Tennessee coach Derek Dooley and the Vols had the "pleasure" of meeting with a throng of Knoxville media Thursday. The smiles were wide, the hopes were high, the news was light. Thus, some random observations.
Is there an area of concern larger than the running game and was there a larger man in the room than Antonio "Tiny" Richardson?The arrow points to no for both. As a result, the 6-foot-6, 332-pound left tackle is looking to help solve the first. "As far as the run game, we're going in with right mindset. We're going to be better. I promise you." Richardson said. Big words from a big man.
Speaking of Tiny, the sophomore sat beside receiver Justin Hunter on the podium inside Neyland Stadium's Stokely Media Center. His left shoulder was the size of Hunter's chest.
Hunter said the anterior cruciate ligament he tore in his left knee last September is fine, the wheels are back and the tread isn't worn. Somewhere, quarterback Tyler Bray was smiling. Somewhere else, SEC defensive coordinators were burying their heads in their palms.
Those defensive coordinators also weren't pleased to hear these nine words from Hunter:"CP can do things Da'Rick and I can't do."
Considering Hunter runs like a track star (because he was one) and Da'Rick Rogers is a physical receiver with spectacular athleticism, it's hard to fathom exactly what juco wunderkind Cordarrelle Patterson can do.
As for the initials CP, expect them to stick. When first mentioning Patterson, Dooley added, "We'll just say CP from now on because his name is hard to pronounce."
If you're curious, the official pronunciation is CORE-dare-uhl. Or at least that's what we think.
You're on your own with Patterson.
In other nickname news, Richardson explained that "Tiny" was born in Nashville and followed him to Knoxville.
"The guys back home came up with a bunch of different things, but they were too long," he said. "Finally it was 'Big Tiny.' Now it's just Tiny and it's stuck."
Dooley's news conference spanned just more than 22 minutes. The mandatory "Is Da'Rick Rogers suspended" question was the 23rd of the 31 fired at Dooley.His answer, succinctly, was, "No. I don't know what you're talking about."
Our favorite quote, meanwhile, belonged to senior offensive lineman Dallas Thomas, who delivered this dandy, "You can't cook, son."The target was fellow senior Prentiss Waggner, who was boasting of his barbecue sauce skills.
The two Louisiana natives are clearly at odds over who delivers the better sauce.
We'll keep you updated in this developing story.