Tennessee starters on defense are enduring heavy workload

'Depth issues' leading to long days

Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson (45) chases down South Alabama quarterback Ross Metheny (2) during the second half at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013. (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Lau

Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson (45) chases down South Alabama quarterback Ross Metheny (2) during the second half at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013. (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

When Brian Randolph snatched an interception in the end zone late in the fourth quarter on Saturday, it sealed a Tennessee victory over South Alabama and ended a very long day for the Vols’ defense.

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Comments » 8

Caspian writes:

Life's tough. Suck it up. Hey, it's a game.

TommyJack writes:

in response to Caspian:

Life's tough. Suck it up. Hey, it's a game.

riveting ^^

johndavid writes:

Get AJ off the field on every 3rd down except 3rd and 3 or less. He cannot even cover a good tight end and cannot catch up to a scrambling QB. He gives up passes on 1st and 2nd also but not as often. He sure can tackle though if the ball comes to his area. He is even slow if he blitzes, so why not play an extra db or a faster LB, do we have another walk on?

johnlg00 writes:

A number of alarming stats in this article. The worst of them, IMHO, are the high number of snaps played by seniors in the front seven. Along with the fact that seniors make up up the majority of the O-line as well, that speaks volumes for the program's lack of success in recruiting linemen for several years now. It is baffling to me why this is so. The Vols' only real hope Saturday, IMHO, is for the offense to control the ball for long periods to keep the defense off the field, and we already know that is a pretty iffy proposition. Gotta hope CBJ loads up on linemen in future recruiting classes.

OrangePride writes:

The fact that we have this many seniors playing all the snaps just shows how very difficult next year is going to be. Who will step into those shoes who might have experience and game toughness? Exactly...no one. I actually think we will have even more trouble winning 6 next year than this. I will say this, however; I have seen more guts, fire, and determination this year than I have in a very long time! Keep coachin' em up CBJ!

utfans#211352 writes:

That is one the reasons I get worked up over the qb not making enough plays to keep the offense out there a while. The defense is thin and has to play too much.

RoadTrip writes:

It might help to slow the offensive tempo down to normal and less plays will be run on both sides of the ball. But that would make too much sense. For some reason Butch wants to drill in to their heads his entire system in one year no matter what the result may be. That tells me Hart has signed on to a junky season this year in hopes of improving for next year and beyond.

On the seniors discussion. Why on earth would we be worried about losing these seniors? What have they done in 4-5 seasons to earn our concern? Seriously, 3 losing seasons in a row - the bottom in UT history. Even with that I appreciate their efforts and wish them the best going forward, but I hope they play every young guy they have a lot of snaps this season. Then they will be battle tested for next year.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to RoadTrip:

It might help to slow the offensive tempo down to normal and less plays will be run on both sides of the ball. But that would make too much sense. For some reason Butch wants to drill in to their heads his entire system in one year no matter what the result may be. That tells me Hart has signed on to a junky season this year in hopes of improving for next year and beyond.

On the seniors discussion. Why on earth would we be worried about losing these seniors? What have they done in 4-5 seasons to earn our concern? Seriously, 3 losing seasons in a row - the bottom in UT history. Even with that I appreciate their efforts and wish them the best going forward, but I hope they play every young guy they have a lot of snaps this season. Then they will be battle tested for next year.

I understand your confusion. On the one hand, if the intent is to win as many games as possible this year, then it makes sense to go with the upperclassmen-dominated O-line AND run an offense as close as possible to what they already know how to do. On the other, if the intent is to build for next year, then play as many guys as possible who will BE here next year. How does it help the future to teach a new offense to guys who won't be around to run it? I'm afraid the answer to this conundrum is that there just AREN'T enough young guys who are remotely ready to play in the SEC, so there really is no option to going with the veterans, however uneven their performance has been to this point.

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