Vols hold players-only meeting, say 'things are going to change'

Tennessee linebacker Herman Lathers (34) and defensive lineman Daniel McCullers (98) try to squeeze through Mississippi State linemen as Mississippi State running back LaDarius Perkins (27) runs the ball in the fourth quarter at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee linebacker Herman Lathers (34) and defensive lineman Daniel McCullers (98) try to squeeze through Mississippi State linemen as Mississippi State running back LaDarius Perkins (27) runs the ball in the fourth quarter at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Tennessee players on facing #1 Alabama

Trying to stave off cracks in the team's unity after an 0-3 SEC start, Tennessee veterans called a players-only meeting Sunday after returning home from a 41-31 loss at Mississippi State.

Linebackers Herman Lathers and A.J. Johnson helped organize the meeting.

"We pulled some of the guys together and we said, 'If you don't want to play, go down to the scout team. We're tired of losing here and things are going to change and things are going to change this week,' " Lathers said Monday. "Guys that weren't doing it right, we're going to kick them off the field."

The Vols (3-3, 0-3 SEC) have lost 10 of their past 11 SEC games and are a big underdog to No. 1 Alabama (6-0, 3-0) at Neyland Stadium on Saturday (TV: ESPN, 7 p.m.).

Several players expressed support on Monday for coach Derek Dooley, whose record against ranked opponents fell to 0-13 after Saturday's loss.

The Rock on Tennessee's campus was painted with a message calling for Dooley's firing. It was quickly painted over.

Offensive lineman Antonio "Tiny" Richardson said the team would block out the distractions.

"We love Coach Dooley," he said. "There's no other coach I'd rather play for."

Dooley said the criticism reflects the passion of the Tennessee fan base.

"You can't have it both ways," Dooley said. "You can't have 102,000 screaming fans and not have an expectation of results. But what I tell players is you can't read it or listen to it. But more than anything, you have to define who you are. Not anyone else. You can't let somebody else define who you are."

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

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Comments » 201

Laydbakvol writes:

Let's do it!

TNFaninFL writes:

All the critics are having a field day... the team is getting better, just look at the O line compared to last year. Defense is a problem that has to be solved, either the coaching isnt right or the personnel cannot execute the game plan. But overall the team is improving. Alabama will be closer than people think. Mark it down.

allvol8 writes:

Like the play or go home..AJ and Herman have the ability to kick some a.:...... if need be

kevin151 writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

DeltaCharlie3 writes:

Helluva week to finally decide you've had enough.

West10Vol writes:

Great to see Lathers and Johnson taking a leadership role!!!

papavol writes:

I will support Dooley and the Vols through thick and thin but when they decide to part ways with dooley this winter and hire gruden, i won't be the least bit upset.

vols2#227315 writes:

Do not forget that Hart hired Salserr(what ever) so the defense would be so mix up , and alow big plays so he could fired Dooley and fill all Ut position with misfits from Ala dam bama. UT is now know as North Alabama Junior College at Knoxville wearing orange and white

dragon18 writes:

in response to footlongbamacockupyourasshole:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Classy username. Your family must be proud.

tovolny writes:

How about us fans giving the team and Coach Dooley a little help Coach Dooley is the best man for the job. He has qualities that will some day pay off. He is exactly what the Vols need at this time. The players we have are outstanding young men. We need to support them.
We need to show a little love.

The game is in Knoxville.

VolBy3 writes:

in response to footlongbamacockupyourasshole:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to footlongbamacockupyourasshole:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

redskinvol1 writes:

Prove it!

AZvolFan writes:

in response to allvol8:

Like the play or go home..AJ and Herman have the ability to kick some a.:...... if need be

To bad they can't break up a dang pass. Some one needs to tell them to turn their heads and look for the ball. They for the most part make good tackles, but they are always after the receivers have caught the ball. Our pass defense has made other teams look they are playing pitch and catch sometimes.

arkyvol writes:

they got a snowball's chance in hell of winning either of the next two. 0-5 in the conference. feel familiar?

Clarkrm0706 writes:

To the point of the story, player leadership has been one of the major things we have been missing. Would love to see that changed.

arkyvol writes:

in response to tovolny:

How about us fans giving the team and Coach Dooley a little help Coach Dooley is the best man for the job. He has qualities that will some day pay off. He is exactly what the Vols need at this time. The players we have are outstanding young men. We need to support them.
We need to show a little love.

The game is in Knoxville.

"the best man for the job?" how late do you stay up waiting for santy claus? i bet you got a marvelous collection of teeth under your pillow.

forkball writes:

in response to footlongbamacockupyourasshole:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Username unbelievable and an all time low, even coming from the bowels of the south.

rockypop writes:

in response to kevin151:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Classy post.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to forkball:

Username unbelievable and an all time low, even coming from the bowels of the south.

With the exception of one regular Bama poster, this was par for the course for their fans.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to titletownz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Calm down tinytotz, this article had nothing to do with FL.

chuckfromwoodberry writes:

I hope KNS is permanently removing that user name that obviously belongs to an alabubba fan with repressed man love urges.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to chuckfromwoodberry:

I hope KNS is permanently removing that user name that obviously belongs to an alabubba fan with repressed man love urges.

They will remove the name but allow him back on in about three minutes.

TNORANGEDOGDAD writes:

Hey guys this comes from fans that poison opposing teams sacred trees and expose their genitals on the face of opposing passed out fans face. Please remove this classless idiots post and name which I absolutely cannot believe they let get on here.

volfan73120#211815 writes:

I don't know what footlongbama said, but his user name should be enough to get him banned for life.

bigdisbig writes:

in response to arkyvol:

"the best man for the job?" how late do you stay up waiting for santy claus? i bet you got a marvelous collection of teeth under your pillow.

Dude that was great! I am still laughing.

bigorangeyankees writes:

in response to VolBy3:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

KNS??? Do you not see how the user name reads?? Remove the user name. Not volby3 above that.

bigorangeyankees writes:

in response to bigorangeyankees:

KNS??? Do you not see how the user name reads?? Remove the user name. Not volby3 above that.

Okay, my resonse did not go where it was intended. This user name needs removed!! footlongbamacockupyourasshole

underthehill writes:

in response to forkball:

Username unbelievable and an all time low, even coming from the bowels of the south.

why would the username be approved to begin with...

6972 writes:

We could use a lot of guys up there with the attitude of Al Wilson. His teammates did not want him on their butt.

P.S. Is there no way for this site to avoid trash user name. That was disgusting, sick, perverted, just to mention a few words to describe this jerk.

eepwlg writes:

in response to arkyvol:

"the best man for the job?" how late do you stay up waiting for santy claus? i bet you got a marvelous collection of teeth under your pillow.

At this point there is no way to change coaches. We are clawing back from a tough spot. Slamming the coaches affects the players as well. Do you think they like losing? Why not shut the hell up and support our team. Unless you think you can go in and change it right away. And that goes for the rest of you know-it-all whiners.

Pullingguard writes:

Lot of UT fans and posters should have been in that meeting...Be with us, support us, or get you another team to degrade..

SevenT writes:

in response to titletownz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No, he stayed in his room bragging to himself about the 148 yards passing he threw up against MSU.

BigVolinCarolina writes:

If we beat 'Bama, this meeting will have served its purpose. If we do not beat 'Bama, this meeting will have been useless.

Will this Saturday night be the start of a new era for the Vols? We shall see.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to KremsersWaywardWallop:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Cool. Read their comments, now which player are you?

vol_fan8 writes:

in response to papavol:

I will support Dooley and the Vols through thick and thin but when they decide to part ways with dooley this winter and hire gruden, i won't be the least bit upset.

you're in an idiot. he's turned us down when Fulmer was hired and when Kiffin left. you really think anyone would want to come with the fans we have? I say the real fans have a team meeting with ya'll band wagon fans; same call, get the ---- out of my state and off my campus. GA has some openings for village idiot for you.

TheCopper writes:

in response to KremsersWaywardWallop:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Jeff do you not realize how stupid you sound. It is very hard for anyone to take you seriously when you are constantly spouting words like "Dooleave, Doolaid, and Dooloser." You need to grow up and quit acting like a 3rd grade whiny little girl.

thevoice writes:

in response to Clarkrm0706:

To the point of the story, player leadership has been one of the major things we have been missing. Would love to see that changed.

Right on, I agree. Sort of wish it was Bray who organized the meeting, indicating he may have turned the corner. I hope AJ's mother wasn't at the meeting.

voloffaith writes:

HEY KNS SITE POLICE!!!! You banned the poster's sicko post and YET let it's sicko name stay??? GREAT job of being laughed at by that poster as his OBSCENE name remains......

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to thevoice:

Right on, I agree. Sort of wish it was Bray who organized the meeting, indicating he may have turned the corner. I hope AJ's mother wasn't at the meeting.

Agree completely. When I watch the former Vols on "The locker room" talk about how they did not need coaches to yell at them, they did it theirselves, I realize another thing that this team is missing.

tenndave writes:

Will the defense ever learn their positions????

allvol8 writes:

in response to kevin151:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If you are talking to me. you are the fool. I was referring to them telling their fellow players to play or go home as where they came from not Daniel boob.

15_counting writes:

It won't help much but as a true Bama fan I'm totally embarrassed by this user name and glad I didn't have to see the post. I may have my time at "ribbing" back and forth but this is rediculous! Apologies from real Bama fans.

Are these user names not reviewed for approval?

allvol8 writes:

in response to AZvolFan:

To bad they can't break up a dang pass. Some one needs to tell them to turn their heads and look for the ball. They for the most part make good tackles, but they are always after the receivers have caught the ball. Our pass defense has made other teams look they are playing pitch and catch sometimes.

Yeah I saw that. All he ( not sure player it was) had to do was turn around.. it almost hit his helmet

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to tenndave:

Will the defense ever learn their positions????

Fair question. I also add that even if the current players learn, do they have the speed to pull it off?

pingkr62 writes:

Mark your calender, 10-29-12. He stays or he goes.

thevoice writes:

in response to vol_fan8:

you're in an idiot. he's turned us down when Fulmer was hired and when Kiffin left. you really think anyone would want to come with the fans we have? I say the real fans have a team meeting with ya'll band wagon fans; same call, get the ---- out of my state and off my campus. GA has some openings for village idiot for you.

I'm not saying he does or doesn't have interest, but it's quite possible that IF he was offered previously, he may not have been offered enough. If think UT's budget was very limited at that time. Now, regardless of the AD finances, I think UT knows that it'll have to fork over the $$$ to get things turned around. Think of all the payouts Bama had to pay (4 coaches) before getting Nick. They probably paid the Dolphins to get him! Now, Bama has more cash than anybody.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

You may say you wish it was Bray being the leader and calling the meeting, but I think it's great to see a senior and a sophomore LB doing it. Consider this: It's the defense that's been the weak link in our losses, so it's only natural - and right - that the leaders of the defense step up and lead. That means more to the other defensive players than if it were offensive players calling them out.

thevoice writes:

in response to vol_fan8:

you're in an idiot. he's turned us down when Fulmer was hired and when Kiffin left. you really think anyone would want to come with the fans we have? I say the real fans have a team meeting with ya'll band wagon fans; same call, get the ---- out of my state and off my campus. GA has some openings for village idiot for you.

As far as the fans, we're no more or no less rabid, impatient, stupid, etc. that any other fan base that expects championships. You really think if this junk was going at UF Dooley would still be there? Think about that.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to 10seVol85_Part_Deux:

You may say you wish it was Bray being the leader and calling the meeting, but I think it's great to see a senior and a sophomore LB doing it. Consider this: It's the defense that's been the weak link in our losses, so it's only natural - and right - that the leaders of the defense step up and lead. That means more to the other defensive players than if it were offensive players calling them out.

Decent post. I admire the defensive leaders for doing this but Brays desicion making has been just as suspect. It would not hurt him to tweet "I am going to try harder" instead of "TN has some fairweather fans"
He has talent but at some point, you must say "my bad, I will fix this". Especially when throwing 40 yards on 3rd and 2.

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