Rocky Top Talking Points for 3/24/10:
Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Swiperboy is eating tacos.
The TFP has a nice feature on Josh Bone. Don't stop reading when you think it's just a rehash of his performance against Ohio. There's more deeper and lower.
Sporting News also gets sight-bites from six new coaches, including our very own Derek Dooley.
The football team has put on the hit-protection, and now the defense is re-learning how to tackle, which makes me (and Marlon Walls) happy. Of course, we also still have to learn how to catch people like Dexter McCluster, but baby steps and all that.
Nick Stephens is throwing snow shovels of praise on the rebuilt offensive line, which is either fantastic news or simply a good fear-based strategy for quarterbacks. Seriously, it's sounding like the former, as receiver Denarius Moore is also saying that UT's QBs and WRs "have developed better chemistry early in spring practice than they had in past years," and that doesn't happen if the trigger man doesn't have time to aim.
- Well, whattaya know? Sporting News may be the first national media outlet to actually talk about both teams in breaking down the Tennessee-Ohio State Sweet Sixteen game. Should have known that it would take a 3rd-grader to actually do his homework. While the rest of the nation still believes we're a controlled chaos pressing and three-point shooting team (shhhhh!!!!), the local folks (and that TSN Aaron Kelly/David Archuleta clone) know that despite the recent history between the Vols and the Buckeyes, both teams are now as different as Jacob and the black smoke monster. Well, at least we have been to this point, as Tennessee might still be able to use its depth ($?) to its advantage against an Ohio State team that mostly rides its starters from tip to buzzer:
"They’re playing 40 minutes. That’s incredible; they’ve been doing that for 40 games," [Brian Williams] said. "I know their bodies are going to break down at some point. If ours do, we have five more coming off the bench that can take over for us. "We still have more legs than anybody in the nation right now."
Especially Williams (and Melvin Goins and Cameron Tatum), who had that involuntary vacation mid-season. Perhaps that's why Inside Tennessee says that this team, unlike some of Bruce Pearl's other teams, is peaking at the right time. So yeah, you'd think that maybe we can wear them out.
But . . . new style we've been winning with this season is more conducive to rest for the opposition than it has been in the past. So, you know, stay tuned.