John Adams: Vols head up All-SEC NFL team

John Adams
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning throws a pass in the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning throws a pass in the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

Tennessee might not be experiencing great success on the football field, but it still can sell recruits on preparing them for the NFL.

My third annual All-SEC NFL team is proof of that.

Seven ex-Vols made the team, which is comprised of former SEC players.

Offense

Quarterback — Peyton Manning, Denver.

Manning admits he's not the quarterback he once was after coming back from neck surgery. But try convincing Denver Broncos fans of that. They're thinking Super Bowl, mainly because of Manning's spectacular play, which falls neatly in line with his Hall of Fame career.

Running back — Arian Foster, Houston.

Another ex-Vol, Foster has the Houston Texans in the running for the Super Bowl. He's averaging more than 1,100 yards rushing in his four NFL seasons.

Running back — Stevan Ridley, New England.

The former LSU running back has blossomed in his second season with the New England Patriots. He has rushed for more than 1,600 yards in two NFL seasons — 200 more than he did in his three college seasons.

Wide receiver — A.J. Green, Cincinnati.

After distinguishing himself with acrobatic catches at Georgia, Green easily has made the transition to the NFL. He had 97 catches for 1,350 yards in his second pro season.

Wide receiver — Julio Jones, Atlanta.

Like Green, the former Alabama receiver hasn't missed a beat in moving from the SEC to the NFL. He had 79 catches for 1,198

yards.

Tight end — Jason Witten, Dallas.

The former Vol keeps adding to his Hall of Fame credentials. He surpassed the 100-catch mark this season and has had three other seasons with 94 or more pass receptions.

Tackle — Andrew Whitworth, Cincinnati.

The 6-foot-7, 335-pound tackle from LSU has been a starter for all seven of his NFL seasons.

Tackle — Andre Smith, Cincinnati.

The former Alabama All-American has been a consistent player the past two seasons after being selected as the sixth pick overall in the 2009 draft.

Guard — Ben Grubbs, New Orleans.

The Saints have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, thanks, in part, to the play of the former Auburn star. Grubbs made the Pro Bowl in 2011 in his last season with the Baltimore Ravens.

Guard — Ramon Foster, Pittsburgh.

He wasn't drafted after leaving Tennessee following the 2008 season. But he made the Steelers' team as a free-agent rookie and has been a starter the past two seasons.

Center — Maurkice Pouncey, Pittsburgh.

The former Florida All-American made the Pro Bowl for the third consecutive season.

Placekicker — Blair Walsh, Minnesota.

The rookie from Georgia has been sensational, hitting 35 of 38 field-goal attempts, including 10 of 10 from 50 yards or farther.

All-purpose — Randall Cobb, Green Bay.

The Knoxville-area native has become one of the most dynamic players in the NFL in just his second season. Cobb, who played college football at Kentucky, had 80 catches for 954 yards and also had a punt return for a touchdown.

Defense

End — Chris Clemons, Seattle.

The former Georgia Bulldog has established himself as one of the NFL's best pass rushers. He had 11.5 sacks and forced three fumbles in his ninth pro season.

End — John Abraham, Atlanta.

A 13-year NFL veteran from South Carolina, Abraham still can get to the passer. He had 10 sacks and forced six fumbles this season.

Tackle — Geno Atkins, Cincinnati.

A third-year pro from Georgia, Atkins is now regarded as one of the premier defensive tackles in the NFL. He had 13 sacks, 53 tackles and four forced fumbles.

Linebacker — Von Miller, Denver.

In just his second season, the former Texas A&M star has become one of the league's most feared pass rushers. The Pro Bowler had 18.5 sacks this season.

Linebacker — Jerod Mayo, New England.

The former Vol again ranks among the NFL's top tacklers. He led the Patriots with 147 tackles in another Pro Bowl season.

Linebacker — Patrick Willis, San Francisco.

As good as he was at Ole Miss, he has been even better with the 49ers. He has made all-pro five consecutive seasons.

Linebacker — Wesley Woodyard, Denver.

Underrated at Kentucky, Woodyard has become an integral part of the Broncos' defense. He had 117 tackles, 5.5 sacks, three interceptions and a forced fumble.

Cornerback — Tim Jennings, Chicago.

The former Georgia defensive back had a career year with the Bears. He led the NFL with nine interceptions.

Cornerback — Patrick Peterson, Arizona.

The second-year pro from LSU ranked second in the NFL with seven interceptions. Like Jennings, he also made the Pro Bowl.

Safety — Eric Berry, Kansas City.

Manning isn't the only former Vol to make a successful comeback. Berry made the Pro Bowl in his first season back from knee surgery.

Safety — LaRon Landry, New York Jets.

LSU keeps turning out Pro Bowl defensive backs. Landry, who forced four fumbles and intercepted two passes, is one of the hardest-hitting safeties in the league.

Punter — Dustin Colquitt, Kansas City.

The ex-Vol edged his brother, Britton, with a 46.8-yard average per punt for the Chiefs in a Pro Bowl season.

Punt returner — Trindon Holliday, Denver.

A second-year pro from LSU, the 5-foot-5 Holliday averaged better than 10 yards per punt return, including one for a touchdown.

Kick returner — Chris Rainey, Pittsburgh.

The rookie from Florida ranked seventh in the NFL in kickoff returns with a 26.5-yard average.

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.

© 2012 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 42

retiredVolinGA writes:

7 former Vols (VFLs) in the total speaks well of our program. Can't wait untill we return to prominance. GBO

lomas98 writes:

In 5 years there may not be much left to choose from off tn in the nfl.

movol77 writes:

Every Vol was recruited and played under Fulmer. How is that? Wasn't the "great pumpkin" the lazy recruiter/coach that caused the TN demise? He was so bad.

chuckfromwoodberry writes:

Please send this list to all the bammer recruits. Let them know they may win the NC but they'll be working at their hometown carwash after their eligibility runs out.

chattabluetick writes:

in response to chuckfromwoodberry:

Please send this list to all the bammer recruits. Let them know they may win the NC but they'll be working at their hometown carwash after their eligibility runs out.

Washing their Escalades used to recruit them to bammer.

cloudodust writes:

in response to movol77:

Every Vol was recruited and played under Fulmer. How is that? Wasn't the "great pumpkin" the lazy recruiter/coach that caused the TN demise? He was so bad.

Not to disagree with your assessment, but...CPF's last year, 2008. Kiffin coached/tried recruiting Tennessee in 2009, Dooley in 2010,2011 and 2012. Even I can do the math regarding earned greatness in the NFL...and when AJ Johnson goes Pro and makes this list please remember, he WANTED to be a Vol under CPF's watch but didn't waiver through the Hamilton debacle of coaching musical chairs. Com'on, Manning's recruitment came due to Cut and Daddy, Berry due to genetics, Colquitt's likewise, etc...etc. Ahhh, what I'd give to get a Walsh under Jones.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to chattabluetick:

Washing their Escalades used to recruit them to bammer.

Witch Doctor say but they all have stolen Owners mannuals. lol. *Witch Doctor say during his heyday Fulmer was the best closer in the business as proof of who he put in the NFL.
Bones never lie.

cloudodust writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say but they all have stolen Owners mannuals. lol. *Witch Doctor say during his heyday Fulmer was the best closer in the business as proof of who he put in the NFL.
Bones never lie.

CPF for sure, but Special Mention goes to Cut, Chavis, Sanders and the rest of CPF's staff over the years Atop Rocky (excluding Clawson)...WD et al, have a great New Years.

tovolny writes:

Arian Foster, NFL starter (Pro Bowler)...not drafted. (Why couldn't we COACH him to hold on to the ball?

Ramon Foster, NFL starter...not drafted.
Could UT have COACHED him better?

Was Mayo TALENTED?...Or, did Chavis coach him up?...This is a question?

Was Manning Talented?...How many out there really believe that Coach Cut coached him up? If Manning had gone to Florida, would he have sat on the bench watching Danny W@@@@@ful. (Sorry, can't spell it.)

Did Eric Berry become a Pro Bowler because he was coached by the Chief. Probably not a fair question.

Were the OLD (1994-2008) Tennessee coaches good coaches or good recruiters.

I wonder if Ray Trail has any grandsons.

born2ride writes:

Bray, Hunter and Patterson are leaving because we hired Butch Jones. If we had gotten a big name coach like Jon Gruden they would have stayed and we would playing for an SEC championship next year.

CoverOrange writes:

All that Vol talent and only one of them ever saw a championship in college.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to born2ride:

Bray, Hunter and Patterson are leaving because we hired Butch Jones. If we had gotten a big name coach like Jon Gruden they would have stayed and we would playing for an SEC championship next year.

Witch Doctor say we still can..here sprinkle some of this fair dust and click your heels together three times! lol. Witch Doctor say even UK couldnt hide Patterson(UK BBALL) another semester, Witch Doctor not know first hand but many say he hasnt been to class for quite some time and if we had played in a bowl he wouldnt. lol
Bones never lie.

lstbodeanvol writes:

and no gator Qbs......wow wasnt spurrier awesome with the tampa bay bucs LOL LOL

VolzsFan writes:

That era will die the same way Adams helped the dolts kill the program when they wanted the Hall of Famer and the one responsible for the greatest era in school history, to be gone. Remeber, we can do better. His replacement was favored in 9 games with 8 NFL players. He won 7. That same guy that killed UT with his defections and recruiting just completed the worst year in college football history. Never has a team started the year as pre season #1 and lost 6 games. Than there was the Dooley. Nuff said. Bring on Sgt Carter and we will soon be looking at the 4th coach to try and replace the Legend.

Thanks for running off Tajh Layne.

senracjr writes:

in response to born2ride:

Bray, Hunter and Patterson are leaving because we hired Butch Jones. If we had gotten a big name coach like Jon Gruden they would have stayed and we would playing for an SEC championship next year.

No they wouldn't, they all had dollar signs in their eyes!

senracjr writes:

in response to 9willbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

woodson never deserved it, the Yankee media voted him in!That was the worst Heisman vote ever! There are a lot of DB's better than Woodson, but you can't find many QB's as good as Peyton!

senracjr writes:

in response to 9willbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Let's see.... hmmmmmmmmm how many Florida QB's are NFL starters?

VOLFLIAM writes:

in response to born2ride:

Bray, Hunter and Patterson are leaving because we hired Butch Jones. If we had gotten a big name coach like Jon Gruden they would have stayed and we would playing for an SEC championship next year.

You are such an IDIOT !!!!!

volforeverandever writes:

in response to born2ride:

Bray, Hunter and Patterson are leaving because we hired Butch Jones. If we had gotten a big name coach like Jon Gruden they would have stayed and we would playing for an SEC championship next year.

If your aunt had balls she would have been your uncle.You are still in that dream world.If I would have known Lovie was going to get fired,I would rather have him 2 to 1 over Gruden.Lovie has coached and recruited at the college level with great success.Lovie was greatly missed when he left.Heck I never heard Grudens name ever mentioned while he was there since he was a graduate assistant only one year.Lovie was one our best coaches and recruiters.Gruden never has done what Lovie has done coaching wise in the college ranks and in Pros he won a Super Bowl too.So if if if.Butch is our coach and I am glad to have him and will support him. Go BIG ORANGE.

volforeverandever writes:

Kentucky had as many on this list as Florida .Hillarious

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to born2ride:

Bray, Hunter and Patterson are leaving because we hired Butch Jones. If we had gotten a big name coach like Jon Gruden they would have stayed and we would playing for an SEC championship next year.

Born to lose,

You go down as one of the biggest day dreamers ever on this site. You and the Gruden dreamers. When will you ever accept the fact he was NEVER coming, yet you continued to dream on. You and your friend Wilted Flowers are obsessed. You with Gruden and W F with Dooley.

By the way, you need to discard all the "we and us" tags.

ncvol59 writes:

in response to born2ride:

Bray, Hunter and Patterson are leaving because we hired Butch Jones. If we had gotten a big name coach like Jon Gruden they would have stayed and we would playing for an SEC championship next year.

Your statement is comical at best, but I'd sure like to start the New Year off with some of what ever your drinking.

myvols2002 writes:

in response to born2ride:

Bray, Hunter and Patterson are leaving because we hired Butch Jones. If we had gotten a big name coach like Jon Gruden they would have stayed and we would playing for an SEC championship next year.

Hunter was playing all year not to get hurt. He made up his mind that he was leaving before the season started. What I hear is that Patterson couldn't come back if he wanted to because of grades and Bray said that if those two left that it would greatly influence his decision to leave. I don't think that hiring Jones had anything to do with it.

Vol_in_Mich writes:

Interesting article with good info. Thanks John.

movol77 writes:

in response to born2ride:

Bray, Hunter and Patterson are leaving because we hired Butch Jones. If we had gotten a big name coach like Jon Gruden they would have stayed and we would playing for an SEC championship next year.

And you decided to stay?

SevenT writes:

in response to retiredVolinGA:

7 former Vols (VFLs) in the total speaks well of our program. Can't wait untill we return to prominance. GBO

That was Fulmer recruits, ya'll aint got squat now

tennrich1 writes:

in response to born2ride:

Bray, Hunter and Patterson are leaving because we hired Butch Jones. If we had gotten a big name coach like Jon Gruden they would have stayed and we would playing for an SEC championship next year.

"We"....hahahah....gotta love em boys, just gotta...

tennrich1 writes:

in response to SevenT:

That was Fulmer recruits, ya'll aint got squat now

Well at least you're honest with "y'all"....I think there will be probably four drafted this year....probably...Its fun to play...just more fun when your opponent knows just a little bout things....happy new year!!!

HighPlainsVol writes:

in response to tovolny:

Arian Foster, NFL starter (Pro Bowler)...not drafted. (Why couldn't we COACH him to hold on to the ball?

Ramon Foster, NFL starter...not drafted.
Could UT have COACHED him better?

Was Mayo TALENTED?...Or, did Chavis coach him up?...This is a question?

Was Manning Talented?...How many out there really believe that Coach Cut coached him up? If Manning had gone to Florida, would he have sat on the bench watching Danny W@@@@@ful. (Sorry, can't spell it.)

Did Eric Berry become a Pro Bowler because he was coached by the Chief. Probably not a fair question.

Were the OLD (1994-2008) Tennessee coaches good coaches or good recruiters.

I wonder if Ray Trail has any grandsons.

Peyton would not have sat the bench at FL. He was one of the 2 most highly recruited coming out of H,S. Ole Steve is a pain, but he had great success with mediocre QBs. Imagine what he could have done with Peyton. Fl QBs were system guys like Texas Tech under Mike Leech and Univ of Houston. Peyton was and is the real deal.

seaplane#216536 writes:

in response to 9willbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

When Spurrier won the Heisman, he lost 3 games that year. Manning lost 2. Tell me there wasn't a media block to keep him from getting it.
Your QB's have done real well in the pros. They're great commentators.

SevenT writes:

in response to seaplane#216536:

When Spurrier won the Heisman, he lost 3 games that year. Manning lost 2. Tell me there wasn't a media block to keep him from getting it.
Your QB's have done real well in the pros. They're great commentators.

Not a "media block"? Charles Woodson lead his team (Michigan) to the National Championship! Manning never could beat Florida and settled for the Citris Bowl. Now who is the Most Valuable Player?

RealisticVol writes:

This article shows in a nutshell why Fulmer could not coach anymore. Jason Witten was never used properly because the Fulmer offence just rarely used tight ends as receivers. Also not analysing recruits properly, letting Randall Cobb get away is a perfect example.

RealisticVol writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

That era will die the same way Adams helped the dolts kill the program when they wanted the Hall of Famer and the one responsible for the greatest era in school history, to be gone. Remeber, we can do better. His replacement was favored in 9 games with 8 NFL players. He won 7. That same guy that killed UT with his defections and recruiting just completed the worst year in college football history. Never has a team started the year as pre season #1 and lost 6 games. Than there was the Dooley. Nuff said. Bring on Sgt Carter and we will soon be looking at the 4th coach to try and replace the Legend.

Thanks for running off Tajh Layne.

I suppose you are young but please learn the Vol history. Neyland was the best Vol coach in history by every way measureable. Almost every coach we have had for the last hundred years until the last two have had outstanding records. That is why we are the ninth winningest school nationally and second winningest in the SEC........even after the worst stretch in school history. Tennessee is one of the biggest bad boys of the century. Learn and be proud. We will be back!

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to SevenT:

Not a "media block"? Charles Woodson lead his team (Michigan) to the National Championship! Manning never could beat Florida and settled for the Citris Bowl. Now who is the Most Valuable Player?

SevenTeeth Scum bag, either Manning or Peterson is the MVP. I'm sure Manning was disappointed at the time when he didn't win the Heisman, but I doubt the first ballot hall of famer thinks about it much anymore. Crawl back under your rock

FanNotSheep writes:

Fulmer could recruit as well as anyone, but when we played Nebraska they clobbered us. We had more talent, especially at skill positions, but they were coached extremely well, their roster was full of hay-bale tossin' farm boys who took more pride in their school and their team than UT players did.

You didn't see as many Cornhuskers starring in the NFL but they won championships. And if Jones can coach anywhere near as good as Tom Osborne and Frank Solich -- and if he can recruit guys who play that well together and give that kind of effort I would be happy.

FanNotSheep writes:

in response to SevenT:

Not a "media block"? Charles Woodson lead his team (Michigan) to the National Championship! Manning never could beat Florida and settled for the Citris Bowl. Now who is the Most Valuable Player?

I get so sick of people saying the QB won or lost a football game. That's bull. A great quarterback who has to run for his life or is flat on his back can't do much about the situation. If your QB leads your offense to score 35 or 40 and the defense gives up 50 or 60 he didn't lose the game. Manning had one bad game against the Gators. They had equal or greater talent, an offense that was unstoppable and the greatest offensive coach of his era.

Manning would have won the Heisman if not for media dominated by Big Ten and northeast writers who always have an anti-southern bias. He was a good guy and not a thug, so that was strike two, and the idiots on ESPN were bored because no one else was deserving of the trophy. So they gave it to a defensive player out of spite. Just look at all the DB's who have won it since. Eric Berry was much better than Woodson. So were lots of other SEC defenders, so why didn't they win?

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to 9willbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well, the paper weight has definitely lost it's luster since Eric Crouch, Danny Woeful and Timmy Tebow stunk up the NFL..BTW, you're welcome to swing by Peyton's Place and take a gander at his soon to be 5th MVP and 2nd SB MVP award..Just sayin'

RashaadSalabeb writes:

Just got through watching the Rose Bowl. It sure would be nice to get some OL and DL guys like on the Stanford and Wisconsin teams. We've had some good ones through the years. We've got to go out there and land some more.

Go Vols!

Colliervol writes:

in response to born2ride:

Bray, Hunter and Patterson are leaving because we hired Butch Jones. If we had gotten a big name coach like Jon Gruden they would have stayed and we would playing for an SEC championship next year.

Gruden was a fantasy exaggerated by the media. He wasn't going to coach in college. Bray might have left because he doesn't fit Jones' offense but I believe he was gone anyway because he's a head case. Hunter was leaving no matter what because he didn't want to risk another injury. And the word is that Patterson wasn't a frequent enough visitor to class to come back. That pretty much makes you 0 for 4 there Missy. Care to try for 5?

Colliervol writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

That era will die the same way Adams helped the dolts kill the program when they wanted the Hall of Famer and the one responsible for the greatest era in school history, to be gone. Remeber, we can do better. His replacement was favored in 9 games with 8 NFL players. He won 7. That same guy that killed UT with his defections and recruiting just completed the worst year in college football history. Never has a team started the year as pre season #1 and lost 6 games. Than there was the Dooley. Nuff said. Bring on Sgt Carter and we will soon be looking at the 4th coach to try and replace the Legend.

Thanks for running off Tajh Layne.

You are correct about Lame. I would be impressed but even a busted clock is right twice a day. But you need to get some new material about the Legend. He's gone Vicki and he ain't coming back. Crying about the past isn't doing a thing to help the future. Most losers I know live in the past. As Sweet Brown says: "Ain't nobody got time for dat!" I certainly don't.

gwavescVOL writes:

in response to 9willbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The Heisman has been obsolete, not since Peyton was ESPN'd, but since Charlie Ward won, went undrafted and went NBA. This coming from a VOL fan.
P.S. Tell those Florida QB's to stop by Peyton's anytime to see HIS Super Bowl Ring

tnfanincali writes:

in response to VOLFLIAM:

You are such an IDIOT !!!!!

HaHa!! Well said...

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