Translating UT Players: The Dooley Edition
Tennessee’s football players refuse to look to the past. They’re focused on the present while being mindful that their current effort could lead to a more positive future.
They’ve repeated as much since spring practice. The mantra continued when the Vols had their first media conference of preseason camp on Wednesday.
The players who spoke were classy. There was no mention of stumbling to three losing seasons nor the head coach and assistant coaches that were responsible.
I, however, don’t have to be as politically correct. Therefore, I’ll offer translations as what Tennessee’s players actually meant during the opening media conference of preseason camp.
OL James Stone
“It makes it easier for me to trust them because you know they all trust each other and they’ve worked as a unit,” Stone said when asked about UT’s current staff having worked together before, unlike last year’s staff. “So, you only get one answer back. You’re not getting mixed signals from the coaches. It helps us trust them and it’s always easier if you trust the coaches…You can kind of sense when it’s a disconnect between coaches. It’s easier to know that they are working cohesively as a unit.”
Translation: I had coaches telling me all kinds of different things last year. Did they ever have coaches meetings?
DE Corey Miller
“I would say I am pretty excited about the 4-3 defense being brought back [as compared to last season's 3-4],” Miller said. “Especially for my position, playing defensive end, I feel like it is a little easier for me, but the scheme overall I feel it will be a good deal for all of us.
Translation: We didn’t have the personnel to run a 3-4. Was that Dooley guy trying to get himself fired? Seriously, that was a pretty nice buyout.
“I feel a huge difference between this staff and our previous staff,” Miller said. “Both staffs are great guys, but this staff actually shows you a more family oriented type of relationship and they express it with the players as well as they do with the fellow coaches.”
Translation: These coaches actually like us. Did anybody see Curt Maggitt hobbling around out there last year? He looked like he had been hit by a train.
“We’ve had cookouts together, we’ve gone on rafting trips, we have been together 24/7,” Miller said. “For the D-Line, we have a D-Line group chat. We all stay in touch. We have never done that before and I feel like as far as being a family we have become so much closer than before.”
Translation: It’s not miserable to be a Vol anymore.
LB A.J. Johnson
“It is more of everybody knowing the defense and knowing what to do,” Johnson said about the defense’s communication. “If everyone knows the call, then it is easier for us to communicate rather than everyone knowing different calls. It makes it easier for everyone to know what is going on.”
Translation: We were running around all over the place with no idea what to do last year.
“Our defense is simpler this year…We are just lining up and playing,” Johnson said. “We know the call, and everyone knows what they have to do to make plays.”
Translation: Those guys last year didn’t have us anywhere close to ready. And that Sunseri guy? Jeez. He must have been a good recruiter while he was here. No, he wasn’t? At least he was a nice person. Well, no not that either? Have fun with that Seminoles.