Da'Rick Rogers returns to practice; Derek Dooley clears the air

Dooley clears air after WR misses workout

AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL
Tennessee wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers, waits to run a drill after teammate Vincent Dallas, right, during practice at Haslam Field on Saturday.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess, ©KNS/2012

AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers, waits to run a drill after teammate Vincent Dallas, right, during practice at Haslam Field on Saturday.

Derek Dooley on the first week of camp and the return of Da'Rick Rogers

Dooley clears air after WR misses workout

By Austin Ward

warda@knoxnews.com

No suspension.

No transfer.

No absence from practice and no drama.

Da'Rick Rogers simply went back to work.

Just two days after missing a workout and sparking widespread speculation about his future with the Tennessee football team, the mercurial wide receiver was back in pads and on the field Saturday morning, still a member of the team and obviously cleared to participate again.

"You know, it was something he had to do, he did it and he's back," UT coach Derek Dooley said. "He's doing good. He had a good day out there. He had good energy, good job covering punts a couple times.

"He's obviously an extremely talented player. Glad he took care of what he had to do."

Dooley didn't provide any specifics on what exactly the junior needed to take care of before returning to spring camp. But the issue was apparently resolved quickly over the 48 hours since Rogers was a no-show at practice on Thursday and then made comments to a recruiting site that covers Georgia State suggesting he might transfer after two productive seasons with the Vols.

Even if he was sticking around, there also was some uncertainty about his status with the Vols following a two-week ban from team activities that multiple sources confirmed Rogers was given during the offseason for physically threatening a strength coach.

But Dooley made clear on Thursday that Rogers was not facing a suspension and could return to the team as early as its next practice — which he did, jumping right back into drills and flashing the athleticism that made him a first-team All-SEC pick last fall.

Rogers was not made available to the media on Saturday, but Dooley indicated the two "talked for hours" and a possible departure was never discussed.

"There was zero indications of any of that stuff," Dooley said. "(The conversations were) very positive — extremely positive.

"Da'Rick has been fine. I don't worry about (him being a distraction), and if he

is, then we handle it just like any other player."

How exactly the Vols handled Rogers during the past couple days wasn't disclosed publicly, though whatever approach both sides took allowed for them to get back together without the wideout missing more than one practice.

Aside from his valuable production after a breakout campaign last season, his return figures to provide a boost in camp merely because it adds another body to a position perilously low on experienced targets with Justin Hunter still recovering from knee surgery and only two other players with a catch currently on the roster.

But in terms of his numbers, it surely doesn't hurt when a player coming off a 67-catch, 1,040-yard campaign is reintroduced to the mix.

"It's like I said with all the players, it doesn't matter who it is, guys, even the best players, even the guys who seem like they've got everything going for them, there's a lot of meetings that you have with them because college football's hard," Dooley said. "It's tough. College is tough, life is tough and learning how to navigate through those waters, it takes a lot of mentoring, it takes a lot of time with them so that when they're playing in their competitive element, that they're free of all that clutter.

"We forget they're 18, 19, 20 years old. It's a whole new ballgame."

Rogers is once again back in it.

Austin Ward covers Tennessee football. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Vols_Beat and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/ward

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Comments » 226

ChattaVol1 writes:

Great news, I look for D.R. to have a great year!!

jowemedo writes:

At least this is good news for now. Hope he gets his head screwed on straight and tight and that it doesn't come loose again after it becomes obvious that Hunter is the number 1 go to guy.

Fishpants writes:

Good news. I think Da'Rick has finally realized his best path to 'mo money'

thevoice writes:

Nice!

huntined#565710 writes:

WOW We needed that to be over..We should have a great bunch of receivers and do some damage in the passing game this year...and maybe we can even RUN THE BALL!!!

ProfessionalHandicapper writes:

I remember how Dooley lauded over Janzen Jackson after he returned when he should have been booted 8 months earlier. If this was a third string nobody he would be gone. Dooley plays favorites and has no respect from his players and undoubtedly his assistant coaches who all ran away as fast as they could last year. The same ole stuff another year.

DalTexVol writes:

Much ado about nothing once again. Don't worry though, our intrepid reporters will dig up another crisis to sell newspapers.

djgovols writes:

Dude really ??? MTSU or Vandy need fans how about go there and spread your joy and cheer with them please !!!

BleednUrnge81 writes:

Glad to see Da'rick made the right decision. Our offense will be better for it. Hopefully we can run the ball now that people will have to respect the passing game or get burned and blown out, lol. GBO, BUCK FAMA, F*** Florida, and have a good'n.

BamaVol writes:

I believe the media makes things worst for the kids, These guys can't fart unless some sports writer is there to see what it smells like. Give these kids a break. Also last year was a bad year, if we don't have injurys like last year we will be good.

GoVols

slb#1351874 writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

I remember how Dooley lauded over Janzen Jackson after he returned when he should have been booted 8 months earlier. If this was a third string nobody he would be gone. Dooley plays favorites and has no respect from his players and undoubtedly his assistant coaches who all ran away as fast as they could last year. The same ole stuff another year.

You are proably the most aggroant, dumb butt piece of so called humanity that I have ever encounterd in my 76 years on this planet. I would bet your mommy hates you. It is impossibe to regulate igronance so from this day forward I will simply ignor your igronance.

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor wonder why the guy that started this left out the finishing sentence?

That's the biggest challenge you have as a coach is teaching the players how to manage all of the clutter that can enter their lives and manage the difficulties of college football, the difficulties of the exposure they get and the difficulties of the criticism they get sometimes publicly."

(?)

Bones never lie.

peyton4prez writes:

anyone who actually thinks the antics with rogers are over is off there rocker. dooley should go ahead and take the good medicine before this headache comes back.

volsindallas writes:

Glad he is back...GO VOLS

CharlotteVol writes:

Not meaning to sound like all the fair weather fans on here, but this feels like living on borrowed time.

Go Vols!

AtopTheHill06 writes:

Haters will hate. But don't let them fool you. Nobody wants to face the Vols passing attack, with Rogers, Bray, and Hunter healthy. Let the aerial display begin.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Did we beat Bama today or whenever it was? I didn't see much of it. I really love baseball except on TV.
Article? Ohhh the Rogers gossip. Guess there wasn't a story after all. hmmm been a few of those lately.

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

I remember how Dooley lauded over Janzen Jackson after he returned when he should have been booted 8 months earlier. If this was a third string nobody he would be gone. Dooley plays favorites and has no respect from his players and undoubtedly his assistant coaches who all ran away as fast as they could last year. The same ole stuff another year.

Looks like you and Dooley have something in common... you don't have respect from anyone in this forum.

jobrando#216494 writes:

Back on track....want happen again

vut5686#1405392 writes:

There were not enough facts ever presented to either count R gone, or know he was staying. Nothing has dis-proven what little Dooley has said. The source of hundreds of posts are a couple of speculative newspaper reports and those hundreds who jump on with either pro or con viewpoints.

All this adds up to no assurance R will stay and be great or leave as a bust. That goes for every player on scholarship. It will play out how it plays out and all our comments will not affect one iota...nor has it ever. Makes one wonder why we continue to get so worked up...over not very much.

kevininaugustageorgia writes:

"The same ole stuff another year." That comment came directly from you, Mr. "Professional". It's exactly what I think everytime I see your screen name above some words...

gwbask writes:

Great news... let's move forward and expect a terrific season from him and our team.

Basketvol writes:

in response to 10seVol85:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Nice to see some understanding. It's badly needed, and not just on this forum. Now I'm ready for some football! Tick tock . . .

Supersayin1 writes:

Woohoooo!!! Take that haters!!! Remember there is no telling what internal demons this kid may have been going through maybe something big, maybe something small, but the media and trolls love to make it a freaking epic movie! Glad to see him back, and I can't wait to see the Hunter/Rodgers show again!! Cincy was the preview!

Supersayin1 writes:

in response to 10seVol85:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Great post!

BigBadVol writes:

Dooley is obviously a very intelligent man. I trust his judgement over anyone posting here. Da'Rick has some growing up to do but it appears he is slowly learning. The drama doesn't work.

jsmithnga#207674 writes:

Looks like Witchie has been right twice about DR rumors; I will just listen to the bones.

orangecountyvols writes:

Supersayin and other Vols,

Exactly. Another defeat for the absolutely
pathetic so-called "ProfessionalHandicapper."

He never gets anything right...........his
amateur predictions and/or outlook on life, with people in particular.

Haters like this are simply choking on their once again incorrect predictions.........this time about one particular football player. Tough isn't it "un-professional" working from the living room recliner.

Just moving forward Vols and the trolls plus naysayers are the ones who can't cut it !

Go Vols

TnReb writes:

Good for the team, good for Rogers and good for CDD. Hope it lasts.

Greyfeathers writes:

Things I am suddenly tired of.. Da'Brick....

CoverOrange writes:

Why do I have the feeling DR is walking around with a big goofy smile on his face cuz he done played the media.

bbfn writes:

in response to slb#1351874:

You are proably the most aggroant, dumb butt piece of so called humanity that I have ever encounterd in my 76 years on this planet. I would bet your mommy hates you. It is impossibe to regulate igronance so from this day forward I will simply ignor your igronance.

Don't be ignorant. Learn to spell.

mtthw741 writes:

in response to RockyMountainVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I couldn't agree more! People talk about "maturity issues"!? He's a KID!!!! These things have always happened. The problem is with social media. Now you know why some coaches ban twitter.

jimr07 writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

I remember how Dooley lauded over Janzen Jackson after he returned when he should have been booted 8 months earlier. If this was a third string nobody he would be gone. Dooley plays favorites and has no respect from his players and undoubtedly his assistant coaches who all ran away as fast as they could last year. The same ole stuff another year.

Of course... you have all the inside information..

volpreacher writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

I remember how Dooley lauded over Janzen Jackson after he returned when he should have been booted 8 months earlier. If this was a third string nobody he would be gone. Dooley plays favorites and has no respect from his players and undoubtedly his assistant coaches who all ran away as fast as they could last year. The same ole stuff another year.

Yep, you are right. Same stuff like beating Vandy again.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

GO LOUISVILLE!!!!!!!!

allvols4life writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Also don't worry...a Gator troll will always be here to comment on a Tennessee article. Interesting!

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to GatorBait88:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Funny thing..............whatever happens, you won't have any bearing on the outcome.

Pretty big mouth on an internet site.....we'll give you that, at least.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to ScoonerTN:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Go Sluggers. Just because of you.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Apparently the product "UR-in Luck" works..Good job, Chong.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to 10seVol85:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch Doctor just try to remember how dumb Witch Doctor was at that age...(pretty dumb...My favorite saying "I cant tell you how to do it..but I can sure tell you how NOT to do it! lol) Witch Doctor say maybe Dooley is doing more than expected to get YOUNG man thru these years.. Witch Doctor say wonder how mnay these people hating like this will be in church tomorrow? lol.
Good stuff 10seVol85!
Bones never lie.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to ScoonerTN:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch Doctor say go Cats! (Witch Doctor say now blood shooting out of Witch Doctors ears...happy? )
lol
Bones never lie.
*its an SEC thang..

pingkr62 writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Think again Jethro,he is not a savior to me. Rogers is, and will always be a diva.Does anyone remember his encounter with NuKeese Richardson, and the photo of them walking into the Courthouse with their jackets pulled over their heads?If he survives spring and fall camp, and then football season, he will enter the N.F.L. draft. I don't care if he's back on the team. He's still a thug. G.B.O.!!!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to GatorBait88:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We?? What position do you play, besides jorts and blue tank top wearing, natty light guzzling armchair QB??

thevoice writes:

in response to 10seVol85:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

In case you haven't noticed, "they" only show up to stir the pot and keep doing it when folk like yourself respond to 'em. If so many think so little of "them" then why do so many pay "them" so much attention?

Just trying to clean up the board.

BankerVol writes:

in response to GatorBait88:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well respected my asp! You are nothing but a loud mouth BLOW HARD. I for one can't wait for the little lizards to come to Knoxville. The sooner they get here the sooner they leave as losers and your troll asp will stay away for a while.

clvolfan writes:

in response to ChattaVol1:

Great news, I look for D.R. to have a great year!!

Yeah,a great year until Hunter catches a few more than he does,then it will start all over again. If it has to do with his class work,pray tell us why it is not our business to know? And besides,how can CDD not keep silence when another player has an issue?

Vols4Ever writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say go Cats! (Witch Doctor say now blood shooting out of Witch Doctors ears...happy? )
lol
Bones never lie.
*its an SEC thang..

Your wit is sharp and the posts provide insight. I’ve always found them a highlight when viewing this forum. I still wonder why you had to introduce the plural name vs. retaining the singular of old. WTF did you do?
Nevertheless, as long as the ‘Cheating Cats’ have ‘Cheating Cal’ I cannot support the hallowed tradition of SEC vs. everyone else. Even if it requires hoping R(P)rick Pitino wins. BTW, that was really hard to type.
I guess if it ends up being THE Ohio State vs. Cats will be when it requires the ultimate soul searching.

BankerVol writes:

in response to GatorBait88:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Excuse me... I meant big scary lizards. At least you didn't argue the fact that you are a loud mouth BLOW HARD. Gotta respect that about you I guess.

Vol_in_Mich writes:

Gawd, you people were wanting to lynch Da'Rick (aka T.O. jr.) a couple of days ago. Maybe Dooley needs to get a hold of this team & let the press & us peon fans know WTF is going on! Seems he has the people skills of a turd. I just can't shake the feeling Dooley is way over his head here. I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think so.

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