Derek Dooley's injury offers many challenges, but not a coaches' challenge

Tennessee coach Derek Dooley watches the closing minutes of the Vols 38-35 loss to South Carolina during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C.(AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

Photo by RICHARD SHIRO, (2012) Richard Shiro2012

Tennessee coach Derek Dooley watches the closing minutes of the Vols 38-35 loss to South Carolina during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C.(AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

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Dooley on wide receiver Zach Rogers

A wide-eyed Derek Dooley reacted on gut instinct last Saturday.

Hopping on one foot, crutches in tow, the Tennessee football coach didn't get a clean look at South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw stepping squarely out of bounds on the Gamecocks' final offensive possession, he said Monday.

Seeing a game official's arm swinging and the clock ticking, Dooley used the Vols' last timeout in the 38-35 loss. He worried about clock management, but he also worried about another injury — his surgically repaired hip.

"It was a real hairy moment for me," Dooley said. "I'm like, I've got to get this timeout if he's inbounds immediately and I've got to make sure I don't lose my hip in the process."

Dooley said he didn't see Shaw step out of bounds like he "probably would have" if not on crutches. He also said he never had a conversation with the officials if the play was reviewable and if he could retain UT's last timeout.

***

In SEC play, the Vols rank last in scoring defense (42.2 ppg), rushing defense (226.2 ypg), pass defense (296.4 ypg) and total defense (566.2 ypg).

Want more? Probably not, but here it is ...

The Vols are tied for last in sacks (seven), red zone defense (19-for-19), turnover margin (-1.40) and rank 13th in time of possession (26:13).

***

Easily lost under the marquee receiver names like Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson is senior wideout Zach Rogers. Rogers now has more touchdown receptions (five) than either Hunter or Patterson, or anyone else on the team for that matter. Dooley credits Rogers' work ethic in practice.

"When you practice with speed and consistency, then the quarterback always knows where you're going to be on what play," said Dooley, who compared Rogers' practice style to that of Wes Welker.

"Zack has the greatest consistency in how he practices," Dooley said.

***

On the injury front, running back Rajion Neal (ankle), who missed UT's previous two games, and right guard Zach Fulton (ankle), who missed a start for the first time in 22 games against South Carolina, are both day-to-day.

Dooley said both could play against Troy on Saturday (TV: FSTN, noon).

***

Think the UT run game misses Neal?

After averaging 205 yards rushing against Georgia and Mississippi State, the Vols have posted 79 yards on the ground against Alabama and 91 against South Carolina. Neal left the Mississippi State game due to injury but had 104 yards rushing against Georgia. No Vol running back has come close to 100 yards since.

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn

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

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Comments » 22

born2ride writes:

The player stepped out of bounds right in front of Dooley and he did not see it. Maybe Dooley needs glasses instead of crutches.

snuffysmiff writes:

in response to born2ride:

The player stepped out of bounds right in front of Dooley and he did not see it. Maybe Dooley needs glasses instead of crutches.

The ref needs glasses too, he didn't see it either. The play might not have been reviewable, but I'm not an expert on NCAA football rules.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

Dooley has finally blamed himself for screwing up...well, at least he's blamed a part of himself...his hip.

Year zero. Germans at Normandy. Water the bamboo. Mushroom farmer.

And now...

"Second Season."

Dooley isn't a coach. He's a robot sent from the future to create memes.

1986sugarbowl writes:

I do not buy that comment. If you watch the replay, several on his staff was pointing and yelling. If he was not clued in on that and that is yet another question I have in his coaching decisions. However, I know how it is to be under a looking glass coaching, but it comes with the territory.

tnaseevol writes:

I think if you look at the replay, you'll see an assistant step in front of Dooley as if to protect him from getting hit by Shaw who looked like he was running straight for Dooley.

I could be wrong, but that's what I saw.

OrangeBlur writes:

Get Jim Tressel. Heard it here first.

JonGrudensAgent writes:

in response to OrangeBlur:

Get Jim Tressel. Heard it here first.

For What? Fashion consultant?

6972 writes:

Sorry about his hip and sorry that his coaching career is in the pits. I wish him sucess in the future.....wherever he is, either here or elsewhere.

Orangeblood64 writes:

Mr.Hart "We are waiting" Tic-Tic-Tic

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to Orangeblood64:

Mr.Hart "We are waiting" Tic-Tic-Tic

He's got until high noon Tuesday to make the so called 48 hour deadline decision....tic.tic..tic..tic

Gr82beTennessee writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

Dooley has finally blamed himself for screwing up...well, at least he's blamed a part of himself...his hip.

Year zero. Germans at Normandy. Water the bamboo. Mushroom farmer.

And now...

"Second Season."

Dooley isn't a coach. He's a robot sent from the future to create memes.

Why would you post something like this garbage. Mr. I can't decide what my name is, I would like to point out that it is not Dooley's job to referee the game. It is the responsibility of the sideline judge. Secondly, the coach has repeatedly said he and the other coaches are also responsible for the losses and must do a better job (video right after Bama game). Lastly, learn to count and don't twist the analogies of the coach to criticize the coach. It reflects poorly on you.

bfowler1161#262198 writes:

The Bama and SC defenses are better than GA and MSU. Go figure how we rushed for more yards. Seems KNS due to "space" doesn't give all the information.

tovolny writes:

PLEASE KEEP DOOLEY. Dooley will get things rolling along soon. If Mark Wiedner of Choo Choo Town and Gomer at the Tennessean WOULD PROVIDE HONEST THOUGHT OUT sports articles written with a sense of relating the truth, and not just making wild guesses about how we, the Vol fans, feel; then the future of Tennessee Football would look much better to the outside world. Recruiting has been looking pretty good, and with just a little bit of luck, we could have been winners in at least two of the five SEC games. Our offense is actually looking pretty good. We had highly rated recruits in the kicking game...they just haven't panned out. Sunseri knows how to coach defense, it's just that we really don't have players with the speed, grit, and mental fortitude that we need. Dooley has been able to recruit some pretty good backfield talent, so that should change. FOLKS, if we change coaches again, it will be another five years of rebuilding. I f we keep Dooley, and let the recruits out there know that Dooley is our man and that he will be around awhile, rebuilding will be much easier and faster.

Why has Wiedner been so negative lately? I know Climer has always been and will continue to be anti-UT. John Adams seems to push the negative envelop a lot, but John is just hung up on writing CUTIE articles. John likes to entertain himself yet doesn't provide much wisdom or facts. AND, only a very few posters on this site seem knowledgeable enough to present anything other than wild REACTIONARY (kid like) responses. I know that I have written stuff on here when I was in a state of outrage that I wish I had never submitted. THE DOOLEY DECISION has to be made with a real honest, sober evaluation. The players, coaches and people at UT that really know what is going on will need to reveal their thoughts, which will be building blocks of the final DOOLEY DECISION. We as fans have already expressed our dislike to losing. Sports writers enjoy blowing everything out of proportion. I SUPPORT DOOLEY and what he is doing, but my opinion will only amount to a thimble of water poured off the Henley Street Bridge.

FLVol97 writes:

Dooley just devalued the recommendations of his staff to cover-up his mistake of not throwing a challenge flag. That is not inspirational leadership. Dooley may have mastered the art of the press conference but during his tenure he has not been an effective decision maker/leader/motivator.

KingDanno (Inactive) writes:

tovolny:
"but my opinion will only amount to a thimble of water poured off the Henley Street Bridge."

You have made that abundantly clear. We know what is going to happen. Dooley is out!! MNF and the hurricane has delayed the announcement. I heard from a very reliable source, that the CEO of Direct TV has bought out Dooley's remaining contract. Why would he do this? So far with Gruden, the ratings that have gone to ESPN on MNF are largely increasing. Gruden is too good. Maybe they want to sell some games on payperview. Who cares why!!!!!! What is important is I am pretty sure that we have my main man Gruden! I said it's great to be a TN VOL!!

Lifelongvolsfan writes:

in response to tovolny:

PLEASE KEEP DOOLEY. Dooley will get things rolling along soon. If Mark Wiedner of Choo Choo Town and Gomer at the Tennessean WOULD PROVIDE HONEST THOUGHT OUT sports articles written with a sense of relating the truth, and not just making wild guesses about how we, the Vol fans, feel; then the future of Tennessee Football would look much better to the outside world. Recruiting has been looking pretty good, and with just a little bit of luck, we could have been winners in at least two of the five SEC games. Our offense is actually looking pretty good. We had highly rated recruits in the kicking game...they just haven't panned out. Sunseri knows how to coach defense, it's just that we really don't have players with the speed, grit, and mental fortitude that we need. Dooley has been able to recruit some pretty good backfield talent, so that should change. FOLKS, if we change coaches again, it will be another five years of rebuilding. I f we keep Dooley, and let the recruits out there know that Dooley is our man and that he will be around awhile, rebuilding will be much easier and faster.

Why has Wiedner been so negative lately? I know Climer has always been and will continue to be anti-UT. John Adams seems to push the negative envelop a lot, but John is just hung up on writing CUTIE articles. John likes to entertain himself yet doesn't provide much wisdom or facts. AND, only a very few posters on this site seem knowledgeable enough to present anything other than wild REACTIONARY (kid like) responses. I know that I have written stuff on here when I was in a state of outrage that I wish I had never submitted. THE DOOLEY DECISION has to be made with a real honest, sober evaluation. The players, coaches and people at UT that really know what is going on will need to reveal their thoughts, which will be building blocks of the final DOOLEY DECISION. We as fans have already expressed our dislike to losing. Sports writers enjoy blowing everything out of proportion. I SUPPORT DOOLEY and what he is doing, but my opinion will only amount to a thimble of water poured off the Henley Street Bridge.

Name a single thing Dooley has done to keep his job.

1.Previous experience? Losing record at LA. Tech before he game here.

2.Performance at Tennessee? 0-14 vs. ranked teams

3. Good coaching? Has NEVER won a single game while trailing at halftime

4.Respect of other coaches? Half his coaches left him after last season.

This guy is a joke and a loser. If you are going to write some long reason to keep him, at least provide a shred of an evidence or a quality argument to back him up.

fearthehound writes:

in response to Gr82beTennessee:

Why would you post something like this garbage. Mr. I can't decide what my name is, I would like to point out that it is not Dooley's job to referee the game. It is the responsibility of the sideline judge. Secondly, the coach has repeatedly said he and the other coaches are also responsible for the losses and must do a better job (video right after Bama game). Lastly, learn to count and don't twist the analogies of the coach to criticize the coach. It reflects poorly on you.

DEMDHC has been reflected poorly on so many times he doesn't even notice it anymore.

fearthehound writes:

in response to tovolny:

PLEASE KEEP DOOLEY. Dooley will get things rolling along soon. If Mark Wiedner of Choo Choo Town and Gomer at the Tennessean WOULD PROVIDE HONEST THOUGHT OUT sports articles written with a sense of relating the truth, and not just making wild guesses about how we, the Vol fans, feel; then the future of Tennessee Football would look much better to the outside world. Recruiting has been looking pretty good, and with just a little bit of luck, we could have been winners in at least two of the five SEC games. Our offense is actually looking pretty good. We had highly rated recruits in the kicking game...they just haven't panned out. Sunseri knows how to coach defense, it's just that we really don't have players with the speed, grit, and mental fortitude that we need. Dooley has been able to recruit some pretty good backfield talent, so that should change. FOLKS, if we change coaches again, it will be another five years of rebuilding. I f we keep Dooley, and let the recruits out there know that Dooley is our man and that he will be around awhile, rebuilding will be much easier and faster.

Why has Wiedner been so negative lately? I know Climer has always been and will continue to be anti-UT. John Adams seems to push the negative envelop a lot, but John is just hung up on writing CUTIE articles. John likes to entertain himself yet doesn't provide much wisdom or facts. AND, only a very few posters on this site seem knowledgeable enough to present anything other than wild REACTIONARY (kid like) responses. I know that I have written stuff on here when I was in a state of outrage that I wish I had never submitted. THE DOOLEY DECISION has to be made with a real honest, sober evaluation. The players, coaches and people at UT that really know what is going on will need to reveal their thoughts, which will be building blocks of the final DOOLEY DECISION. We as fans have already expressed our dislike to losing. Sports writers enjoy blowing everything out of proportion. I SUPPORT DOOLEY and what he is doing, but my opinion will only amount to a thimble of water poured off the Henley Street Bridge.

+1

fearthehound writes:

in response to fearthehound:

+1

I can't stand people who reply to themselves, but I should qualify my +1 with, 'as long as he wins out this season'. We've had a tough run, but the last four games are all winable--and they need to be won.

Einstein writes:

If Dooley is too injured to coach properly get him off the sideline. Doesn't he have some assistant coaches to help. This is just another lame excuse for poor coaching and poor playing.

doctorvol#211700 writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If the staff was as bad as some continue to remind us, we never would have been in it for these type of recruits. The hypernegativity is driving them away.

bfowler1161#262198 writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Maybe a great kid, and maybe, like Randall Cobb, could come back to haunt us. But looking at his profile, if we did sign him then the star watchers ask why are we signing this guy.

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