Tennessee's Orange And White Game Will Tell Us Nothing And We'll Love It

TENNESSEE FOOTBALL

While we fans can draw all of the erroneous conclusions we want about Saturday's Orange and White Game, don't expect Derek Dooley to put much stock in it at all, at least with regard to how good the team, as opposed to any particular player, is:

"It's really more individual performance," Dooley said. "You don't get the unit together so I don't put a lot of stock into it. I always recall the year we won the national championship (at LSU in 2003), Matt Mauck threw six interceptions in the spring game. Had we panicked over that, he would have never been our starting quarterback. These games are just so different because you don't have any continuity anywhere. It's basically, `Let's pick teams and go out in the yard and play a game.'"

My thoughts: One, that's a big yard. Two, please do not mention the name of the backup quarterback for LSU in 2001 whose last name sounds like another word for taunting. Three, thank you.

Defensive end Willie Bohannon, who's worked primarily with the first team opposite Jacques Smith this spring, credits a self-imposed attitude adjustment that no longer accepts being second.

The offensive staff is high on true freshman tight end Brendan Downs, so much so that he's not only missing out on the last semester of his senior year in high school, he's missing out on the grace period normally afforded true freshman. "I think occasionally he thinks I’ll be a little nicer to him because he graduated two months ago," said Jim Chaney. "He’s wrong. He’s learning he’s wrong."

The defense is happy to have a clot of talent at defensive back, but only Brent Brewer is penciled in as a starter so far, according to DB coach Terry Joseph. Brewer would be bandit safety, which has to be the coolest name for a position ever, but other than that, no one's separated themselves from the pack:

"I definitely feel better about those guys than I did leaving Nashville at the Music City Bowl, but nobody's really taken that step to say that they're the guy. So, I couldn't say hey, these two guys are going to go out there without a shadow of a doubt in my mind. I think they'll all play," Joseph said. "Who starts? I don't know. Who plays the most snaps? I don't know, probably who has the hot hand. At corner none of those guys have really taken the bull by the horns per se and said 'it's my job'. The competition is going to continue."

TENNESSEE BASKETBALL

More details of the Bruce Pearl termination (is anyone else tired of more details?): Reportedly, Pearl intentionally disobeyed the bosses who had pledged to support him and to share in his punishment. When asked to disclose Brian Williams' failed drug test as a "violation of team rules," Pearl instead said that Williams missed those two games because of a back injury.

Well enough of that. Head coach Cuonzo Martin is wearing the basketball team out, putting them through what are essentially pro workouts. Wayne Chism is participating, and he's loving it.

UNRELATED

Did Cam Newton play in a "one read" passing offense at Auburn? | Smart Football. Interesting stuff here from Smart Football about Cam Newton and the meaning of "one read" offenses.

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