I'm sure there will be a transcript of the entire press conference out soon, but for now, here are a few of the juicy bits:
Used the word "britches." +1
Evidence of honesty. Dooley said that he knew and understood that trust is an issue with us right now and that he wished he could make it a non-issue with a single statement but that he'd just have to earn it a little bit at a time. Also told the team, though, that the quicker they get over it, they better off everyone will be. That probably goes for us fans, too, and I like the acknowledgment, the honesty, and the subtle, diplomatic slap across the face to wake us all up as well. +1
Regarding the staff, Dooley says that he hopes the coaches that are still here want to stay. I've heard that a couple -- Cregg and Reaves -- weren't taken along by Kiffin solely because he wanted them to be fired so they could collect their buyouts, so there could be some posturing on that, but I like that he's open to keeping Kippy Brown, Lance Thompson, and Jim Chaney. +1
- The southern drawl was somehow quite comforting, no? +1
- I don't remember the number of times he mentioned "integrity" and "class," and no doubt, those were definitely talking point buzzwords he'd likely been fed in light of our current predicament, but he did it often enough that it was more of a theme than a few toss-aways, and again, it was quite comforting, no? +1
- Dude's been busy. Didn't get the offer until 4:00. Had his farewell team meeting. Classy move. Got to Knoxville at 8:15 and had a team meeting at 8:30 before having to leave at 8:45 to make the 9:00 presser. If he did that good of a job at the presser with that amount of time to prepare, well another +1 for him.
- Mike Hamilton said that he thought that Dooley would have a unique perspective for a football coach in light of his service to La. Tech as both head coach and AD. Not sure that that's a good thing. The inherent tension between the two probably needs to be there. -1
- Guy was funny in an appropriate way. He said at one point that he was "glad to finally be in a state where "Peyton" (his son's name) will be well received." He also said that when he got the initial feeler text from Hamilton that he was glad he knew how to text and that he knew that that eliminated several other candidates. +1
Recruiting: His organization structure was heavily influenced by Nick Saban. You sell the program, not any one guy. Knows Georgia, Texas, and South Florida, three key recruiting areas. He left out Louisiana, but that's a given. Says that they're going to do the best they can with two weeks. +1
Respect -- the Anti-Kiffin: Dooley said that he has a lot of respect for the league and other coaches in the league and that such respect will absolutely not stand in the way of wanting to kick the other nice guy's tail. He also proved this, because when he was asked whether he'd be calling USC recruits to get them to keep from going to class, he warned the media not to expect soundbytes disparaging other people from him. "That's just not me. The time of worrying about what happened are over." This received applause. +2
Regarding Tennessee traditions. He was glad to see that he agreed with all of Neyland's maxims and then said that if he had not, he would have to reconsider because Neyland knew what he was doing. +1
Regarding football philosophy: To win, you have to be good at everything or the weakness will be exposed. Discipline and toughness is key. He believes in running the football, but also that you need to build around your good players. You have to be multiple. If you're doing one thing, you're going to get stopped. Stopping the run, pressuring the QB, forcing TOs. Those are keys, and there are a lot of ways to get that done. +1
So +12 for Derek Dooley's press conference. Hey, it's a press conference, and we are wanting to like this guy. And yes, we'll have to take Dooley up on that offer to develop trust in him a little bit at a time.
But consider day one a rousing success, coach Dooley. See you again tomorrow.