UTSports.com has a nice piece this morning primarily about receiver Jayson Swain's leadership role on the team. The thing I found most interesting is the evidence of a growing chemistry among the offensive unit:
If it has anything to do with UT football, Swain will be there.
"A lot of guys can lead with words," [Erik] Ainge said. "They can be 'Rah-rah, go-team-go' type of guys, but the ones that are most important and the ones that you get the most out of are the ones that lead by example.
"The ones that go out there everyday, even when they're hurt, and are playing full-speed. The ones that are always watching film, they're saying and doing the right things - that's Jayson."
Swain doesn't call himself a leader, but he has said that he find[s] the challenge of being a leader "fun." He generally deflects any praise thrown his way - pretty much the opposite of any footballs coming in his direction - but he hesitated when his quarterback was doing the tossing. As humble as the Huntsville, Ala., native may be, he doesn't want any drops when it comes to Ainge.
"Erik said that?" Swain said. "Coming from Erik, that means a lot. We've been through it all together, the low valleys and now starting to get back to where we're making plays and doing well on the offensive side of the ball.
"It makes it more important to go out there and work hard for him, make plays and make him look good every Saturday."
Man, that is good to hear. "Chemistry," or whatever you want to call it, I think, is very underrated, and I think it's something that was sorely lacking during The Season of Which We Do Not Speak. Of course, losing has a way of testing and destroying chemistry, but if it's weak to begin with, it's more likely to lead to losing.
And if it's developed prior to and nurtured during the season, it can lead to explosive results.
What do y'all think?