Derek Dooley's focus on discipline after first practice:

UT Vols head coach Derek Dooley during the first football practice of the spring at Haslam Field on the University of Tennessee campus Monday, March 26, 2012.  (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Michael Patrick, copyright © 2012

UT Vols head coach Derek Dooley during the first football practice of the spring at Haslam Field on the University of Tennessee campus Monday, March 26, 2012. (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Derek Dooley on the first day of spring practice

The prediction came true.

Derek Dooley made clear before spring camp opened that he wasn't expecting to be pleased with the first workout, and the Tennessee coach seemingly got just what he anticipated as he walked off the practice field.

But the most important thing to him wasn't how the Vols looked on Monday morning. It's how they take their initial workout and turn into something a little more appealing the next day that matters more to Dooley at this point.

"It was a typical first day," Dooley said. "Effort was good, and I expect it to be that way. But we have a long way to go from a discipline standpoint of knowing what to do, knowing how to do it, knowing why it's important to do it that way and then going out there and doing it the right way.

"It was sloppy from that standpoint. But the key, of course, is how we learn from it and and how we don't go out there the next day and make the same mistakes. No matter how hard you train, without real practice you can't prepare for football without playing football."

The Vols had gone a full four months without the chance to do that, though they are still a few days away from getting to go full-contact and really get back in the flow of the game.

They worked out with helmets on but no pads for just more than two hours on Monday, which helped knock off some rust but didn't exactly give Dooley many answers yet for all the questions about his third team at UT.

"The key is not what you look like the first day. It's how you take the first day, watch the film, apply it to the second day and grow from there."

More details later online and in Tuesday's News Sentinel or follow@Vols_Beat on Twitter.

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Comments » 116

lahvolman2 writes:

Did he just say " watch the film " ? Oh my....

dynasty101 writes:

Dooley has always been openly honest about the teams performance. As long as he continues to play the mediocre card than that is all the team will think they can achieve. At some point he needs to instill some confidence(swag) in his team. This is the University of Tennessee, start playing and acting like it.

dynasty101 writes:

Enthuiasm about the pieces he has in play this season would not hurt either.

vollerdash writes:

in response to dynasty101:

Dooley has always been openly honest about the teams performance. As long as he continues to play the mediocre card than that is all the team will think they can achieve. At some point he needs to instill some confidence(swag) in his team. This is the University of Tennessee, start playing and acting like it.

As a fan , Dooley has brain washed me too..... now im happy with a seven win season with a trip to the Poulan Weedeater Bowl,and a fourth place finish in the east. Its great to be a mediocre Vol !!!

GiveHim6TDTennessee writes:

I support Derek Dooley and Tennessee. Any cynic who doesn't is so wrapped up in negative premonitions that they've already given up on this team, and that's a f'ing joke. Shame on y'all.

Vol_in_Mich writes:

Is it just me or do you all think Dooley is clueless as a coach? He sure doesn't have very good communication skills. I've tried, but I just don't think he knows wtf he's doing. Hope I'm wrong, But I don't think so.

Heavyhitr writes:

in response to GiveHim6TDTennessee:

I support Derek Dooley and Tennessee. Any cynic who doesn't is so wrapped up in negative premonitions that they've already given up on this team, and that's a f'ing joke. Shame on y'all.

I agree with you, but he has got to start winning and beating the big boys. Needs 8-9 wins this year.

Snapshot writes:

in response to Da_Dooley_will_soon_be_Da_Fired:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Tell us this is the last post from you we have to fool with.

dj54 writes:

in response to RockyMountainVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

sounds about right

Snapshot writes:

in response to RockyMountainVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are right RMV, there is no pleasing some folks. Everyone is an expert and all they can do is share their negativism. Nothing wrong with a little constructive critism, but some just can't grasp that concept.

dynasty101 writes:

in response to RockyMountainVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Just because I was third string back-up to the back-up subsitute placeholder for kickoffs(per windy conditions on which a placeholder is needed on kickoffs), doesn't mean there isn't a point to be taken. And yes "I" am part of the University of Tennesse, through only working pro-bono here in Birmingham at pubs and at public outings wearing orange on every saturday in the fall and when other opportunites arise.

I am not bashing Dooley and I am not unhappy with the team(at the moment), there are characteristics within any winning team(confidence, enthuisasm, unity, etc..) and we(or I) have yet to see any of these in the Dooley era. Rebuilding...new coaches...I understand, but all those characteristics start with the man in charge.

You're correct, I am not pleased, anyone who watched a game other than Cincinnatti last year should not be pleased with the UT football program, frankly I'm surprised I'm the only one who gets the same feeling when reading this article.

GerryOP writes:

It was during 2005 practice that the head coach started sharing his opinion that the team had the possibility of being "special." It turned out he was right, they were special ... but not the way he meant it.

Coach Dooley knows what he is doing. Many of today's youth expect to get praise by simply showing up. Dooley is trying to make it clear that at Tennessee we demand and expect nothing less than excellence.

vollerdash writes:

I have been reading these post and for me, i just wonder when as a fan you have to place the blame on why our program is in the state its in ?? Its o.k to be a loyal fan AND be realistic about the future and the past.Please let fans have an opinion on the team without calling them out as a negative voice.I dont like everything about my wife but i,m loyal to her.Soooo Go Vols >>> fire Dooley !!!

PUL4VOLS writes:

Glad to see all the experts here assessing our head football Coach Derek Dooley. You folks all have it figured out. I am so saddened at the fact that you can't either go out there and show the coaches how they need to do it or put up the money to get that next Hall of Fame Coach or bring back the former one a few on here continue hung up about. I will give you this much, if the team does not show marked improvement this season, I will have strong inclinations that Dooley can't do the job. Until then, all the ranting and raving looks like a bunch of whining school girls upset they have to change into shorts for Phys. Ed. Let's let this spring and fall play out then start the negatron perspectives if they look only like a slight upgrade from last year. Finally, we may have a full roster to work with. But who thinks about that when whining about what was not accomplished when we did not have one?
GO VOLS!

ClearVol writes:

The term "cautiously optimistic" seems to sum up my feelings at this point. I think many of us fans/UT/Knox natives have about seven more months of patience before completely throwing in the towel.. and thats from way down here in ATL. I can only imagine how hot its going to get in k-town...
Buckle up boyz, its going to be an interesting ride..

SevenT writes:

in response to RockyMountainVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Good post! I agree there is "No pleasing some folks". After all 3 years ago Tennessee fired Hall of Fame Coach Fulmer due to the "third string" losers who know absolutely nothing. And now orange Clown Pants is running the dog and pony show.

But that is OK because as a Kentucky Fan I know that Joker and staff are already running spring plays with our backup Wide Receiver at Quarterback knowing full well this idiot Dooleave will be fooled again.

Lock That Up

vollerdash writes:

in response to SevenT:

Good post! I agree there is "No pleasing some folks". After all 3 years ago Tennessee fired Hall of Fame Coach Fulmer due to the "third string" losers who know absolutely nothing. And now orange Clown Pants is running the dog and pony show.

But that is OK because as a Kentucky Fan I know that Joker and staff are already running spring plays with our backup Wide Receiver at Quarterback knowing full well this idiot Dooleave will be fooled again.

Lock That Up

Seven-man football team ? i'm confused !! but it doesnt take much to confuse me,lol.

VOLorado writes:

Complete disrespect for the Vol nation...

http://www.steamboattoday.com/news/20...

"Manning doesn’t look good in orange"

what a joke!

mountainbrook writes:

in response to Sammy_Burklows_Revenge:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Fulmer put UT in that cellar with poor recruiting and undercoaching. Everything since then has been a long struggle to climb out of the hole he dug.

PHAT_VOL writes:

in response to PeytonManning:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Even at the time it wasnt Fulmers fault? Then whos fault was it?
This is the year to show something no excuses. The first game is very important.

GerryOP writes:

in response to PeytonManning:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

First of all, be honest. This fall starts the 4th season since Fulmer's been gone. We have now completed 3 seasons since Phil left.

Yeah, we know, it wasn't Fulmer's fault. Even Vicki said it wasn't his fault. If he would have just acted like an adult and walked away like a man we'd all been a lot better off. But no, he had to go on TV and whine and cry while Vicki wiped his brow. Embarrassing.

This year the juniors are Coach Dooley's 1st recruiting class. Next year they will be seniors and time for Coach Dooley to be successful or be gone. This year will be the first real preview of how Dooley does as a head coach with his players.

GerryOP writes:

in response to PeytonManning:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And it's easier for you to give no consideration for what this program has had to suffer through the last four years and simply blame everything on the guy who is trying to clean up the mess Fulmer and Kiffin left. Even if you want to ignore Fulmers downhill slide starting in '99 and blame everything on Hamilton, that's marginally better. But blame Dooley? That's nonsense.

How about this? If Bray, Hunter, and Lathers had not gone down last year, '11 might have looked much bette. At least 2-4 more wins. Do you want to blame Dooley for injures? Fine, if that makes you feel better. But to hold Fulmer blameless is nonsense.

CrankE writes:

Dooley did mention the philm. So tonight, they'll be watchin' like heck at The Hecktagon.

GerryOP writes:

in response to WaltGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Oh c'mon Walt, how many times do we have to go through this? No one is comfortable with mediocrity and accepting losing ... no one. And UK? Did you believe that the win streak was going to go on forever? No, but the easy answer is to blame it on Dooley and a bunch of ragged-out kids who by the end of last season finally snapped under the pressure.

Some of us refuse to ignore the reality of the past few years. Three head coaches, four OCs, several different schemes on offense and defense, critical injuries at critical times, no reliable depth and experience at any position, etc, etc, etc. These things are not excuses, they all really happened. Name any team any place in any sport that went through that and kept on winning?

I agree with you Walt, limping along for 3 or 4 years with 7 or 8 wins is not acceptable. Let's see what happens this year and go from there.

Gerry

UT '65

GerryOP writes:

in response to PeytonManning:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Keep waiting.........

If you really, really believe "FULMER DESERVES NO BLAME FOR THE SHORTCOMINGS AFTER HIS DEPARTURE" there is no use wasting time debating the issue with you. That statement is pure unadulterated utter nonsense.

OBTW, please do not compare Fulmer to Neyland. Gen Neyland has no peer and Fulmer doesn't even come close. I accept that Fulmer is 2nd to Neyland in program success, but the gap between the two is best measured in lightyears.

You have a nice day.

UTMaster04 writes:

This is not a make or break year for Dooley. It might be a break year, but not a make. The discipline has to begin with his staff not bungling up decisions and substitutions, play calling, etc.

My standard is 9-4. Anything less with the team we have should be grounds for dismissal. Wins over South Carolina, Mizzou, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, and at least one over Georgia or Florida should seal a 9-4 record. Don't expect to beat 'Bama, but it would be nice to competitive.
I think that's reasonable to expect in year 3.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to RockyMountainVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

RMV, I like the stuff you post, but I have to respectfully disagree with some of what you say. First, Dooley does need to praise his kids a little more than he does IMO. And if there things they don't do so well and he chooses to discuss them publicly, IMO he needs to own some of it. Coach Serrano takes ownership, as does Cuonzo. But Dooley never seems to come across as thinking they need to do a better job coaching, or atleast doesn't publicly admit it. There's a lot of psychological aspects to coaching. And I agree, some kids need to be rode hard to get the best out of them. But some won't respond to the same things. IMO I think this is one area where Dooley might struggle a bit. And the team continually coming out flat in the second half seems to be a reflection of this. Again, just an opinion of mine. I'm gonna personally try very hard to do a better job of supporting Dooley. But it's hard when he continues to throw these hanging curve balls for his critics to knock out of the park.

And just because one does question his actions and coaching doesn't mean one isn't a fan. But to act like there's no reason for concern can be just as aggravating to some as the "fake fans" are to you. Personally, I've NEVER seen this much coaching turnover in one offseason without the head coach losing his job as well. And never have I seen this much coaching turnover and that team come out and smash everyone. And last but not least, I've never seen a coach lose his entire staff, not make a bowl game, and think its a good thing. Every position on this team has a different position coach. That's the craziest thing I've ever seen in my life. You'll never hear me talk about Dooleave, Doolittle, Doofus, whatever it is folks are calling him nowadays. But you will always hear me express what I honestly think. If that makes me a fake fan, so be it.

CrankE writes:

I can't beleive anything that I hear about UT football. Not after the great "give-up" at UK last year. My way of coping with this is to turn up my "don't care" knob to 10-just like the players did on the field. My blood may run Big Orange, but I don't have to put myself in a position to be cut all the time to prove that.

On the one hand, anything less than 8 wins and Dooley is fired. On the other, there is absolutely no basis for believing that UT can make it to 8 wins.

Like Ted Stryker in Airplane (heck, he even looks like Robert Hays), Dooley is must do precisely what nobody thinks he's capable of doing. On that note, I close with the words of encouragement for Dooley from Dr. Rumack (Leslie Nielsen), "I just want to tell you good luck. We're all counting on you."

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to CrankE:

I can't beleive anything that I hear about UT football. Not after the great "give-up" at UK last year. My way of coping with this is to turn up my "don't care" knob to 10-just like the players did on the field. My blood may run Big Orange, but I don't have to put myself in a position to be cut all the time to prove that.

On the one hand, anything less than 8 wins and Dooley is fired. On the other, there is absolutely no basis for believing that UT can make it to 8 wins.

Like Ted Stryker in Airplane (heck, he even looks like Robert Hays), Dooley is must do precisely what nobody thinks he's capable of doing. On that note, I close with the words of encouragement for Dooley from Dr. Rumack (Leslie Nielsen), "I just want to tell you good luck. We're all counting on you."

Pretty good post. I think who he beats is important as well as how we lose the games we lose. 8 wins with blowouts to our rivals won't cut it. He needs to win some games that count. If he beats some folks he'll be alright

GerryOP writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

Pretty good post. I think who he beats is important as well as how we lose the games we lose. 8 wins with blowouts to our rivals won't cut it. He needs to win some games that count. If he beats some folks he'll be alright

You pretty much summed it up Rich. It's not as much what he does as it is how he does it. As Hart said last season, go do your job Derek and we'll sit down after the '12 season and evaluate.

Good managers don't impose conditions. For example, and I know this is unrealistic, suppose he goes 6-6 and the 6 wins are UF, UA, UGA, USC, UMo, and you pick the 6th win. Does he get fired? Or suppose he goes 10-2 and the 2 losses are Vandy and UK -- by 20 points each game. Does he get fired? Who knows!

GerryOP writes:

in response to RockyTopRenegade:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Just a suggestion RTR, don't confuse this kid with facts! Don't forget, he firmly believes "FULMER DESERVES NO BLAME FOR THE SHORTCOMINGS AFTER HIS DEPARTURE." It's probably a waste of your time and a whole bunch of electrons and pixels to argue with that position!

Good post, well said!

VolinCalif writes:

in response to Da_Dooley_will_soon_be_Da_Fired:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey! Hey! Back off him. He is going to win the O/W then go 9-3 and a bowl win. Go Vols

VolinCalif writes:

in response to vollerdash:

Seven-man football team ? i'm confused !! but it doesnt take much to confuse me,lol.

Like my old High School, it's a small school and the drum players on the Band filled the vacant positions at game time.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

Didn't read all the comments, If this has been mentioned, sorry.
It is not just a Fulmer v Dooley thing with so many of you, it is the personality difference, no matter the name associated with the personality.
All I ever heard while Fulmer was here was "I get sick of him clapping when the team does something wrong".
Now all I hear is "I get so sick of Dooley constantly putting down the team"
Maybe we should just join the two in union and everyone will find a perfect balance. Then again, it might just be the makings of the worst marriage in history.
Before someone in need of enima replies, just kidding.

givehim6 writes:

There is a big difference in playing football on playstation and playing the real thing while being hit hu guys? As time goes on you will get better. (we hope)

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

LET'S GO LADY VOLS!!!!!!!!

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to WaltGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

This "sec" is stronger/as strong as any in history. Your comparison is not fair.
I have been among the few on here to support any of your statements (Given I respected Fulmer because he gave his all to UT, Hate that it wasn't good enough during his final years but he did the best he could) He has been gone far too long to compare OR blame him. It appears that now all of your posts are negative, not because it is Dooley but because (who ever it is) is not Fulmer. Dooley may or may not be the guy but now is the time to decide if you are a UT fan, or a fan of a coach only.

Vol43 writes:

in response to GerryOP:

It was during 2005 practice that the head coach started sharing his opinion that the team had the possibility of being "special." It turned out he was right, they were special ... but not the way he meant it.

Coach Dooley knows what he is doing. Many of today's youth expect to get praise by simply showing up. Dooley is trying to make it clear that at Tennessee we demand and expect nothing less than excellence.

Finally, a breath of fresh air. Thanks Gerry!

tovolny writes:

I didn't recognize but three posters. One that is always off course, and the "rich_is_re-born" dude who writes a book. So, I didn't even bother reading the posts. But who cares, RIGHT?

Go Vols, kick each others candy "behinds" and get down to work. A one in 12 practice attitude like last year and you can kiss the Pros good bye.

Pro sports and the SEC West will be fun too watch, at least.

Vol43 writes:

in response to PUL4VOLS:

Glad to see all the experts here assessing our head football Coach Derek Dooley. You folks all have it figured out. I am so saddened at the fact that you can't either go out there and show the coaches how they need to do it or put up the money to get that next Hall of Fame Coach or bring back the former one a few on here continue hung up about. I will give you this much, if the team does not show marked improvement this season, I will have strong inclinations that Dooley can't do the job. Until then, all the ranting and raving looks like a bunch of whining school girls upset they have to change into shorts for Phys. Ed. Let's let this spring and fall play out then start the negatron perspectives if they look only like a slight upgrade from last year. Finally, we may have a full roster to work with. But who thinks about that when whining about what was not accomplished when we did not have one?
GO VOLS!

Dude, you need to copy and paste this from time to time. This is, no doubt, one of the best observations I have ever read regarding UT football and Coach Dooley. Well done, sir!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Clarkrm0706:

This "sec" is stronger/as strong as any in history. Your comparison is not fair.
I have been among the few on here to support any of your statements (Given I respected Fulmer because he gave his all to UT, Hate that it wasn't good enough during his final years but he did the best he could) He has been gone far too long to compare OR blame him. It appears that now all of your posts are negative, not because it is Dooley but because (who ever it is) is not Fulmer. Dooley may or may not be the guy but now is the time to decide if you are a UT fan, or a fan of a coach only.

Good point, no coach or athlete is bigger or more important than the University..Applause.

BVB

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Good point, no coach or athlete is bigger or more important than the University..Applause.

BVB

On occasion (Somewhere between blind rants and blind loyalty) I actually put thought into a post. Not very often though, so please, have NO regular expectations. ;)

Pompey writes:

in response to Da_Dooley_will_soon_be_Da_Fired:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

.....and your a dead troll croaking....don't worry troll he'll be here and you will still be a troll....!

Dougb-VFL writes:

in response to vollerdash:

I have been reading these post and for me, i just wonder when as a fan you have to place the blame on why our program is in the state its in ?? Its o.k to be a loyal fan AND be realistic about the future and the past.Please let fans have an opinion on the team without calling them out as a negative voice.I dont like everything about my wife but i,m loyal to her.Soooo Go Vols >>> fire Dooley !!!

Get a divorce and a new team to cheer for! Life is way too short to not be happy and if you think that no woman or team can make you 100 percent happy I have been married for 11 years and it has been the best years of my young life. There is nothing like going to Neyland and cheering for the VOLS,even when we struggle I have a blast. I am only kidding about the divorce but I hope you can show DD some support this year and not be so hard on him. If he doesn't improve soon then we can talk about firing him but at least give him this year! VFL

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to tovolny:

I didn't recognize but three posters. One that is always off course, and the "rich_is_re-born" dude who writes a book. So, I didn't even bother reading the posts. But who cares, RIGHT?

Go Vols, kick each others candy "behinds" and get down to work. A one in 12 practice attitude like last year and you can kiss the Pros good bye.

Pro sports and the SEC West will be fun too watch, at least.

That's funny. Half the dudes on this thread have been on here for years. The least recognizable name on here is....yours. That's all I got, kept it short and sweet for you tony!

Dougb-VFL writes:

in response to Clarkrm0706:

This "sec" is stronger/as strong as any in history. Your comparison is not fair.
I have been among the few on here to support any of your statements (Given I respected Fulmer because he gave his all to UT, Hate that it wasn't good enough during his final years but he did the best he could) He has been gone far too long to compare OR blame him. It appears that now all of your posts are negative, not because it is Dooley but because (who ever it is) is not Fulmer. Dooley may or may not be the guy but now is the time to decide if you are a UT fan, or a fan of a coach only.

So true! Fulmer was awesome during the 90's and good for our program. I am glad Dooley is here now and that is who I support because he is the coach of the team I love. Walt has a mancrush on Phil and probably a restraining order not to be within 100 feet of the old coach!

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to Dougb-VFL:

Get a divorce and a new team to cheer for! Life is way too short to not be happy and if you think that no woman or team can make you 100 percent happy I have been married for 11 years and it has been the best years of my young life. There is nothing like going to Neyland and cheering for the VOLS,even when we struggle I have a blast. I am only kidding about the divorce but I hope you can show DD some support this year and not be so hard on him. If he doesn't improve soon then we can talk about firing him but at least give him this year! VFL

That's fair.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to Dougb-VFL:

So true! Fulmer was awesome during the 90's and good for our program. I am glad Dooley is here now and that is who I support because he is the coach of the team I love. Walt has a mancrush on Phil and probably a restraining order not to be within 100 feet of the old coach!

Much harsher than my response, but much more funny also.

Dougb-VFL writes:

in response to Vol43:

Finally, a breath of fresh air. Thanks Gerry!

Right on brother!Dooley is talking about discipline and if we play with discipline we will be successful this year.Talk about a potent passing attack with Bray slinging it to the nation's best wideouts and a defense that should be able to shut down alot of our opponents we will compete for the east this year and Dooley haters will either jump on board or try to give all the credit to Hart.I am so excited to see how we run the ball as well because it will be an improvement which will keep our defense off the field and open up our play-action passing! VFL

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

That's funny. Half the dudes on this thread have been on here for years. The least recognizable name on here is....yours. That's all I got, kept it short and sweet for you tony!

I was thinking the same thing. Many of the names on here are new but the people have been here for years. Do you often have long posts? sure. I always thought it was because you gave facts to support your opinion. Or long winded( depended on whether or not I agreed with you) LOL.

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