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Talking Points: Everybody Loves Somebody

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Everybody loves A.J. Johnson. That includes Derek Dooley, who was impressed after only one practice and said, "He's a baller, all right. You can see 'em like that." And Sal Sunseri, who said that Johnson and Curt Maggitt were among the finest young linebackers he'd ever coached. But not A.J. Johnson. A.J. Johnson says that his technique wasn't good enough last year as a freshman. Apparently, having more tackles than any freshman in the SEC isn't up to his standards. Which, of course, is one of the reasons why everyone else loves them some A.J.

Herbie loves Da'Rick Rogers. Kirk Herbstreit apparently has his own awards, like Madden but for college and with less BAM. Who knew? Anyway, Rogers was featured in the Top WRs category, the Dress for Success category (?), and the All-Herbie team. Sal Sunseri, too, made the Best Coordinator Hires list, and even more importantly, Tennessee is one of Kirky's top five surprise teams. Cool.

Everybody loves what they need. LB Christian Harris, who redshirted last year and tore an ACL this spring, is looking forward to getting into the mix at a pretty thin position. The Vols are also looking for tight ends and have offered elite JUCO and awesome-named Beau Sandland. Enter Sandland? Let's hope.

Etceteras. Jim Chaney says it's not just the defensive talent in the SEC, it's the coaching. . . . The secondary is still a work in progress, but Dooley's finally satisfied with the size and shape of the guys he has to work with. . . . Wait, Tennessee asked fans for feedback on the Neyland Gameday experience? How did I miss this? Because, you know, I have feedback. Oh well, more diaper-changing stations for the win?