John Adams: Vols make impression from a distance

John Adams

JOHNSON CITY — Saturday was a great day for knocking off a liquor store in these parts.

Johnson City's finest were preoccupied elsewhere, making sure no one got too close of a peek at the Tennessee football team as it scrimmaged at Science Hill High School.

One city policeman patrolled the streets. Another manned his squad car in the parking lot. Another was on foot.

And I won't even guess how many security guards might have been working undercover.

Volunteers from nearby Milligan College provided additional security. They were distinguished from the professionals in that they were wearing green shirts and presumably not packing.

Our nuclear facilities should be as well fortified. No 82-year-old nun was penetrating this force. If Y-12 were as secure, we'd all feel a lot safer.

But don't get the wrong idea. You still could watch the Vols at work.

You just had to watch them from a distance.

About a football field's length from the playing field, a 100-or-so UT fans gathered atop a hill, determined to get an early, though faraway view, of their favorite team.

A few had lawn chairs. Another sat on a beach towel. Some sat on the

hoods of cars and trucks.

Several were dressed for the occasion.

"It Is On" read one orange T-shirt. "Stay Victorious," read another. A more creative — though inappropriate for a family newspaper — T-shirt message was aimed at the Florida Gators.

The serious fans were distinguished from the others by binoculars, which made the scrimmage as viewable as a game from the upper deck of Neyland Stadium.

Jerry Buckles, a 1976 UT graduate, rarely lowered his binoculars below eye level during the two-hour scrimmage. A few feet away, brothers Darrin and Eric Rowe watched just as intently.

They know their Vols.

When wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers made a noteworthy catch a football field away, they immediately wondered aloud if he would talk trash to his defenders.

"Look, he's dancing," one said. Everybody else laughed.

It was a good time on this particular hill at Science Hill, where you could see reminders of last season as well as evidence as to why this team could be much better.

There were a couple of errant center snaps from the shotgun formation. Remember those? No. 3 quarterback Nathan Peterman mishandled another snap under center.

Quarterback Tyler Bray took advantage of good blocking to throw effectively (18-for-31 for 189 yards) and extended a couple of plays with scrambles.

Even from our distant perch, we knew running back Rajion Neal was the star of the scrimmage before statistics were made available. Neal flashed his speed and cutting ability in rushing for 134 yards on nine carries.

Neal's 68-yard touchdown run was the highlight of the scrimmage from my vantage point, but he was running toward our hill. Freshman Quenshaun Watson's 61-yard touchdown run went the other way, and the last third of it was blocked by the corner of a building.

Freshman Justin King was a more surprising sight with the ball in his arms. Just after being moved from linebacker to tight end, the former high school quarterback lined up at quarterback in the Wildcat formation.

Junior college transfer Daniel McCullers also stuck out — for obvious reasons. His size (6-foot-6, 362 at last report) has been a topic of conversation since he was signed. In preseason camp, how he has played has warranted as much attention as how big he is.

"He's a force to move," backup quarterback Justin Worley said. "It takes two or three guys to get him out of a hole.

"Our guys are getting a little frustrated trying to block him. He's a great asset to our defensive front."

I couldn't confirm that assessment from where I sat. But even 100 yards away, I didn't need binoculars to identify McCullers.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns.

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Comments » 24

CrankE writes:

"A more creative — though inappropriate for a family newspaper — T-shirt message was aimed at the Florida Gators."

Translation: It was true and would offend KNS' primary demographic-trolls. Therefore it won't be printed here.

As the Soviets used to say of their two news organs, Pravda (Truth) and Izvestiya (News); There is no truth in the news and no news in the truth. You can apply this theme to KNS and GoVolsXtraPlusSupreme247FreeForALimitedTimeOnlyHurry!!!

Fire Debby...Again!

tapeworm writes:

Not trying to be negative, but since when is 18 for 31, "throwing effectively"? That's 58%, which is no where in the neighborhood of UT's vaunted passing offense hype.

tovolny writes:

John, good job here. I hope you see and understand that, because of you, sports reporters are no longer allowed to get up close. If your loyalty to the Vols was not in question, then news media types would be permitted to take a sideline view. I know your lack of access to the Vols irks you in the worse way. I now know that you actually root for UT, but your reputation and your anti-Vol work has finally caught up with you. I hope you can get this straightened out with Dooley. Why not talk to him, man to man, and settle the little miff you two have going?

VictorKruger writes:

in response to tovolny:

John, good job here. I hope you see and understand that, because of you, sports reporters are no longer allowed to get up close. If your loyalty to the Vols was not in question, then news media types would be permitted to take a sideline view. I know your lack of access to the Vols irks you in the worse way. I now know that you actually root for UT, but your reputation and your anti-Vol work has finally caught up with you. I hope you can get this straightened out with Dooley. Why not talk to him, man to man, and settle the little miff you two have going?

Do you understand that John Adams job is to sell newspapers, and to not to wear Big-Orange tinted glasses? Part of his job of selling newspapers is to make readers react to what he writes, and he's wildly succeeded with you and many others. If you want nothing but a positive spin on the Vols, check out utsports.com.

therightstuff writes:

Can't believe Adams didn't bit@% that he was provide a full buffet that sportswriters believe are their given right.
Those who can.....do
Those who can't...coach
Those who can do neither....sportswriters

pingkr62 writes:

Nice to see the words "Good Blocking" in an article relating to the Vols. G.B.O.!!!

123forVOLS writes:

Let's get to Aug. 31 and the Dome. GO BIG ORANGE!

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

Good to hear Bray speak highly of McCullers..A 3--4 defense can't be effective if the nose guard isn't disruptive and tying up 2 blockers.

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

in response to MerlotGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Did you really use "our"? Did you really use "funner"? You really should finish your GED.

Slimeball troll.

BristolTnVol writes:

THANKS FOR GIVING NC STATE SCOUTING REPORT

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Adams not privy to close up action........that's good. It's best to keep him as far away from the action as possible.
If he were on the scene, he'd think he was back to his former role as 'coach' as he was at that O & W game. They only let him do that to soothe his ego inasmuch as the media was not allowed to know all that was going on.

TKO writes:

Special teams, special teams, special teams,
Punting, kick off return coverage, field goals...this will play huge this year for the Vols.

orangecountyvols writes:

BigOrangeFever 76,

Very accurate description of the troll, AA Merlot. Quite an insult to the Vols when such as this throw in the "we, us, and our" isn't it?

Thank goodness he'll never qualify to be one of the Vol supporters. What a loser.........

AtLannaVol writes:

in response to therightstuff:

Can't believe Adams didn't bit@% that he was provide a full buffet that sportswriters believe are their given right.
Those who can.....do
Those who can't...coach
Those who can do neither....sportswriters

Those who can...do
Those who can't...coach
Those who can do neither...sportswriters

Really.
Really?
Where does that leave you?

Those who dropped out and can't do any of the above...just fling their dung and criticize.

Give it rest bobo.

Couchdummy writes:

in response to VictorKruger:

Do you understand that John Adams job is to sell newspapers, and to not to wear Big-Orange tinted glasses? Part of his job of selling newspapers is to make readers react to what he writes, and he's wildly succeeded with you and many others. If you want nothing but a positive spin on the Vols, check out utsports.com.

Thank you Mrs Adams.

tovolny writes:

in response to VictorKruger:

Do you understand that John Adams job is to sell newspapers, and to not to wear Big-Orange tinted glasses? Part of his job of selling newspapers is to make readers react to what he writes, and he's wildly succeeded with you and many others. If you want nothing but a positive spin on the Vols, check out utsports.com.

How about going back and reading my first sentence. And, if I am not way off course, this is a web site, not a newspaper. After talking with several people at KNS, I probably understand where John is coming from as well as any poster. I know John, and John knows me. John even helped me clean out my garage last month. But, I still rag him when he rags the Vols. It is our way of me telling him that he has hit the right nerve.

AllforTenn writes:

The theme of this article is, "Even though I am John Adams they made me observe practice like I was just a fan. Shame on the coaching staff."

AllforTenn writes:

in response to tovolny:

How about going back and reading my first sentence. And, if I am not way off course, this is a web site, not a newspaper. After talking with several people at KNS, I probably understand where John is coming from as well as any poster. I know John, and John knows me. John even helped me clean out my garage last month. But, I still rag him when he rags the Vols. It is our way of me telling him that he has hit the right nerve.

I am sure John appreciates your comment. Maybe he will help you again. I still miss Tom Siler, a good sports editor.

creekroad writes:

in response to AllforTenn:

I am sure John appreciates your comment. Maybe he will help you again. I still miss Tom Siler, a good sports editor.

John is not the sports editor...just a columnist ..look it up

Stooley_Dinks writes:

in response to tapeworm:

Not trying to be negative, but since when is 18 for 31, "throwing effectively"? That's 58%, which is no where in the neighborhood of UT's vaunted passing offense hype.

In all fairness, if the coaches are experimenting with plays or players, then you should not expect much better.

wagee12 writes:

Who is the bigger crybaby, Adams or that self centered little jerk, Wes Rucker. Get over yourselves, you clowns are the worst college media in the nation and you have earned that richly deserved distinction. What't the matter, utsports.com beating you to the punch too much.

DannyVol writes:

in response to tovolny:

John, good job here. I hope you see and understand that, because of you, sports reporters are no longer allowed to get up close. If your loyalty to the Vols was not in question, then news media types would be permitted to take a sideline view. I know your lack of access to the Vols irks you in the worse way. I now know that you actually root for UT, but your reputation and your anti-Vol work has finally caught up with you. I hope you can get this straightened out with Dooley. Why not talk to him, man to man, and settle the little miff you two have going?

Adams has earned his place in a parking lot 100 yards away from the team. Those super-negative stories that he saves for weekends when top recruits and their families are in town are reason enough. Tennessee extended the olive branch in Dooley's first spring here, and Adams promptly tossed it to the ground and stepped on it. Remember Adams being the coach of one of the sidelines during the O&W game? He accepted the "position" and then mocked the program immediately afterward. That's the reason he is not allowed to cover the very program that butters his bread. He's irrelevant, obsolete, and any other newspaper would have fired him. In Fayetteville, they fire reporters for wearing a Florida hat; in Knoxville they allow the sports editor to use his position to inflict as much damage as the position allows. Let his sorry ___ sit in a dumpster behind Neyland Stadium as far as I'm concerned.

mrvol2u writes:

in response to DannyVol:

Adams has earned his place in a parking lot 100 yards away from the team. Those super-negative stories that he saves for weekends when top recruits and their families are in town are reason enough. Tennessee extended the olive branch in Dooley's first spring here, and Adams promptly tossed it to the ground and stepped on it. Remember Adams being the coach of one of the sidelines during the O&W game? He accepted the "position" and then mocked the program immediately afterward. That's the reason he is not allowed to cover the very program that butters his bread. He's irrelevant, obsolete, and any other newspaper would have fired him. In Fayetteville, they fire reporters for wearing a Florida hat; in Knoxville they allow the sports editor to use his position to inflict as much damage as the position allows. Let his sorry ___ sit in a dumpster behind Neyland Stadium as far as I'm concerned.

Now, that is "trash talking"!

BigOrangeDan writes:

History will show CDD is the best move the Vols have made in several years. He wants to be here and he wants the Vols to succeed. It will take time John Adams. Adams is another reporter that has never played any organized sport but thinks he is an expert of the game. GBO

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