Derrick Ansley sees NFL future for freshman LaDarrell McNeil

Cornerbacks coach Derrick Ansley said freshman LaDarrell McNeil has a bright future ahead of him, despite struggling at times on Tennessee's overmatched defense.

"He's going to be an NFL player in a couple of years," Ansley said Wednesday.

McNeil has been the Vols' most prominent freshman contributor on either side of the ball, starting six games and making 48 tackles as part of an often-criticized secondary.

"We had to throw him in the fire a little bit earlier than we wanted to, but it's going to work out for his benefit in the long run," Ansley said.

*Cordarrelle Patterson has been flagged for taunting in back-to-back games, but receivers coach Darin Hinshaw said Patterson doesn't deserve blame for the most recent infraction at Vanderbilt.

"It was a unique situation," Hinshaw said. "He saw a penalty flag and turned around and knew he was going to score and he was wondering what the penalty was for. He was upset about it. It looked like he was taunting, but he wasn't. He was very innocent on the play. You can see in his action on the field, he wasn't trying to taunt anybody ... It was the craziest thing I've ever seen."

*Defensive line coach John Palermo said some of the linemen he's coached in 2012 have been challenging, but the experience has ultimately been rewarding.

"There are some challenging personalities in there, but for the most part it's been good," he said. "I thought particularly in these last two games we made a lot of improvement. I thought throughout the season we did some good things. Were we good enough? Obviously not. But I'm not down on the kids. I thought the kids fought and did a good job."

As for the memories he'll keep of his year in Knoxville, Palermo said there were "a lot of first halves."

"I don't know if there is a lot more to remember," he said. "I think beating N.C. State in the opener was a nice deal for our football team. Other than that, there isn't a whole lot to cherish."

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.

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Comments » 23

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

I see the unemployment line for Ansley..He has to be the worst db coach in the history of UT fb.

Chope writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I see the unemployment line for Ansley..He has to be the worst db coach in the history of UT fb.

Can't coach speed. He seems like a young coach with lots of potential, good recruiter. I don't hold anything against him or all the other 1st year coaches who came into Tennessee on blind faith in what could happen here. Turned into a nightmare for all involved. I feel bad for those 1 and done coaches.

Colliervol writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I see the unemployment line for Ansley..He has to be the worst db coach in the history of UT fb.

Agreed. I don't think he knows a DB from a waterboy.

McNeil might be a decent tackler when he gets close to somebody but every time I saw him, a WR was running right by him and leaving him. From what I saw, he needs to gains some speed.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Colliervol:

Agreed. I don't think he knows a DB from a waterboy.

McNeil might be a decent tackler when he gets close to somebody but every time I saw him, a WR was running right by him and leaving him. From what I saw, he needs to gains some speed.

No doubt, it's not just slow of foot, but schematically these guys were constantly in the wrong defense or pursuit angles to the ball were completely wrong.

doctorvol#211700 writes:

Maybe he will surprise me. Has appeared S L O W this year, and has taken poor angles. Hard for a freshman to excel with no db on-field leadership.

Pullingguard writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I see the unemployment line for Ansley..He has to be the worst db coach in the history of UT fb.

Henhad very little talent to work with... Most of what wh had should hav been playing for some Div. 2 team...Speed was a much needed element..DB'S that lack speed are in big trouble..

CoverOrange writes:

A lot of the same players from last year were back this year. Last year wasn't great but much better than this year. Sure losing Brian Randolph hurt but there was an experienced group in Waggoner, Gordon, Teague and Brewer. And the switch to the 3-4 should have had minimal effect on the secondary. Sal knows how to coach linebackers. I don't think he knows how to coordinate a whole defense. If it was solely Ansley being responsible for the confusions on coverage Sal could have stepped in. I think Ansley did what he was told and Sal didn't know what he was doing.

florida-volfan writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I see the unemployment line for Ansley..He has to be the worst db coach in the history of UT fb.

You got that right....how about lets get a real former DB who knows the position to coach these guys, same thing I saw with Terry Joseph, he didnt have clue about DB's he was a baseball player. Same thing with Hinshaw, I've never seen anything special there, he was QB in college but he knows nothing about coaching up recievers. There all glorified subpar recruiters nothing more...

lemme_axya_this writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I see the unemployment line for Ansley..He has to be the worst db coach in the history of UT fb.

Yep, Prentiss was preseason all SEC second team. he looked as lost as everybody else much of the time, I hope a player as heralded as Byron Moore isn't as bad as he looked much of the tlme either.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to florida-volfan:

You got that right....how about lets get a real former DB who knows the position to coach these guys, same thing I saw with Terry Joseph, he didnt have clue about DB's he was a baseball player. Same thing with Hinshaw, I've never seen anything special there, he was QB in college but he knows nothing about coaching up recievers. There all glorified subpar recruiters nothing more...

How bout Roland James? One of the greatest db's to ever wear the Orange..

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to lemme_axya_this:

Yep, Prentiss was preseason all SEC second team. he looked as lost as everybody else much of the time, I hope a player as heralded as Byron Moore isn't as bad as he looked much of the tlme either.

I'm telling ya..These guys have no clue where they are supposed to line up or cover..The SEC tonight show were laughing at UT's defense and asking how could they be this bad??

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

A lot of the same players from last year were back this year. Last year wasn't great but much better than this year. Sure losing Brian Randolph hurt but there was an experienced group in Waggoner, Gordon, Teague and Brewer. And the switch to the 3-4 should have had minimal effect on the secondary. Sal knows how to coach linebackers. I don't think he knows how to coordinate a whole defense. If it was solely Ansley being responsible for the confusions on coverage Sal could have stepped in. I think Ansley did what he was told and Sal didn't know what he was doing.

I think if you threw Suneri's and Ansley's brains in an empty boxcar it would sound like two BB's bouncing around in there.

lemme_axya_this writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I'm telling ya..These guys have no clue where they are supposed to line up or cover..The SEC tonight show were laughing at UT's defense and asking how could they be this bad??

There may be hope for some of the senior defenders. As bad as Arian Foster looked in the Clawfense, he's doing ok for himself now. Same goes for Ramone Foster. At one time there was another offensive lineman from that year playing for the Steelers. Does the last name Scott ring a bell?

VolInIndy writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I think if you threw Suneri's and Ansley's brains in an empty boxcar it would sound like two BB's bouncing around in there.

OK. I'll pile on. If you put there brains on the edge of a razor blade, it would look like BBs rolling down a 4-lane highway. (J. Nitzinger - "Texas Blues" from Marysol Pop Festival album; approx 1971, one fine damn electric guitar blues tune!)

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to VolInIndy:

OK. I'll pile on. If you put there brains on the edge of a razor blade, it would look like BBs rolling down a 4-lane highway. (J. Nitzinger - "Texas Blues" from Marysol Pop Festival album; approx 1971, one fine damn electric guitar blues tune!)

Dang, I almost spewed my Bass ale out of my nose..LMAO!!

orange_eVOLution writes:

I like John Palermo. I hope he keeps that place at Lake Hollow. It's beautiful country in north Tennessee. If I were him, I'd retire there and never look back... except to watch the VOLS as they come back to own the SEC.

orange_eVOLution writes:

in response to orange_eVOLution:

I like John Palermo. I hope he keeps that place at Lake Hollow. It's beautiful country in north Tennessee. If I were him, I'd retire there and never look back... except to watch the VOLS as they come back to own the SEC.

Actually I think it's called Dale Hollow Lake. Sorry for the confusion. Beautiful country!

flatrock writes:

-losing B. Randolph was huge- sure hope he recovers to give Vols some leadership;
-McNeil would make a better LB- same with B. Moore;
-A.J. Johnson needs to add 20 pounds, put his hand in the dirt and start preparing for a career as a defensive end...his foot speed and stiffness keep him from ever being a big-time LB
...at DE, he could give the Vol defense what it needs the most- pressure on the QB.

doctorvol#211700 writes:

in response to orange_eVOLution:

Actually I think it's called Dale Hollow Lake. Sorry for the confusion. Beautiful country!

Dale Hollow Lake = Smallmouth Capitol of the World!

TooDlems writes:

in response to Colliervol:

Agreed. I don't think he knows a DB from a waterboy.

McNeil might be a decent tackler when he gets close to somebody but every time I saw him, a WR was running right by him and leaving him. From what I saw, he needs to gains some speed.

The Vol defensive backs and linebackers would have a tough time making waterboy status at most other SEC schools. Tennessee doesn't have a SEC db on it's roster.

Supersayin1 writes:

in response to TooDlems:

The Vol defensive backs and linebackers would have a tough time making waterboy status at most other SEC schools. Tennessee doesn't have a SEC db on it's roster.

Sadly enough I have to agree with you here!! We really don't!! Now if you wanna see what true UT LB's are like check this out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuycAZ...

clvolfan writes:

Hey coach!Not much for me,as a fan,to cherish either.I hope this next coaching staff will be able to help us forget this really soon.

flatrock writes:

in response to TooDlems:

The Vol defensive backs and linebackers would have a tough time making waterboy status at most other SEC schools. Tennessee doesn't have a SEC db on it's roster.

Brian Randolph, if healthy, can play anywhere in the SEC. Coleman has a chance- if his team ever gets a decent pass rush and he has help over the top from a safety like B. Randolph...Johnson is a DE waiting to happen; Maggitt needs to move inside and take Johnson's place...Vols' "inside-out" speed from LB was poor all year.

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