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Talking Points mishmash

  • Matt Simms says Tennessee "just feels right."
  • Janzen Jackson is still working his way through an image crisis: "I'm trying to show people who I really am, but that will come with time, and me being on the straight and narrow and getting everything done right off the field." I wonder if it's more difficult for him than it is for Melvin Goins, who also had all charges dropped against him, because Jackson plays fewer games.
  • Riiiiight. It's for the fans! Actually, Adams has a point, but my knee jerk reaction was that it was the media just trying a different angle on their pursuit of greater access to the football program under Derek Dooley.
  • Sackmaster Chuck Smith is all about stopping the run. Really. I wonder how much of that has to do with the fact that we may need the defensive ends to stay inside more this season due to a serious depth problem at defensive tackle.
  • John Adams reminds Vol fans why it's a very good thing that Dooley will be heavily involved in special teams:

When you review the mishaps of UT's last five seasons, special teams show up at the crime scene with uncanny regularity.

The 5-6 season of 2005 was the most flagrant example of that. Two of the six losses came on last-minute field goals by opponents; two more included opponents returning punts for touchdowns; and the Florida defeat was synopsized by a quote from former UT coach Phillip Fulmer: " ... we had two special teams plays that were our demise."

Although the annual volume of incidents has since declined, think how many UT games have turned an opponent's way the last few years because of a special-teams disaster. I'll drop a few names to jog your memory: Brandon James, DeSean Jackson and Terrence Cody.

Ouch. Make him stop!


  • According to one source ($?), Montario Hardesty is projected to be drafted as a third- to fourth-round pick as the #8 running back in this year's class, and Chris Scott is projected to go in round six or seven as the #16 offensive tackle.

  • Austin Ward has an excellent and in-depth Q&A with athletic director Mike Hamilton. Hamilton's family is also learning to choose their words more carefully when with their adopted Ethiopian children:
    As for the parents, "we're learning not be quite as flippant in what we're saying," Beth Hamilton said. Some of the phrases they've used, like "we better clean this up or dad will kill us," the children have taken literally, "which has provided some entertainment, too."
    The Hamilton's are hosting an event on April 15 to raise awareness about orphans and adoption. The evening at Thompson-Boling will include a performance by Steven Curtis Chapman, and proceeds will be shared by Show Hope and Blood:Water Mission.
  • Mike Griffith says the Vols would have beaten Butler had they made it past Michigan State. He also lists the top five moments of the 2009-2010 season.
  • Bruce Pearl breaks down the players returning for next season.
  • Incoming men's basketball player Tobias Harris has been named to the Parade All-America Team.