Don't worry about all of the negative stuff coming out of Derek Dooley's mouth after the recent scrimmage. Tauren Poole still has a firm grip on the starting tailback position despite backup Rajion Neal having much better numbers because Neal's came against the second team defense:
"Rajion ran against the (second-team defense) and got most of his yards," Vols coach Derek Dooley said on Tuesday. "It was not a defense you’d be proud of if you watched it. JT would have had about 94 yards against them, Rajion had (152) — and JT, as you know, is my 12-year-old son.
Dooley later clarified that he was joking yet again by saying that Neal did actually make some nice runs. He also backtracked a bit on some negative comments he made earlier about Tyler Bray, saying that Bray's inaccuracy was likely due to the fact that he had so many new things swimming around in his head:
Dooley said quarterback Tyler Bray, who completed just 11 of his 27 passes and threw two interceptions in Saturday’s scrimmage, has "more going through his mind than ever went through last season," which has caused the sophomore to miss a number of easy throws. Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney said last week the UT offense was 90 percent installed and that Bray had 50 percent more on his plate than last year. "When that happens, sometimes the simple throws become difficult," Dooley said. "That’s common, very common. Same thing with a kicker, a punt, all these mechanics and this and that, the read, then you can’t do something real simple."
Somewhere in North Carolina, Jonathan Crompton is standing and cheering and mumbling profanities about the Clawfense.
Really, you shouldn't believe anything Dooley says anyway because he's joking half the time. After safety Prentiss Waggner tweeted that he'd broken his hand, Dooley simply had the staff "club him up" and proceeding to dog him about it:
"I told him he didn’t hit anybody anyway, so really he’s still live . . ." coach Derek Dooley said.
The defensive line is still finding itself, with end Corey Miller moving inside and tackle Marlon Walls moving back outside to end. The only non-tweener on the line appears to be Montori Hughes, who, if anything is between a defensive tackle and a sumo wrestler without the giant rubber thong.
Ahem. The kickers are working with bigger balls this year:
"We got new balls, too. Wilson has a new ball, 1004s, which is a fatter ball, it's more kicker friendly."
Okay, then. Palardy is further along than Darr, by the way, and he's been working hard on kickoffs, something Dooley says needs a lot of improvement.
Head basketball coach Cuonzo Martin has hired Houston Fancher as director of basketball operations and Tracy Webster as assistant coach. Fancher is the former UT coordinator of video, and Webster is a former Nebraska assistant coach. With that settled and the recruiting dead period closing, Martin will now be traveling to see UT recruits Kevin Ware and Chris Jones. Ware's been granted a release from his LOI. Jones has asked for a release, but the request seems to be rooted in the fact that he was not contacted during a short pre-dead period window, and the reason he wasn't was because Martin chose to focus on the current players on the roster instead, a point he will no doubt make to both Ware and Jones tomorrow. If the guys don't appreciate that, well, let 'em go.
Those guys are important, but even more important are Tobias Harris and Scotty Hopson, who Martin says will directly impact the wins and therefore the success of the 2011-12 basketball Vols. "The success level we have depends on how many games we win, and I can’t really give a gauge on that, it has a lot to do with Scotty and Tobias and whether they return,’’ Martin said yesterday. "I think with the schedule we have, if we have those guys, it’s a good schedule.’’