Report card: No unit receives better than a C

Amy Smotherman Burgess/News Sentinel
Tennessee linebacker Brent Brewer (17) consoles running back Rajion Neal (20) as they exit the stadium during the second half against Oregon at Autzen Stadium Saturday, September 14, 2013, in Eugene, OR. Oregon won the game 59-14. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Amy Smotherman Burgess/News Sentinel Tennessee linebacker Brent Brewer (17) consoles running back Rajion Neal (20) as they exit the stadium during the second half against Oregon at Autzen Stadium Saturday, September 14, 2013, in Eugene, OR. Oregon won the game 59-14. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Quarterbacks C If the seemingly universal fan desire to blame everything on the starting quarterback crops up, it’s worth remembering that Justin Worley had nothing to do with the defensive meltdown that unfolded Saturday. Certainly, the Vols'; lack of a vertical passing game is troubling, but it’s hard to see how inserting a freshman would solve the problem, at least in the short term. Worley has been shaky, but he's also been handicapped by a subpar receiving corps and didn't throw an interception against the Ducks.

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Comments » 27

WaitUntilNextYear writes:

This team sucks and the coaches were overwhelmed. It was embarrassing to be a Vols fan in Autzen stadium. The Oregon fans were classy in this debacle. We are about to give up on the Vols. They seemed clueless and there is no offense. We played to not win but to not lose as we obviously did. Tennessee is now insignificant in college football.
Firing Fulmer has relegated us to the lower tier of the SEC.
We will not be going to any more away games and will probably give up our season tickets after 35 years.
Disgraceful effort and preparation.

RoadTrip writes:

Last week I had a couple more positive than you, Evan. This week I have 4 worse than you.

My first one lower is at QB for Worley with a D - Peterman's time is excluded as it was against the 2's and 3's. Worley is a half count slow consistently in every game he has ever played at UT. His footwork is lousy and throws off balance and his back foot a lot. Will not step into a throw. The next D without any doubt was the LB play. It would warrant an F except for the play of Sapp before he got hurt and Propst in the mop-up period. They played well. The next D was special teams. Kick and punt coverage was really bad - which cancels Dallas having some decent KO returns. The final D is coaching. Really bad scheme on defense - it wasn't just bad execution. It was obvious they had nobody assigned ever to cover the TE. They had nobody assigned to contain the edge. The play calling on O was predictable and poorly thought out. Runs were too slow to develop with too many counters. Oregon played a two gap contain style with their D-line and was able to stand up our O-line and give room for LB's and safeties to make plays because many of the plays took too long to develop.

I knew this game would tell them where they are in the rebuild. Next week will tell them where they are with their character.

namici#1422384 writes:

I would love to know why the punt coverage team was running down the field IN FRONT OF the Oregon return man as if he was clearing a lane for him to score?!?!?

QB play??? Can you even call it that?

Absolutely embarrassing on all levels. Coaching...right down to simple punt coverage.

Orange_Power_T writes:

in response to RoadTrip:

Last week I had a couple more positive than you, Evan. This week I have 4 worse than you.

My first one lower is at QB for Worley with a D - Peterman's time is excluded as it was against the 2's and 3's. Worley is a half count slow consistently in every game he has ever played at UT. His footwork is lousy and throws off balance and his back foot a lot. Will not step into a throw. The next D without any doubt was the LB play. It would warrant an F except for the play of Sapp before he got hurt and Propst in the mop-up period. They played well. The next D was special teams. Kick and punt coverage was really bad - which cancels Dallas having some decent KO returns. The final D is coaching. Really bad scheme on defense - it wasn't just bad execution. It was obvious they had nobody assigned ever to cover the TE. They had nobody assigned to contain the edge. The play calling on O was predictable and poorly thought out. Runs were too slow to develop with too many counters. Oregon played a two gap contain style with their D-line and was able to stand up our O-line and give room for LB's and safeties to make plays because many of the plays took too long to develop.

I knew this game would tell them where they are in the rebuild. Next week will tell them where they are with their character.

RT....if you're looking at TN being a national contender then I totally agree with you. If you're looking at TN being what they are and where they are, then I have to disagree. You have to look at the cupboard and be realistic as to the level and depth we have with our current Vols. Before I post anything further, please understand that I like what CBJ is doing and I have the utmost faith in him.
QB grade was a dismal D at best. Three games into the season and Worley is under and overthrowing open receivers. Peterson appeared to have more poise, and better technical skill in the pocket. I attribute Worley's lack of improvement to coaching. Basic technique is still lacking.
LB's I would give a C+. They had their hands full with very complex coverages. On one particular play I saw Johnson covering the middle, saw the pocket opening in the middle and blew in to the QB. The pass was flipped over his head to a tight end that scampered for 57 yards. Again, I feel he was instructed to do so by coaching.
OL I would give a C+ as well. The plays took entirely too long to develop in the backfield. The deception fooled no one on Ore's defense.
Coaching deserves an F (this is where it gets ugly). When a QB can not generate any offense, you shouldn't wait until the 4th period to try someone else. Maybe it doesn't work out, but you at least have to try. First period, fourth down and a yard and a half AND WE PUNT? The number one ranked offensive line AND WE PUNT? That was a momentum changer. Ore plays untraditional ball, and you cant beat that with traditional ball control and field advantage. The Ducks dont understand what field disadvantage means. They go for it on fourth and 6. Today I saw a stubborn coach that would not adapt to the game that was being played. The only thing I could think to justify today's coaching was that he had written off today's game before it was played and was working on his strategy that he felt would work in conference play.
OK, there, I said it. Again, I will reiterate that I think CBJ was a good hire. He IS rebuilding and doing a fairly good job of that. Just disappointed in what I saw today.

underthehill writes:

I was hoping the offensive line could block well enough to help get some first downs and limit the number of possessions for ORG..it didn't happen..which leads me to believe this O line is vastly over rated..too fat and not mobile enough to sustain a block ..If they can't get it done..the low talent running backs ain't got a chance..

namici#1422384 writes:

in response to Orange_Power_T:

RT....if you're looking at TN being a national contender then I totally agree with you. If you're looking at TN being what they are and where they are, then I have to disagree. You have to look at the cupboard and be realistic as to the level and depth we have with our current Vols. Before I post anything further, please understand that I like what CBJ is doing and I have the utmost faith in him.
QB grade was a dismal D at best. Three games into the season and Worley is under and overthrowing open receivers. Peterson appeared to have more poise, and better technical skill in the pocket. I attribute Worley's lack of improvement to coaching. Basic technique is still lacking.
LB's I would give a C+. They had their hands full with very complex coverages. On one particular play I saw Johnson covering the middle, saw the pocket opening in the middle and blew in to the QB. The pass was flipped over his head to a tight end that scampered for 57 yards. Again, I feel he was instructed to do so by coaching.
OL I would give a C+ as well. The plays took entirely too long to develop in the backfield. The deception fooled no one on Ore's defense.
Coaching deserves an F (this is where it gets ugly). When a QB can not generate any offense, you shouldn't wait until the 4th period to try someone else. Maybe it doesn't work out, but you at least have to try. First period, fourth down and a yard and a half AND WE PUNT? The number one ranked offensive line AND WE PUNT? That was a momentum changer. Ore plays untraditional ball, and you cant beat that with traditional ball control and field advantage. The Ducks dont understand what field disadvantage means. They go for it on fourth and 6. Today I saw a stubborn coach that would not adapt to the game that was being played. The only thing I could think to justify today's coaching was that he had written off today's game before it was played and was working on his strategy that he felt would work in conference play.
OK, there, I said it. Again, I will reiterate that I think CBJ was a good hire. He IS rebuilding and doing a fairly good job of that. Just disappointed in what I saw today.

Give me a break. That whole "the cupboard is/was bare" schtick is WAY OLD. It's stale.

Like we haven't heard the same "coach speak" and "player speak" during the past 5 years.

Got to move forward....unacceptable....we play to win....blah blah blah.

goobervol writes:

Quarterback (excludes Peterman) F--

Every week it seems that Worley is giving himself a pass from his poor playing. Someone please help me out. In Worley's limited action at UT, did he always play average to below average, AND did he ever take responsibility for his sub-par performances?

namici#1422384 writes:

in response to goobervol:

Quarterback (excludes Peterman) F--

Every week it seems that Worley is giving himself a pass from his poor playing. Someone please help me out. In Worley's limited action at UT, did he always play average to below average, AND did he ever take responsibility for his sub-par performances?

Give me a break!!! In Worley's "limited" action last year...he had 5 picks and 1 TD!

If this guy is the "best" we have in the rotation????---we are in some SERIOUS trouble.

And I hope other posters don't give me this "we can't play our redshirt freshman" bull-spit. Guess what???---A redshirt freshman just won the Heisman last year.

namici#1422384 writes:

Congratulations Coach Jones!!--you lowered the bar below Dooley. Freakin great job.

TommyJack writes:

It will take some time to de-dooley this team.

TNFaninFL writes:

We were just outgunned in every facet of the game, which is no surprise to anyone.The staff should give Peterman a shot, Worley has consistently missed open receivers in the first 3 games, he is managing the game well, protecting the ball etc., but is missing the throws that a starting SEC QB should make, I am not talking about vertical bombs that break a game open, these are 15 yard throws that he should make, SEC defenses are going to load the box against the run and make us prove that we can generate a passing game, maybe Peterman can do it.

psychovol2 writes:

I respectfully submit that the Vols start playing for this/next year and play Peterman and Dobbs or Ferguson. Worley is 3rd string and one of the freshman could still be redshirted. Receivers notwithstanding, this offense is impotent without a running QB. We just got schooled in that. Switch or see more of the same.

JSmith525 writes:

in response to namici#1422384:

Congratulations Coach Jones!!--you lowered the bar below Dooley. Freakin great job.

Same post you made on the other thread I see. And Fulmer "ain't walking thru that door: just saying...

JSmith525 writes:

It is what it is. And what it is , is not enough talent, not enough speed and mostly not enough depth to hang with the big boys. Back on Jan 2, 1998 Nebraska blew UT out of the Orange Bowl. I remember a Nebraska player saying that Tennessee just wasn't to their (Nebraska's) level. The next year UT won a NC. I am not even thinking that UT will win a NC anytime soon, however their level of play against the "Big Boys" will get there as the talent, depth and speed develops. I am still and will always be "ALL VOL"

mybloodbleedsorange writes:

no no no. oregon beat us in knoxville under dooley just like they did in oregon, only difference it took them a whole half to get it done in knoxville , and in that second half the defense looked lost just like they did in the 1st half in oregon and like they say you can't prepare your defense against the speed of the game as well as the speed of the players, they just have chalke it up as a learning experience, and thank god that there is no team in the SEC that runs an offense like oregon's and i believe coach butch will have them ready for florida and i feel if we can produce some offense we will be able to compete with florida but we can't have the same three and outs or it will be another long afternoon.

payteevol writes:

in response to WaitUntilNextYear:

This team sucks and the coaches were overwhelmed. It was embarrassing to be a Vols fan in Autzen stadium. The Oregon fans were classy in this debacle. We are about to give up on the Vols. They seemed clueless and there is no offense. We played to not win but to not lose as we obviously did. Tennessee is now insignificant in college football.
Firing Fulmer has relegated us to the lower tier of the SEC.
We will not be going to any more away games and will probably give up our season tickets after 35 years.
Disgraceful effort and preparation.

This team "sucks". "We...will probably give up our season tickets after 35 years." Who is "we", your parents?

It was embarrassing, but the team's effort and preparation was not the problem.

88volgrad writes:

The Peterman that everyone is clamoring for is the same Peterman that managed to lead us to a single field goal in a full half against Austin Peay, right? All righty then...

Fishpants writes:

Worley has the knowledge, but not the skills. Always late and inaccurate. And his play DOES affetct our defense, when our offense can't sustain a drive and keep our defense off the field.

Orange_Power_T writes:

in response to namici#1422384:

Give me a break. That whole "the cupboard is/was bare" schtick is WAY OLD. It's stale.

Like we haven't heard the same "coach speak" and "player speak" during the past 5 years.

Got to move forward....unacceptable....we play to win....blah blah blah.

The cupboard IS bare and that's no schtick.
Are any of our QB's at a talent level of Ore?
How about WR?
RB?
CB?

When a team is playing 13 freshmen- the cupboard is bare. That's not coach speak. That's not player speak. It is what it is. I do think CBJ is moving forward with a very good recruiting class.
My whole point to the post was that the report card should not be based on the fact that this team is a national contender. Will we get to that point in years down the road? I feel so, but it's going to take a few top level recruiting classes.
If you have a 'magic wand' laying around somewhere, I'm sure CBJ would love to use it.

ewoodbery (staff) writes:

in response to namici#1422384:

Give me a break!!! In Worley's "limited" action last year...he had 5 picks and 1 TD!

If this guy is the "best" we have in the rotation????---we are in some SERIOUS trouble.

And I hope other posters don't give me this "we can't play our redshirt freshman" bull-spit. Guess what???---A redshirt freshman just won the Heisman last year.

The redshirt freshman, Nate Peterman, has been given every opportunity to win the job from the moment Butch Jones and his staff arrived. The overwhelming weight of the evidence suggests Worley is the better option.

Now, I do think there will be a point in the season when one of the true freshmen (probably Riley Ferguson) gets a shot. I just don't think the time to do that is on the road against the No. 2 team in the country. Put him in the game when he has a chance of success.

Just my opinion. Thanks for commenting.

-- Evan

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Orange_Power_T:

RT....if you're looking at TN being a national contender then I totally agree with you. If you're looking at TN being what they are and where they are, then I have to disagree. You have to look at the cupboard and be realistic as to the level and depth we have with our current Vols. Before I post anything further, please understand that I like what CBJ is doing and I have the utmost faith in him.
QB grade was a dismal D at best. Three games into the season and Worley is under and overthrowing open receivers. Peterson appeared to have more poise, and better technical skill in the pocket. I attribute Worley's lack of improvement to coaching. Basic technique is still lacking.
LB's I would give a C+. They had their hands full with very complex coverages. On one particular play I saw Johnson covering the middle, saw the pocket opening in the middle and blew in to the QB. The pass was flipped over his head to a tight end that scampered for 57 yards. Again, I feel he was instructed to do so by coaching.
OL I would give a C+ as well. The plays took entirely too long to develop in the backfield. The deception fooled no one on Ore's defense.
Coaching deserves an F (this is where it gets ugly). When a QB can not generate any offense, you shouldn't wait until the 4th period to try someone else. Maybe it doesn't work out, but you at least have to try. First period, fourth down and a yard and a half AND WE PUNT? The number one ranked offensive line AND WE PUNT? That was a momentum changer. Ore plays untraditional ball, and you cant beat that with traditional ball control and field advantage. The Ducks dont understand what field disadvantage means. They go for it on fourth and 6. Today I saw a stubborn coach that would not adapt to the game that was being played. The only thing I could think to justify today's coaching was that he had written off today's game before it was played and was working on his strategy that he felt would work in conference play.
OK, there, I said it. Again, I will reiterate that I think CBJ was a good hire. He IS rebuilding and doing a fairly good job of that. Just disappointed in what I saw today.

Good post; agree with nearly all. In fact, I said much the same on another thread. I'm not sure coaching is entirely to blame for some of the technical shortcomings you mentioned; some of those surely lie with the players, but we knew the overall talent level is low. That can only be fixed over the long haul by continuing the good recruiting that we have already seen.

As for the coaching points you mentioned, it doesn't seem that they managed the mental/emotional aspects of the game as well as they could have. I totally get the idea of creating a fundamentally-sound team that can just line up and play solidly in all phases, and that just has to be seen as a work-in-progress at this point. But I totally agree with you that the coaches could have done more to give the guys a sense of confidence even in the difficulties they faced, even in the face of the lack of talent and numbers they have right now. The 4th-down situations were sadly indicative of that.

I also share some of your misgivings about Worley. I thought he should have the chance to show what he can do as the starting QB. I'm afraid the answer to that, based on his performance so far, is "not much". Of course, some of it could be blamed on the inexperienced receivers, but when a guy IS open, you just have to throw it so he can catch it. Just about the only two throws I have seen this year like that were the TD to Croom and the long completion to Smith. On nearly every other throw, the receivers just didn't have a chance to make a play on the ball. It is a fine line between letting a player play through mistakes so as not to kill his confidence and staying too long with a guy who just doesn't have it, whether for that particular game or just doesn't have "IT" in general. I'm not at all sure I would know what that line is with Worley, but I'm starting to fear that it is the latter.

I surely couldn't say that one of the others is clearly better, but it may be close to the time when we try to find out. It's hard to say whether the team would see that as a sign of panic, which would be deadly to CBJ's chances of keeping the team's confidence, or a move that might have to be made. Again, if I were sure I knew the answer to that dilemma, I would be coaching somewhere instead of commenting on a chat board.

volbald writes:

The fans' comments regarding the current state of team and coaches are on the money. A D- rating for every aspect of the game is generous. The radio commentators were insisting yesterday that Jones is playing Worley because he gives the Vols the best chance to win. Unfortunately, "that time has come and gone." We won't win with Worley, whether it's his fault or poor coaching. The only thing our offense can do now is try to stay on the field as long as possible to keep the opposing team from scoring offensive touchdowns. We won't win an SEC game but can keep the score more respectable if our offense can have 50-70-yard drives, with or without a field goal or a touchdown. That means Jones needs to be getting the freshman ready for the future - whether its for the latter part of this year's schedule or for next year. A loss is a loss - but it's hard to watch weekly digression instead of progress. At least with the freshman QB's we might see a little progress. I hope Jones is smarter than he appeared to be yesterday - he'd better be if he wants to keep a top-5 2014 recruiting class.

antiquevol writes:

Where did everyone go? when this was a free site there would have been 200+ comments by now!
Did anyone watch Scott and Walton tear up Texas last night? Unless we can recruit competetive players, the stands will be empty in Neyland Stadium like theyn were in late 50's early 60's! People will not pay hard earned money for an inferior product. Just the facts.

southernbelle79 writes:

Can anyone say "grade inflation"? For the biggest defeat in 102 years, there has to be an epic fail in there somewhere. I could quibble about individual grades, but better to just drop each of the grades down one letter grade. There is no sugar coating this loss.

The TN team and coach we saw yesterday might be good enough to earn a D, if we played in the ACC and didn't mind missing post season play. But given SEC standards, and TN standards, yesterday was an F.

That we weren't shut out is the only positive about the game. We came out on an adrenaline high and caught the Ducks on their heels for the first 7 minutes.

It doesn't mean we should over react and start looking for a new coach. But, we need to face facts. Only then can we move on, improve, and show that fans and team alike are no quitters.

namici#1422384 writes:

in response to ewoodbery:

The redshirt freshman, Nate Peterman, has been given every opportunity to win the job from the moment Butch Jones and his staff arrived. The overwhelming weight of the evidence suggests Worley is the better option.

Now, I do think there will be a point in the season when one of the true freshmen (probably Riley Ferguson) gets a shot. I just don't think the time to do that is on the road against the No. 2 team in the country. Put him in the game when he has a chance of success.

Just my opinion. Thanks for commenting.

-- Evan

Thanks Evan.

Personally, I am starting to believe that Worley must be a great practice quarterback...aka Jonathan Crompton.

As you said...there must be evidence that Worley is the better option. However, that evidence HAS to come from practice, and NOT the games.

goobervol writes:

in response to ewoodbery:

The redshirt freshman, Nate Peterman, has been given every opportunity to win the job from the moment Butch Jones and his staff arrived. The overwhelming weight of the evidence suggests Worley is the better option.

Now, I do think there will be a point in the season when one of the true freshmen (probably Riley Ferguson) gets a shot. I just don't think the time to do that is on the road against the No. 2 team in the country. Put him in the game when he has a chance of success.

Just my opinion. Thanks for commenting.

-- Evan

Love to see the STAFF come back with more post. Think you

ksrogers#266157 writes:

in response to WaitUntilNextYear:

This team sucks and the coaches were overwhelmed. It was embarrassing to be a Vols fan in Autzen stadium. The Oregon fans were classy in this debacle. We are about to give up on the Vols. They seemed clueless and there is no offense. We played to not win but to not lose as we obviously did. Tennessee is now insignificant in college football.
Firing Fulmer has relegated us to the lower tier of the SEC.
We will not be going to any more away games and will probably give up our season tickets after 35 years.
Disgraceful effort and preparation.

This is a pitiful attitude. We were also at the game, are long time season ticket holders, but are not planning on giving up on the team nor the coaching staff. It was brutal but did you think any new coaching staff could instantly fix the painful, past few years we have had to compete with the #2 team in the nation? We need a couple years of strong recruiting and fans to stick with and support this team!

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