Trooper! Chest bump! Best of luck at Okie State.
Hope to see you back in Knoxville soon!
It's like I'm speaking the same language again where before I went to Pluto and I had to learn 3 yards and a cloud of dust again.
I thought it was just a slightly awkward remark that didn't come out right, but that no slight was intended. And that's exactly what Taylor says happened when he was interviewed for this Scout.com article.
Here are some of the quotes, since I think that may be behind a pay firewall:
Taylor said the thought of him being critical of UT's program is "totally unfounded. I apologize to anyone who might be offended. My family still lives there. The best place I've ever worked was at Tennessee.
"It's ludicrous for anyone to think I was talking bad about Tennessee or Coach Fulmer.
"If anyone thinks I'd want to disrespect Tennessee, they're wrong. Tennessee gave me an opportunity to better my career and the players are like family to me. That's crazy.
"When I retire, you can bet I'll be near Knoxville. Knoxville will always be like home to us. I loved it. My wife loved it. My kids loved it.
"Tell all the faithful it was not a negative comment being made."
He later even called the author back and said:
"I'm angry and upset that people would think I'd say something negative about Tennessee," Taylor said. "They're wrong. They're really wrong."
So there you have it. He sounded a little surprised to me that anyone would have interpreted the remark that way.EDIT 11:15 AM: Let me express my own feelings. I tried to write the post a little ambiguously and a little contentiously to encourage discussion in the thread. (On a side note, all such discussion was rightly and effectively killed by Aerobab's first post.) From what I've seen in my short time at UT, Trooper's nothing but a class act and there's no reason to hold his move or even this quote in suspicion. The move was absolutely the right decision for his long-term career; building extensive networks is the norm in today's coaching world and he'll get a chance to prove his UT success is portable anywhere. The quote was simply Taylor being his excited, amiable self - that's part of what we grew to love about the guy to begin with. Nothing wrong with that. H/T to Rusty for the follow-up. So if my post added to the antagonism, I sincerely apologize to Taylor and his family. -- hooper