Comments by VolVox

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Written on Mike Strange: Bray became the NFL draft's real "Mr. Irrelevant":

in response to StoneJackBaller:

Bottom line: He should've stayed another year and improved his mental capacity. He is just way, way too immature for the NFL. One GM stated his whiteboard interview was the worst he'd ever seen. In other words, he doesn't have enough knowledge of the game and the schemes. One more year, he might've got his degree, which might prove to be way more valuable in the long run.

This is the real answer. The problem isn't whether he's a punk, whether he threw beer bottles, or even whether he was the most popular guy in the locker room. UT's WRs essentially ran the same routes over and over because Bray didn't know how to read coverages, understand route trees, etc. To be fair, that might've benefitted Patterson, too, as far as getting him on the field sooner. The simple fact is that Bray is so far behind that NFL coaches may've felt they don't have that kind of time to devote to bringing someone up to speed who is so, so far behind (at least when you have to risk a valuable draft pick to find out). If he truly does wind up in KC, Reid is a perfect guy to teach him if Bray is willing to put in the long hours this will take. His level of understanding of the mental part of the game is probably little better than a high school QB's. This isn't a matter of piling on; it is a simple recognition of where he is on the spectrum. I appreciate the fact that he would take a hit and was competitive for UT, but I wish he had not allowed himself to lag behind on the other work that is required of a QB. That was his choice.

Written on Butch Jones in Nashville tells fans 'I pray every day I’m going to be here forever':

in response to volthrunthru#658770:

Jones’ "best staff in the USA" University of Cincinnati coaches did not do well recruiting in the big-time.

The SEC-level coaches hired by Jones recruited okay, but were working with team-members easy for competitive recruiters to target as not Big Time.

For instance: Bell and his world knew about Urban Meyer, another guy from Ohio.

Fact: Jones says things publicly that are not accurate: He calls this class "selective.” His SEC-experienced coaches are more forthcoming: "ran out of time," "improved…with H.S. coaches," etc.

Fact: Jones claimed he could win the SEC with State of Tennessee players; was publicly corrected by Phillip Fulmer, who said UT must recruit nationally.

Fact: Jones missed on most of the best talent in Tennessee, as evidenced by the following Rivals chart:

Some of UT’s 21 scholarships went to East Tennessee H.S. players, iffy as SEC caliber. Same elsewhere for Jones, too, including a 2-star from a J.C. In Junior Colleges, UT finished by taking players that many of the better programs in the country had picked over. Did UT coaches EVER do that before?

Fact: Essentially this class averages 2.5 stars.

Fact: Bama, SC, GA, LSU, Ole Miss, Auburn, A&M, & others in the SEC finished higher---MUCH higher.

Fact: Some of the UT signees were only offered by schools as fill-ins, in conferences that are nowhere near UT's level Clearly finishing with recruits whose rankings were fudged upward is not encouraging. This class is behind many schools from other conferences, too.

Final Fact: UT’s is one of the 10 largest football budgets in the country. The UT Athletics department spends a BILLION DOLLARS A DECADE. The governor says it must fill the stadium for the numbers to work. Dooley's last few games had 70,000 in the 100,000+ capacity Neyland Stadium. The official line is “only had 31-days. ” But if the ex-Cincinnati staffers had been able to recruit nationally, they would have brought in a recruit or two that was more than 2-stars, re-ranked to 3. Can you tell yourself just how those 35,000+ seats are going to be filled by what has happened in the past 31 days.

Clearly there is LONG, LONG way from the lead up to the National Championship of the Majors/Fulmer years & what Jones says is a "selective" class was recruited.

In fact, he previously said he could win the SEC with in-state players, & then lost the in-state recruiting battles in a big way to multiple SEC schools and UCLA and Minnesota and even MTSU.

Jones & part of his staff have many concerned. Apparently these young journalists are not among them.

Thanks Hart. Thanks Hamilton. Thanks Cheek. Thanks President of the Week.

I don't know how Butch Jones will do ultimately. He is a hard worker. He also said he viewed UC as a destination job while looking for other jobs, although in his defense he found significant impediments to upgrading the facilities there.

Raking him over the coals for this class, though, is clearly wrong on multiple levels. Let's start with the use of the word "selective." He was selective. He backed off Bellamy after the picture with the bong. He says the first thing he checks on a prospect is the prospect's high school attendance records. He looks for stable individuals with family support. After the number of wash-outs we've had over the last 5 years for non-football reasons, you'd think people would not have to be reminded of the importance of this. The three guys who flipped to us on NSD look like serious-minded, stable guys, led by Dobbs. An athletic QB with a 4.0 GPA who wants to be an aerospace engineer? Trent Dilfer said we have the best QB class in the nation (Ferguson looks good, too). I think we were selective on that level.

Then, we didn't take just anybody. We have a 3* walking on. We left empty slots. Some of the late guys that look like fill-ins are better than some think. Jabo Lee wasn't just a space-filler; he was 1st offered by UT in 2011. If he hadn't been injured in 2012, he likely would have been recruited a lot more heavily. So, make fun of his 3* status all you want, but he certainly seems to have been worth signing.

As for the in-state stuff, have you not heard the scathing comments from high school coaches all across the region talking about how Dooley's regime soured them on UT? That isn't something you can fix in 30 days. Butch Jones is having to re-build an infrastructure within the state. That sort of thing seems to be his strong suit, so I have little doubt he'll get that done. It'll just take a little time.

As for the coaching staff, I had some misgivings about letting some good guys go, and I had some misgivings about bringing in his old staff en masse. Still, there will be advantages to that we haven't seen yet. The coaches mostly know each other and the schemes. They know the kinds of players that fit those schemes. No doubt, they still have to prove themselves at this level, but it isn't like there was absolutely no good reason for hiring them. Having everyone pull on the oars the right way often is better than having a collection of so-called all-stars. We'll see.

In any event, this was a solid class. I liked the guys we got; I just wish we could have gotten more of them.

Written on Memphis gives Butch Jones a standing ovation:

I really like the players we got. They sound like non-flaky, stable people who will provide a good foundation and can play football. I just wish we had been able to land a few more with the same characteristics.

Written on Miami's Al Golden forceful in his commitment to Hurricanes :

I keep up with UC and do not want UT to hire Butch Jones. Jones has done a good job at UC, but UT is a different breed of cat. Jones did not do a good job of handling certain situations in Cincinnati, and I don't know if you can take his word at face value. Even more, I don't think he has the charisma needed for UT.

Written on Coaching Carousel: After wild day of Jon Gruden rumors, Tennessee's pursuit uncertain :

People are not giving proper credit to Strong & Golden for the work each did under adverse conditions. Ask any U of L or Miami fan what the state of each of those programs was prior to the arrival of each of these coaches. Mention Steve Kragthorpe to any U of L fan, and he/she will immediately begin to retch involuntarily. U of L has now lost a couple of games, but that is a relatively young team with a lot of talent, which should tell you several things. At U of M, can you imagine what recruiting has been like for Golden when opposing coaches are able to tell high school kids that nobody even knows yet what the NCAA will do to the 'Canes? It is amazing Golden has convinced any good recruit to sign.

Written on Philadelphia report says Eagles keen to hire Gruden:

If it is true that this was dated November 8, then you should pay attention to this link to the National Football Post article of November 9 that says the Eagles owner isn't a big fan of Gruden and is unlikely to hire him:

Written on Reports: Arkansas has made an offer to Jon Gruden:

Differences between college & pro coaching:
Gruden wasn't always popular in Tampa:

If you put the substance of these two articles together, it actually makes me think Gruden might be more successful in the college ranks than the pro ranks. NFL players grew cynical about Gruden. College players probably wouldn't become as cynical as quickly, plus, as the Mandel article points out, they are motivated more by emotion. Gruden has plenty of that. I am thinking he would be a good fit as a coach, and I think his name recognition would be an immediate benefit to UT.

Written on An early look at candidates to replace Derek Dooley as Vols' coach:

Interesting article from about 5 years ago on differences between coaching in the NFL and college football (usually people are much better at one or the other):

That having been said, I think Gruden would be a better college coach than pro because NFL players seemed to burn out on him after 2-3 years. College players move on not long after that.

I am hoping we don't go the Petrino route. Posters defending him that talk about how many other people cheat on spouses are missing the point. Petrino improperly got her hired and otherwise abused his position. I am not comfortable with him at all, and I don't think he is the only coach we can get that can win in this conference.

I hope Hart saw the report on "60 Minutes" tonight about the big business of college football. It was fascinating how Michigan stage-manages its game day experiences (other than how the team plays).

Written on John Adams: If not Jon Gruden, how about Bobby Petrino or Tommy Tuberville? :

They're not babysitting, exactly, but they're certainly responsible for a lot more than just "doing a job." Did Penn State teach us nothing? (I am in no way comparing either Petrino or Tuberville to Sandusky; the point is that these guys can have a huge impact of the lives of these young men.) I am not judging Petrino for his affair, but getting his mistress the job with the school without going through proper channels and lying to his administration are very much job related. No thanks. I was not comfortable with the way Tuberville recruited at Auburn. I think we should've learned our lesson with Kiffin, who is now on ultra-thin ice at USC. We will have other options.

Written on Letter: Another South Carolina fan praises UT for response to Marcus Lattimore's injury:

A South Carolina fan took the time, trouble & energy to show his respect for our team by writing a letter of thanks. He didn't have to do it. It is beyond my comprehension as to why his show of sportsmanship in response to our team's demonstration of the same should result in criticism. I can only hope that the criticism is not an example of what is being passed on to our kids as to what is truly important in life. I personally have been treated very well at Williams-Brice as an opposing fan and appreciated it. I appreciate that letter and the spirit in which it was obviously intended. I hope Lattimore rehabs that knee, makes it 100% back, plays against the Vols next year, and comes out on the losing end in a hard-fought game. GBO.

Written on Geno Auriemma's daughter writes a heartfelt tribute to Pat Summitt:

For those of you who have not read this, this is worth your time. It is extremely well done, and this 26 year old sounds as if she has her priorities more in order than a lot of people twice her age. She has kept her eye on the ball & truly honored Pat's legacy.

Written on Tyler Summitt accepts coaching position at Marquette:

Good luck, Tyler. I don't think you'll need too much luck, though, because you were smart enough to listen when exposed to a lot of really good teachers. You are obviously well on your way to success on your own terms and in your own right.

Written on Court Adjourned: Pat Summitt steps down after illustrious career :

Pat, thank you so much. The way that you represented UT and the State of Tennessee as a whole will always be remembered, and no words are adequate to convey the requisite gratitude. From the student athletes that you graduated to the championships you won, and everything in between, the legacy you are leaving simply could not be stronger or more impressive. In my eyes, you are above the luminaries to whom you are compared because I simply don't think they made as much of an impact in as many areas as you. What many other people would not realize is that in saying that I am not minimizing anyone else's accomplishments; I am merely saying that your accomplishments, as great as they are, have actually been a little underrated by some outside of Tennessee. Congratulations to you on having a career that will always be the yardstick by which any other coach's career will be judged, male or female.

Written on Andrew Gribble: Projected mid-round pick Tauren Poole acting on scouts' feedback :

Thanks, Tauren, for giving it your all during four of the most tumultuous years ever experienced by Tennessee football. When UT returns to the top of the football heap, you can rightfully say, "I helped do that." Good luck with your NFL prep, and may you be injury-free.

Written on Darin Hinshaw wants more production, participation from wide receivers :

Anyone hear what the LB prospect Bynum decided? I thought he was planning to announce today.

Written on Source: Derrick Ansley added to UT staff:

Is he replacing Terry Joseph? How will responsibilities be allocated?

Written on John Adams: Past recruiting disasters still plague Vols :

Wow. It is hard to believe some of the comments you see on here from time to time. John Adams wrote a good, thought-provoking article, and I think it is a pretty good explanation for why we struggled in the 2nd half of games and the 2nd half of the season. We have much less depth than most SEC programs right now, and when you start younger players, they often aren't quite as strong & developed as the older players, as guys can keep growing until they're 21 & they haven't had as much time in the weight room. So, I wouldn't be surprised if that also makes them a little more injury prone. We had our share on injuries last year (not all related to what I described above).

So, given the circumstances pointed out by Adams & the Chattanooga TFP with the roster being depleted, what does a rational UT fan expect to have happen when the team has a bunch of injuries?

I've read a lot about the UK game, and believe me, I was not thrilled that UT lost. I think UT should've won; I watched it, and the D played pretty well (look at the final score). The real reason we lost, IMHO, was a lack of maturity on the part of some of the younger players. The older players said it, and what I saw seems to bear that out. Some posters here will want to lay that at the feet of CDD. Is that his responsibility? Yes, but he also has far fewer upperclassmen that the other SEC schools to help with that, placing even more of a burden on the coaching staff. The staff and Messrs. Johnson, Jackson, Poole, etc. were already stretched pretty thin. UT played more freshmen (by necessity) than almost any other program in the country.

So, where does that leave us? We certainly need a couple more good recruiting classes. CDD is still a relatively young coach, & he's made some mistakes. He's also done many good things. We'll see how much he learns from his mistakes & what he changes about how he does things. He's been placed in a crucible, and we'll see how he comes out. Coaches develop over time, too, just like players, and just because a player makes some mistakes as a freshman doesn't mean you immediately yank his scholly. UT would be foolish to cut the cord with CDD now when we may see the benefit of having learned from his experiences very soon and when he placed in a very difficult situation from the beginning, having taken over a demonstrably short-handed team.

Where do we stand now? We have a decent chance of a top 15 recruiting class. We hired good staff to replace those that left. We have a new facility on the way. We will be deeper this coming year. We have a passionate fan base that loves UT football. We have a thoughtful AD whom I believe will keep us out of a ditch. It has been a tough period, but it wasn't the end of the world. The sky is not falling.

Now, let's go close out this recruiting class! GBO!

Written on Sal Sunseri named defensive coordinator; 3-year deal worth $2.4M:

in response to Twelvethirtyone:

Now that I think about it, this would make sense. Dooley tries to emulate Saban in a lot of ways, so Sal would be familiar with his coaching style. Plus, if Lance Thompson is on board with this, this gives us 2 outstanding defensive recruiters.

I am curious, as well, if he plans to switch to a 3-4 as well (I noticed someone asked this in an earlier comment). Would be interesting given our lack of depth on the D-Line and we have decent depth at Linebacker. I prefer 4-3, but then, what do I know... I'm not coach material... LOL ;)

You know recruits will ask the 3-4 question this weekend. A switch to a 3-4 might also change our recruiting priorities for the next 3 weeks or so. This will be very interesting.

Written on Sal Sunseri named defensive coordinator; 3-year deal worth $2.4M:

Sunseri does have DC experience and NFL experience as well. With him & our new OL coach, our ability to recruit just received a boost, as these guys will only add to some good recuiters in Joseph, Thompson, Graham, etc. Big question: Does anyone know if this signals a move to a 3-4 defense?

Written on John Adams: UT needs to make a run at top recruits :

Okay, I have never typed a negative word about John Adams or the KNS on this site. However, that is about the worst article I have read on this site. It isn't about whether we could use a top-ranked RB (who couldn't-even LSU wouldn't say no to one). It is what UT, CDD, & CJG are already trying to do about it. They haven't given up on Mathers despite his soft verbal. I suspect that CJG is conducting a one-man "Occupy Mike Davis" movement on the young man's front lawn. It is clear that this is a top priority for UT in recruiting, and it hasn't exactly been a secret. Given those demonstrable facts and assuming for purposes of argument that Adams knows those facts as well, what in the world is the point of this article? That the coaching staff should consider trying to do what they're already obviously trying to do? Talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel for column ideas...

Written on Ex-Tennessee RB commit Imani Cross has “no hard feelings” against Derek Dooley, Volunteers:

I hope Imani Cross winds up at a good school, has a good, injury-free career, and gets a diploma. I hope the Vols land Mike Davis. I'm all in favor of win-wins.

Written on Cuonzo Martin needed a ‘kitchen sink' to sign Jarnell Stokes:

Great player and a great kid, too. Hard to ask for more. Anyone have any idea as to the current state of his conditioning & strength? CCM will get him there on those items, along with teaching him (if he needs it) how to get quality floorburns from diving for loose balls, but it might not be until after this season. I think that as more families are exposed to the type of coach and man CCM is, more families are going to make the same (good) choice the Stokes family made.

Written on YouTube locker room video leaves two coaches red-faced for different reasons:

A couple of points need to be made here.
1. Yes, we're UT, and maybe in other years victories over Vandy haven't meant as much. This is an extremely young team, though, that has had to battle through a lot of adversity (injuries, transfers, etc.) and was facing a much better than usual Vandy team. I'm personally glad they care and played like they did.
2. Franklin's attempt at a response was to say that UT shouldn't be celebrating a victory over a team that had 4 wins over the two immediately preceding seasons. Nice move, Franklin, throwing Bobby Johnson and Robbie Caldwell, who are by all accounts two of the classiest football coaches out there, under the bus. Taking that into account along with the ends of the Vandy-UGA and Vandy-UT games, I think we're finding out which of the two coaches is actually, shall we say, class challenged.

Written on Franklin: UT's celebration will remain open wound:

Franklin had better watch it. His comment about UT celebrating too much basically made fun of Bobby Johnson & Robbie Caldwell for not winning more than 4 games over the last 2 years. Maybe Franklin can really make Vandy a winner; maybe he can't. Still, Johnson and Caldwell were class acts that deserve better. Franklin had already developed a bit of a rep following the Georgia game; now, there's this. He needs to watch it.

Written on Vols' offensive line 'looked different' against Vanderbilt :

in response to slaw_way:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That is a fair question. For whatever reason, Tauren looks less decisive in choosing holes, and the O-line, as noted by Dooley in his postgame comments, had not been doing a good job in the run game. Put those two things together, and the Vols haven't been able to run the ball to save their lives. Bray masked that for a while, but when he went down, the problem really surfaced. I'm hoping that continued coaching of the O-line helps remedy that. Lane getting healthy would also help.

Written on Vols' offensive line 'looked different' against Vanderbilt :

If you're going to suck (as measured by being a school with a strong football tradition), suck with youth. The playing time that all these kids are getting will pay off in the future (and is starting to pay off in the present). As the graphic shown in the Arkansas game said, we've played (as of then) 21 freshmen, 16 of whom were true freshmen. Those who can't see that the future looks good are intentionally and irrationally being negative. Thanks again to the seniors on this team who will be able to claim with deserved pride some credit for our future success.

Written on UT-Alabama Report Card :

One of the biggest reasons the 2nd half transpired the way that it did was that Matt Simms could not throw the ball. That last INT was horrible-ball thrown late to a TE he locked in on and behind the intended receiver. Simms is a good kid with a lot of guts, but the Vols had to do too many extreme things to try to cover up for the lack of a passing attack with him back there. Removing Worley's redshirt was the only available option. I have been a defender of Simms in the past, but he's playing much worse than last year. Worley needs to start next week. It's not a close question. The Vols played hard last night, but you can only cover for that kind of weakness for so long against a really good team.

Written on Vols report card: Sept. 17:

Yesterday was not a great day for UT. However, we're still getting better, and the Vols did not quit. Things are getting better and will continue to get better. Urban left Muschamp a heck of a lot more than Kiffin left CDD. The foundation is being built the right way, and the arrow is pointing up. I'm on board.

Written on Pat Summitt diagnosed with early onset dementia:

My money's on Pat.

Written on Justin Wilcox getting players more at ease:

I'm just grateful that we have the same O & D coordinators as last season for the first time in a while. I also think they're pretty good at their jobs.

Written on With hands of Stone: Center's grip on situation key focus for Vols:

The OL may well be the strongest unit on the team, with lots of talent, intelligence, and (now) depth. They also seem to be responding well to coaching. If I were Poole, Neal, or another RB, I'd be salivating. The best way to help the D is to play keepaway with the rock; maybe the O could shoot for an average T.O.P. of 40 minutes.

Written on John Adams: Navy SEALs Daniel Lincoln's calling :

in response to Vol1234:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

T. Roosevelt, April 1910

Exactly on point. I have nothing to add to this.

Written on Quinton Chievous to choose between UT, Saint Louis:

I'm not going to go as far as to say that stars don't matter; stars are a useful tool and often do reflect where players rank competitively vis a vis each other. When a guy hasn't played more than a couple of years, though, and has a dad who was a collegiate star and played in the NBA (remember the Band-Aid?), you realize that the star ranking has to be placed in its proper context. The staff likes him; I hope we get him.

Written on Allison Dooley settles in, focuses on charity work:

She and her husband are people you want to keep for 30 years.

Written on Tobias Harris, Scotty Hopson submit paperwork for NBA draft:

Seth Davis of just named CCM as the best offseason coaching hire in NCAAM BB. Hopson & Harris might want to stick around and see why, IMHO.

Written on Lady Vol Kelley Cain will not play senior season:

She's a warrior and a winner-another great example of a true student/athlete. VFL.

Written on David Climer: UT's new basketball coach, Cuonzo Martin, is prudent choice:

I like the last thing that Climer said about Counzo Martin's likely response to the possibility of a bumpy road ahead, which was, to paraphrase, "Ain't skeerd."

Written on Cuonzo Martin gets ringing endorsement from Gene Keady:

That was a heckuva endorsement from Coach Keady, and he was pretty specific as to why he liked him and thought he would do well. I remember watching Cuonzo as a player, and he knew how to play; he should have instant credibility with the players and recruits as a result. Add in the work ethic and integrity, and it's hard not to like this hire. After all the upheaval, UT has the chance to be set in the coaching department as to FB and BB for a long time.

Written on Cody Pope says 'everyone was looking out for me' :

This article shows the type of people you want in a program-players, coaches, doctors, and training staff. If this is a microcosm of how the UT program operates and the type of people that are in it, there will be many bright days ahead.

Written on Police documents: Brent Brewer shoved, attempted to strangle woman:

I am amazed by the things I sometimes see posted here. Dooley is not inconsistent. There is nothing for Vols fans to be defensive about with regard to the Jacques Smith situation. What the investigation(s) revealed, if memory serves, was that Smith's ex-girlfriend was virtually stalking him, and it was provable. I believe she even transferred schools to be closer to him, and that was AFTER they broke up. While Smith should have been the bigger person in that situation, shouldn't have lost his cool, and made a mistake, there were a lot of mitigating circumstances. Dooley owes no-one an apology for how he handled that situation.

With the Brewer situation, Dooley has suspended Brewer pending further info. There is nothing to apologize for with that approach, either. I am actually a little encouraged that his lawyer has said that their investigation reveals that Brewer is innocent of the allegations. If Bosch thought Brewer were or might be guilty and wanted to plea bargain, I don't think that would be the approach he would take. Instead, he would invoke the Chris Brown defense and get Brewer into counselling immediately. It sounds to me like there is a Paul Harvey-style "rest of the story" coming.

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