Derek Dooley throws 'a bone', lets Vols return early

Tennessee QB Tyler Bray works with RB Rajion Neal during practice Wednesday, Aug.15, 2012, at Milligan College.  (DAVID CRIGGER/BRISTOL HERALD COURIER)

Tennessee QB Tyler Bray works with RB Rajion Neal during practice Wednesday, Aug.15, 2012, at Milligan College. (DAVID CRIGGER/BRISTOL HERALD COURIER)

Tennessee's final day of practice at Milligan College

ELIZABETHTON — Tennessee’s final morning football practice at Milligan College on Wednesday was cut short by dark, ominous skies and lightning in the distance.

Coach Derek Dooley was satisfied enough with the team's progress, however, that he canceled the evening practice and let the team return to Knoxville a day earlier than planned.

"When Smokey's been hunting the way you want him to hunt, you throw that dog a bone," Dooley said in a UT release.

Dooley said practice was a bit more "edgy" than normal Wednesday morning, as the grueling week has taken its toll on players.

"It's been good for team camaraderie, but at some point they start getting on each other's nerves," Dooley said. "But they're handling it the right way."

Even coaches have seen too much of each other.

"It's getting a little edgy in that staff room, too," Dooley said. "I need to see my wife."

* During the portion of practice open to reporters, Dooley can often be seen exhorting players, teaching technique or striding from station to station to monitor drills.

On Wednesday, he added quarterback to his job duties. Dooley tossed passes during a drill for receivers and defensive backs. He showed nice form, if not a Tyler Bray-like arm.

"I just got bored. I'm trying to get a little energy out there," Dooley joked. "I hadn't thrown it in a while and I've got a pretty good arm, I think."

* The last day at Milligan was greeted with relief by players eager to return home, but most still found value in the weeklong off-campus training camp.

"Coach Dooley has preached about being comfortable in uncomfortable situations, and I think this will help us a lot in the upcoming season," said junior nose tackle Daniel Hood. "Up here we don't have a lot of the things that we have in Knoxville. You get used to playing without having a cold tub or not having 1,800 Gatorades. Up here I barely have my phone on me. We don't have Internet. We weren't allowed to bring our computers. The only thing we have is our teammates."

Sophomore safety Brian Randolph said dorm life at Milligan involved "a lot of funny jokes that no one will know about."

"There have been a lot of good memories," he said.

* Speaking of Hood, Dooley praised him extensively Wednesday. That would suggest that Hood still will have an important role in the defensive line rotation, even after falling behind Dan McCullers at nose tackle.

"I kept telling (the defensive coaches) that they were going to like Dan Hood, and it's proven out," Dooley said. "He's tough, he's smart, he's dependable, he's a fighter and he's going to help us."

* Senior tight end Mychal Rivera (knee) is close to 100 percent and should be practicing without any restrictions soon, Dooley said. Freshman safety LaDarrell McNeil (hamstring) also wore a red jersey Wednesday.

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Comments » 53

voloffaith writes:

TSRIF.....wow that was special not...."I've got a new attitude...." Coach and VOLS pulling for you!!

MemphoVol writes:

in response to voloffaith:

TSRIF.....wow that was special not...."I've got a new attitude...." Coach and VOLS pulling for you!!

Lighten up, dude. These off site practices were designed for team unity - something that apparently has been lacking the last couple of years. It sounds like they accomplished that for both the players and coaches.

SavTnVol writes:

"It's getting a little edgy in that staff room, too," Dooley said. "I need to see my wife.".....a little built up tension there, huh coach? LOL, bones never lie...

SavTnVol writes:

Looks like that Grant Ramey is being a cry baby about UT canceling their practice tonite..Grow a set there guy if your gonna report on our VOLS. It ain't all sugar and lollipops out there

jobrando#216494 writes:

The year of Dooley is close to being determined

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Is coach still eligible? Can we use that arm?

clvolfan writes:

Only 16 more days to kickoff.
Go get'm VOLS,get this season started with a bang.

VolzsFan writes:

in response to MemphoVol:

Lighten up, dude. These off site practices were designed for team unity - something that apparently has been lacking the last couple of years. It sounds like they accomplished that for both the players and coaches.

What has been missing is the 44 kids Kiffin lost or ran off. Coupled with his horrific recruiting class and you got perpetual 500 football.

VolzsFan writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Prostar writes:

I think this was a good move, getting away from the comfortable surroundings in Knoxville while the move into the new athletic facility takes place. Serves as a reminder of what they have to lose and what wonderful facilities are provided them. For once we have depth all around the roster, no serious legal infractions and some leadership. While Bama has reported 27 secondary infractions we don't have any reported that I'm aware of, things certainly are looking up, I'm enthused.

exlineman writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

peabody Jim, I see you are back as do beanvol and volzsfan again answering your self. You won't have as much time to be on here once the season starts, having to drill for your usher duties over at peabody candy land. Watch for the shootouts from the punks over there. yes, folks do remember the punks at peabody are the only school in the SEC to have an actual shootout with their punk football players. Peabody likes to hide their high crime rate on campus, but as the Nash. Tennessean came out a couple of years ago and reported their crime rate on campus was higher than UT's. They can't hide everything over there even though they try.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to SavTnVol:

"It's getting a little edgy in that staff room, too," Dooley said. "I need to see my wife.".....a little built up tension there, huh coach? LOL, bones never lie...

Witch Doctor say you set off Witch Doctors "Sue-dar" for infringements of copywrite material. lol
Bones never lie.

exlineman writes:

Peabody you do remember the cracks heads on the football team, as some them were gang bangers having their little shootout in the dorm. at candyland.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Great to hear how well the camp went and by the time UT meets NCSU they'll be ready to hit another color jersey..GBO!!

eVOLved writes:

I hope nobody told the talented former tight end from Memphis about the no computer policy for the road trip.

MooseandSquirrelVol writes:

"It's getting a little edgy in that staff room, too," Dooley said. "I need to see my wife."

Sex is a missdameaner.
Damore I miss,
Dameaner I get.

Vo2Vol writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say you set off Witch Doctors "Sue-dar" for infringements of copywrite material. lol
Bones never lie.

Thought you might have taken on a new name and then used old material. Of course, some things never get old, right?

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to Vo2Vol:

Thought you might have taken on a new name and then used old material. Of course, some things never get old, right?

Witch Doctor know your whining sure does.
Bones never lie.

Classof72 writes:

The whole Milligan's Island idea still seems goofy to me, but that's why CDD gets the big bucks. Sounds like the Island was a little short of Gingers and Mary Anns. Wonder if they'll sing "99 Bottles of Beer" for TB on the bus ride back to Volville. Hey, there's an idea! We could sing it every time TB throws a TD. One verse the first TD, two verses the 2nd TD, and so on. You gotta love these guys. It's like "The Junction Boys" meets "Animal House". GBO! It's gonna be a fun season.

GerryOP writes:

in response to WaltGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yah know Walt, that's a really funny post! You're the only guy on here who can spell "Nuh uh." However, the spelling of "baled" is certaily questionable unless you are in the British Empire. Whether it is "baled" or "bailed," it is still a pretty danged funny post ... really funny...!

GerryOP writes:

in response to GeauxTeamScribbler:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And you continue to disparage the rep of UT fans by posting such nonsense. Of course your source of "The word was..." certainly validates your comment. Right? But then, you're not known for quality posts. Just silly nonsense that reflects badly on our coach, our footballl team, and our university. You certainly do your part in validating Chris Fowler's claim.

oldster writes:

If Dooley's wife is nearly as attractive as her photos, I do not blame him for wanting to see her soon.

oldster writes:

in response to GerryOP:

And you continue to disparage the rep of UT fans by posting such nonsense. Of course your source of "The word was..." certainly validates your comment. Right? But then, you're not known for quality posts. Just silly nonsense that reflects badly on our coach, our footballl team, and our university. You certainly do your part in validating Chris Fowler's claim.

His source was the same one that Harry Reid has.

MooseandSquirrelVol writes:

Right now, all I'm focusing on is going 1-0 in August.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to GerryOP:

And you continue to disparage the rep of UT fans by posting such nonsense. Of course your source of "The word was..." certainly validates your comment. Right? But then, you're not known for quality posts. Just silly nonsense that reflects badly on our coach, our footballl team, and our university. You certainly do your part in validating Chris Fowler's claim.

The word is Scribbler ran away from home as a child because the other kids made fun of him. Now he lives deep in the Smokies, on Mt Crumpit. There have been rumors that he doesn't like children or farm animals, but multiple complaints and court records clearly say otherwise. Legend has it that there have been many sightings of deer and mountain goats by tourists in the Cade's Cove area bearing a strong resemblance to him.

Snapshot writes:

in response to WaltGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And how do you know is wasn't working, Wally? Come on, Mr. Positive, give us some details since you have all the answers.

gc_scvol writes:

in response to WaltGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You must really be miserable to never have a positive thought. Coach Dooley owns your brain. You are so obcessed with him that you never have a moment without hate in your life. For someone you deem irrelevant he sure controls your life.

gc_scvol writes:

in response to gc_scvol:

You must really be miserable to never have a positive thought. Coach Dooley owns your brain. You are so obcessed with him that you never have a moment without hate in your life. For someone you deem irrelevant he sure controls your life.

That's obsessed. Wrong spelling..Same thought.

GainesvilleVol1 writes:

Dooley's Gang is talking the talk. I have hope they will walk the walk. If it's true life is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration, I think this team will be successful. Looking foward to getting started with the season.

GO VOLS!!

StoneJackBaller writes:

Actually, they loaded up last night and was back in Knoxville by 9 pm or so. Sounds like to me that we're pretty much ready to play. I can't recall the last time the team seemed so pumped about getting on the field. Maybe they have something to prove this year. Can't wait!

TheCopper writes:

in response to WaltGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Much like your wife baled on you

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

in response to Snapshot:

And how do you know is wasn't working, Wally? Come on, Mr. Positive, give us some details since you have all the answers.

Snap, going forward he will be known as WaltNoBalls.

ProfessionalHandicapper writes:

Until I see this OL actually move a decent SEC team I reserve my oppinion. And I still think the new systems will take time to learn at game speed. I dont see UT beating Florida or Georgia so early in the year. Too many changes and too much bad history in the run game. I cant see losing by 100 points in three games and then beating Vandy in overtime and losing to Kentucky change overnight. Just being honest. If UT starts poorly with three losses in Sept it could spell doom for a team that has shown alot of quit when things go bad. Time will tell..

luvmatersoup writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

Until I see this OL actually move a decent SEC team I reserve my oppinion. And I still think the new systems will take time to learn at game speed. I dont see UT beating Florida or Georgia so early in the year. Too many changes and too much bad history in the run game. I cant see losing by 100 points in three games and then beating Vandy in overtime and losing to Kentucky change overnight. Just being honest. If UT starts poorly with three losses in Sept it could spell doom for a team that has shown alot of quit when things go bad. Time will tell..

Not sure what the weather's like where you are but I'm guessing it must be gloomy and raining. Geeze, hope you don't cheer too lound at the games this year...just say'n. Go Vols!

crappieking writes:

After Dooley loses 2 out of the first 3 games may'be Hart will get some stones and fire him mid-season. Stop wasting time on this head coach in training. Time to hire a well known PROVEN coach. 4-12 in SEC play. What a joke.

voloffaith writes:

in response to MemphoVol:

Lighten up, dude. These off site practices were designed for team unity - something that apparently has been lacking the last couple of years. It sounds like they accomplished that for both the players and coaches.

You missed the tongue in cheek humor badly....I typed FIRST backwards as a joke at cheering I'm first...then I spoofed myself by saying THAT was not special....Coach exhibiting new attitude....then exhorting Coach and team....so Francis has lightened up ,but not in the loafers.....

gc_scvol writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

Until I see this OL actually move a decent SEC team I reserve my oppinion. And I still think the new systems will take time to learn at game speed. I dont see UT beating Florida or Georgia so early in the year. Too many changes and too much bad history in the run game. I cant see losing by 100 points in three games and then beating Vandy in overtime and losing to Kentucky change overnight. Just being honest. If UT starts poorly with three losses in Sept it could spell doom for a team that has shown alot of quit when things go bad. Time will tell..

Once again you have shown the you have no valid points, just a genuine hate for MY VOLS. You need to go back to your office and rethink this. You now, your office, at the bowling alley, or wherever it is this weeek. Professional Handicapper my Arse. GBO..VFL..

voloffaith writes:

in response to crappieking:

After Dooley loses 2 out of the first 3 games may'be Hart will get some stones and fire him mid-season. Stop wasting time on this head coach in training. Time to hire a well known PROVEN coach. 4-12 in SEC play. What a joke.

Hey ck...he who is without sin cast the first stone.....the joke is really on y...sadly you must feel carppie(on purpose) all day long(apparently) to be able to muster up this much caustic spewing 24/7......

thevoice writes:

Yesterday was National Relaxation Day, so I understand the coach's decision.

Pompey writes:

in response to Classof72:

The whole Milligan's Island idea still seems goofy to me, but that's why CDD gets the big bucks. Sounds like the Island was a little short of Gingers and Mary Anns. Wonder if they'll sing "99 Bottles of Beer" for TB on the bus ride back to Volville. Hey, there's an idea! We could sing it every time TB throws a TD. One verse the first TD, two verses the 2nd TD, and so on. You gotta love these guys. It's like "The Junction Boys" meets "Animal House". GBO! It's gonna be a fun season.

....your stupidity is only exceeded by your brash display of it.....

The "goofy" that you are referring to (off campus fall camp) is practiced by 33 NFL teams every year.....I know, I am embarrassed for you to!

voloffaith writes:

in response to WaltGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Twice you have made an assumption...if have facts then let it fly..sadly your assumptions only support your ongoing negativity.....

MilitaryBrat writes:

in response to WaltGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Exactly, then we will know.

If the impossible actually happens (In your eyes), and the Vols have a great year.
Will you then actually get behind the team and the Coaches, instead of constantly gripping on here?

vol_for_life15 writes:

First post! If it was to help that chemistry apparently it worked. We will see in 15 days!!! Cant wait to see some Tennessee football... GBO!!!!!!

SCVFL writes:

in response to MilitaryBrat:

Exactly, then we will know.

If the impossible actually happens (In your eyes), and the Vols have a great year.
Will you then actually get behind the team and the Coaches, instead of constantly gripping on here?

OL Walt will never change. Still leaves in the past.
Hey, I will agree that CDD has nothing statistically to hang his hat on. But stats do not always tell the Whole story. I have said over and over that any and every coach really deserves 4-5 years to put his system, his coaches, his player, and his philosopht in place.
But this is Tennessee, so I think he needs to show some positive results (stats) this year to survive. Not saying NC or even SEC but at least a good run at SECe.
The schedule, the coaches, the players, everything lends itself to a good or better year.
He need 8 wins or maybe 7 with a quality win to get more time. Actually 8 with none against Al, Ga, Fl, SC would not be that overly impressive.
BUt, Iwill always support the coaches, players, and school.
Love me some VOL football.
GO BIG RNG...VFL

MilitaryBrat writes:

in response to WaltGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You never answered my question.

Also No one is blindly accepting anything. But most people see improvement in the talent level of the players on the team, compared to what Dooley inherited. But you can't even give him credit for improving the roster.

Thankfully the majority of fans are willing to wait and see how this season plays out.

It is sad, when a so called fan, is hoping for the Vols to have a bad year, just because he doesn't like the coach.

Pathetic.

GerryOP writes:

in response to WaltGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What is your basis for making such a silly statement? Of course, when you seeing nothing positive in anything that Coach Dooley and our footVols are doing, what more should we expect? Nattering nayWalt of negativity.

VolGrad writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

Until I see this OL actually move a decent SEC team I reserve my oppinion. And I still think the new systems will take time to learn at game speed. I dont see UT beating Florida or Georgia so early in the year. Too many changes and too much bad history in the run game. I cant see losing by 100 points in three games and then beating Vandy in overtime and losing to Kentucky change overnight. Just being honest. If UT starts poorly with three losses in Sept it could spell doom for a team that has shown alot of quit when things go bad. Time will tell..

I don't really see it happening, but I wish you'd just continue to reserve your opinion perpetually.

Go Vols! Beat the Pack!! This is BOC!!!

bigfatvolfan79 writes:

Seems like a good idea to me. This team needed some unity and I think this was a way of building some! Go Vols let's have a great year and shut up all the negavols. GO VOLS

Navaloranges writes:

in response to GerryOP:

What is your basis for making such a silly statement? Of course, when you seeing nothing positive in anything that Coach Dooley and our footVols are doing, what more should we expect? Nattering nayWalt of negativity.

wally is simple Gerry. He has everything SemperFied. There's Fulmer, then there's...Fulmer. He'd rather run down the University he "follows", than release any of those "feelings" he has for Coach Fulmer, and root for the young men on the team and their new coach. Sad, really.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to WaltGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

To use an old naval expression, maybe they thought they had gotten to the point of "polishing the cannonball". A team reaches a certain plateau of conditioning and execution, at which point a rest, a change, a redirection of effort and focus is more useful than another day of repetitions at the same level of energy or execution. That doesn't necessarily mean that they accomplished every one of their objectives to the ultimate degree, but it could mean they had accomplished enough for this "deployment". But of course, by all means miss no opportunity to sell Dooley short; no way he could have a more valid opinion on the value of the exercise than you do, right?

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