Dooleyisms are back. Not the most exciting edition when you blow a team out 51-13, and you don’t want to give Florida any bulletin board material.
This week, we plan on kicking Derrick Brodus starting out as long as things stay the same during the week. I still believe in Mike [Palardy] but he has some things he still needs to work through, and Derrick earned the right to be out there…It’s really no different than all the other positions, it’s performance-based and it’s my responsibility as a coach. If I feel like another guy is more deserving and gives us a better chance to get through the game, then that’s what we’re going to do. I don’t know if it’s the right one but it’s what we’re going to do. We’ll see, only time will tell. Mike understands it. I still believe in Mike. He’s talented. He has some technical things to work through to get him out there to perform better on game day and he’ll do it…Brodus, he has made every kick every time he has been out there. He kicks it high and he has a nice calm about him. We will see.
James Wilhoit was the last time I felt good about a Tennessee kicker, and that’s been a while. Is UT that bad at scouting kickers? Fulmer recruited Daniel Lincoln, Kiffin and Dooley both recruited Palardy.
On Florida’s Season so Far:
I think that all the people who were doubting them going into the season, they went out there and proved them wrong. The proved their mettle, they proved their ability, the ability to have some grit in the second half. To me, they proved they’re one of the top teams in the league and it wasn’t surprising…Will [Muschamp] is starting to get his team to look like what he wants his team to look like. They are a pro-style and they are multi-formational, so they are going to try and get you out-flanked. We are going to try and be physical at the line of scrimmage and have a heavy back. That is his philosophy and they are starting to play Muschamp ball.
I hate Muschamp ball, in fact I hate everything there is about Florida football. I hope Muschamp ball goes “Boom” in his face. I think Dooley does too, but he can’t say it.
On Florida’s Defense:
They’re really good at everything. They have some special NFL high-round caliber guys. No. 2 wore us out last year. We couldn’t block him. No. 73 is a special talent. Their MIKE linebacker, No. 1, he’s kind of their quarterback. He’s a little bit what A.J. [Johnson] is to us. They’re really deep. They’re able to play a lot of guys and there’s not a big drop off. In the last three to four years, they’ve had the No. 2, No. 3 class in the country recruiting. When you turn on the film, you see it. They have excellent, excellent personnel.
Yep, they’re good, and it’s high time to put them in their place.
On the Most Important Game:
Every game you go, the more you win, the more important they become. That’s how it is. The more you lose, the more important they become. They’re all important. It’s kind of like the first game. If we want to go out there and play, we want to win. If we win, we have a lot more games left on the schedule. If we don’t win, the sky isn’t going to fall. We have to regroup, learn from it and go play the rest of the schedule. We’ve played two games. This is our third game, our conference opener. We’ll find out a little more about our football team this week.
The last part of the sentence is very true. Perhaps if you go just by the quality of win, Louisiana-Monroe could be the best team in the country. Now that ignores a lot of other things, but the possibility is there. I dropped UT in the rankings after a 38 point win, because I don’t know how good their wins are right now. We will definitely find out more about this team soon.
On College Game Day:
It is good but the best exposure you can get is to win. That hasn’t changed. If you go and have GameDay out there and you go lay an egg, all that goes out the window…It depends on your level of maturity and your experience in the situation. This will be a little new for us. It’s good. I think our players will handle it fine. This is where you want to be. You didn’t come to Tennessee to not be on a big game, big stage and game day. That’s why you came here. It shouldn’t really have any impact on preparation, any impact on focus. The only impact it has is for the fans
You bet it has an impact on the fans! I am so stoked to get Game Day back, and I hope Corso picks UF.
On Tyler Bray:
He is two-for-two. I think that is fair to say. He has played two great games and but he also knows he is going to get measured by his body of work over time and this will be a big challenge for him. He knows he is going to get a lot of pressure. He has to get the ball out, our guys have to win outside on the perimeter. It is going to be a little tough, this is going to be a whole different philosophy in the secondary because they are going to put their hands on us and play deny the ball. They are going to grab and they are going to push, it is going to be physical. We have to go out there and match it.
Clearly the 1998 team was superior than this iteration, but have we seen a QB this good in Big Orange Country since Peyton Manning? Tee Martin? Not really, great player, not a great quarterback. Casey Clausen? He won games, but he wasn’t the greatest quarterback I’ve ever seen. Erik Ainge? Jonathon Crompton? Matt Simms? No, no, and no. Tyler Bray is a keeper.
On Scoring Quickly:
It is a good question. It is a little bit philosophy and I used to be that philosophy. I am not anymore – I want to score. I did a lot of soul searching in the off season about all that. Defense has to go and stop them, but if you keep scoring it is harder and harder for the other team. I know that because I have been on the other side of it. I am not going to slow our guys down. I want them to play fast and I want them to have fun. If they score, let’s go stop them…I know the offense loves it. I told Sal [Sunseri] when I hired him that it was going to look a little different than he is used to. Sal understands it – he is in. It is philosophy, doesn’t mean one is right and the other is wrong. But given what we have on our football team I just think that gives us the best chance to win and that is why we are doing what we do.
I am going to give Dooley a lot of credit here. Most football coaches, heck most people, like to do things a certain way. To be able to accept that you may not be right, is not an easy thing to do. Dooley knows what it takes to win here, and he’s willing to sacrifice his own philosophy to do so. That’s commendable.
On the Linebackers:
Those guys are doing a good job, but we are better with the other two too. Those guys can come in and spare them. Anytime you lose two players like that on defense and you are already thin at backer, you are not feeling good. It is not because you don’t feel good about Willie Bohannon and Dontavis Sapp but we are a lot better with everyone healthy…AJ Johnson has been doing great as MIKE. He’s really starting to blossom as a MIKE LB. He is getting a little more vocal. I think the reps are giving him a little more confidence that he knows it, probably better than he thought he did. He is a really good football player. He just finds his way to the football like every good MIKE LB does… he’s a good one…His instinct, the better you understand the defense the more your instincts can put you in a better position to make a play. You look at last year; he was instinctive but didn’t really know what was going on. He is playing at a high level right now…I was trying to just get some good defensive football players. Johnson and Curt Maggitt would be good in any scheme.
Yessir! Couldn’t agree more.