Tennessee spring football position-by-position previews: Looking at the offense

Tennessee football head coach Butch Jones addresses the media regarding new recruits in the Stokely Family Media Center at Neyland Stadium Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee football head coach Butch Jones addresses the media regarding new recruits in the Stokely Family Media Center at Neyland Stadium Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

The first spring football practice of head coach Butch Jones’ tenure at Tennessee is Saturday morning, the first of 15 sessions running through the April 20 spring exhibition game.

“It’s a clean slate,” offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian said today in an interview with WNML. “All of our players have a chance to establish an identity.”

Check out position-by-positions previews on Evan’s Eleven, starting with the quarterbacks and running backs. New position previews will be posted regularly through the end of the week.

Jones will meet with reporters on Friday morning to preview the spring.

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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Comments » 39

usafvol writes:

Gonna stay positive and optimistic until given a reason not too; Go Vols!

antonio14313 writes:

football can't get here fast enough! go vols.

t

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

Unless the redshirt QB steps up, this team is going to be dog-awful:
-no QB
-weak RB's
-no separation-receivers

Defense? Well......it stunk last season, and Scheme" was only part of it.

Those are my positive comments. I don't wish to be negative.

Col26ca writes:

in response to emailnodata:

Unless the redshirt QB steps up, this team is going to be dog-awful:
-no QB
-weak RB's
-no separation-receivers

Defense? Well......it stunk last season, and Scheme" was only part of it.

Those are my positive comments. I don't wish to be negative.

BS you don't want to be negative.

laraccoon writes:

in response to emailnodata:

Unless the redshirt QB steps up, this team is going to be dog-awful:
-no QB
-weak RB's
-no separation-receivers

Defense? Well......it stunk last season, and Scheme" was only part of it.

Those are my positive comments. I don't wish to be negative.

actually i think QB should be the least of our worries , and how can you know our recievers lack the ability to create space when they are virtually new ? i guess ill wait to see them on the field before i whine .

bUTch_please writes:

Thinking the offense will be vastly improved. Chaney is a smart OC, but sometimes too much thinking for the good of the team. Remember Mizzou not being able to stop our run, but Chaney serving up 3 and outs on 25 yard hitch&goes?

How about any QB who can check down to a running play with a straight face? Think about how many times we had a long developing pass blow up on 3rd and 3 last year when a simple dive play against an obvious blitz would've had a much better opportunity to simply move the chains.

We've got the best offensive line in the SEC this year. Keep them out of wasted plays and our offense will improve ten-fold.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to bUTch_please:

Thinking the offense will be vastly improved. Chaney is a smart OC, but sometimes too much thinking for the good of the team. Remember Mizzou not being able to stop our run, but Chaney serving up 3 and outs on 25 yard hitch&goes?

How about any QB who can check down to a running play with a straight face? Think about how many times we had a long developing pass blow up on 3rd and 3 last year when a simple dive play against an obvious blitz would've had a much better opportunity to simply move the chains.

We've got the best offensive line in the SEC this year. Keep them out of wasted plays and our offense will improve ten-fold.

Very good points, UT was too involved in long pass plays that forced 3 & outs last year..Here's to a much more balanced attack..GBO!!

antonio14313 writes:

...looks like we're gonna need a running back or 2 (or more) to come in the 2014 class?? we're straight at QB (with the incoming class too), and we all know that our offensive line is tight. WR and TE is my only concern, but UT always reloads at WR, sooo...

go vols!

t

VolsUpsetYetAnother writes:

A coach that coaches players up and conviences them they can win is what I feel CBJ brings to the table. He's like Kiffen without a skirt and an NCAA investigation parade. Remember almost beating Bama when kitten was coaching?? We weren't supposed to come close in that game on paper. Spread offense, recruiting better talent (almost a top 20 finish with all the tumoil). Great things ahead for the Vols. If you don't agree then jump on the Vandy bandwagon. Just don't try jumping back on ours after we dismantle them this season! Go Vols!

SummerfieldVol writes:

in response to bUTch_please:

Thinking the offense will be vastly improved. Chaney is a smart OC, but sometimes too much thinking for the good of the team. Remember Mizzou not being able to stop our run, but Chaney serving up 3 and outs on 25 yard hitch&goes?

How about any QB who can check down to a running play with a straight face? Think about how many times we had a long developing pass blow up on 3rd and 3 last year when a simple dive play against an obvious blitz would've had a much better opportunity to simply move the chains.

We've got the best offensive line in the SEC this year. Keep them out of wasted plays and our offense will improve ten-fold.

A good O/C will take what the defense will give you. When a defense is saying you are not going to run wide or up the middle and they have 9in the box it is time to throw or they are, only rushing three and they have a nickel backfield,it is time to run. Know big secret as what to do, it just a matter of calling the right play. O/C can make the offense look good or he can make it look terrible. That is why a very good QB coach can teach the young QB how to read a defense. I think Archie taught Peyton more than any coach a UT did. Peyton was a freshman with a senior play calling ability. Coaching is the name of the game.

wilk58 writes:

in response to bUTch_please:

Thinking the offense will be vastly improved. Chaney is a smart OC, but sometimes too much thinking for the good of the team. Remember Mizzou not being able to stop our run, but Chaney serving up 3 and outs on 25 yard hitch&goes?

How about any QB who can check down to a running play with a straight face? Think about how many times we had a long developing pass blow up on 3rd and 3 last year when a simple dive play against an obvious blitz would've had a much better opportunity to simply move the chains.

We've got the best offensive line in the SEC this year. Keep them out of wasted plays and our offense will improve ten-fold.

I agree some of 3rd down calls were confusing, but vastly improved. Didn't the O averege like 36-38points a game last year.

6972 writes:

in response to usafvol:

Gonna stay positive and optimistic until given a reason not too; Go Vols!

Ditto!
Defense has to improve because it could not be any worse. I am expecting much better things this year. Go Orange.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

in response to laraccoon:

actually i think QB should be the least of our worries , and how can you know our recievers lack the ability to create space when they are virtually new ? i guess ill wait to see them on the field before i whine .

Our o-line is okay, but made better because Bray rarely held the ball too long.

As for recr, hasn't been that long ago, just prior to hunter/rogers, that we could get no recr open at all. Pig's okay, and that white kid, but I have huge doubts overall.

worley just doesn't have the "it".

So, here we are, a TON of questions.

I'd almost feel better if we were running a true running back at QB, and passing off his runs for this season.

pingkr62 writes:

I think the entire team AND coaching staff reminded me of a highly dis-functional family last year. With the new coaching staff, and a much better attitude, that will change. I like C.B.J.'s attitude. I don't expect to see players giving up like some did last year. If they do, they get the opportunity to polish the bench with their rear ends. I expect a 2+2 start next season, but if the team can show marked improvement as the season goes, I will be one happy VOL. G.B.O.!!!

bUTch_please writes:

in response to wilk58:

I agree some of 3rd down calls were confusing, but vastly improved. Didn't the O averege like 36-38points a game last year.

Yea, I know it sounds confusing to say we can improve on an offense that churned out 500+ yards a game. But between blowing up the averages against the Troys of the world and finishing 5 - 7, seems like something was lacking, huh?

Maybe I should have said we can improve the EFFECTIVENESS of our offense ten-fold. Just move the chains and eventually you get points. If the offensive line gets into a powerful rhythm running the ball (remember GA last year?) let them keep running. Our line was beginning to take over the game then we threw it away with incomplete passes on crucial 3rd downs.

I'll take 400 effective game winning yards a game as opposed to what happened last year.

6972 writes:

TB, JH, CP, MR, are gone. That should promote some intense competition at those skilled positions. The cream should rise to the top. I am anxious to see what and who developes. Go Orange.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

in response to bUTch_please:

Yea, I know it sounds confusing to say we can improve on an offense that churned out 500+ yards a game. But between blowing up the averages against the Troys of the world and finishing 5 - 7, seems like something was lacking, huh?

Maybe I should have said we can improve the EFFECTIVENESS of our offense ten-fold. Just move the chains and eventually you get points. If the offensive line gets into a powerful rhythm running the ball (remember GA last year?) let them keep running. Our line was beginning to take over the game then we threw it away with incomplete passes on crucial 3rd downs.

I'll take 400 effective game winning yards a game as opposed to what happened last year.

Hunters drop against Mizzou that would have ended the game...
Bray throwing short later on, same thing.

Crowley's play in the USC game, when UT was ready to win it.

Multiple misfires in the UGA game late in the 4th.

There was nothing wrong with last season's offense other than the "dooley-effect" of something always going on.

Paired with even a semblance of a D and and logical amount of good fortune, 2012 was a 9-10 win year.

s##t happens, though, as we know. payback for the "good" years.

laraccoon writes:

in response to emailnodata:

Our o-line is okay, but made better because Bray rarely held the ball too long.

As for recr, hasn't been that long ago, just prior to hunter/rogers, that we could get no recr open at all. Pig's okay, and that white kid, but I have huge doubts overall.

worley just doesn't have the "it".

So, here we are, a TON of questions.

I'd almost feel better if we were running a true running back at QB, and passing off his runs for this season.

I know alot of people on here thought Chaney was wonderful but in my opinion he was just to predictable , especially on 3rd down . the element of surprise on offense can go along way in creating space for our backs , our recievers , our slots and our Q B for that matter . Bray was so one dimensional that if he was off we had no chance . I have to think when Hart hired Jones he had to have been looking for someone who was going to completely change the direction of what this team had done under Dooley and his assistants , and that is why i think it would be premature to base our players abilities compared to the situations they were used in the previous staffs schemes compared to how Jones and his staff will use them . i guess only time will tell .

SevenT writes:

in response to emailnodata:

Unless the redshirt QB steps up, this team is going to be dog-awful:
-no QB
-weak RB's
-no separation-receivers

Defense? Well......it stunk last season, and Scheme" was only part of it.

Those are my positive comments. I don't wish to be negative.

Don't be so negative the Dols should be able to squeak past Austin Peay and hopefully S. Alabama as well.

They will need to pull an upset to beat anyone else on the schedule.

Just Saying

pingkr62 writes:

in response to antonio14313:

football can't get here fast enough! go vols.

t

Only 147 days left! G.B.O.!!!

SoFlaVol writes:

in response to antonio14313:

...looks like we're gonna need a running back or 2 (or more) to come in the 2014 class?? we're straight at QB (with the incoming class too), and we all know that our offensive line is tight. WR and TE is my only concern, but UT always reloads at WR, sooo...

go vols!

t

I agree, but we must recruit OL in 2014 too. The fact that our line is strong this year is because they are experienced meaning the senors leave and the juniors likely leave early. Time to reload in 2014.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to wilk58:

I agree some of 3rd down calls were confusing, but vastly improved. Didn't the O averege like 36-38points a game last year.

I agree with some of the other posters on this. It is true that the offense put up lots of yards and points, but the idea that it might be a good thing to control the ball to help the defense seems not to have occurred to anybody. A few more first downs in key situations would have beaten the HECK out of a few overthrown bombs. I'm not saying the offense should have become predictable, but sometimes you just have to play the percentages.

bUTch_please writes:

in response to emailnodata:

Hunters drop against Mizzou that would have ended the game...
Bray throwing short later on, same thing.

Crowley's play in the USC game, when UT was ready to win it.

Multiple misfires in the UGA game late in the 4th.

There was nothing wrong with last season's offense other than the "dooley-effect" of something always going on.

Paired with even a semblance of a D and and logical amount of good fortune, 2012 was a 9-10 win year.

s##t happens, though, as we know. payback for the "good" years.

OK, I'll officially go on the record to say last years offense was the worst 30 point/500 yd a game offense in the history of UT football.

If you don't throw it to Hunter on every 3rd down, he can't drop the game. Zach was bullet proof by the end of the year, but he wasn't running that stupid hitch and go with the defenders 8 yards off like Hunter. Justin would dance like Rockette while the defense just stood and waited for the ball and him to arrive.

Bray had a million dollar arm and demonsrated zero leadership skills. Cost us some close ones. A weak QB with strong leadership can drive a college team.

God, CP is an amazing, amazing player. That said, he could bust some routes with the best of 'em. Freshman execution in a Pro Bowlers body.

Not to mention Chaney's eclectic nature.

True as you say, if we had just a pedestrian defense that would have given us a couple games by keeping the offense from having to produce as much. Still, the high wire act on offense last year self destructed more than was shut down.

My hope is Coach Jones can read the game better and whoever gets behind center trusts all of his team mates and leads his team.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to emailnodata:

Our o-line is okay, but made better because Bray rarely held the ball too long.

As for recr, hasn't been that long ago, just prior to hunter/rogers, that we could get no recr open at all. Pig's okay, and that white kid, but I have huge doubts overall.

worley just doesn't have the "it".

So, here we are, a TON of questions.

I'd almost feel better if we were running a true running back at QB, and passing off his runs for this season.

As usual, there is something to what you say, but there are a couple of receivers on the roster who didn't play at all last year who might help. Also, it would help the running game if the receivers blocked better. For all their pass-catching ability, Patterson and Hunter didn't put much fear in DBs as blockers. Patterson didn't always run good routes and Hunter short-armed a lot of balls. You can't replace their talent easily, but it might not be all THAT hard to replace their overall productivity.

We say we want a more reliable offense. We might be able to get that by better downfield blocking, better play-calling, and more reliable receivers. It could be a good thing if the talent in the passing game doesn't tempt the team to go for the bomb quite as often. Then when they do, it might be more effective.

usafvol writes:

in response to 6972:

Ditto!
Defense has to improve because it could not be any worse. I am expecting much better things this year. Go Orange.

I sure hope so. I have my season tickets and with the 5 hour drive each way, another year like last year would be hard to take..

johnlg00 writes:

in response to laraccoon:

I know alot of people on here thought Chaney was wonderful but in my opinion he was just to predictable , especially on 3rd down . the element of surprise on offense can go along way in creating space for our backs , our recievers , our slots and our Q B for that matter . Bray was so one dimensional that if he was off we had no chance . I have to think when Hart hired Jones he had to have been looking for someone who was going to completely change the direction of what this team had done under Dooley and his assistants , and that is why i think it would be premature to base our players abilities compared to the situations they were used in the previous staffs schemes compared to how Jones and his staff will use them . i guess only time will tell .

Great post! Several good ones on this thread, in fact. Nobody is going nuts with the hype, but several show a pretty good grasp of what should be really possible for this team. We'll just have see what actually happens, but I for one am ready for a new start!

rb4346 writes:

in response to emailnodata:

Unless the redshirt QB steps up, this team is going to be dog-awful:
-no QB
-weak RB's
-no separation-receivers

Defense? Well......it stunk last season, and Scheme" was only part of it.

Those are my positive comments. I don't wish to be negative.

You are gonna be eating a lot of your words this year Turd Boy. You really should take a Prozac to start with. GO VOLS!!!

jt45 writes:

Way too many unknown factors right now to be making
predictions yet. Im just looking forward to seeing something new and different, the last couple of years have been rough. A more balanced blue collar type team with players willing to put it all on the line to win, instead of the type so common these days that believe they are worth more than the team as a whole.

Dont expect Immediate results, but i truly believe that Jones will put together a solid 1st season. He seems like a workaholic who wont stop until things are right and Neyland stadium gets louder than a barndance in the boondocks (with a little Shine of course)

pingkr62 writes:

in response to jt45:

Way too many unknown factors right now to be making
predictions yet. Im just looking forward to seeing something new and different, the last couple of years have been rough. A more balanced blue collar type team with players willing to put it all on the line to win, instead of the type so common these days that believe they are worth more than the team as a whole.

Dont expect Immediate results, but i truly believe that Jones will put together a solid 1st season. He seems like a workaholic who wont stop until things are right and Neyland stadium gets louder than a barndance in the boondocks (with a little Shine of course)

Great post! I think if the coaching staff is able to simplify things, so the offense and defense can play without having to read and think like last year, Things will improve. I also believe C.B.J. is everything C.D.D. wasn't. There isn't a football coach in the country that will EVER out work C.B.J. G.B.O.!!!

FanNotSheep writes:

Who in the world knows what the Vols will do in 2013? New QB, new receivers, new schemes on both sides, not to mention entirely new staff. I don't expect miracles. I don't see how they could be as good on offense or as bad on defense as last year's team.

Best hope is to get started with great effort and solid fundamentals, then hope like heck this staff can recruit and coach. Hope nobody expects an improved record in the first year. Regardless what anyone thinks or who you wished they'd hired, it's just not fair to do that to the new coaching staff.

cltvol writes:

all i know is i'm glad we got a coach with a darn flat top rather than the $ 100 politician trim the other guy had

wilk58 writes:

in response to johnlg00:

I agree with some of the other posters on this. It is true that the offense put up lots of yards and points, but the idea that it might be a good thing to control the ball to help the defense seems not to have occurred to anybody. A few more first downs in key situations would have beaten the HECK out of a few overthrown bombs. I'm not saying the offense should have become predictable, but sometimes you just have to play the percentages.

I admit the stats are skewed and if ball control crossed ther mind they did not show it on the field. However, even with the worst D in TN history they were in all games, but two.

It did seem they played there best down 15-20 and there were mutiple games where they had an opportunity to take leads and failed.

I believe the pressure of scoring with every possesion played a part in those deep balls on 3rd and short.

Bottom line to me thou is 36 points a game should of had better results. Go vols.

rb4346 writes:

in response to laraccoon:

actually i think QB should be the least of our worries , and how can you know our recievers lack the ability to create space when they are virtually new ? i guess ill wait to see them on the field before i whine .

Good post and I feel that North and a couple of the other WR's are going to surprise a lot of people. GBO!

rb4346 writes:

in response to VolsUpsetYetAnother:

A coach that coaches players up and conviences them they can win is what I feel CBJ brings to the table. He's like Kiffen without a skirt and an NCAA investigation parade. Remember almost beating Bama when kitten was coaching?? We weren't supposed to come close in that game on paper. Spread offense, recruiting better talent (almost a top 20 finish with all the tumoil). Great things ahead for the Vols. If you don't agree then jump on the Vandy bandwagon. Just don't try jumping back on ours after we dismantle them this season! Go Vols!

I agree that CBJ is gonna turn out to be the right fit. These so called fans who jump on and off the wagon (depends on which way the wind is blowing) need to jump on the Vandy wagon and stay off the VOLS wagon completely.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to wilk58:

I admit the stats are skewed and if ball control crossed ther mind they did not show it on the field. However, even with the worst D in TN history they were in all games, but two.

It did seem they played there best down 15-20 and there were mutiple games where they had an opportunity to take leads and failed.

I believe the pressure of scoring with every possesion played a part in those deep balls on 3rd and short.

Bottom line to me thou is 36 points a game should of had better results. Go vols.

I think Tyler Bray's desire to hit the home run on every drive played more a part of the 3rd and short calls.

VolGrad writes:

I really don't like being negative...

..., but some of you guys are really warped.

Go Vols! #RiseToTheTop This is Big Orange Country!!!

VolGrad writes:

Since it is way too early to make win/loss predictions...

..., I say we win 7 games, go to a bowl and finish with 8 victories.

:D Go Vols!!!

VolGrad writes:

We have such "terrible RBs"...

..., that I think we lead the SEC East in rushing this year.

:) Go Vols! Kick Butt!! #RiseToTheTop

bljvol writes:

in response to SevenT:

Don't be so negative the Dols should be able to squeak past Austin Peay and hopefully S. Alabama as well.

They will need to pull an upset to beat anyone else on the schedule.

Just Saying

Go crawl back under the rock you came out from under dork

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