Derek Dooley focused on improving defense, not blame

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley looks on as the Vols warm up before the game against 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 head coach Derek Dooley looks on as the Vols warm up before the game against South Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

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Tennessee coach Derek Dooley said he’s focused on improving the Vols’ struggling defense rather than pointing fingers.

Dooley was asked today during his weekly press conference whether defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri had failed to effectively teach and communicate the new defensive scheme to players.

“That's a pretty harsh statement,” Dooley said. “We're not going to sit here and defend anything we're doing because statistically we can't.”

Tennessee’s defense is ranked 96th overall in the 120-team Bowl Subdivision.

"Each week, I've gotten a little more involved to make sure we're on the same page as a staff,” Dooley said. “We're all in it together. It's not ego-driven."

The Vols (3-5) play Troy (4-4) on Saturday at Neyland Stadium (TV: FSN, noon).

The subject of Dooley’s job security came up only indirectly. Dooley said he speaks more than once a week with Athletic Director Dave Hart.

“He’s been great. He’s been very professional,” Dooley said. "I think it's important every week that you have dialogue with your boss when you're in-season."

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

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 33

RockyMtnVol writes:

CDD is making strides, maybe not to the light speed that some Vol Fans want, but I like his strategic vision. He is building a program that will not resemble the last 4 years. WE need to support him, not throw him under the bus. Come On Vol Fans.....we are better than that!!

OrangePsyched writes:

Sorry to get off topic but since we're talking about the subject of blame I just saw this. Romney while making a speech earlier today in Ohio asked those who were able to donate to any relief efforts of those suffering or will suffer from hurricane Sandy. Obama when asked about this just a few minutes ago said they were not yet sure if this was indeed a hurricane due to the fog of weather but that they were going to continue to investigate where this weather could have come from. He added that there was a video distributed by the weather channel that could have contributed to this weather. Anyway since there is not apparent announcement of a coaching change..go CDD..finish 5-0 including bowl victory.

RockyMtnVol writes:

I got a great idea, lets put a poll on the website after UT loses to USC, that will get a fair measurement..........KNS = Idiots.

oldvoltimer62 writes:

Dooley was qouted the other day (Doug Mathews)that his focus was entirely on the offense,not the defense.Now he is just trying to save a failing job.I think he should be focusing on his next job because I feel this one is coming to a screeching halt.

10ACfan100 writes:

We've got the right coach and staff. It's frustrating for us fans at times but if we stick with Dooley we'll see the results that we want in one or more likely two more seasons. I hope he is given the chance. Go Vols!

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

in response to 10ACfan100:

We've got the right coach and staff. It's frustrating for us fans at times but if we stick with Dooley we'll see the results that we want in one or more likely two more seasons. I hope he is given the chance. Go Vols!

As hard as it is, at the end of the day, I also support CDD. However, that bum Sunsissy has gotta go. He is failing miserably as DC. Our guys make the same mistake game after game after game. Sunsissy's job is to identify the problems and fix them before the next game. He has failed. Give him his buyout and send his butt back to Tuscaloozer. Maybe he can get a job working with toddyturd renting TV's to Alabubba rednecks.

mountainbrook writes:

in response to oldvoltimer62:

Dooley was qouted the other day (Doug Mathews)that his focus was entirely on the offense,not the defense.Now he is just trying to save a failing job.I think he should be focusing on his next job because I feel this one is coming to a screeching halt.

Correct.

JonGrudensAgent writes:

When I opened this article about improving the defense, I expected an announcement that Sunseri was fired.

Manning18 writes:

I think Dooley is a great guy but, to me has yet to prove this coaching staff can improve the talent once it get's here.

From the defensive standpoint.. I think it is going to take time for the players to transition from the 4-3 to the 3-4. I think that has a lot to do with what we are seeing this year on the D side of the ball.

Gruden is not coming so us Vol Fans must get that out of our heads and move forward.

Hunter and Patterson are both gone at the end of the year. We can't afford to lose recruits at this point in the game.

Where is Croom? I haven't seen him play at all this year.. We need a stud at running back that can run without getting tackled by just touching his feet.

Go Vols!!!

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to 10ACfan100:

We've got the right coach and staff. It's frustrating for us fans at times but if we stick with Dooley we'll see the results that we want in one or more likely two more seasons. I hope he is given the chance. Go Vols!

I need you or anyone to fully explain to me how: We've got the right coach and staff.
Dooley has done NOTHING in his career to indicate that is the case. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! We keep him, every year will be the same: Wait till next year

Vol1968 writes:

It takes time to build a quality program. He had to start from the bottom of the barrell. I think he deserves this year and next.

jbc writes:

Losses to ....

1 Alabama
6 Georgia
7 Florida
8 South Carolina
15 Mississippi State

Combined 36-5 record

With a decent defense could have won all but the Alabama game.

MooseandSquirrelVol writes:

First communicate to the secondary that it ia well within the rules to wrap their arms around a ball-carrier while trying to tackle them. Nobody will call them a sissy for doing so.

vol_fan8 writes:

in response to RockyMtnVol:

CDD is making strides, maybe not to the light speed that some Vol Fans want, but I like his strategic vision. He is building a program that will not resemble the last 4 years. WE need to support him, not throw him under the bus. Come On Vol Fans.....we are better than that!!

Absolutely. Great Post. I sincerely think we had a good DC last year with Wilcox. Wish he had not been so discouraged by the negative media and negative fans. he was certainly able to do a lot with a little bit of talent, and I'll bet he could have done a lot with what we have this year. Fans need to pull together and support the team. It's bad when Yahoo-Sports makes fun of our fans. not good for attracting future hires. not good for attracting recruits. not good for Tennessee.

Olcrow writes:

in response to Manning18:

I think Dooley is a great guy but, to me has yet to prove this coaching staff can improve the talent once it get's here.

From the defensive standpoint.. I think it is going to take time for the players to transition from the 4-3 to the 3-4. I think that has a lot to do with what we are seeing this year on the D side of the ball.

Gruden is not coming so us Vol Fans must get that out of our heads and move forward.

Hunter and Patterson are both gone at the end of the year. We can't afford to lose recruits at this point in the game.

Where is Croom? I haven't seen him play at all this year.. We need a stud at running back that can run without getting tackled by just touching his feet.

Go Vols!!!

Croom moved to tight end and shortly after had shoulder surgery,he will be back next year.

IC_Vol writes:

in response to jbc:

Losses to ....

1 Alabama
6 Georgia
7 Florida
8 South Carolina
15 Mississippi State

Combined 36-5 record

With a decent defense could have won all but the Alabama game.

Who hired the DC. defense last year was top 50 with 9 returning starters + the add on of our overall best defender McCullars. Dooley has said it before you are what your record says you are. He will get a fantastic kiss on the lips (5 million) on the way out. Let see who is the next guy.

KingDanno (Inactive) writes:

I just heard Dooley got bought out and Gruden was hired at 33 million for 5 years BABY!! The rumors just may be true!! Thank you God. Supposed to not be announced until post Hurricane. Yes!!!! All you naysayers saying Gruden won't come eat it!!!!! Eat that up and get a taste of greatness when you believe in who you are. We are TN!!!

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to KingDanno:

I just heard Dooley got bought out and Gruden was hired at 33 million for 5 years BABY!! The rumors just may be true!! Thank you God. Supposed to not be announced until post Hurricane. Yes!!!! All you naysayers saying Gruden won't come eat it!!!!! Eat that up and get a taste of greatness when you believe in who you are. We are TN!!!

BS

KingDanno (Inactive) writes:

King Spite thee VolBoro! You can get the first serving.

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to KingDanno:

King Spite thee VolBoro! You can get the first serving.

?

TitanandVolfan4life writes:

Gruden will NEVER coach at Tennessee so get over it.

He just signed a new 5 year contract for over $4 Million per year and only has to work 4 months a year so he'd be a moron to leave a easy job like that.

If only 3 to 5 PLAYS per game had gone differently then our Vols would be a 1 loss team right now and ranked in the top 10 easily.

All you CDD haters are totally clueless about college football so go be a TROLL somewhere else kids.

VFL...GBO!!!

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to KingDanno:

I just heard Dooley got bought out and Gruden was hired at 33 million for 5 years BABY!! The rumors just may be true!! Thank you God. Supposed to not be announced until post Hurricane. Yes!!!! All you naysayers saying Gruden won't come eat it!!!!! Eat that up and get a taste of greatness when you believe in who you are. We are TN!!!

your link

DavidB writes:

Just to be 100% honest.

At the beginning of this season Dooley had my full respect and my entire support. A few weeks ago I would consider myself on the fence. Today I am on the side that Dooley is not the man for the job.

I say this as a donor to the program. I donate a lot of money to this program. Yes I am glad the money goes for kids to get an education while they get to play a sport. But just like every other person that donates to the program they do it in order to purchase tickets to sporting events.

If you cant even sale your extra tickets for face value there is a problem. I watched a guy sale 4 tickets to the bama game for $80 for all 4. Face value was $75.

This year season ticket sales were down to 60,000. If Dooley remains as the coach next year season tickets will go down even more is my best guess. The only way they could sale more is to drop the price per game way down. We are not in the best economy and many people just cant afford to donate thousands of dollars and then spend another thousand to have two seats for football. People are more willing to part with their money to see their team win.

Many fans think we are easily going to win out the rest of the season. I dont see it being easy to win out. Missouri is not going to be an easy game. They have the ability to put up big numbers and our defense has the ability to give up big numbers. For us to win that game we would have to score 50 to 60 on offense.

Vanderbilt is going to play us as hard as possible and will be looking for a win. Could be another tough game.

If UT losses either or both of those games will the folks saying Dooley is the right man for the job finally see that he cant win pressure games?

underthehill writes:

The prevailing opinion appears to be Dooley will be fired if UT has one more loss..If they win out I think he should get another year..all things considered..one of those being that I think Hart hired Sunseri..

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to underthehill:

The prevailing opinion appears to be Dooley will be fired if UT has one more loss..If they win out I think he should get another year..all things considered..one of those being that I think Hart hired Sunseri..

one more year of Dooley is going to have many more folks just writing off next year. There has been a drastic loss of confidence. Hart will be fired if he does not take care of business.

OrangeBlur writes:

Get Jim Tressel. Heard it here first.

merlin0152 writes:

in response to RockyMtnVol:

I got a great idea, lets put a poll on the website after UT loses to USC, that will get a fair measurement..........KNS = Idiots.

Soooo, waiting until a win to publish a poll would then be somehow unbiased?.....Of course, you already know the problem with waiting on that win.

merlin0152 writes:

in response to jbc:

Losses to ....

1 Alabama
6 Georgia
7 Florida
8 South Carolina
15 Mississippi State

Combined 36-5 record

With a decent defense could have won all but the Alabama game.

No coach would ever be in danger of losing his job if he could simply wish a better defensive unit to the field. And let's be honest, the offense has looked unmotivated, uninvolved, and ill-prepared plenty this season too.

jbc writes:

in response to merlin0152:

No coach would ever be in danger of losing his job if he could simply wish a better defensive unit to the field. And let's be honest, the offense has looked unmotivated, uninvolved, and ill-prepared plenty this season too.

The offense is the 3rd best offense in the SEC. 29th in NCAA.
29 Tennessee 8 583 3648 6.26 35 456.00
http://www.ncaa.com/stats/football/fb...

The defense is giving up 34 points a game and 453+ yards a game. That is exceptionally poor.

TooDlems writes:

in response to RockyMtnVol:

CDD is making strides, maybe not to the light speed that some Vol Fans want, but I like his strategic vision. He is building a program that will not resemble the last 4 years. WE need to support him, not throw him under the bus. Come On Vol Fans.....we are better than that!!

Naval, where have you been? You have tell us all why we should be happy with 3-5 at this point.

Squid_Vol writes:

in response to RockyMtnVol:

CDD is making strides, maybe not to the light speed that some Vol Fans want, but I like his strategic vision. He is building a program that will not resemble the last 4 years. WE need to support him, not throw him under the bus. Come On Vol Fans.....we are better than that!!

+1. Good post.

Trav00 writes:

If were not careful, Troy will surprise us at home and we will all be here complaining about Saturday night

johnlg00 writes:

in response to OrangePsyched:

Sorry to get off topic but since we're talking about the subject of blame I just saw this. Romney while making a speech earlier today in Ohio asked those who were able to donate to any relief efforts of those suffering or will suffer from hurricane Sandy. Obama when asked about this just a few minutes ago said they were not yet sure if this was indeed a hurricane due to the fog of weather but that they were going to continue to investigate where this weather could have come from. He added that there was a video distributed by the weather channel that could have contributed to this weather. Anyway since there is not apparent announcement of a coaching change..go CDD..finish 5-0 including bowl victory.

Funny. In the real world, Gov. Chris Christy of NJ, not a noted Obama lover, said that he could not have asked for, or received, any more help from the Federal Government than was already forthcoming, and that Obama told him to call him personally if there was anything more he needed. Glad there are SOME real politicians out there who can do their jobs without descending into childishness, unlike some citizens.

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