Yeah, so the Vols had their second major scrimmage on Saturday, and yes, it, like every other scrimmage and practice under Dooley so far, was closed to the media. Sort of. Because it was actually open to those who were also attending the weekend coaching clinic. So you could pay $50 to go to the clinic and get to see the scrimmage as a bonus. And they didn't discriminate against the media, so the guys with notepads and digital recorders had the same opportunity as the rest of us.
Not in the budget, said John Adams in an amusing, snark-filled article. Much of the media has been stuffing their word-count quotas with complaints regarding the lack of access to practices and scrimmages.
Vols in the Fall thinks that the move is "genius," that Dooley's making fun of his detractors. Could be. Or maybe he's trying to patch things up, I don't know. But either way, Dooley's having fun with it:
"There are many who believe John and Jimmy possess two of the top football minds in East Tennessee," Dooley said with a smile. "I’m looking forward to watching how they can turn their knowledge into a winning result in Neyland Stadium."
Whatever the case, I don't see this going well. I actually like Hyams and Adams, but for whatever reason, I'm pretty sure I'm in the distinct minority, at least with respect to Adams. There are people in East Tennessee who wake up in the morning with the sole goal of loathing John Adams. The poll on GVX asking which of the two celebrity coaches will have the most success, which currently shows "neither" as the winning answer, and the comments on the corresponding article, suggests at least some animosity toward those guys. Hey, they're in the media; it's part of the gig. But depending on the degree of hostility toward them, well, maybe Dooley could have Lane Kiffin and Ed Orgeron do it next year and really stir things up.
Or maybe the whole thing will be a rousing success and will end with handshakes and hugs. Which would be nice so we could read about football and stop hearing about access.
Aaaaaanyway, on to the Talking Points:
- The Vols ended Saturday's scrimmage with a situational add-on, during which they learned, according to Dooley, "that at the end of the day you don't have to do anything special down the stretch, but you have to do the simple things extraordinarily well."
- Huge receiver Matt Milton had four catches for 17 yards and two touchdowns and apparently still has a lot of learnin' to do.
- Matt Simms acknowledged that his first day as the front-runner for the starting QB gig was also his worst. Perhaps that had something to do with Justin Wilcox shaking things up on the defensive side of the ball, though. At one point, he lined defensive tackle Montori Hughes up at the middle linebacker position and let him get up a nice friendly head of steam as he sought to destroy the quarterback and any stationary lineman who was unfortunate enough to be in his way.
- Video: Dooley's comments.
- Buried in this article about Nick Stephens is an excellent insight into how the prior relationship between Derek Dooley and Lance Thompson salvaged this year's recruiting class by focusing on character kids.
- The inside scoop on why Nick Stephens left the team.
Jonathan Crompton: the 2nd best QB in this year's NFL Draft. Go, Jon.
- Will linked to all of these in a comment thread, but they're so good, I thought I'd re-link to all of Wayne Chism's Portsmouth Diaries: Day 1, 2, 3, and 4.