Derek Dooley preaches results for Tennessee's football season

SEC warned: 'You're not going to have Tennessee to kick around anymore'

Ja'Wuan James at SEC Media Day

Herman Lathers talks Vols football at SEC Media Days

HOOVER, Ala.— The program didn't match the buildup.

Derek Dooley was in uniform — black suit, orange tie — and a marathon of interviews awaited Thursday morning. Tennessee was tabbed for the early-morning session of the third and final day of SEC Media Days.

The anticipated theme was self-defense.

"How y'all doing?" Dooley said after scribbling a few autographs on his way into the Wynfrey Hotel lobby. He shuffled past into an elevator, a collection of media relations representatives clearing his path. The coach was headed to a third-floor suite.

Two hours later, Dooley, who holds a 4-12 record in SEC games at Tennessee, would line up behind an SEC-crested podium and declare, "It's been a tough four years in Tennessee. I know, of course, the SEC has enjoyed taking advantage of our tough times."

Then came the line that will be repeated all fall.

"There's a nice mood on our team right now — you're not going to have Tennessee to kick around anymore."

Thursday wasn't seen as a small chore for Dooley.

The third-year UT coach is on every preseason "hot seat" list. His coaching capabilities have been publicized, analyzed and scrutinized. He was labeled as a coach potentially making his final SEC Media Days appearance.

The day, though, brought relatively smooth seas.

Before grinding through three hours of scheduled interview sessions, Dooley met with a collection of 25 to 30 Knoxville-based media members. He was asked what his gameplan and sales pitch was.

"I'm not here to sell," he said, an infliction point in his voice underlining sell. "It's like that old song, 'A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action.' That's about where we are. Selling ain't going to do me any good. We've got to go out and win."

The Vols tumbled to a 1-7 league record in 2011. Injuries overlapped injuries, deficiencies gave way to losing.

That's now all in the past, Dooley preached. He gushed over having a "settled roster" for the first time in his tenure and said

the offensive line, which enters the 2012 season with 106 combined starts, is "a microcosm" of where the program is and where it's been.

So can the 2012 Vols compete for the SEC East title?

"Absolutely we can," Dooley said.

Tennessee returns 10 starters on offense and seven on defense. Depth and experience, missing notions in recent history, seem to have returned.

"Most guys who handle adversity, when they go through it the first time, they don't know how to react," Dooley said. "Our guys have been through it."

As has Dooley. His 62-game coaching record stands at 28-34, including an 11-14 mark at Tennessee. Fans in Knoxville are still awaiting a signature win. A signature loss, however, came last year at Kentucky.

"What have I proven?" Dooley asked rhetorically in response to the same question. "I don't think that's my place to say because really all we're judged on ultimately is what the record is. So until we change that, it's pointless for me to tell y'all all the things I think we've accomplished."

And with that, Dooley bounded off for radio, internet and television interviews.

One hour later, he emerged from the ballroom's side door.

"Appreciate you guys coming," Dooley started off, soon adding, "I feel better today about where we are as a program than at any point since I've been in Knoxville, and I mean that."

Fifteen minutes and 10 questions later, it was over.

Dooley's news conference, perceived as an impending storm, barely shook his leaves. No member of the national media asked the dreaded "hot seat" question. No scribe questioned his job status.

Dooley faced an array of questions on the new BCS playoff setup, the Vols' potent receiving corps, the maturation of quarterback Tyler Bray and the program's meeting with N.C. State in the season opener.

That was it.

Following a long, awkward silence, the moderator asked, "Any more questions?"

Crickets.

With a quick, "Appreciate you guys," Dooley strolled off the stage. His press conference was far and away the shortest of any SEC coach during the league's three-day media blitz.

From there, Dooley handled his responsibilities with ESPN.

In one of the day's final interviews, ESPN.com's Ivan Maisel joked that Dooley delivered a Richard Nixon impression by saying the Vols aren't going to be kicked around anymore.

Laughing, Dooley responded, "Except I'm still here. When he said it he was on his way out. So I hope that's not the case."

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at http://twitter.com/BFQuinn

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Comments » 32

Olcrow writes:

There you have it,any questions?

Butterbeans writes:

Tennessee and Dooley are irrelevant. That's why no questions from SEC and national media. I hate it when no one cares but us few Vol fans. Dooley's choice of Nixon's 1962 farewell speech was not thought out like most things coming out of the football department over the last few years. Sounds like we won't have Dooley to kick around much longer.

Rumblefish writes:

Lack of media interest. Not that we need it, but it's very telling of the state of the program.

Pullingguard writes:

Just how it should be....Short and to the point and eliminate all the stupid questions that reporters can ask... We all know its all in the record, and if Dooley feels optimistic about the future, well so do I, this team should have a good year...

AllVol1 writes:

Stop moaning and support your team. It's very simple and everyone, the coach, the players, and the media seem to get it. This is the year to stop talking and start speaking with actions on the field.

I am so excited to see this team shock the nation. Go Vols!

jack4444 writes:

Bottom line- folks might write all kinds of stuff about CDD, on blogs, web pages, often with anonymity. When it comes to face to face, these writers all know CDD is smarter, sharper, better educated and more focused than they are. None of them wanted a piece of him. Fact is, Dooley intimidates the hell out of those sportswriters.

Munsterlander writes:

Yup, I frequently use infliction in my voice to underscore a point...

ACWLY writes:

I just can't see starting the season off with your head in the toilet. How depressed some really are, I see some of their points but WOW what a sad life they must lead... or are these the people that CROW the loudest when good things happen? Even with this I can still see some of their points, that last game still sticks in my throat, BUT THAT WAS LAST YEAR... WE GOTTA move on... I hope Coach Dooley has a breakout season and the VOLS start the climb!

mattnchatt writes:

Dooley's right, not much left to say. Their record will speak for itself this season. Vols will be tough!

knoxtenn writes:

1-7 in the SEC. Might want to shut your mouth and show what you got Coach Dooley.

Timbo_Slice writes:

"A little less coversation...", a motto I wish some posters/trolls would go by more often!

rampsneggs writes:

in response to jack4444:

Bottom line- folks might write all kinds of stuff about CDD, on blogs, web pages, often with anonymity. When it comes to face to face, these writers all know CDD is smarter, sharper, better educated and more focused than they are. None of them wanted a piece of him. Fact is, Dooley intimidates the hell out of those sportswriters.

Exactly how it seemed to me.

Why get your hind end handed to you on a national stage when you can just sit on your hands and hope the other guy takes the whooping.

Timbo_Slice writes:

in response to rampsneggs:

Exactly how it seemed to me.

Why get your hind end handed to you on a national stage when you can just sit on your hands and hope the other guy takes the whooping.

Clay Travis must not have made the trip to Hoover this year!

Snapshot writes:

in response to knoxtenn:

1-7 in the SEC. Might want to shut your mouth and show what you got Coach Dooley.

Huh, I think that's exactly what he did. What part of that statement about the shortest press conference of the three days by far, didn't you understand?

DeltaCharlie3 writes:

Don't sell yourself short coach, that Cincinnati wins looms large!

DeltaCharlie3 writes:

"you're not going to have Tennessee to kick around anymore."

As Brandon Spikes famously said about Georgia players, with their black shirts, and red helmets and various gimmicky antics, "fake juice!"

Dooley's tough guy comments strike me as fake juice.

CrankE writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie3:

"you're not going to have Tennessee to kick around anymore."

As Brandon Spikes famously said about Georgia players, with their black shirts, and red helmets and various gimmicky antics, "fake juice!"

Dooley's tough guy comments strike me as fake juice.

We don't have Brandon Spikes to gouge eyes anymore, do we?

BigbearVol writes:

This is the meat of the sandwich right here, EVERY coach is on the hot seat.(ask Les Miles) People need to do the jobs they're paid VERY well to do. From Rocky TOP all the way down to Foothill bottom. Just do your job well, and all these trivial, petty squabbles will be muted. Try going into your work, and perform your job with a substandard performance, and see how hot your seat gets.

VOLinMAHWAH writes:

All of you who keep crying "irrelevance" should appreciate the position we're in. If you've been listening to the ESPN guys talking all week about who the favorites are to win the titles, and who the dark horses are, you know that Tennessee is an unknown factor right now, and that's a good place to be. It's the dark horses, the underdogs who are the hardest to predict and prepare for. Relevance is built through on-field actions, not by the press asking questions at a press conference. Stay tuned. I think the 2012 edition of Big Orange is about to take back some respect!!

UTistheOLEMISSoftheEAST writes:

Once again Fooley is wrong. ut WILL get kicked around this year. Another season Loco will not survive. Another running game that can't get out of their own way and a defense that tackles like a bunch of girls. Sorry Fooley. Wrong aqain. But thatnks for the tips on shower technique. Best thing you've done at ut. That and screwing up the LSU game. Go Vawls.

govolsn3 writes:

in response to Pullingguard:

Just how it should be....Short and to the point and eliminate all the stupid questions that reporters can ask... We all know its all in the record, and if Dooley feels optimistic about the future, well so do I, this team should have a good year...

Great post. I am not going to predict a season record this year. I think if we don't get the key players hurt like last year that we have a chance in every single game. BAMA game looks to me like the biggest upset minded game on the schedule cause COACH SAN'S knows the TIDES defense and should help CHANEY in picking out every single weakness that they have. I am predicting that I will be ready for the PACK. GO VOLS

ProfessionalHandicapper writes:

I heard the same thing last year about the OLine. I have said over and over just because a Mule runs and trains for three years, he still cant win the kentucky Derby. Once again last year we saw the Vols run for one yard or less average in a few games. Until this line proves they have the talent(not experience) to play in the SEC, I will not gush over them. Next the DLine has no proven game changers. The QB quit on his team and basicly lost to vandy and Kentucky to end the year.(you all know UT escaped on the block punt late with Vandy up). Next the coaches are all new and all unproven in the SEC and who knows how quickly the Vols can learn and adjust. Too many if's on this team and no proven winner leading them at Head coach or QB. I say NC State will win by 14 and the Vols will implode early. By week 6 Dooley will be all but gone. Ut will be 2-3 and 0-2 in SEC by the open date with wins over Akron and Georgia St only, At that point Dooley will be 1-9 his last 10 SEC games. Goodbye!!

PureOrange writes:

in response to jack4444:

Bottom line- folks might write all kinds of stuff about CDD, on blogs, web pages, often with anonymity. When it comes to face to face, these writers all know CDD is smarter, sharper, better educated and more focused than they are. None of them wanted a piece of him. Fact is, Dooley intimidates the hell out of those sportswriters.

Great post. You are right. Most members of the media are like ducks. One heads to the water and they all fall in line.

Think about it. How many do you know that actually show much real brain power goes into their questions, writings, or comments?

Dooley thinks too far ahead of those people.

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

in response to UTistheOLEMISSoftheEAST:

Once again Fooley is wrong. ut WILL get kicked around this year. Another season Loco will not survive. Another running game that can't get out of their own way and a defense that tackles like a bunch of girls. Sorry Fooley. Wrong aqain. But thatnks for the tips on shower technique. Best thing you've done at ut. That and screwing up the LSU game. Go Vawls.

<yawn>

Chappy writes:

in response to ACWLY:

I just can't see starting the season off with your head in the toilet. How depressed some really are, I see some of their points but WOW what a sad life they must lead... or are these the people that CROW the loudest when good things happen? Even with this I can still see some of their points, that last game still sticks in my throat, BUT THAT WAS LAST YEAR... WE GOTTA move on... I hope Coach Dooley has a breakout season and the VOLS start the climb!

You are 100% right! Should be interesting to see comments later in the season when Vols have wins under their belts. We'll see then how many bandwagoners there are on here.

kennypowers writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

I heard the same thing last year about the OLine. I have said over and over just because a Mule runs and trains for three years, he still cant win the kentucky Derby. Once again last year we saw the Vols run for one yard or less average in a few games. Until this line proves they have the talent(not experience) to play in the SEC, I will not gush over them. Next the DLine has no proven game changers. The QB quit on his team and basicly lost to vandy and Kentucky to end the year.(you all know UT escaped on the block punt late with Vandy up). Next the coaches are all new and all unproven in the SEC and who knows how quickly the Vols can learn and adjust. Too many if's on this team and no proven winner leading them at Head coach or QB. I say NC State will win by 14 and the Vols will implode early. By week 6 Dooley will be all but gone. Ut will be 2-3 and 0-2 in SEC by the open date with wins over Akron and Georgia St only, At that point Dooley will be 1-9 his last 10 SEC games. Goodbye!!

You taking bets on NC State by 14?

mrvol2u writes:

in response to knoxtenn:

1-7 in the SEC. Might want to shut your mouth and show what you got Coach Dooley.

That is what he did. In case you missed it, he stated flatly that till he won on the field it was a mute point talking about what his teams could do.

GO VOLS!!! Time to play!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to Orange_Gravy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Then why are you on here talking about it goof (goof is allowed here right KNS?)I don't think the Bigs of the press care a thing about Dooley or any other coach unless they can make a selling article. In Today's media bashing sells because people want gossip.

Then there's the fact you use the word "clown" in your statement makes me understand your view but doesn't help me to take you seriously. No one who knows the Dooley family history will think Vince raised a "clown".
In real life he is between a rock and a hard place and has been since his arrival at UT. Just being the son of the great Vince Dooley is a part of that resistance to his being here.

For me I just want to be fair to any man willing to follow the mess that came with UT football after Kiffin. I liked Kiffin but he did leave us pretty thin. I don't think 3 years was enough time. I don't think fours years is enough. But I think we'll be pretty darn good this season. Maybe not the top though.

And last(really) I want stability with UT sports! Something the recruits can look at and trust. IF they were to read the negativity that comes from the "visitors" on this site they'd never consider UT. But all you have to do is take a year or 2 and turn a few 3s and 4s into 5s. Some will turn out better than high School 5s. I hate math.

HereComesTheBoom writes:

Article states Dooley delivered his Richard Nixon impression by saying “the Vols aren’t going to be kicked around anymore” and "It's been a tough four years in Tennessee. I know, of course, the SEC has enjoyed taking advantage of our tough times."

I’m wondering if what Dooley was really trying to do was emulate Richard Nixon’s “Four More Years” re-election campaign by waving the “Peace” signs from both his hands in the air, while shaking his jaws, and chanting “four more years for UT to be the SEC doormat”.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Here Comes The Boom?? Then duck! But don't diss. To you comparing Dooley to Nixon must be considered a diss? I didn't like Nixon's lying or his politics. but he was a darn good leader in the army. He AND Ford were both very intelligent. Ford WAs a little wide-eyed I think wondering how he got into that mess...sorta like Dooley.
Hmmm Maybe your sny comments weren't so far off. Dooley is a little bit involved with politics...Media, supposters, votererra fans.
I'd vote for him at this point...well for 2 more years anyhow.
(the suppoSters was an accident from supporters but I liked it) hehe.

HereComesTheBoom writes:

So exactly what iz it that I am supposed to duck from? Flying doo?

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to HereComesTheBoom:

So exactly what iz it that I am supposed to duck from? Flying doo?

Only if there is a fan blowing at you.lol

Boom... as in a boom microphone. It sometimes swings around and you have to watch for it.

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