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Tennessee Football Thinking Without Any Box Whatsoever


Derek Dooley and the Vols worked on four-minute, end-of-game situations yesterday. I guess that means that today they'll work on the minus-four-minute situations, which will consist of the following drills: duct-taping the head officials' mouth shut, pick-pocketing his flags, unplugging video feeds with all due haste, and then getting the heck out of there before anyone can change their minds.

The team is also embarking on a variety of highly innovative techniques to build football players. Linebackers coach Peter Sirmon is trouble-shooting the problem of undersized LBs by thinking outside the box:

"I've had them on a growing taller program, but that hasn't quite worked [ ] , so we're going to scrap that and just stick to lifting weights."

Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney is having more success with altering the physical characteristics of the o-line, having them grow thicker skin and better ears (duplicate link), as is defensive line coach Lance Thompson, who infused defensive tackle Malik Jackson with silly antidote (same link, offered as proof that these things were all actually said, sort of). Poor kid must have been infected at Southern Cal, and it's a long road home to sanity.

Meanwhile, DB coach Terry Joseph would love for someone other than Brent Brewer to have "old man strength," so he's likely in the lab working on some advanced age growth hormone or something.

It's spring, and Tennessee's concerned about numbers along its defensive line, so it must be time to whack-the-meme: The 3-4 defense is not the answer to too few linemen. It is the answer to "where do I put this gigantic guy and his gigantic teammates." The answer to not having enough bodies and to having most of them undersized to boot, according to defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, anyway, is to cross train them and make them interchangeable. Wilcox wants to be able to send in his next-best player rather than the next-best defensive tackle when someone comes out.

Speaking of defensive tackles, Daniel Hood is apparently the surprise of the spring so far, and he's currently ahead of Montori Hughes at nose guard. Guy's up to 300 pounds, and if the idea was to use him to motivate Hughes, well a nice side benefit is that he might actually be better anyway.

On the other side of the ball, it appears that Vincent Dallas is penciled in to take over departing Gerald Jones's spot as slot receiver. Other competitors for the spot are Zach Rogers and DeAnthony Arnett, who's not yet on campus.

So we finally have our answer to one of the most-often repeated questions last fall. Those kickoffs that were fielded by opponents at about the 15-yard line? Not the plan. The article doesn't specify what the plan was, exactly, but I'm sure it also didn't involve Michael Palardy kicking with a pulled groin for half the season.


Now that the coaching carousel has slowed to a stop, Mike Strange examines the thing and concludes that Tennessee didn't do too poorly with the Cuonzo Martin hiring.