- Wes Rucker cites two unnamed sources as saying that Ben Martin's injury is apparently a torn Achilles' tendon and that it will likely keep him out for the 2010 season. Martin does have a redshirt available, and the position of defensive end is still stocked with All-SEC candidate Chris Walker, experienced ends Gerald Williams and Willie Bohannon, USC transfer Malik Jackson, and highly touted freshmen Jacques Smith and Corey Miller, but still. If the report turns out to be true, best wishes to Martin for a swift recovery.
- Tennessee's offensive line has been heard all over campus all summer yelling "O-line pride!" The rest of the team is tiring of it a bit, especially when it's used as a taunt: "I’ve heard it all summer long, man. We all have," junior linebacker Austin Johnson said. "Especially when they beat us in soccer. We never heard the end of it. If you do anything around here, it’s O-line pride versus the team." Well, you'd do a little taunting, too, if your team of relatively slow-moving behemoths beat a team of skill position players in an athletic game like soccer. (I misplaced the link to that last bit, but it's true.) Also, it's early, but so far there have been no botched snap exchanges, so score one for summer work. O-line pride!
"Early on we'll try to push them to see how quickly they can learn and pick things up. But we won't let our egos as coaches get in the way. If a guy is really good and he can only learn two things, he's going to do two things for us," Dooley said of his philosophy. "He doesn't have to learn the playbook. I'd like for him to, but I want to win games and if he can help us win he'll play. If he can only do one thing well then we'll put him in and he'll do that one thing."
Dooley was quick to dismiss any notion that his players, his coaches or even the head man himself might be in danger of dehydrating. The attorney-turned-coached turned the seemingly innocuous question into a dissertation on hydration and mental toughness.
"No, please. Are you kidding me? Have you seen the armada of trainers we've got? . . . There's one thing I know we will not run out of around here, that's water and Gatorade," Dooley said. "I mean, it's ridiculous. I'm walking around yesterday in practice, do you need some water coach? No. When I need water, I'll get water. Then halfway through I start thinking, maybe I'm not drinking enough. Maybe I'll dehydrate.
"I mean, and I told Jason (McVeigh), at some point you start making them think they need water. When they're thirsty, they'll drink. But they do a great job. They're too good. So we're trying to back them out of there. It's like an armada of supplies right there."
Dooley wasn't done, especially when asked if it wasn't similar when his father, Vince, patrolled Georgia's hedges for 25 years.
". . . Times have changed. But we've done such great science on the body, and we have and it's good because we understand, but absolutely are ruining the mind. We turn into soft, break mentally," Dooley said. "There's a little balance there. You've got to strain your body a little bit to toughen the mind up. And I told the team that. I told them I was embarrassed for them. We've got coolers, I can't even walk. There's so much ice and water. I'm not attacking our trainers. They're too good. It's like I said. I was lucky to get water at Tech. I had to go stir the Gatorade."