(Yeah, it's really more of a monologue, but that doesn't start with "D" now, does it?)
In Today's Rocky Top Talking Points, Dooley's obviously loving the additional depth he has this season, pointing out to reporters why survival of the fittest makes everyone fitter and using the extra flexibility to both toy with the idea of bringing Janzen Jackson even closer to the action and explore the possibility of using speedster Rajion Neal in new and exciting ways.
Yes, all of this depth talk on Rocky Top is relative to Year Zero, and there are several "Yeah, buts" to bring us back to reality, but don't let that keep you from enjoying the first half of Woo Bodies!
VolQuest.com - Depth talk makes Dooley smile?
"I've seen it everywhere," Dooley said of practicing with urgency. "We've got a good practice tempo. I've said it for 18 months. Until we get depth and competition, a coach can only pull so much out of a guy. It's still, it's Darwinism. Darwin didn't say if you scream at a guy, he'll survive. He didn't. Think about it. When it gets really good is when a guy isn't performing you say, 'Hey Man, come over here. Stand by me for a little bit. (Turn to another player) Get in there.' And you just do that. Then that guy goes, wait a minute, I've got to do better. It's Darwinism."
Janzen Jackson getting a look as a nickel back " GoVolsXtra
"If you move him up a little bit, you're kind of spreading out your bets because you've got guys behind him if he misses that can make the tackle," Dooley said. "It allows him to be a little more aggressive in reading the quarterback and taking some chances without really killing us. He's an active, fast-twitch, instinctive guy, so I think it can disrupt a quarterback a little bit more by moving him down."
Scout.com: Vols bring the noise
"[Rajion Neal] is a fast guy," Dooley said. "He is one of the fastest on the team and he made a lot of plays for us in space last year at running back. We are going to try to create ways to get him in space and get the ball to him a little bit more. We are kind of playing around with him as a specialty guy. We still have him in the backfield, but we are putting him out wide to see what he can do." Neal has been seen separated from the running backs and working with the wide receivers during individual periods early in practice.
John Adams: UT challenge: get tough, stay healthy " GoVolsXtra
"Coach Dooley truly believes that the system we have will not only develop toughness but also develop a proper technique and will give your body enough rest to recover and be strong throughout the season," said Joseph, who is beginning his fifth season as an assistant coach under Dooley. "Obviously, we've got a few guy that if we lose them, it's going to be an issue. We've got to be smart about how we schedule the practices.
VolQuest.com - Brewer settling in, Sapp moving up
"I think he'll get more and more range, but I don't think he's the kind of guy where we'll ever say 'you've got the deep part of the field,' because we've got some other guys who can do that so it allows us to really utilize his strengths by keeping him what he does best. A little bit, you look at some of the safeties in the NFL. I don't want to compare him to those guys, but you look at the (Troy) Polamalu types, the (Bob) Sanders types. Active guys in the box. You don't see them 30 yards down the field a lot, and when you do, they kind of get in trouble. He's one of those, he's that mold," Dooley offered.
Scout.com: Zach of all trades
"I'm very hopeful that Zach will be able to contribute in a lot of ways," Baggett said this week. "He can play outside, he can play inside, he can get deep. He has a lot of skills. He just has not been able to stay healthy."
For some "Yeah, buts . . .", hit the jump.
Malik Jackson's injury forces more math for front seven " GoVolsXtra
Derek Dooley hasn't hesitated to offer reminders that Tennessee reported for camp this week with only one returning starter in the defensive front seven. Now the Vols coach is completely out of them for a while after he announced Friday that tackle Malik Jackson would be on the shelf for about two weeks with a sprained right knee.
Scout.com: Healthy attitude
Even so, he is determined to turn the page from "what if" to "what is" in 2011. Clearly, his health history is not among his favorite topics. "It's getting old to me," he said. "But things happen in football. You expect that. It's getting old to me. I'm ready to be healthy and ready to play." Tennessee's coaches would like nothing better because the junior from Memphis just might be the team's most physically gifted linebacker.
Marlon Walls learning another position with an open mind " GoVolsXtra
Turns out, learning and retaining information about a certain position in football isn't like riding a bike.
John Propst loud, clear " GoVolsXtra
"John, he gets it," junior Greg King said. "It's there. Nick took him up under his wings and tried to teach him everything he was able to, and John is a pretty quick learner. He caught on pretty well. "I look at it like, 'Hey, that's another Nick — if not better.' So, yeah, we're comfortable with him right there in the middle."
Scout.com: Video: Vols unite as one
The Tennessee football team joined forces Friday afternoon when the newbies stepped it up to the veterans practice. Watch Derek Dooley's interview after practice on InsideTennessee.com.
U.S. players rave about Cuonzo Martin " GoVolsXtra
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Vanderbilt guard John Jenkins ran the formation from the wing, running to the top of the key before launching a pass to the sideline.
And put this one in the "Hmm" file: Tennessee's Renaldo 'Swiperboy' Woolridge Retiring From Rap Career - From Our Editors - SBNation.com