if we really take to the 3-4 solidly. We just need two authentic 3-4 NT's for the whole year. That's sooo important to run that D. I absolutely agree that we are sufficiently rebuilt to compete in the East. I haven't been giving Dooley any "excuses", like some have accussed, I've just wanted him to have time. Time to rebuild the roster, and time for some of the young guys to get some PT. I think that's in place now. We not only have sufficient players and depth, we have some very good players with decent depth. We could use more depth as fart as PT goes, but at the same time, we should have enough to challenge anybody, and beat most.

As far as coaching goes. I guess I've given Dooley a pass on a few things as he's been getting accustomed to head coaching on the biggest stage in college football. I think he's the kind of guy that can and will learn from his mistakes. You're right, it should be a VERY interesting year. The first one I've looked forward to with REAL optimism in about 6 years of so.

In reality, I could see this season going two different ways. It's either gonna go exceptionally well, or it's gonna go bad with Dooley losing his job. I don't see a middle ground. JMO.

Navaloranges writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

Yeah, we pretty much have the same view. Our depth in a couple areas could handle a few snaps, but it's quality...in most areas blue-chip quality depth. In an earlier post I said 9 wins, that's after a bowl game. The talent is there to have 10 wins after a bowl. See, if we would have had 8-10 wins each of the past 5 years and then had this SAME EXACT roster this year, I think folks would be saying 9-10 wins. But the recent troubles with the program have caused some to second guess how talented this team is IMO, it's kinda like they've lessened their standards or expectations. They still think we are in re-build mode. I think this year comes down to coaching, barring we don't have a rash of injuries.

We certainly need a break from the injury bug. We've been hit pretty hard lately, and in the worst possible positions. The only "rebuilding" we have left is rebuilding our depth all around. Especially for the 3-4 defense. We need bigger D-linemen in our 2's and 3's there. We also need a premeir RB, and a couple more rangey/big LBs.

I think most fans are gunshy because they (some) only see the W-L column. That simply isn't going to work in modern football. To get the w's, especially in the SEC, you need fluidity. Something we lacked UNTIL Dooley took over. I think he's been great for the program as far as stability for our players. On and off the field. IMO, this is the first year he can be judged on coaching ability. And you and I both know he WILL be judged. I expect him to pass muster. I'm looking forward to it.

VirtualMadness writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

In reality, I could see this season going two different ways. It's either gonna go exceptionally well, or it's gonna go bad with Dooley losing his job. I don't see a middle ground. JMO.

"either", "or" ? no in-betweens, ay buddy? just like posts & posters to you?

AllVol1 writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

I've never question the job he's done building the foundation to have success. IMO he's done a GREAT job of recruiting. The talent is there, starting this year, I don't think there needs to be much "re-building" talk, JMO. But I have questioned his coaching and decision making in game, but I don't think we need to get into that. However, he's endured a gutted program and valiantly re-built it talent wise. Now it's time to show us what he has. Don't mean that in a negative way, though it might sound like it. I'm just saying...folks talking about a 5 year re-building plan are smoking the ole peace pipe. Being that he HAS done such a good job recruiting, IMO we HAVE re-built. We've got a SOLID 2 deep, and it's not filled with scrubs. We've got the option to actually RS guys. This will be a VERY interesting year without a doubt.

I agree with these reviews, Rich. Despite the state of affairs and seemingly continual turnover in staff, Dooley has hauled in two good classes and saved a top-15 class when he was hired a month before signing day. Stellar job. Now we have talent, depth, and experience.

The questions remain, in my mind, about his ability to be a true sideline general. I hope his detractors eat crow this year, but he is going to have to prove it. This is the first year, I maintain, that his formerly valid excuses have expired. Go Vols!

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to AllVol1:

I agree with these reviews, Rich. Despite the state of affairs and seemingly continual turnover in staff, Dooley has hauled in two good classes and saved a top-15 class when he was hired a month before signing day. Stellar job. Now we have talent, depth, and experience.

The questions remain, in my mind, about his ability to be a true sideline general. I hope his detractors eat crow this year, but he is going to have to prove it. This is the first year, I maintain, that his formerly valid excuses have expired. Go Vols!

third that. I know the first staff was "hurry up", I know the talent was suspect and that the depth was just not there, without another long list of a+ improvement this year, ???

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to AllVol1:

I agree with these reviews, Rich. Despite the state of affairs and seemingly continual turnover in staff, Dooley has hauled in two good classes and saved a top-15 class when he was hired a month before signing day. Stellar job. Now we have talent, depth, and experience.

The questions remain, in my mind, about his ability to be a true sideline general. I hope his detractors eat crow this year, but he is going to have to prove it. This is the first year, I maintain, that his formerly valid excuses have expired. Go Vols!

And I will be the first in line to eat a big plate of crow. I will have no choice but to do so as I have been critical of him. But he will determine if he's gonna be our coach or not, no need to keep beating a dead horse over this and that. I still have my concerns about him as a coach. But he's done good job loading the roster. And I would be lying if I said this was the same team he's sent on the field the past two years....it's not. Things are looking good roster wise, really good. So all I can hope for is to see the guys stay healthy so we can get confirmation on what type of coach he is, good or bad. We have the horses to do big things....not next year, not in year five, this year IMO.

VirtualMadness writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

And I will be the first in line to eat a big plate of crow. I will have no choice but to do so as I have been critical of him. But he will determine if he's gonna be our coach or not, no need to keep beating a dead horse over this and that. I still have my concerns about him as a coach. But he's done good job loading the roster. And I would be lying if I said this was the same team he's sent on the field the past two years....it's not. Things are looking good roster wise, really good. So all I can hope for is to see the guys stay healthy so we can get confirmation on what type of coach he is, good or bad. We have the horses to do big things....not next year, not in year five, this year IMO.

Yeah, why don't you go do that Rich, go chug down a BIG BIG plate of crow while in the process of making a formal apology to "you-know-who" and to KNS for trying to take the helm of their very public forum!!!!!

BleednUrnge81 writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

I ain't gonna lie...You just got me fired up!!!!

that's what i'm here for Rich my man, to get our fanbase fired up and realize that this team is finally deep, finally experienced, and finally ready. Offense is stacked, so is the D. To all you Dooley haters who trash his w/l record: you are all idiots. Recognize he was head coach AND A.D. at LA Tech, and he inherited a bare cupboard here in East Tennessee. He is a classy guy who does have coaching ability. I mean, he is no Nick Saban, but who is but Nick Saban. So Rick, i'm glad i was able to fire you up and to the haters, have mommy fill up your sippy cup and take a nap. I'm callin' you out toddy boy, you waste of fandom. Go stalk nick saban mouth breather. Peace out, GBO, and have a good'n.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to BleednUrnge81:

that's what i'm here for Rich my man, to get our fanbase fired up and realize that this team is finally deep, finally experienced, and finally ready. Offense is stacked, so is the D. To all you Dooley haters who trash his w/l record: you are all idiots. Recognize he was head coach AND A.D. at LA Tech, and he inherited a bare cupboard here in East Tennessee. He is a classy guy who does have coaching ability. I mean, he is no Nick Saban, but who is but Nick Saban. So Rick, i'm glad i was able to fire you up and to the haters, have mommy fill up your sippy cup and take a nap. I'm callin' you out toddy boy, you waste of fandom. Go stalk nick saban mouth breather. Peace out, GBO, and have a good'n.

It was actually when you told him to get the h--- out of here when I got fired up. Well the kill the QB part did it too!

GerryOP writes:

in response to Navaloranges:

Dooley should be getting more credit for the last two years as far as rebuilding our roster. We are in a position to AT LEAST compete for the East, in my opinion. A few "fans" have been too busy batching about our record to notice he's recruited for our needs, and recruited some very good players that are actually still here. By him bringing in some big DE/DT's from juco, he's even gotten us into shape to run the 3-4, which I believe has been his plan the whole time. I think he had a 2-3 year rebuilding plan that has prepared us for 2012 better than some folks realize. With all the youngsters getting so much playing time for the past two years, and even though the growing pains have been rough, I think the payoff is going to take some by surprise.

IMHO, Coach Dooley has delivered exactly what he promised .... a team built on a solid foundation which, in the long term, will deliver victories. I think the "long term" starts September 1.

GerryOP writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

We should be in the thick of it. The talent is there as well as the depth. That's why I'm scratching my head when folks keep yelling 7-8 wins. I'm looking at the roster and wondering how someone could even think 7 wins is acceptable. 8 wins IMO is decent. I think we should have 9 wins INCLUDING a bowl game. This roster is loaded with talent and experience. Again, I'm not saying we should or shouldn't WIN the East, but we SHOULD be in the mix of things. From this season on, we SHOULD be Tennessee....meaning we should be tougher than nails.

Simply put Rich, the future is now. We be back... 137 days.

VAvolfanRON writes:

in response to GerryOP:

IMHO, Coach Dooley has delivered exactly what he promised .... a team built on a solid foundation which, in the long term, will deliver victories. I think the "long term" starts September 1.

thats my opinion...or we could fire him and go back another 3 years~~~~

we are coming along....for the neysayers, check out frank beamers record his first years..

and im a fulmerite

Navaloranges writes:

in response to VAvolfanRON:

thats my opinion...or we could fire him and go back another 3 years~~~~

we are coming along....for the neysayers, check out frank beamers record his first years..

and im a fulmerite

We're all "Fulmerites" in the sense that we loved coach Fulmer, and appreciated everything he did for UT while he had the "it" factor going. The problem is some don't see that he became complacent and too routine. The "Fulmerites" most refer to on here are the ones like "brett" and his minion of screen names that believe Fuilmer is the ONLY and ULTIMATE answer for UT football regardless of any other factor saying otherwise. Basically narrow minded individuals that can't see the forest for the trees. You don't seem to fall into that catagory.

Navaloranges writes:

in response to BleednUrnge81:

that's what i'm here for Rich my man, to get our fanbase fired up and realize that this team is finally deep, finally experienced, and finally ready. Offense is stacked, so is the D. To all you Dooley haters who trash his w/l record: you are all idiots. Recognize he was head coach AND A.D. at LA Tech, and he inherited a bare cupboard here in East Tennessee. He is a classy guy who does have coaching ability. I mean, he is no Nick Saban, but who is but Nick Saban. So Rick, i'm glad i was able to fire you up and to the haters, have mommy fill up your sippy cup and take a nap. I'm callin' you out toddy boy, you waste of fandom. Go stalk nick saban mouth breather. Peace out, GBO, and have a good'n.

Love it! I wonder if toddygirl is the kind of "fan" you have to draw a picture for, for her to understand anything. She's the poster girl for the simple minded folks that ONLY see a W-L record and don't comprehend the outlying factors, such as rebuilding and the time that kind of thing takes. People like her are only interested in division because of their bias and uneducated opinions.

brokendownoldvol writes:

The real coaching brilliance showed thru last yr. when they moveed Anderson from saftey to receiver(bench). As I recall he was a play maker at safety when he did play and we had no safeties. I just have 0 confidence in TN's coaches right now. Teague who never played defense in HS and suked at DB should have been moved to reciever.

GerryOP writes:

in response to VAvolfanRON:

thats my opinion...or we could fire him and go back another 3 years~~~~

we are coming along....for the neysayers, check out frank beamers record his first years..

and im a fulmerite

Correct! Or look at Saban's 1st 4 years at MSU -- 25-22-1 overall and 17-14-1 in Big 10.

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