John Adams: 3-5 start, 3-4 scheme two more things UT can't defend

John Adams
Tennessee defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri looks back to the sideline as the Vols take on South Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri looks back to the sideline as the Vols take on South Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

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Losing is tough enough for Tennessee fans. But the way the Vols are losing makes it even tougher.

Fans can't understand how a Tennessee defense could be this bad.

Sure, there were preseason concerns — most of which were related to change. The Vols had an all-new defensive coaching staff. They had a new defensive scheme.

They even had a new defensive philosophy of sorts, as mandated by third-year UT coach Derek Dooley.

He wanted a more aggressive defense. He wanted more big plays and more forced turnovers.

You can't fault him for that. What's the appeal in standing pat when you have suffered through back-to-back seven-loss seasons? Besides, it's not as though anyone was confusing UT's defense with Alabama's.

Now, no one is confusing this defense with last year's.

Tennessee's 2011 defense gave up 271 points. This defense already has given up just as many in four fewer games. It also has given up 211 points in five SEC games — or 10 more than the 5-7 team of 2008 team gave up in its entire dreadful season.

And the video has been as damning as the scoreboard during UT's 3-5 season.

Opposing teams repeatedly have accumulated a season's worth of highlights in just one game against UT's defense. Almost every opposing quarterback has looked like an All-American candidate when he has thrown in Tennessee's direction.

I realize the offense is currently ahead of the defense in college football. But that's not an acceptable excuse for what's going on with UT's defense, which often seems overmatched against any offense manned by reasonably healthy student-athletes.

You saw that again Saturday when UT fell to 0-5 in the SEC with a 38-35 loss to South Carolina. You also saw what one great defensive player could do.

South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney forced a game-deciding fumble when he knocked the ball loose from UT quarterback Tyler Bray with 1:08 to play.

Tennessee doesn't have that caliber of player on its defense. Few teams do. But UT's defensive flaws can't be attributed solely to a void of superstars, or even a shortage of average SEC players.

Coaching is obviously a factor.

Hiring defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri from Alabama almost seemed like a coup for Dooley when he had to replace Justin Wilcox, who left after last season for a similar position at the University of Washington.

Although Sunseri hadn't been a defensive coordinator since 1999 at Alabama A&M, he coached the Carolina Panthers' defensive line for seven seasons. He also coached linebackers

on Alabama's national championship teams in 2009 and 2011.

Sunseri brought more than national championship experience with him from Alabama. His energy and enthusiasm were evident from his first practice session.

"An exceptional fit for Tennessee," Dooley called him.

In fact, Sunseri has been a horrible fit.

Last season, Wilcox probably got less credit than he deserved for masking UT's defensive shortcomings. It's as though the current system was designed to highlight the defense's inadequacies. How else can you characterize what's going on with a defense that has given up 42 points per game in SEC play?

Maybe the personnel isn't well suited for Sunseri's system. Or maybe the team and scheme just need more time to mesh. Sound familiar?

After the 2007 season, then UT coach Phillip Fulmer had to replace veteran offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe. He decided on Dave Clawson, who came to UT from Richmond with sterling offensive credentials — none of which were apparent during the 2008 season.

But as Clawson's one and only UT offense stumbled from one game to the next, he pointed out that players usually didn't hit their stride in his system until the second season.

Fulmer couldn't vouch for that. He was fired with three games remaining in the 2008 season.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns.

© 2012 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 74

tnwolfpup68 writes:

There's a time I really believed that UT has been infiltrated by past and current Alabama staff (including the AD), with the intent of ruining us from the inside out...So I ask any of you - am I right or should I just take another shot of juice?

thevoice writes:

The rumor about Dooley offering to resign after the 2011 UK game is looking more like reality. The man simply doesn't want to coach here anymore. I wonder if we can get him on breach of contract. Hasn't coached since he got to UT.

TKO writes:

The offensive live is as good as it has been since the Fulmer days, but I cannot say much has been improved upon since Dolley has arrived. This is the worst secondary I have seen in college football in a long time.The defense seems confused throughout every game.
Although the team did not quit yesterday, the coaches just do not seem to have the ability to improve the talent once they arrive on campus.
BBFN

shorttail writes:

can't cover receivers when it takes 2 minutes to run 5 yards

TKO writes:

sorry, Dooley

cltvol writes:

in response to tnwolfpup68:

There's a time I really believed that UT has been infiltrated by past and current Alabama staff (including the AD), with the intent of ruining us from the inside out...So I ask any of you - am I right or should I just take another shot of juice?

i'm with you brother,,get that friken' alibamy riff raff outta here!! (cept for david cutcliffe of course he would always be welcome)

Ironcity writes:

in response to tnwolfpup68:

There's a time I really believed that UT has been infiltrated by past and current Alabama staff (including the AD), with the intent of ruining us from the inside out...So I ask any of you - am I right or should I just take another shot of juice?

Your wrong here. The AD had nothing to do with the hires. He did however allow his coach to make his own decisions. This was the right thing to do in principle but ultimately the wrong thing to do if the coach is totally inept. The good news is Dooleys days are numbered and we can move on. I hope for the best (Gruden) but I would be willing to accept a lot less. Whoever they hire should hire T Martin, keep Graham and hire as many UTs guys as possible in an attempt to unite the fan base because right now its a mess.

brauhuff#295403 (Inactive) writes:

I would make honor his contract and no raises or rollover. If he would take less say 2-3 million to leave then I would pay it. He does not deserve 5 million dollars and somebody ought to sue Mike Hamilton for making all of these boneheaded decisions. DD if he has any morals ought to accept less and do everybody a favor including himself and bow out graciously.

thevoice writes:

in response to Ironcity:

Your wrong here. The AD had nothing to do with the hires. He did however allow his coach to make his own decisions. This was the right thing to do in principle but ultimately the wrong thing to do if the coach is totally inept. The good news is Dooleys days are numbered and we can move on. I hope for the best (Gruden) but I would be willing to accept a lot less. Whoever they hire should hire T Martin, keep Graham and hire as many UTs guys as possible in an attempt to unite the fan base because right now its a mess.

I don't know about that. I believe Dooley mentioned on numerous occasions when he got hired that he was in favor of the 4-3. Just don't know why he would hire Sunseri when he did. I still think Dooley has purposely been digging his own grave, complete with a $5M parachute.

thevoice writes:

in response to Ironcity:

Your wrong here. The AD had nothing to do with the hires. He did however allow his coach to make his own decisions. This was the right thing to do in principle but ultimately the wrong thing to do if the coach is totally inept. The good news is Dooleys days are numbered and we can move on. I hope for the best (Gruden) but I would be willing to accept a lot less. Whoever they hire should hire T Martin, keep Graham and hire as many UTs guys as possible in an attempt to unite the fan base because right now its a mess.

Sure would be nice to get T back in Knoxville. He's a class act and apparently well though of coaching-wise. Gruden, T, Jay would be a nice trio. I think highly of Strong too.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to thevoice:

Sure would be nice to get T back in Knoxville. He's a class act and apparently well though of coaching-wise. Gruden, T, Jay would be a nice trio. I think highly of Strong too.

Tee (Benedict Arnold) Martin?? No thanks, and for the record the guy seems about as dumb as a box of nails..

tovolny writes:

John, how many fans did you ask...two, maybe three. And, looks to me like the whole reason you wrote this was to expound on a Cutie headline. C'mon John, how about relating some ACTUAL TRUE information.

thevoice writes:

in response to tovolny:

John, how many fans did you ask...two, maybe three. And, looks to me like the whole reason you wrote this was to expound on a Cutie headline. C'mon John, how about relating some ACTUAL TRUE information.

Get used to it. Dooley's gone.

pingkr62 writes:

I can't understand why the 3-4 defense was installed without sufficient numbers/ bodies at line backer. How could the coaching staff make such a dumb mistake?

FWBVol writes:

in response to thevoice:

I don't know about that. I believe Dooley mentioned on numerous occasions when he got hired that he was in favor of the 4-3. Just don't know why he would hire Sunseri when he did. I still think Dooley has purposely been digging his own grave, complete with a $5M parachute.

Why would a man in his early 40s who, potentially could make five or six times the 5 million buyout if he does well as a coach, purposely dig his own grave and put himself in a position to never get another shot at a head coaching job?

I just can't buy your theory. Do you have any theories about a grass knoll in Dallas in November of 1963?

VolsToGo writes:

in response to Ironcity:

Your wrong here. The AD had nothing to do with the hires. He did however allow his coach to make his own decisions. This was the right thing to do in principle but ultimately the wrong thing to do if the coach is totally inept. The good news is Dooleys days are numbered and we can move on. I hope for the best (Gruden) but I would be willing to accept a lot less. Whoever they hire should hire T Martin, keep Graham and hire as many UTs guys as possible in an attempt to unite the fan base because right now its a mess.

I agree that CDD has been an overall failure. Name a portion of our game that's significantly better than it was 3 years ago (except the O-Line of course). However, hiring Tee Martin and other meekly-qualified coaches to fire up the fan base is not the answer. If we need cheer leaders, we'd have Trooper Taylor on the phone now. Hiring quality coaches who've proven they can put a winning team on the field (offense, defense and special teams)will take care of the fan base.

td writes:

My closest association with Coach Dooley is the TV screen. From that perspective, he appears to be an honest and decent man with the best interests of the University of Tennessee in his heart; and in a previous era of College Football that would have provided enough "good will" to earn four or five, maybe seven years, to turn a program into an acceptable winner. As I said in a previous era. The reality, in 2012, is Coach Dooley serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the primary income engine for Tennessee Athletics, Inc. The Vol Football Program finances ALL SPORTS at Tennessee. SEC Revenue Sharing doesn't cover all the costs, so the financial responsibility requires football ticket sales, merchandising, and fan interest to maintain facilities and pay the bills. One way to regenerate interest is to make a change at the top. NFL owners have employed this model for decades to keep fans energized. In an Era of one or, maybe, two televised College Football games per week and coaches earning moderate middle class salaries, Coach Dooley could expect at least two more years. Unfortunately, the current fiscal reality will trump the Football Team's development under Coach Dooley. This could play-out like Oklahoma and John Blake. In 1995 Howard Schnellenberger arrived in Norman to resurrect a football program that had faltered since Barry Switzer's resignation in 1988. Schenellenberger got the ax after one year. So, OU hired Blake from the Dallas Cowboys, and he proceeded to drive the program into the ground. After three years, OU signed Bob Stoops off Spurrier's Florida staff at the end of the 1998 season (y'all know what happened in Tempe; same year as Cutcliffe to Ole Miss). In 1999, Stoops lost to Cutcliffe in the Independence Bowl. In 2000, the Sooners whipped Florida State and won it all (National Champs). There are similarities to Tennessee 2008 to 2012. Although I believe Coach Dooley could turn the program given time, the fiscal reality of 2012 won't permit it. Hopefully, history will repeat itself, and we'll have a National Champion in Knoxville after the 2014 Season! Ironically, as of right now, the 2014 schedule has Tennessee playing Oklahoma in Norman that September. Best of Luck (certainly better than you've had these past three years) Coach Dooley.

thevoice writes:

in response to FWBVol:

Why would a man in his early 40s who, potentially could make five or six times the 5 million buyout if he does well as a coach, purposely dig his own grave and put himself in a position to never get another shot at a head coaching job?

I just can't buy your theory. Do you have any theories about a grass knoll in Dallas in November of 1963?

I'd say it's either true or Dooley is perhaps the most clueless coach of all-time to switch to a 3-4 before a must-win year, knowing he doesn't have the personnel for it. Either way, I doubt he coaches again. His body language and post-game comments don't indicate otherwise. He swung and missed. He knows it.

orange_eVOLution writes:

in response to td:

My closest association with Coach Dooley is the TV screen. From that perspective, he appears to be an honest and decent man with the best interests of the University of Tennessee in his heart; and in a previous era of College Football that would have provided enough "good will" to earn four or five, maybe seven years, to turn a program into an acceptable winner. As I said in a previous era. The reality, in 2012, is Coach Dooley serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the primary income engine for Tennessee Athletics, Inc. The Vol Football Program finances ALL SPORTS at Tennessee. SEC Revenue Sharing doesn't cover all the costs, so the financial responsibility requires football ticket sales, merchandising, and fan interest to maintain facilities and pay the bills. One way to regenerate interest is to make a change at the top. NFL owners have employed this model for decades to keep fans energized. In an Era of one or, maybe, two televised College Football games per week and coaches earning moderate middle class salaries, Coach Dooley could expect at least two more years. Unfortunately, the current fiscal reality will trump the Football Team's development under Coach Dooley. This could play-out like Oklahoma and John Blake. In 1995 Howard Schnellenberger arrived in Norman to resurrect a football program that had faltered since Barry Switzer's resignation in 1988. Schenellenberger got the ax after one year. So, OU hired Blake from the Dallas Cowboys, and he proceeded to drive the program into the ground. After three years, OU signed Bob Stoops off Spurrier's Florida staff at the end of the 1998 season (y'all know what happened in Tempe; same year as Cutcliffe to Ole Miss). In 1999, Stoops lost to Cutcliffe in the Independence Bowl. In 2000, the Sooners whipped Florida State and won it all (National Champs). There are similarities to Tennessee 2008 to 2012. Although I believe Coach Dooley could turn the program given time, the fiscal reality of 2012 won't permit it. Hopefully, history will repeat itself, and we'll have a National Champion in Knoxville after the 2014 Season! Ironically, as of right now, the 2014 schedule has Tennessee playing Oklahoma in Norman that September. Best of Luck (certainly better than you've had these past three years) Coach Dooley.

On your next post... one million words or less, please.

Pullingguard writes:

any manager or coach of people are good as his support management people and how well they lead and motivitate those people under their jurisdiction.. In Dooleys case he has a person who is not producing and that person is Sal and his support team of asst. coach's... He should demote or fire him therefore giving himself an opportunity for another year...

vol_fan8 writes:

Why don't you write about the ONLY reason our defense got worse this year .... we ( we = real fans) lost our DC because the band wagon " can't find their tail with a flashlight and a mirror" ... Didn't go to UT ... Don't donate .... Fans ran off Wilcox! Blame yourself for ruining my team. Now go get a job and please move back to the whole where you came from.

arkyvol writes:

at times, it looks like the vol linebackers are wading in foot deep mud.

therightstuff writes:

in response to FWBVol:

Why would a man in his early 40s who, potentially could make five or six times the 5 million buyout if he does well as a coach, purposely dig his own grave and put himself in a position to never get another shot at a head coaching job?

I just can't buy your theory. Do you have any theories about a grass knoll in Dallas in November of 1963?

Evidence confirms there was a shooter on the grassy knoll....the only mystery is who set the whole thing up. LBJ, JE Hoover, Castro.....?????? This is a more interesting topic than the lack of Tennessee defense.......

TheStupidPolice writes:

in response to vol_fan8:

Why don't you write about the ONLY reason our defense got worse this year .... we ( we = real fans) lost our DC because the band wagon " can't find their tail with a flashlight and a mirror" ... Didn't go to UT ... Don't donate .... Fans ran off Wilcox! Blame yourself for ruining my team. Now go get a job and please move back to the whole where you came from.

For the second time in the department's history we are forced to arrest a person for a capital crime of stupidity. rdsmith822, you have the right to remain silent...

TheStupidPolice writes:

in response to tnwolfpup68:

There's a time I really believed that UT has been infiltrated by past and current Alabama staff (including the AD), with the intent of ruining us from the inside out...So I ask any of you - am I right or should I just take another shot of juice?

At this point, we can neither confirm or deny the existence of a 5th column inside the athletic department.

OwensboroVol writes:

All you guys need to remember that we ended up with Dooley for a reason. NO ONE ELSE WANTED THE JOB!!!! You are lying to yourself if you think that any big name Coach is going to come to Tennessee. There is a chance We end up with someone worse than Coach Dooley. I personally think that he has done a fair job considering the mess that Kiffin left us with. Another year with Dooley may actually be a turn around year but would certainly give us time to recruit a good Coach.

pcshowtime writes:

in response to OwensboroVol:

All you guys need to remember that we ended up with Dooley for a reason. NO ONE ELSE WANTED THE JOB!!!! You are lying to yourself if you think that any big name Coach is going to come to Tennessee. There is a chance We end up with someone worse than Coach Dooley. I personally think that he has done a fair job considering the mess that Kiffin left us with. Another year with Dooley may actually be a turn around year but would certainly give us time to recruit a good Coach.

actually David Cutclife wanted the job but when he was told he would have to retain OC Chaney and a few others kiffen did not take west to USC the told UT to jump in a lake.
Also Kippy Brown former UT player and coach wanted the job badly but he was just given a token interview after Mike Hamilton had hired our current coach with a famous last name.

TheStupidPolice writes:

Best conference in the country, 100,000+ seat stadium, passionate fan base, 8th all-time in wins, 10th all-time in win percentage, 25 bowl wins, a BCS title, tremendous amount of talent returning on the offensive side, everybody back on defense. YOU'RE RIGHT. NOBODY WOULD WANT THAT JOB.

TooDlems writes:

in response to tnwolfpup68:

There's a time I really believed that UT has been infiltrated by past and current Alabama staff (including the AD), with the intent of ruining us from the inside out...So I ask any of you - am I right or should I just take another shot of juice?

Bama fan here. Dave Hart is a Bama grad. and his last job was at Alabama, he's not a worm in that respect. Hart thought he was the AD in waiting at Alabama after Mal Moore retires. When that happens Ozzie Newsome will be the AD at Alabama if he wants the job. Sal is a good coach, but you have players in your secondary that aren't SEC worthy. Your defensive line is good, linebackers are good(a bit slow) but the secondary is terrible. Nick and Kirby couldn't coach them.

signalcorps writes:

in response to tnwolfpup68:

There's a time I really believed that UT has been infiltrated by past and current Alabama staff (including the AD), with the intent of ruining us from the inside out...So I ask any of you - am I right or should I just take another shot of juice?

I will agree if the AD and the powers to be don't get ridd of dooley after this season,,,one problem is the better coachs shying away not wanting to deal with power's to be,,they don't have to they're making enough to last them and their familys..they're not greedy

chattbud writes:

The kids voting in non support of coach Dooley & his staff are the preschool kids that voted Fulmer had to go five years ago. How’d that work out? Kids stomp your feet some more & fire Dooley? We lose this year’s incoming recruiting class & You set Tennessee back FIVE more years! We don’t the beat Bama/Fl/SC/Ga with three stars! Dooley & Tennessee gets This Year’s recruiting class. He’s deserves One more Spring Practice to implement His system & the new 3/4-defense. It’s a Major upgrade! We give Sal one more year to implement his defense!!! Sal’s worked for Saban & John Fox (Alabama & Jackv/Denver). IT WILL WORK here! He need’s the 15 practices of spring practice! Bear & Neyland had unlimited spring practice to make a correction! One Spring practice was Not enough time. I stand in support of Dooley!

usafvol writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You're soooo pathetic! You can't post on ANY story unless you bash Dooley. It must really suck to be you huh?

TheStupidPolice writes:

in response to TooDlems:

Bama fan here. Dave Hart is a Bama grad. and his last job was at Alabama, he's not a worm in that respect. Hart thought he was the AD in waiting at Alabama after Mal Moore retires. When that happens Ozzie Newsome will be the AD at Alabama if he wants the job. Sal is a good coach, but you have players in your secondary that aren't SEC worthy. Your defensive line is good, linebackers are good(a bit slow) but the secondary is terrible. Nick and Kirby couldn't coach them.

It's true that the secondary is not overly talented, but the lack of talent is compounded by terrible coaching. Brian Griese was blown away that Sunseri would call a single safety 3 deep 4 under defense on 3RD AND GOAL FROM THE 26. Mississippi State's final scoring drive was chalk full of coaching blunders. Lack of talent and poor play calls are bad enough, but the coaching in the film room and on the practice field is twice as bad. These kids have ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE where to be and what to do. It's mind blowing. I played safety in college. I can understand missing a call or having a brain fart here and there. The truth is if a DL or LB misses a call, it's a 1st down. If a DB does the same, it's a TD and everybody notices. But, missed signals and brain farts can't explain how this secondary is lost multiple times on every drive. LOST! John Locke and Hurley weren't as lost as our DBs! I can't think of any other legitimate excuses to explain it. IT'S ALL ON THE COACHES.

VAVOLIGO writes:

Last week from your imperial throne you pontificated it was too late to punish Tyler Bray. It is never too late to do the right thing. It showed in Bray's play this week. However, I was sure the right thing for you to do was quit, leave Knoxville and get therapy for whatever your mother did to you. This article confirms that belief. Please go away you obnoxious jerk.

volinlm writes:

I sure miss the days when reporters only reported the news instead of making it. No matter what level of news, local or national, creating controversy or exploiting controversy is today's reporting model. Any fan can see the obvious problems with UT's defensive performance. Whether it's Sunseri's fault or Dooley's for hiring him is irrelevant, Dooley is the head coach and will be held accountable. The season will play out. Hopefully, collectively (coaches and players) they will manage to put together four or five wins from here on out. I do know this as a fact. The 1998 championship team had 10 or so players that were ultimately drafted. This team has apparently three ( on offense) that are draft quality, none on defense at this point. That speaks volumes in my mind. Great players can make a bad coach look good (eg. Eric Berry), just as a great coach can coach up bad players. If Dooley is here next year, it will be interesting to see the changes on defense in coaching and the player roster. Until then, I wish them all the very best for the team and the fans. GBO

TheStupidPolice writes:

in response to volinlm:

I sure miss the days when reporters only reported the news instead of making it. No matter what level of news, local or national, creating controversy or exploiting controversy is today's reporting model. Any fan can see the obvious problems with UT's defensive performance. Whether it's Sunseri's fault or Dooley's for hiring him is irrelevant, Dooley is the head coach and will be held accountable. The season will play out. Hopefully, collectively (coaches and players) they will manage to put together four or five wins from here on out. I do know this as a fact. The 1998 championship team had 10 or so players that were ultimately drafted. This team has apparently three ( on offense) that are draft quality, none on defense at this point. That speaks volumes in my mind. Great players can make a bad coach look good (eg. Eric Berry), just as a great coach can coach up bad players. If Dooley is here next year, it will be interesting to see the changes on defense in coaching and the player roster. Until then, I wish them all the very best for the team and the fans. GBO

FAIL! All five starters on the line are NFL talents. Rivera is a future star in the NFL. Hunter and Patterson are top prospects, but Rogers might have the best NFL career as a Brandon Stokely type slot receiver. I'm gonna say it. Tyler Bray is a future draft pick. On defense, you're obviously forgetting about the SEC leader in tackles, AJ Johnson.

brod writes:

i don't care what his future is his. he needs to get the team ready and win these last four games. 7-5 is a lot better than 6-6 or 5-7.

volinlm writes:

in response to TheStupidPolice:

FAIL! All five starters on the line are NFL talents. Rivera is a future star in the NFL. Hunter and Patterson are top prospects, but Rogers might have the best NFL career as a Brandon Stokely type slot receiver. I'm gonna say it. Tyler Bray is a future draft pick. On defense, you're obviously forgetting about the SEC leader in tackles, AJ Johnson.

Dear StupidP,
I spoke of actual draft picks from the 1998 team and current players who have been projected as leaving early. The three who have been mentioned are Bray, Hunter & Patterson. You confirmed my comment that currently on defense no mention of any defensive backs and AJ not leaving early...yet.

secondcreek writes:

in response to td:

My closest association with Coach Dooley is the TV screen. From that perspective, he appears to be an honest and decent man with the best interests of the University of Tennessee in his heart; and in a previous era of College Football that would have provided enough "good will" to earn four or five, maybe seven years, to turn a program into an acceptable winner. As I said in a previous era. The reality, in 2012, is Coach Dooley serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the primary income engine for Tennessee Athletics, Inc. The Vol Football Program finances ALL SPORTS at Tennessee. SEC Revenue Sharing doesn't cover all the costs, so the financial responsibility requires football ticket sales, merchandising, and fan interest to maintain facilities and pay the bills. One way to regenerate interest is to make a change at the top. NFL owners have employed this model for decades to keep fans energized. In an Era of one or, maybe, two televised College Football games per week and coaches earning moderate middle class salaries, Coach Dooley could expect at least two more years. Unfortunately, the current fiscal reality will trump the Football Team's development under Coach Dooley. This could play-out like Oklahoma and John Blake. In 1995 Howard Schnellenberger arrived in Norman to resurrect a football program that had faltered since Barry Switzer's resignation in 1988. Schenellenberger got the ax after one year. So, OU hired Blake from the Dallas Cowboys, and he proceeded to drive the program into the ground. After three years, OU signed Bob Stoops off Spurrier's Florida staff at the end of the 1998 season (y'all know what happened in Tempe; same year as Cutcliffe to Ole Miss). In 1999, Stoops lost to Cutcliffe in the Independence Bowl. In 2000, the Sooners whipped Florida State and won it all (National Champs). There are similarities to Tennessee 2008 to 2012. Although I believe Coach Dooley could turn the program given time, the fiscal reality of 2012 won't permit it. Hopefully, history will repeat itself, and we'll have a National Champion in Knoxville after the 2014 Season! Ironically, as of right now, the 2014 schedule has Tennessee playing Oklahoma in Norman that September. Best of Luck (certainly better than you've had these past three years) Coach Dooley.

Use paragraph breaks! Makes it a lot easier to read!

killervol69 writes:

in response to td:

My closest association with Coach Dooley is the TV screen. From that perspective, he appears to be an honest and decent man with the best interests of the University of Tennessee in his heart; and in a previous era of College Football that would have provided enough "good will" to earn four or five, maybe seven years, to turn a program into an acceptable winner. As I said in a previous era. The reality, in 2012, is Coach Dooley serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the primary income engine for Tennessee Athletics, Inc. The Vol Football Program finances ALL SPORTS at Tennessee. SEC Revenue Sharing doesn't cover all the costs, so the financial responsibility requires football ticket sales, merchandising, and fan interest to maintain facilities and pay the bills. One way to regenerate interest is to make a change at the top. NFL owners have employed this model for decades to keep fans energized. In an Era of one or, maybe, two televised College Football games per week and coaches earning moderate middle class salaries, Coach Dooley could expect at least two more years. Unfortunately, the current fiscal reality will trump the Football Team's development under Coach Dooley. This could play-out like Oklahoma and John Blake. In 1995 Howard Schnellenberger arrived in Norman to resurrect a football program that had faltered since Barry Switzer's resignation in 1988. Schenellenberger got the ax after one year. So, OU hired Blake from the Dallas Cowboys, and he proceeded to drive the program into the ground. After three years, OU signed Bob Stoops off Spurrier's Florida staff at the end of the 1998 season (y'all know what happened in Tempe; same year as Cutcliffe to Ole Miss). In 1999, Stoops lost to Cutcliffe in the Independence Bowl. In 2000, the Sooners whipped Florida State and won it all (National Champs). There are similarities to Tennessee 2008 to 2012. Although I believe Coach Dooley could turn the program given time, the fiscal reality of 2012 won't permit it. Hopefully, history will repeat itself, and we'll have a National Champion in Knoxville after the 2014 Season! Ironically, as of right now, the 2014 schedule has Tennessee playing Oklahoma in Norman that September. Best of Luck (certainly better than you've had these past three years) Coach Dooley.

Go Away, Troll....

gglardon50#417841 writes:

in response to TheStupidPolice:

Best conference in the country, 100,000+ seat stadium, passionate fan base, 8th all-time in wins, 10th all-time in win percentage, 25 bowl wins, a BCS title, tremendous amount of talent returning on the offensive side, everybody back on defense. YOU'RE RIGHT. NOBODY WOULD WANT THAT JOB.

nd you think everyone bad on the defense is a GOOD thing?

SouthPaVol writes:

in response to td:

My closest association with Coach Dooley is the TV screen. From that perspective, he appears to be an honest and decent man with the best interests of the University of Tennessee in his heart; and in a previous era of College Football that would have provided enough "good will" to earn four or five, maybe seven years, to turn a program into an acceptable winner. As I said in a previous era. The reality, in 2012, is Coach Dooley serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the primary income engine for Tennessee Athletics, Inc. The Vol Football Program finances ALL SPORTS at Tennessee. SEC Revenue Sharing doesn't cover all the costs, so the financial responsibility requires football ticket sales, merchandising, and fan interest to maintain facilities and pay the bills. One way to regenerate interest is to make a change at the top. NFL owners have employed this model for decades to keep fans energized. In an Era of one or, maybe, two televised College Football games per week and coaches earning moderate middle class salaries, Coach Dooley could expect at least two more years. Unfortunately, the current fiscal reality will trump the Football Team's development under Coach Dooley. This could play-out like Oklahoma and John Blake. In 1995 Howard Schnellenberger arrived in Norman to resurrect a football program that had faltered since Barry Switzer's resignation in 1988. Schenellenberger got the ax after one year. So, OU hired Blake from the Dallas Cowboys, and he proceeded to drive the program into the ground. After three years, OU signed Bob Stoops off Spurrier's Florida staff at the end of the 1998 season (y'all know what happened in Tempe; same year as Cutcliffe to Ole Miss). In 1999, Stoops lost to Cutcliffe in the Independence Bowl. In 2000, the Sooners whipped Florida State and won it all (National Champs). There are similarities to Tennessee 2008 to 2012. Although I believe Coach Dooley could turn the program given time, the fiscal reality of 2012 won't permit it. Hopefully, history will repeat itself, and we'll have a National Champion in Knoxville after the 2014 Season! Ironically, as of right now, the 2014 schedule has Tennessee playing Oklahoma in Norman that September. Best of Luck (certainly better than you've had these past three years) Coach Dooley.

Good post. A balance, well-written report filled with facts, believable speculation, and optimism.

My left-handed comment: Would you consider replacing Adams as our UT sports writer?

BigBadVol writes:

in response to tnwolfpup68:

There's a time I really believed that UT has been infiltrated by past and current Alabama staff (including the AD), with the intent of ruining us from the inside out...So I ask any of you - am I right or should I just take another shot of juice?

Quit posting such stupid comments. Really? Yea, take another shot of dumb dumb juice.

ModelMaker writes:

I think everyone agrees that Nick Saban is a very good coach. That said, you have to ask yourself, can Derek Dooley out coach this guy? You also have to ask yourself can Derek Dooley out recruit this guy or at least recruit as well? If the answer is no then Dave Hart needs to get someone in here that can. If you think he can then give him another year; otherwise you are just spinning your wheels.

td writes:

in response to killervol69:

Go Away, Troll....

Listen "Trollette"! I've been following the Vols since 1958. Give some rebuttal/commentary to posts or keep sucking your thumb.

vfl76 writes:

in response to OwensboroVol:

All you guys need to remember that we ended up with Dooley for a reason. NO ONE ELSE WANTED THE JOB!!!! You are lying to yourself if you think that any big name Coach is going to come to Tennessee. There is a chance We end up with someone worse than Coach Dooley. I personally think that he has done a fair job considering the mess that Kiffin left us with. Another year with Dooley may actually be a turn around year but would certainly give us time to recruit a good Coach.

Again, someone thinks that no one wanted the job. Cutcliff wanted it, but didn't want Chaney, and Hamilton said no, that Chaney would have to stay. Kippy wanted it, but Hamilton didn't give him a fair shake. Either one, Kippy or Cutcliff would have been better than DD. Seems like I heard the same thing last year, "Another year with Dooley may actually be a turn around year." You cannot recruit a coach for a year. A month to a month and a half at the most, and that is what we have now. Yep another year with DD and it will be more teams than Bama that will have more fans at a game in Tennessee than Tennessee has. I have never seen that much red in Knoxville. It wasn't pretty. I only saw one person with orange around me besides me. I felt like the icing in an oreo cookie on my row.

volforeverandever writes:

in response to thevoice:

Get used to it. Dooley's gone.

Get used to it he will be here another year.

Memphis_VOL_Alum writes:

in response to td:

My closest association with Coach Dooley is the TV screen. From that perspective, he appears to be an honest and decent man with the best interests of the University of Tennessee in his heart; and in a previous era of College Football that would have provided enough "good will" to earn four or five, maybe seven years, to turn a program into an acceptable winner. As I said in a previous era. The reality, in 2012, is Coach Dooley serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the primary income engine for Tennessee Athletics, Inc. The Vol Football Program finances ALL SPORTS at Tennessee. SEC Revenue Sharing doesn't cover all the costs, so the financial responsibility requires football ticket sales, merchandising, and fan interest to maintain facilities and pay the bills. One way to regenerate interest is to make a change at the top. NFL owners have employed this model for decades to keep fans energized. In an Era of one or, maybe, two televised College Football games per week and coaches earning moderate middle class salaries, Coach Dooley could expect at least two more years. Unfortunately, the current fiscal reality will trump the Football Team's development under Coach Dooley. This could play-out like Oklahoma and John Blake. In 1995 Howard Schnellenberger arrived in Norman to resurrect a football program that had faltered since Barry Switzer's resignation in 1988. Schenellenberger got the ax after one year. So, OU hired Blake from the Dallas Cowboys, and he proceeded to drive the program into the ground. After three years, OU signed Bob Stoops off Spurrier's Florida staff at the end of the 1998 season (y'all know what happened in Tempe; same year as Cutcliffe to Ole Miss). In 1999, Stoops lost to Cutcliffe in the Independence Bowl. In 2000, the Sooners whipped Florida State and won it all (National Champs). There are similarities to Tennessee 2008 to 2012. Although I believe Coach Dooley could turn the program given time, the fiscal reality of 2012 won't permit it. Hopefully, history will repeat itself, and we'll have a National Champion in Knoxville after the 2014 Season! Ironically, as of right now, the 2014 schedule has Tennessee playing Oklahoma in Norman that September. Best of Luck (certainly better than you've had these past three years) Coach Dooley.

The fiscal items you listed are true as well as the $9.3 million in buyouts due Coach Dooley and this staff. With that kind of money on the line the Admin at UT would be foolish to fire Dooley and his staff without the backing of donors to 1. Pay for the buyout. 2. pay for the Right coach. and 3. Have the Right coach already ready, just waiting on the press conference.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to pingkr62:

I can't understand why the 3-4 defense was installed without sufficient numbers/ bodies at line backer. How could the coaching staff make such a dumb mistake?

The LB corps lost at three good prospects to injuries before the season even started. I don't know how many of them might have played much this year, or even how much they would have added in practice, but at least they would have had some extra bodies to experiment with. Couple that with lingering injuries to Maggitt and Lathers, and the LB corps lacked the numbers and consistency to build the cohesion they have so obviously lacked most of this year. Get all those guys back next year, along with numerous veterans, and the defense could make enormous strides. There is still something of a problem with speed in the secondary, and only recruiting can solve that. For better or worse, the present staff may not be back next year, so even if there is more talent with more experience, the chances of great improvement will be set back even farther. The only real solution is to hire a "slam-dunk" of a coaching staff--not easy for any school at any time--in time to give the recruiting a real boost, OR continue to be patient with Dooley and Sunseri and see what happens. He does have a four-year contract and the UTAD would take a big hit on a buyout if they dumped him this year.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to ModelMaker:

I think everyone agrees that Nick Saban is a very good coach. That said, you have to ask yourself, can Derek Dooley out coach this guy? You also have to ask yourself can Derek Dooley out recruit this guy or at least recruit as well? If the answer is no then Dave Hart needs to get someone in here that can. If you think he can then give him another year; otherwise you are just spinning your wheels.

Gotta wonder a bit about your logic. Who ELSE in the country is outcoaching Saban these days? He is--though it pains me as a life-long Vol fan to say it--arguably THE best coach in football right now, with the possible except of Bellichek in New England! As long as he is still there, everybody else in the league--in the country!--is playing for second place. Now, use your "logic" and tell me just WHO the Vols might, in your wildest dreams, get who could compete with Saban these days. We are all waiting for your "logical" answer.

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