Dooley had nothing but positive things to say about defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox and linebackers coach Peter Sirmon, who have been announced in their new positions at the University of Washington.
While acknowledging that it's important to move quickly on three staff hires due to recruiting, Dooley said the search is "in the early stages" and that he wouldn't compromise on making quality additions to the staff.
He also said freshman receiver DeAnthony Arnett has been granted a release to transfer that does not bar him from Michigan State or Michigan.
While stopping short of getting specific about roster status, he said sophomore receiver Da'Rick Rogers is on the team and "is good.''
There has been confusion and speculation since the Vols lost to Kentucky on Nov. 26 that Rogers was in some sort of disciplinary process due to attitude issues.
Dooley also said conversations with quarterback Tyler Bray have been "awesome" and that there are no shortage of candidates for leadership going forward.
Asked about his relationship with new athletic director Dave Hart, Dooley said he "is 100 percent" supportive of Hart and that Hart has been reciprocal.
Dooley had not spoken in public since the stunning loss to Kentucky that ended the season at 5-7 and cost the Vols a bowl invitation.
Since then four coaches have left and there have been several decommitments from recruits — that on top of the speculation of team chemistry issues starting with Bray and Rogers.
"Drama can become reality if it's not addressed and I acknowledge that,'' Dooley said. "That's one of the reasons I'm here today.''
More details later online and in Wednesday's News Sentinel.