David Climer: Derek Dooley should take blame for Vols' lousy defense

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley talks with referee Tom Ritter in 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 talks with referee Tom Ritter in 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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On face, you can’t blame Derek Dooley for not wanting to be closely linked to Tennessee ’s lousy defense. It’s guilt by association.

But the buck stops with the bucks. When you’re getting paid so much ($2 million this year) and have a buyout ($5 million) that guarantees a financial soft landing if you get canned, you should be driving the bus, not throwing people under it.

Dooley’s reluctance to take ownership of UT’s historically bad defense (the Vols are on pace to set a school record for the most yardage and points allowed) is one of his most glaring flaws as a head coach. Rather than trying to distance himself from the problem, he should take full responsibility.

After the 38-35 loss at South Carolina last Saturday, Dooley raised some eyebrows when he said he had not spent any extra time with first-year defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri or the players despite such obvious problems on that side of the ball.

Continue reading at The Tennessean.

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Comments » 80

usafvol writes:

Hey Climer; are you a closet gator or what? How bout you take responsibility for the lousy hack dribble you repeatedly write?

UTVOL2001 writes:

Was reading an article a few weeks ago and it said Nick Saban spent most of his time with the defense. Just sayin.....Also, as a father, husband, and businessman, if my business is faltering, I spend more time there. If my family gets sick or are having trouble, I take off with them. Point is, defense has been awful from week 3 and offense has been great from the opener. Who in their right mind would not be focusing most of their waking mental energy on the defense? This makes absolutely no sense at all! Bring in a consultant or something! Solve the problem.

tulelakevol writes:

Not a big Climer fan, but he brings up some good points in this article.

StoneJackBaller writes:

in response to usafvol:

Hey Climer; are you a closet gator or what? How bout you take responsibility for the lousy hack dribble you repeatedly write?

Why do you think it was such a bad article? Are you just trying to be cool by criticizing the writer? Or are just fine with a 2nd rate coach who ignores the problems? I thought it was a very eye opening article. Thanks for writing it Climer. It just proves Dooley is not a big time coach and its time for him to be replaced.

volsrfiguy writes:

is it just me or do you folks get tired of the way coach Dookey always finds a way to point the finger to someone else. He always has excuses..he needs to MAN UP and SHUT UP!

tulelakevol writes:

in response to volsrfiguy:

is it just me or do you folks get tired of the way coach Dookey always finds a way to point the finger to someone else. He always has excuses..he needs to MAN UP and SHUT UP!

I am very tired of it. Excuses are for losers, and my football team has the high priest of losers for a football coach.

Cousin_Eddie writes:

If Sunseri was Dooley's choice, he should be fired after the season. If Sunseri was pushed for by Dave Hart, then Hart owes Dooley another season.

Stooley_Dinks writes:

So I guess the Dooleys and the Climers won't be vacationing together next summer.

OrangePsyched writes:

in response to Cousin_Eddie:

If Sunseri was Dooley's choice, he should be fired after the season. If Sunseri was pushed for by Dave Hart, then Hart owes Dooley another season.

You got that right Cuz. From what I've read and heard is that some of CDD's coaches were told there would be no extensions after last year and they left..not because of CDD. Hart exerted pressure to hire Sunseri. I still believe Sal can get this worked out but he is basically Hart's hire. CDD probably deserves another year but I said after MS. State game that if change at HC were made I would support that also. I know Gruden's not coming but if there has to be a change I like Strong but he will he snatched up quickly.

6972 writes:

In another time and in another place someone said, "The buck stops here".

  • October 31, 2012
  • 9:50 a.m.
whiskeyman writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

usafvol writes:

in response to StoneJackBaller:

Why do you think it was such a bad article? Are you just trying to be cool by criticizing the writer? Or are just fine with a 2nd rate coach who ignores the problems? I thought it was a very eye opening article. Thanks for writing it Climer. It just proves Dooley is not a big time coach and its time for him to be replaced.

No doofus, i'm not trying to be cool as you appear to do in many of your posts. Nowhere in the article does Dooley blame anyone for the defensive woes. He merely states that he hasn't been as involved in the defense as he has in the offense and special teams. Simpletons like yourself tend to read between the lines and get what they want out of an article. Isn't it time for your shift at Burger King?

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Climer and Faunbaum are actually related. Maybe brothers, surely cousins. Throw in Adams and we have a nice family reunion when they aren't writing similar columns.

We know there are problems with the defense. And, if it isn't taken care of, there will be a big fallout.

However, even when things aren't going south, these guys take great delight with throwing out choice words like 'lousy' etc. Even when Fulmer was coach and the Vols would be winning some games, Climer and his whiny voice would be on the radio criticizing everything and everyone.

He'd be a pretty good politician.

Actually, the position coaches at some point should be held accountable when the results have been this obvious. And, if they cannot get a handle on the situation, then they can move on. But, let's blame the head coach for the missed tackles, interceptions, and fumbles.........if that makes us feel better.

aspenvol2 writes:

Climer, he took full responsibility for it. You must get your news from Finebaum. Dooley has been completely sheltering Sunseri from blame. You are wrong, and your Jerry Springer tactics are tired.

tovolny writes:

in response to usafvol:

Hey Climer; are you a closet gator or what? How bout you take responsibility for the lousy hack dribble you repeatedly write?

Yeah, Climer - please just go away.

Pullingguard writes:

In times of despair everyone has a 10 cent remedy for all that is wrong... just more wanna-be-jock talk...Climer is no different.

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to usafvol:

No doofus, i'm not trying to be cool as you appear to do in many of your posts. Nowhere in the article does Dooley blame anyone for the defensive woes. He merely states that he hasn't been as involved in the defense as he has in the offense and special teams. Simpletons like yourself tend to read between the lines and get what they want out of an article. Isn't it time for your shift at Burger King?

A seasoned experienced head coach would have been right in the thick of what Sal's been doing. Dooley has stayed with the offense. I think Dooley is going to be a great coach in time but he has been brought into a once proud program offering nothing. Being paid 2mil a year for OJT. What an opportunity he was given. During his OJT we continue to struggle. Dang give him 5 more years and we will be back. A Gruden level coach would have had signature wins in three years. Just sayin

StoneJackBaller writes:

in response to usafvol:

No doofus, i'm not trying to be cool as you appear to do in many of your posts. Nowhere in the article does Dooley blame anyone for the defensive woes. He merely states that he hasn't been as involved in the defense as he has in the offense and special teams. Simpletons like yourself tend to read between the lines and get what they want out of an article. Isn't it time for your shift at Burger King?

No, instead of blaming in the article, he blames them during press conferences. And how is saying "I only coach offense and special teams" not blaming someone else?? And thanks for the compliment about being able to read between the lines. Not many people, can do that.

Sincerely,

Mr. Simpleton

tovolny writes:

WHY DO WE HAVE TO PUT UP with this CIMER glamorings? Dooley is on the right track and I am going to stick with him. Dooley and Sunseri can and will soon get the BIG ORANGE EXPRESS OVERHAULED and running at full gallop.

Dooley is not hiding from anything...he is just trying to relate a true situation. Climer is always off-base and very nerdy. Climer reminds me of that kid in highschool that was a brown-noser and always asking stupid questions, and always being the one who made the obvious little remarks. Y'all know the one, every highschool class has this one kid that is neither athletic nor smart, and is just a nuisance.

tulelakevol writes:

I respectfully disagree with you tovolny. Dooley is not on the right track, the winning track. Four words, Hugh Freeze Ole Miss.

Yes, Ole Miss. Hugh has taken that program to another level. Dooley has taken our program to another level as well, only it is a lower level.

SewaneeVolFan writes:

in response to whiskeyman:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No need for this baloney.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

According to an article on here earlier in the week, UT's defense ranks 99th out of 120 teams. Hard to believe that there are 21 defensive teams out there worse than ours.

I was wondering about one potential problem if we keep Sunseri. Do the Neyland Stadium scoreboards provide for tripple digit scores? If not, the buyout may be cheaper than the cost of installing new scoreboards.

Rumblefish writes:

Article after article is coming out daily about the sad state of affairs on The Hill for this reason and that reason.

Hey writers...we all get it. Tennessee is horrible with Dooley at the helm. You would have to be deaf, dumb, and stupid to not know that by now. Why don't you all try giving us some information that we don't know????? Maybe set up an interview with Hart to see about when he is looking to replace Dooley. Maybe write some articles on proscpective (realistic) coaching candidates????

SewaneeVolFan writes:

I don't like blaming the messenger or looking for conspiracies among journalists. However, considering the links to the last Climer articles are titled “Did Vols fans really think a win was coming?” and “Is Saturday’s game the beginning of the end for Derek Dooley?”, I'm not going to view Climer as someone in the same time zone as an objective source about Coach Dooley.

But people can look at the same set of facts or events and arrive at completely opposite interpretations. For example, there's the earlier post-writer who felt he could sum up all Dooley's worst traits by demonizing a political party. But to me, that post-writer was describing the OTHER political party, and -- again, to me -- I don't see Dooley throwing people under the bus or refusing to take responsibility.

Just like all football coaches who aren't megalomaniacs and believe they can do it all, Dooley candidly acknowledges his areas of expertise, says he's taking a greater look at the areas outside his expertise, and, most important and most relevant, says, OVER AND OVER again that the statistics don't lie and that he can't defend what the statistics say.

To me, none of that is passing the buck or blaming other people.

But then I also feel that OTHER political party does all that, so... same set of facts or events... opposite interpretations.

FWBVol writes:

Climer has a history of going after UT coaches and picking apart their shortcomings. He did the same thing with Phillip Fulmer and Johnny Majors. I'm pretty sure, if Kiffin had stuck around long enough and faltered a little, Climer would have taken his shots at Kiffin too.

The fact is that it easy for Climer, Adams and other columnist to be experts from their laptops. Just because someone watches a medical show on TV every week it doesn't make them a doctor ready to perform open heart surgery.

We can all diagnose the problem, but it is Dooley's job to fix it. I believe, unless something unexpected happens the final four games, Dooley should be back for next season because the buyouts are just too big, and in reality, he really hasn't had a chance to recruit four full classes yet. Remember, he was hired less than two weeks before signing day in 2010. There is no doubt though that the leash on Dooley is getting shorter by the day.

Memphis_VOL_Alum writes:

in response to tulelakevol:

I respectfully disagree with you tovolny. Dooley is not on the right track, the winning track. Four words, Hugh Freeze Ole Miss.

Yes, Ole Miss. Hugh has taken that program to another level. Dooley has taken our program to another level as well, only it is a lower level.

While I think Hugh Freeze is doing a great job at Ole Miss, the wins he has against Ark and Auburn this year can't compare to a schedule of Fla, Ala, GA, Miss St. and SC. Heck even Vandy is improved. Ole Miss loses to every one of those teams as we did. Let's see them hang 40 on the GA defense.

I sure want a better product on the field. And I am not saying changes should not be made, but you have to compare apples to apples.

I've said it before and will now say it again. The Admin at UT would be crazy to make a HC and staff change with the buyouts the way they are unless they can hit a HOMERUN of a hire. No one was lining up when coach Dooley took the job, no one is lining up now. If the AD changes for a nobody and we start the rebuilding again, the AD should be fired and sued for breach of managerial duties.

tedstryker1980 writes:

in response to usafvol:

Hey Climer; are you a closet gator or what? How bout you take responsibility for the lousy hack dribble you repeatedly write?

I believe the word you were looking for is "drivel".

volforeverandever writes:

in response to usafvol:

Hey Climer; are you a closet gator or what? How bout you take responsibility for the lousy hack dribble you repeatedly write?

I live in middle Tennessee and read his garbage all the time.He pops off his ignorance on many topics.He is usualy wrong.It was his opinion that the Titans should give Chris Johnson 53 millon.How is that working out Climer? He has always been anti-Tennessee.Main point being he is stupid.

tulelakevol writes:

in response to Memphis_VOL_Alum:

While I think Hugh Freeze is doing a great job at Ole Miss, the wins he has against Ark and Auburn this year can't compare to a schedule of Fla, Ala, GA, Miss St. and SC. Heck even Vandy is improved. Ole Miss loses to every one of those teams as we did. Let's see them hang 40 on the GA defense.

I sure want a better product on the field. And I am not saying changes should not be made, but you have to compare apples to apples.

I've said it before and will now say it again. The Admin at UT would be crazy to make a HC and staff change with the buyouts the way they are unless they can hit a HOMERUN of a hire. No one was lining up when coach Dooley took the job, no one is lining up now. If the AD changes for a nobody and we start the rebuilding again, the AD should be fired and sued for breach of managerial duties.

Good points sir. I agree we have had a very difficult schedule to play. But Ole Miss would not lose to KY. And I don't know if we could beat a resurgent Arkansas with our porous defense, as Ole Miss did. But Hugh is in year one, or zero if you like. Dooley is in year three, and we are once again 0-5 in SEC play, three years running, a rather dubious distinction that once belonged only to lowly Vandy.

usafvol writes:

in response to tedstryker1980:

I believe the word you were looking for is "drivel".

Thanks for pointing that out; it's not a word that I use frequently..

RockyMtnVol writes:

in response to StoneJackBaller:

Why do you think it was such a bad article? Are you just trying to be cool by criticizing the writer? Or are just fine with a 2nd rate coach who ignores the problems? I thought it was a very eye opening article. Thanks for writing it Climer. It just proves Dooley is not a big time coach and its time for him to be replaced.

1st StonedJac, your just about as bad as Slimer with your hacking of CDD and players. Now that we all see you throw your support to Slimer, it is obvious your a TROLL at the HIGHEST LEVEL, you have been rejected by your G@ytor Friends and now your just another.....Slimer.

madrigal writes:

Hey Climer, stay in Nashville and cover Vandy football. We have plenty of crape hangers here without you sticking your $.02 in (which is about what yours is worth). KNS, are you that desperate to fill space?

RockyMtnVol writes:

David Slimer, is a hack, of course CDD takes responsibility for the team's performance, you moron. CDD has more integrity than any of the KNS or Nashville papers, he won't lower himself to give them interviews, so, all of their articles are tainted with resentment. Why don't more of you posters that have a nack to be negative everyday, say something about the poor articles these jerks print or does that fit your daily routine of piss and vinager.

RockyMtnVol writes:

in response to madrigal:

Hey Climer, stay in Nashville and cover Vandy football. We have plenty of crape hangers here without you sticking your $.02 in (which is about what yours is worth). KNS, are you that desperate to fill space?

Amen, I want our team to walk into Candy Land and kick the living.....out of Vandy, just to rub it in their face everyday for a year.

Go Vols!!

  • October 31, 2012
  • 11:29 a.m.
therightstuff writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Rumblefish writes:

in response to RockyMtnVol:

David Slimer, is a hack, of course CDD takes responsibility for the team's performance, you moron. CDD has more integrity than any of the KNS or Nashville papers, he won't lower himself to give them interviews, so, all of their articles are tainted with resentment. Why don't more of you posters that have a nack to be negative everyday, say something about the poor articles these jerks print or does that fit your daily routine of piss and vinager.

Read my above post RockyMtn. I did exactly just that. Why not articles on who is going to replace Dooley? Why not an interview with Hart on his timeline for replacing him. Shoot...even if Hart denies an interview, write a story about that!

We all know how bad the coaching at TN is. These writers just keep spitting it back in our faces over and over and over again. Boring.

flatrock writes:

Okay, Mr. Climer should take the blame for the worthless piece of garbage that the Tennessean sports section has become...

pcshowtime writes:

in response to OrangePsyched:

You got that right Cuz. From what I've read and heard is that some of CDD's coaches were told there would be no extensions after last year and they left..not because of CDD. Hart exerted pressure to hire Sunseri. I still believe Sal can get this worked out but he is basically Hart's hire. CDD probably deserves another year but I said after MS. State game that if change at HC were made I would support that also. I know Gruden's not coming but if there has to be a change I like Strong but he will he snatched up quickly.

Is there a link or something to prove hart put the pressure on dooley to hire Sunseri.

I understand your point because dooley would have had to been an idiot to change the defensive scheme with no job security. However, he may just be an idiot.

Memphis_VOL_Alum writes:

in response to tulelakevol:

Good points sir. I agree we have had a very difficult schedule to play. But Ole Miss would not lose to KY. And I don't know if we could beat a resurgent Arkansas with our porous defense, as Ole Miss did. But Hugh is in year one, or zero if you like. Dooley is in year three, and we are once again 0-5 in SEC play, three years running, a rather dubious distinction that once belonged only to lowly Vandy.

I'll say it again. Hugh Freeze is doing a great job. No doubt about that. To be fair to UT and Ole Miss you have to compare the schedules. We don't have many common opponets, so the best we can do is speculate.

I think we all want better at Tennessee. But I have to say, all the negative talk isn't helping the players finish this season. I personally do not think a change is coming because of the buyout numbers, and the lack of a BIG NAME coach to hire.

So what I am saying is lets get behind the players and support them. They are the ones risking injury and taking the hits on Saturdays. I am as frustrated as anyone, but really, do you think that our comments will force a $9.3 million buyout decision. If so, we are in way more trouble than we know.

OrangePride writes:

Really David? Your advice is to abandon the hurry up offense so that we take longer?? You've done a lot of coaching and studying on this have you? MEMO TO DAVID CLIMER: You're an idiot! First, I have never seen teams win more games by taking points OFF the board. Second, you do not improve the defense by watering down the offense. Third, has it occured to you that by abandoning the hurry up, you just might get few first downs and more 3 and outs? Hmmmm. Brillliant advice there Dave. Maybe you should stick to a different occupation that does not include advice to football coaches. Geez, but this was one of your dumber columns.......and that's really saying something!

vols37 writes:

You ever notice that Dooley has the hardest time taking responsibility for anything that goes wrong. His approach certainly doesn't resemble the old school coaches who always took responsibility when things went wrong.

  • October 31, 2012
  • 11:45 a.m.
murrayvol writes:

in response to whiskeyman:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

murrayvol writes:

in response to SewaneeVolFan:

No need for this baloney.

Tis the season Sewanee.

gatorhator4eva writes:

the answers dooley has and his statements are totally incorrect. this is starting to be a problem. i liked dooley and he is a classy guy, but this cannot continue. hart needs to wake up. in year three the mistakes and excuses dooleys had, well they do not add up to an SEC caliber team. it seems dooley is trying to learn along the way in order to get through seasons. his choice for words at press conferences are horrible. he needs to man up as someone said, but even at this point i dont have confidence in him. i know he inherited a bad situation but we should be making much more progress then this...

any thoughts?

vq4nfo writes:

This guy has it out for CDD. Most major college football coaches spend the most time on the part of the program they are confortable and experienced with. They leave the other parts to the coordinators. It is what they are hired for. Throughout the season the head coach and CDD discuss the problems as seen on tape. After the season they evaluate the program as a whole and fill in the gaps. Fire and hire if needed. This new defense takes time to learn and it would be stupid to go back to the old scheme. It would just confuse the young players even more.

You can also blame Hart the AD for the DC hire. CDD was in no position to argue but if he is fired this season you will hear about it. That is one reason I state CDD will be around for one more season at least, even if they drop one of the next four games.

All of those negative posters that say the boosters will pony up for a new coach or the season ticket sales will slide - No way it will make that much of a difference. You post all you want but there are many like me that will be at the games no matter what. We should have a poll of the season ticket holders to see just how many would give them up if CDD is around next year. I can tell you from who I tailgate with - none!

OrangePride writes:

in response to StoneJackBaller:

Why do you think it was such a bad article? Are you just trying to be cool by criticizing the writer? Or are just fine with a 2nd rate coach who ignores the problems? I thought it was a very eye opening article. Thanks for writing it Climer. It just proves Dooley is not a big time coach and its time for him to be replaced.

This article proves nothing of the sort regarding Dooley as a coach. What it proves is that Climer knows dang little about coaching (see my other post above as to why). My other point is that virtually NO ONE is satisfied with this defense or this year's results. But I don't see any indication Dooley is "ignoring" the problem. His issue has been failing to "solve" the problem. That might speak more directly to his coaching skills. We will see by the end of the year, just what is done. But no matter what happens from here, Dooley and the staff failed miserably against the better SEC teams. THAT, from where I sit, is getting to be a redundant theme! Let's hope the Vols can rebound in these next games against the "lesser" teams. GO VOLS!

murrayvol writes:

in response to NeylandNabob:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Careful Wally. Site staff is on red alert.

vq4nfo writes:

Forgot to add, Virginia Tech is having one of their worst years ever at 4-4 and will most likely end up not going to a bowl this year. You would be hard pressed to find season tickets there no matter what their record is. Even during the string of season losses they had a decade ago they still sold out every game. What makes UT different? The posters? LMAO

arkyvol writes:

man, i'll be glad when we can file the dooley era in the history file.

Vol43 writes:

in response to UTVOL2001:

Was reading an article a few weeks ago and it said Nick Saban spent most of his time with the defense. Just sayin.....Also, as a father, husband, and businessman, if my business is faltering, I spend more time there. If my family gets sick or are having trouble, I take off with them. Point is, defense has been awful from week 3 and offense has been great from the opener. Who in their right mind would not be focusing most of their waking mental energy on the defense? This makes absolutely no sense at all! Bring in a consultant or something! Solve the problem.

This team is in dire need of a head coach.

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