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Ben Martin Reportedly Out For Season With Torn Achilles

  • Wes Rucker cites two unnamed sources as saying that Ben Martin's injury is apparently a torn Achilles' tendon and that it will likely keep him out for the 2010 season. Martin does have a redshirt available, and the position of defensive end is still stocked with All-SEC candidate Chris Walker, experienced ends Gerald Williams and Willie Bohannon, USC transfer Malik Jackson, and highly touted freshmen Jacques Smith and Corey Miller, but still. If the report turns out to be true, best wishes to Martin for a swift recovery.
  • Tennessee's offensive line has been heard all over campus all summer yelling "O-line pride!" The rest of the team is tiring of it a bit, especially when it's used as a taunt: "I’ve heard it all summer long, man. We all have," junior linebacker Austin Johnson said. "Especially when they beat us in soccer. We never heard the end of it. If you do anything around here, it’s O-line pride versus the team." Well, you'd do a little taunting, too, if your team of relatively slow-moving behemoths beat a team of skill position players in an athletic game like soccer. (I misplaced the link to that last bit, but it's true.) Also, it's early, but so far there have been no botched snap exchanges, so score one for summer work. O-line pride!
  • Dooley's plan for freshmen, like his frame of analysis for determining whether to release players who want to transfer, includes another three-prong test (inside joke for the lawyers -- unite!): "Those who demonstrate with sudden certainty they're ready to play college football; those who might be slower to make the transition; those who never develop enough to make a contribution and are redshirted." Dooley says he played almost 10 each season at La. Tech. He likes to play them early, and the way he gets it done is to first test them to see what they can do and then let them do only what they've demonstrated they can do ($?):
    "Early on we'll try to push them to see how quickly they can learn and pick things up. But we won't let our egos as coaches get in the way. If a guy is really good and he can only learn two things, he's going to do two things for us," Dooley said of his philosophy. "He doesn't have to learn the playbook. I'd like for him to, but I want to win games and if he can help us win he'll play. If he can only do one thing well then we'll put him in and he'll do that one thing."
  • More from Dooley on the good old days of roach-infested comradery:
    Dooley was quick to dismiss any notion that his players, his coaches or even the head man himself might be in danger of dehydrating. The attorney-turned-coached turned the seemingly innocuous question into a dissertation on hydration and mental toughness.

    "No, please. Are you kidding me? Have you seen the armada of trainers we've got? . . . There's one thing I know we will not run out of around here, that's water and Gatorade," Dooley said. "I mean, it's ridiculous. I'm walking around yesterday in practice, do you need some water coach? No. When I need water, I'll get water. Then halfway through I start thinking, maybe I'm not drinking enough. Maybe I'll dehydrate.

    "I mean, and I told Jason (McVeigh), at some point you start making them think they need water. When they're thirsty, they'll drink. But they do a great job. They're too good. So we're trying to back them out of there. It's like an armada of supplies right there."

    Dooley wasn't done, especially when asked if it wasn't similar when his father, Vince, patrolled Georgia's hedges for 25 years.

    ". . . Times have changed. But we've done such great science on the body, and we have and it's good because we understand, but absolutely are ruining the mind. We turn into soft, break mentally," Dooley said. "There's a little balance there. You've got to strain your body a little bit to toughen the mind up. And I told the team that. I told them I was embarrassed for them. We've got coolers, I can't even walk. There's so much ice and water. I'm not attacking our trainers. They're too good. It's like I said. I was lucky to get water at Tech. I had to go stir the Gatorade."
  • Derek Dooley plans to have Michael Palardy continue to work on field goals, kickoffs, and punts despite the addition of Matt Darr to the roster. He also called Daniel Lincoln and Chad Cunningham "two good, productive players" and said he wasn't looking to replace them, but he also said that Palardy and Darr would be given an opportunity to win the first-team jobs. So there's a great deal of competition in all phases of the kicking game, which is very good.
  • That slam on "Derek Dooley's predecessor" by Mike Slive at SEC Media Days? Not the first or second draft. Oh, and Slive uncorked a bottle of fine wine when he heard that Kiffin had left the conference. Great series from Clay Travis.
  • Video of the day: Dooley's post-practice comments.