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Talking Points: Is Tennessee Flirting with Disaster Using WRs on Special Teams?

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement. - Vols' polishing special teams, more notes
"Patterson is one of our kickoff return guys, yes," Coiner said. "... You just ask about two explosive guys. I don't know; how many times does an explosive receiver catch the ball in a game? I don't know. But if I told you a receiver had seven or eight catches coming after Friday night, you'd say 'OK.' Well we can almost guarantee that the ball will end up in their hands on this (special teams) play. So you see why we look at it the way we do. We want those guys to have their hands on the football. Whether we're talking about C.P. or Justin or Devrin, that's a touch. And that's a touch that we feel really good about."

Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney comfortable with Vols' offense
But Chaney admitted following the Vols’ practice Tuesday morning that he’s more at ease with his offense than he was a year ago — and perhaps more so than he has been at any other time in his four years at Tennessee — heading into Friday’s opener against North Carolina State. "Oh, no question about that," he said. "I think, when we call a play, they’re all familiar with it. We’ve talked about that. Yeah, I’m more comfortable today than I’ve been since, probably, being in Knoxville." He said it helps that Tennessee’s offense features plenty of veterans and upperclassmen who have played in the past. "Ultimately, the thing that excites any coach is when you’re familiar with the players, when you know their fleas," Chaney said. "I know what they can and they can’t do. Then, it’s up to me to put them in the right position to make plays. That’s always the exciting thing. ... I feel like I know most of these kids pretty well. - Coaches confident in Rogers-less receiving corp
"He's figured it all out. It's all new to Cordarrelle. He's coming into a complete different environment. He's trying to learn to practice the way we want. It's been a complete learning curve. He's going to go out and make some big plays and he's going to make some blunders. We fully expect it. He's a super talented young man who has never been on the field for Tennessee," Chaney said.

"That's exactly what all first game starters are going to do. They are all going to make mistakes. "We are hoping to minimize that the best we can and let that boy go be a football player because he has demonstrated on video too many times that he's a damn talented player so let's let him do that."

Even though the bulk of the burden in the passing game will fall upon Hunter, Patterson and tight end Mychal Rivera, at some point a younger wide receiver will have to step up and make a play. The question for Chaney is can they manage that situation before they fry their brains. "I tell you the thing from my standpoint is how many plays can these young guys play. I don't know how many before their brain goes (haywire). Is it 45 or 60? Some can go for 80," Chaney said. "I don't have any idea. That's the mystery part that gets me down from time to time."

Devrin Young stands tall for Tennessee's Vols |
KNOXVILLE — When the NCAA decided this offseason to move kickoffs up 5 yards, Devrin Young probably let out a sigh of frustration.

'Second chance at life' puts Antone Davis in position to make impact with VFL program " GoVolsXtra
Ex-UT player takes over VFL - Defensive communication improving
"It's fine in practice. Now we've got to go see if we can communicate in a game," said third-year coach Derek Dooley. "And that's just kind of where our team is. We're going to have to go see what we look like, and whatever we look like let's correct and adjust moving forward." Added Sunseri when asked about the communication, "I'm happy with it." - O-line ready for challenge, more notes
The Vols' offensive front is well-stocked with veterans and sprinkled with players who arrived in Knoxville as highly regarded prospects. It's a group that almost uniformly was pressed into action against stiff competition early in their careers, and in some cases, perhaps earlier than was ideal. The result of all that hard won experience is an offensive front that boasts starting experience at every position except one. And that 'one' new starter is sophomore Antonio Richardson is arguably the most purely talented player of the bunch. Because of all those factors, it's widely assumed that this year's offensive line will be vastly improved from last year's edition, a group that had a large hand in the Vols' finishing last in the SEC in rushing yards per game (90.1 per game).

Notes: UT defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri ready to call plays
More than a decade has passed since the last time Tennessee defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri called plays during a game. He’ll finally get the chance to do it again Friday.

Tennessee Vols defensive adjustments key in containing Wolfpack
Consider the follow scenarios: Tennessee is running a completely different defensive scheme, and plays in that multiple-front, full-of-adjustments system will be called by a coordinator who has never called plays at the college game’s highest level and hasn’t called any game-day plays in a while. Then remember that N.C. State has a senior quarterback, senior-laden offensive line and returns at least one proven player at receiver and tailback. Vols head coach Derek Dooley said he fully expects plenty of mind games from the Wolfpack, and he said it with mortgage-betting confidence.

Notes: Tennessee Vols nose tackle Daniel McCullers improving
Tennessee coach Derek Dooley spoke highly Monday of the progress McCullers — a junior who signed with the Vols in February out of Georgia Military College in Milledgeville, Ga. — has made and the work ethic he has shown since he arrived on campus. "I think he has shown improvement every day, and I mean that. That’s not just coach-speak. He really has," Dooley said following UT’s practice Monday morning. "And every day we say, ‘You’ve got to do better at this. You’ve got to do better in that,’ and he’s conscientious. He works at it, and he shows, ‘I’m trying.’ "He’s got a great attitude and demeanor — really a humble guy. If he just continues this pace, he’s going to be a good, solid player for us."

Forde-Yard Dash: A breathless sprint to start the 2012 college football season - Yahoo! Sports
But to quote William Shakespeare (the playwright, not the 1930s Notre Dame All-American halfback) the play’s the thing. Every week is steeped in anticipation of witnessing something astonishing and thrilling.

Mike Strange: SEC powerhouse? Vols hope O'Brien is right " GoVolsXtra
Twice during a Tuesday teleconference, North Carolina State coach Tom O'Brien referred to Tennessee as "an SEC powerhouse.''

Offensive line coach Sam Pittman looks for atonement against N.C. State " GoVolsXtra
Tennessee's film study sessions for Friday's game against N.C. State have rolled out painful reruns for Vols offensive line coach Sam Pittman.

Sal Sunseri making Tennessee debut as defensive coordinator " GoVolsXtra
Tennessee safeties coach Josh Conklin will be working from the press box Friday night, which means he will be safe from busted eardrums and avoid flying spittle from his boss, ultra-intense defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri.

Da'Rick Rogers: Failed drug tests led to departure from UT | The Tennessean |
Da'Rick Rogers said Tuesday failed drug tests led to his suspension from the Tennessee football team and transfer to Tennessee Tech.

John Adams: Derek Dooley could go from hot seat to hot commodity " GoVolsXtra
As you might have concluded from our 2012 football section, Tennessee coach Derek Dooley will begin the season on the "hot seat." As you also might have concluded, burning furniture has become a sidebar to UT football.