Mike Strange: Vols need more at the line of scrimmage

Mike Strange
Tennessee defensive lineman Daniel Hood (97) looks dejectedly up at the scoreboard in the final minutes of Tennessee's 31-3 loss to Missouri at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Mo. on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013. (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Lau

Tennessee defensive lineman Daniel Hood (97) looks dejectedly up at the scoreboard in the final minutes of Tennessee's 31-3 loss to Missouri at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Mo. on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013. (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

The shuttle bus driver from the garage to Faurot Field couldn’t have been more helpful. Nice folks, these Missourians.

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Comments » 25

wally.capclad#1424854 writes:

SPOT ON...

jandjhome#228397 writes:

The OL is my biggest disappointment with our team. Under achievement at its finest.

TNlogfire writes:

Yep....we should have held onto Sam Pittman...that guy had us rolling last year....easily the biggest disappointment on the team this year.

underthehill writes:

in response to jandjhome#228397:

The OL is my biggest disappointment with our team. Under achievement at its finest.

Don't think you will find any disagreement on this..simply put..expectations exceeded the performance..if the O line don't step it up..ain't likely the Vols can handle Vandy..

no1djkb#278630 writes:

At some point you got to stop blaming the coaches and holding the players accountable. These coaches actually have had success at other places and they seem to be in tune with the players. Those guys are seniors and juniors. They should be tired of losing.

GerryOP writes:

Starting to worry about this team. Don't see much improvement. What's going on in Voltown?

brewlocal writes:

I predict the O line puts forth a better effort down the stretch. It always helps to see Vandy and Kentucky on the horizon. But I have no doubt they are seeing their potential draft status sink. Anybody who thinks the pro scouts will ignore the Alabama and Missouri game films because the poor Vols had to play back to back road games against top 10 teams is delusional.

atnvol#283282 writes:

I see where Auburn is a 7.5 point favorite. What worries me is that if we lose to Auburn, then we will be in a total no confidence hole going into the Vandy game.....and they will be sky high to play us.....we could lose that game very easily considering our mindset if we were to get a couple of "bad breaks". Then our mindset going to Lexington will be in the total crapper because we will not be going bowling....and our worse nightmare could happen...closing the season on five straight losses. Our coaches have a major major challenge ahead to get us to .500

BrassMonkey writes:

What happened to all the Butch slappers? Just wondering if anyone thinks 10-2 or 9-3 is still possible. Remember when I told you how full of it you were and got bashed for it?

underthehill writes:

in response to GerryOP:

Starting to worry about this team. Don't see much improvement. What's going on in Voltown?

OP ..haven't heard from you lately..I think optimism still reigns in Voltown despite the dismal showing at Mo..at this point..the optimism seems based on the possible outstanding recruiting class for next year and the obvious talent of Josh Dobbs..most..including myself ..seem to think the team could finish strong if the O line plays up to their hype and the defense plays like they did against Ga and S Car..

underthehill writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

What happened to all the Butch slappers? Just wondering if anyone thinks 10-2 or 9-3 is still possible. Remember when I told you how full of it you were and got bashed for it?

Due to having the toughest schedule in the country..and lack of team speed and talent..The vast majority of Vols fans are realistic and thought 6-6 would be great ..they still do.I don't know where you are getting the 9-3 10-2 stuff..I didn't see much ..if any ..of that..with Jones recruiting, a win over S Car, and a bowl still possible..this season is a success..despite the last two games..

BrassMonkey writes:

in response to underthehill:

Due to having the toughest schedule in the country..and lack of team speed and talent..The vast majority of Vols fans are realistic and thought 6-6 would be great ..they still do.I don't know where you are getting the 9-3 10-2 stuff..I didn't see much ..if any ..of that..with Jones recruiting, a win over S Car, and a bowl still possible..this season is a success..despite the last two games..

.... has been the excuse for the past 4 years. Tough schedule, no talent, injuries, etc. Yet they still manage to play with the best teams in the country on some weekends and lay complete eggs the next weekend.

underthehill writes:

in response to atnvol#283282:

I see where Auburn is a 7.5 point favorite. What worries me is that if we lose to Auburn, then we will be in a total no confidence hole going into the Vandy game.....and they will be sky high to play us.....we could lose that game very easily considering our mindset if we were to get a couple of "bad breaks". Then our mindset going to Lexington will be in the total crapper because we will not be going bowling....and our worse nightmare could happen...closing the season on five straight losses. Our coaches have a major major challenge ahead to get us to .500

I see Auburn as being only 7.5 favorite as a sign that the guys putting their money on it think the Vols will play much better next week and have a chance to win..why else would the margin be that small..

bUTch__please writes:

Can't coach the soft out of 'em. This pack got broke in on 90% pass protection in the Bray years and can't push forward past it's own hand print. Looking forward to a clean slate of young hungry OL taking to the field with a bad attitude.

underthehill writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

.... has been the excuse for the past 4 years. Tough schedule, no talent, injuries, etc. Yet they still manage to play with the best teams in the country on some weekends and lay complete eggs the next weekend.

maybe so..but the major difference is the ones making the excuses..Jones does not make excuses..he expects his players and coaches to give their best..I don't mention the previous coach by name..but he was a genius at making excuses..I see no similarity in Jones and the previous coach..and that is why we are looking at huge success in recruiting which will go a long way to eliminate any reason for excuses..

johnlg00 writes:

Could it be that some of the linemen have a bad case of "senioritis"? Or "can't wait for the big NFL paychecks"? Or "saving myself for the combine"? Maybe CBJ and staff can convince them that all of that is at risk if they don't start showing something on the field instead of taking comfort in the (excessive) media hype. And who knows what "agents" are whispering in their ears?

Between the two lines, there are at least eight guys who may be entertaining more or less realistic NFL hopes. If their performance doesn't improve, only a couple of them are likely to see their hopes realized in terms of being actually drafted. And while it is possible to make an NFL roster as a free agent who impresses in the combines, such a player starts out in a deep hole in just trying to make a team, and is likely looking at about three years of making the minimum salary before really cashing in. Then when you consider how short the average NFL career is, it is time for some of those guys to start doing the math--and coming up with the right answers!

VolFolks writes:

South Carolina effectively used the screen pass to stage their come from behind win over Mizz. With the strong defensive pressure that Mizz. was using, why didin't we use a side or middle screen pass to offset the pressure? Or, maybe our line is too slow for a side screen.

johndavid writes:

A decent running back gets more than 8 yards on 8 attempts with the chang gang blocking for him!

LRader156 writes:

We have seen big turnarounds in the SEC over the pat few years. Auburn & Mizzou are definately in that category this year. Other teams like Arkansas, A&M, Ole Miss, and even Vandy have turned things around quickly in recent years. When do the Vol Nation get to enjoy one of these years?

OrangePride writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

What happened to all the Butch slappers? Just wondering if anyone thinks 10-2 or 9-3 is still possible. Remember when I told you how full of it you were and got bashed for it?

First of all, not one post in 20 predicted anything near 9-3, much less 10-2. So don't come on here telling us what a great soothsayer you are for calling someone on that. Second, you don't get bashed for disagreeing, you get bashed because you constantly put Jones, his staff, and Tennessee down as if you know more than everyone else. How come you never discuss the recruiting class? How come you never mention the VOL showing against Georgia and South Carolina? How come you never mention the 100,000 fannies in seats at Neyland Stadium making it the "loudest place on earth" according to an ESPN tweet? Fact is that EVERYONE (except you) has seen this as a 3-5 year project ever since Jones got here. We're not there. Thanks for telling us Captain Obvious. But there sure are some good signs that we have great athletes coming in and more than just a wish that things are moving forward. BTW....what team do you actually root for? Let us guess......Alabama (for now).

LRader156 writes:

in response to OrangePride:

First of all, not one post in 20 predicted anything near 9-3, much less 10-2. So don't come on here telling us what a great soothsayer you are for calling someone on that. Second, you don't get bashed for disagreeing, you get bashed because you constantly put Jones, his staff, and Tennessee down as if you know more than everyone else. How come you never discuss the recruiting class? How come you never mention the VOL showing against Georgia and South Carolina? How come you never mention the 100,000 fannies in seats at Neyland Stadium making it the "loudest place on earth" according to an ESPN tweet? Fact is that EVERYONE (except you) has seen this as a 3-5 year project ever since Jones got here. We're not there. Thanks for telling us Captain Obvious. But there sure are some good signs that we have great athletes coming in and more than just a wish that things are moving forward. BTW....what team do you actually root for? Let us guess......Alabama (for now).

I am a big Butch fan, but there have been many posters this year talking about a 9 or 10 win season earlier this year. I am for optimism, but reality has been harsh for some of the orange kool aid drinkers. I am still hoping for a 7 win season and quantitative improvement in the program.

psychovol2 writes:

There's not a single junior player on this team that's NFL ready. Tiny that means you. AJ that means you too. Unless, of course, you want to go the way of Tyler Bray that actually went pro his sophomore year as it appears according to Western Union. Do the mature thing unlike writing checks your mouth can't cash.

dfite#440781 writes:

There's not a single senior offensive lineman who's better than a 3rd round pick. These guys have been pampered to the point they are almost worthless. Someone has to quit begging them to play and convince them their jobs are on the line. Is this staff capable of that? it's time for them to play or be benched to begin next years O line.

GerryOP writes:

in response to underthehill:

OP ..haven't heard from you lately..I think optimism still reigns in Voltown despite the dismal showing at Mo..at this point..the optimism seems based on the possible outstanding recruiting class for next year and the obvious talent of Josh Dobbs..most..including myself ..seem to think the team could finish strong if the O line plays up to their hype and the defense plays like they did against Ga and S Car..

Thanks for the update from Voltown. Not my normal MO to be negative on our Vols, but, I guess in the 6th year of this crapola, it starts to get to me.

My big fear is that when any organization has a high tension leader like Butch, failure to succeed can cause weird feelings amongst the troops. This year, with no tangible results going into the 3rd month, I wonder if some of the guys are kind of backing down a bit. I hope not.

The other thing I find interesting is playing in Neyland vs. anywhere from Oregon to wherever. But, I need to remember that we are dealing with kids and "business travel" is all new to them. But I do find it strange that they landed in St Louis around noon and travelled two more hours to Columbia. They dressed out and played a football game and then turned around and reversed the trip. I understand time zones and overnight costs etc, but to me it sounded like a strange way to do it. But it could sort of explain their abysmal showings away from home.

Yup, the recruits for next year do look spectacular ... on paper. Following Twitter, a few of those new guys act a bit "difficult," but I'm sure that Jones-boy will pull it all together.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to GerryOP:

Thanks for the update from Voltown. Not my normal MO to be negative on our Vols, but, I guess in the 6th year of this crapola, it starts to get to me.

My big fear is that when any organization has a high tension leader like Butch, failure to succeed can cause weird feelings amongst the troops. This year, with no tangible results going into the 3rd month, I wonder if some of the guys are kind of backing down a bit. I hope not.

The other thing I find interesting is playing in Neyland vs. anywhere from Oregon to wherever. But, I need to remember that we are dealing with kids and "business travel" is all new to them. But I do find it strange that they landed in St Louis around noon and travelled two more hours to Columbia. They dressed out and played a football game and then turned around and reversed the trip. I understand time zones and overnight costs etc, but to me it sounded like a strange way to do it. But it could sort of explain their abysmal showings away from home.

Yup, the recruits for next year do look spectacular ... on paper. Following Twitter, a few of those new guys act a bit "difficult," but I'm sure that Jones-boy will pull it all together.

Gerry, I'm sure you know the old Tom Paine line about "summer soldiers and sunshine patriots". It's not always easy to be a fan when the objects of one's devotion are showing signs of wear. Anybody can get behind a winner, but it is a mark of true love to support a struggling team. Imagine how much harder it must be to actually be ON such a team. You have always been a beacon of devotion to the Vols and I know you still are, as am I. Better days are coming, which be all the sweeter to those of us who never lost the faith. Pity the poor fool trolls and the negaVols and the instant-gratification crowd, and take pride in a faith that sees beyond the present gloom to the brighter days ahead.

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