Posts Tagged ‘Knoxville’

HLL: “No Muschamp news for now” Bevo Beat

Headlines, Links & Lies | Gate 21

According to the folks in Texas, Will Muschamp isn’t going anywhere:

No Muschamp news for now.

The rumors that defensive coordinator and Texas coach-in-waiting Will Muschamp is heading to Tennessee are in full force.

But people around the Longhorn athletic department aren’t worried.

One member of the Longhorns’ athletic staff said that “Muschamp was in the office yesterday and everything seemed normal. He talked about recruiting our players and our future. There was no mention of Tennessee.”

Another source said, “It would be very surprising if he left.”

Muschamp said a week ago that he was happy at Texas.

A month ago he said that every time one of these rumors pops up he runs down to Texas coach Mack Brown’s office and says that there is nothing to worry about.

According to a Knoxville News Sentinel reporter, Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton will be meeting with the media at 1 p.m. Eastern Standard time.

HT HT / via:  Bevo Beat / Statesman.com

2009 SEC Football Power Poll: Week 6

Check out the Full Poll Results at
Team Speed Kills!

Week 6

Through 11 October 2009

Here’s my ballot for this week in the SEC Power Poll, along with a feeble attempt at explaining why I’m such a moron.  Not a whole lot of ways to separate between some of the teams in the middle of the pack, but at least I thought up some excuses for my decisions.

Here they are, my darlins:

Rk.

Team

Comments

1.

Alabama Crimson Tide

The Alabama Crimson Tide is playing better than anyone in the country right now. Their defense is brutal, their offense effective. Now, if they could just figure out how to defend a kick return. Fortunately for Alabama, Tennessee is actually worse at this the Tide.

Result: ALA 22 • MISS 3

2.

Florida Gators

Florida Gators‘ coach Urban Meyer has proven that he will do anything to win — including risking St. Tim on a QB dive late in the game against LSU.

Still, they are undefeated, that is until they likely meet Alabama in the SEC Championship game, where it’s anybody’s guess.

Result: FLA 13 • LSU 3

3.

LSU Tigers

I was actually impressed with the LSU Tigers’ showing against Florida in some respects.

Their defense — in classic bend but don’t break fashion — held the Gators to only 13 points. Their measly 162 yards and 23:30 time of possession, however, did them in.

Still, they are better than many other SEC squads so, they stay put at number 3.

Result: LSU 3 • FLA 13

4.

South Carolina Gamecocks

The South Carolina Gamecocks should have beaten Kentucky badly. Instead they simply kept from losing.

Still, at 5-1, they are finding ways to win games. Props to Stephen Garcia for his herculean effort to drag the Cocks to victory.

Result: SC 28 • KY 26

5.

Arkansas Razorbacks

The Arkansas Razorbacks are an offensive machine that is a thrill to watch.

Defensively, however, they are weak and cannot rely upon simply outscoring their opponents. Still, great progress thus far, which Florida hopes to blunt … smartly

Result: ARK 44 • AUB 23

6.

Tennessee Volunteers

I cannot decide whether the The Tennessee Volunteers‘ win reflects a huge step forward or simply another bit of small progress paired with Georgia’s complete ineptitude.

Either way, the victory over the Dawgs was huge for the program. It’s hard to believe that Jonathan Crompton — paragon of fail only weeks ago — is now the SEC offensive player of the week. Nice to see that the Blackjack General does know a lot more than the rest of us armchair geniuses

Result: TN 45 • GA 19

7.

Ole Miss Rebels

Defensively, the Ole Miss Rebels did everything they could to beat Alabama, but their offense continues to be wobbly at best.

Apparently, the Wild-Reb offense had been in the White Lightning again.

Result: MISS 3 • ALA 22

8.

Auburn Tigers

Well, the party is over for Gene Chizik and the Auburn Tigers, courtesy of the Razorbacks. Auburn has a solid core, but needs to learn how to play defense — which no one (including the Vols) really require them to do previously.

That whole tackling thing, that is important.

Result: AUB 23 • ARK 44

9.

Kentucky Wildcats

The Kentucky Wildcats were weaving through the season like a bourbon soaked drunk — in and out of competence and suck.

Now, with quarterback Mike Hartline gone for the season, it’s looking like the it’s looking like the hangover will stay, and the Cats’ fans will have to start getting ready for basketball season.

Result: KY 26 • SC 28

10.

Georgia Bulldogs

I can honestly say that I have never seen a Georgia Bulldogs team with less spark than they showed in Knoxville. It’s looking like a long season for Dawgs with, Florida, Auburn, and Georgia Tech to come.

I imagine the fire under Richt’s backside is for real now.

Result: GA 19 • TN 45

11.

Mississippi State Bulldogs

One of these days, the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Dan Mullen are going to manage to win one of these things. They keep putting up valiant efforts, but keep coming up short.

While their record hardly reflects a departure from their legendary suck of 2008, they are a far better team and continue to improve..

Result: MSU 24 • HOU 31

12.

Vanderbilt Commodores

The Vanderbilt Commodores losing to Army. Man, what to say?

In the words of the Late General Anthony General McAuliffe (in response to a German demand for surrender during the Battle of the Bulge) “NUTS!

Result: VU 13 • Army 16

Yes, I know, rank incompetence on my part…

The Rest of the Power Poll

Now that you have wasted your time looking at my ballot, go check out what everybody else is saying over at Team Speed Kills, where the round-up will appear later this week.

Also—further confirming that the standards of the Power Poll have slipped—I will be joining in the “Team Speed Kills Now! ” podcast tonight at 9:00 ET to discuss the state of the SEC at mid-season.  I know you simply cannot wait to hear my brilliance unleashed.  I’ll be posting an embedded player and link to the podcast later today.

Onward and upward …

– So it goes…About Lawvol

2009 Big Orange Roundtable: Week 6

This Week’s Roundtable is hosted by:

Rocky Top Talk

This week’s Big Orange Roundtable is hosted by Rocky Top Talk and serves up another installment of questions burning in the minds of the orange-clad denizens who follow the Tennessee Volunteers.

In the interest of full disclosure, HSH sent me his responses to this week’s questions earlier in the week.  In theory, I was then supposed assemble a post including my answers along with his.  In theory, this sounds simple … in theory.  Reality is quite a different matter.  I have been woefully unreliable in terms of my posting of late due to my “real life,” and more specifically, my “real job.”

Thus, as a result of me being completely backed-up in preparation for an upcoming trial (a/k/a “evidence manipulation conference”) I am yet again forced to punt—at least for the moment.  This is particularly annoying considering how great the questions are this week.  Thus, for now the only answers I have to offer are those from HSH—which is probably a good thing considering that he actually knows what he’s talking about.  I will try to add in my responses later, if possible.  Until then, however, here are HSH’s thoughts for the week:

Week 6

1) Which newcomer do you expect to play the most total snaps for the Vols this fall?

bullet HSH: Well, by the looks of things, we know for sure it won’t be Bryce Brown, though he may be the best talent of the freshmen.

Though I have trouble remembering him actually being a freshman, it almost has to be Montori Hughes at defensive tackle, simply because of the lack of depth at defensive tackle and the sore, wobbly knees of senior end-turned-tackle Wes Brown.  With Brown’s knees, its almost more a question of when as opposed to if they’re going to take him out of action.  I have to take this moment to say his never-quit attitude and what he’s been saying about his situation has him rapidly climbing up my favorite 2009 Vols.

Back to Hughes, I said he doesn’t seem like a freshman because of three things: first, he’s obviously from the 2008 class out of Siegel High School in middle Tennessee, but didn’t qualify.  Secondly, he enrolled in January, so he was in for the spring, so it’s like he’s been at UT for longer than the other freshman.  Finally, it’s because he’s a very large man.  Either way, it’s clear he’s moved up to the third tackle spot, behind Williams and Brown and ahead of Victor Thomas, Rae Sykes and Marlon Walls.

But given the situation at defensive tackle behind Big Dan Williams, Hughes has to be the freshman who will see the most action.

As for the “true” freshman with the most impact, I’ll say receiver Marsalis Teague.  I went to last Thursday’s practice and last Saturday’s scrimmage, and Teague had some impressive plays.  I think Gerald Jones and Brandon Warren will be the top 2 wideouts, but Teague is my third (and Quintin Hancock fourth), given the injury to Denarius Moore.  Also, Teague seems like more a pure receiver than Nu’Keese Richardson in my opinion.


bullet Lawvol: (Long thoughtful pause followed by a longer, yet less thoughtful, sucking sound…)

Read the rest of this entry

2009 Big Orange Roundtable: Week 4

This Week’s Roundtable is hosted by:

Vol Junkies

This week’s Big Orange Roundtable is hosted by Vol Junkies, who has served up another installment of questions burning in the minds of the citizens of Orange Nation.

Thus, here are our thoughts for the week:

Week 4

1) What is your thought on Eric Berry’s Heisman chances?  Should he play on offense in-order to increase his chances?  Is Kiffin being to selfish saying Berry will not practice offense?

bullet HSH: I’m not exactly how real Berry’s chances of actually winning the Trophy—which I deemed meaningless after the Manning debacle.  Not only does he have the obstacle of being a defensive player, he has to basically beat Colt McCoy from Texas, Sam Bradford from Oklahoma and some guy named Tebow.  I don’t think Lane Kiffin should play Berry on offense just to help his Heisman chances.  If our offense is seriously sucking, then sure, desperate times call for desperate measures.

That said, I have absolutely no problem with the University doing the whole campaign thing.  Berry is obviously a special, once-in-a-while player with a great attitude.  Seeing him in person on and off the field the past two years has been something I’m glad to have been a part of—now if only he might consider staying for his senior year…


bullet Lawvol: I have very mixed (albeit not necessarily negative) feelings on this.

First of all, I personally believe that Eric Berry is more than deserving of a shot at the Heisman Trophy.  In two short years he has pretty much become the man-beast of SEC defenses and is, hands down, the best defensive player in the toughest conference in the country.  I personally believe that he is the best defensive player in any conference, anywhere.  That, however, is just my opinion and I will be the first to admit that I am biased.  Still, there is no arguing with the fact that Eric Berry has earned the right to be considered among the top players in the country this season and to be considered for the Heisman.  I am unequivocally behind the Tennessee’s campaign to promote Berry’s Heisman candidacy.

That said, I am less that optimistic about his chances…

I say that because, since only one truly defensive player has previously won the Heisman—which I am sure every Tennessee fan remembers all too well—the precedent is somewhat weak.  Furthermore, given the national media’s love affair with Tim Tebow, I expect that every possible machination that can occur to ensure Tebow winning the trophy for the second time will be brought to bear, if at all possible.

There is also the fact that exaggerated hype often leads to less-than-stellar performances since, with everyone talking about how great a particular player is, the target on their back gets even bigger when facing opponents.  That is not to say that I doubt Berry’s ability to produce in the same way he has in the past, but recognizes that opposing teams will be gunning for him … and staying away from him.

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The Tennesseeum

The Tennesseeum | Gate 21

Note: The Tennesseeum is in its infancy, but I hope to eventually develop it into a virtual museum (hence “Tennessee-um”) of rosters, images, articles, and records pertaining to the Vols.  For now, however, it is little more than a landing page for current rosters and a few other items of interest.

If you have any content that you think belongs in a virtual museum dedicated to the Vols, feel free to contact me.

football 2009 Football Collection:


football Other Collections:

Tennessee Volunteers The Cumberland Wing:

Dedicated to the sights, sounds and history of that little collection of buildings along Cumberland Avenue known simply as “The Strip


Tennessee Volunteers The Tennessee Home for the Visually Offensive:

A virtual museum of some of the finest Farks (a/k/a “photoshopped”) images from the world of sports that the web has to offer including the following sub-collections:


This virtual museum is under construction.

New Collections Debuting Soon!!

2009 Vols Football Roster

The 2009 Vols Football Squad

All data and information courtesy of UT Sports.com
Navigation: Coaching StaffAssistant Coaches2009 Alphabetical RosterThe TennesseeumReturn to Top

football bullet Coaching Staff

Name Title
Lane Kiffin Head Coach
Ed Orgeron Assistant. Head Coach • Recruiting Coordinator • Defensive Line Coach
Monte Kiffin Defensive Coordinator
Jim Chaney Offensive Coordinator • Tight Ends

football bullet Assistant Coaches

Name Title Name Title
James Cregg Offensive Line Willie Mack Garza Defensive Backs
Eddie Gran Running Backs • Special Teams David Reaves Quarterbacks
Lance Thompson Linebackers Frank Wilson Wide Receivers

football bullet 2009 Alphabetical Roster

No.
Name
Pos.
Ht.
Wt.
Yr.
Exp.
Hometown (Prev School)
36
Anthony Anderson
DB
6-1
179
So.
Sq.
Knoxville (Austin-East)
60
Carson Anderson
C
6-2
267
Fr.
RS
Florence, Ala. (Florence)
47
Jerod Askew
LB
6-1
230
Fr.
HS
Chesapeake, Va. (Oscar Smith HS)
39
Ben Bartholomew
TE
6-2
250
So.
1L
Nashville (Montgomery Bell Academy)
14
Eric Berry
DB
5-11
203
Jr.
2L
Fairburn, Ga. (Creekside)
86
Willie Bohannon
DE
6-2
230
Fr.
RS
Mobile, Ala. (Blount)
63
Minor Bowens
OL
6-3
293
Jr.
Tr.
Memphis (Tennessee State Univ.)
54
William Brimfield
OT
6-5
346
So.
Sq.
Norway, S.C. (Hunter-Kinard-Tyler)
11
Bryce Brown
RB
6-0
215
Fr.
HS
Wichita, Kan. (Wichita East HS)
94
Wes Brown
DT
6-4
257
Sr.
3L
Athens, Ala. (Athens)
11
Todd Campbell
WR
6-0
186
So.
Sq.
Nashville (Franklin)
9
Bram Cannon
QB/H
6-2
195
Sr.
1L
Memphis (Briarcrest)
45
Kevin Cooper
FB
6-0
247
Jr.
1L
Chattanooga (Baylor)
80
Jeff Cottam
TE
6-8
260
Sr.
3L
Germantown (Germantown)
Geoff Courtney
WR/H
6-1
180
Jr.
Sq.
Knoxville (Farragut)
53
Morgan Cox
DS
6-4
226
Sr.
2L
Collierville (Evangelical Christian
8
Jonathan Crompton
QB
6-4
228
Sr.
3L
Waynesville, N.C. (Tuscola)
96
Chad Cunningham
P/PK
6-3
198
Jr.
2L
Dawsonville, Ga. (Dawson County)
Albert Davies
DB
5-10
200
Jr.
Tr.
Charlotte, N.C., (Middle Tennessee State)
19
Chris Donald
LB
6-1
224
So.
Sq.
Huntingdon (Huntingdon)
78
Aaron Douglas
OT
6-6
282
Fr.
RS
Maryville (Maryville)
23
Sam Edgmon
FB
6-1
220
So.
Sq.
Pulaski (Giles County)
20
Mike Edwards
DB
5-10
170
Fr.
HS
Cleveland, Ohio (Glenville Academic Campus)
15
Cory Eichholtz
DB
5-8
180
Fr.
Sq.
Knoxville (Bearden)
25
Art Evans
DB
6-1
173
So.
1L
Lakeland, Fla. (Evangel Christian)
38
C.J. Fleming
DB
5-10
173
So.
Sq.
Richmond, Va. (Highland Springs)
90
Steven Fowlkes
DE
6-4
229
Fr.
RS
College Park, Ga. (Banneker)
43
Savion Frazier
LB
6-2
221
Jr.
2L
Woodbridge, Va. (Gar-Field)
6
Derrick Furlow
DB
6-1
190
Sr.
Sq.
Atlanta, Ga. (Crossett [Ark.])
24
Eric Gordon
DB
5-10
187
Fr.
HS
Nashville (Hillsboro HS)
81
James Green
WR
6-3
195
Fr.
HS
Tallahassee, Fla. (Leon HS)
59
Nick Guess
DS
6-3
208
So.
Sq.
Knoxville (Farragut)
87
Quintin Hancock
WR
6-3
207
Sr.
2L
St. Augustine, Fla. (St. Augustine)
2
Montario Hardesty
RB
6-0
215
Sr.
3L
New Bern, N.C. (New Bern)
64
Jonny Harrison
OL
6-2
235
Sr.
Sq.
Vienna, Va. (Catholic Univ.)
44
Josh Hawkins
LB
6-1
223
So.
Sq.
Loudon (Loudon)
25
Steven Hensley
WR
5-10
185
Sr.
Sq.
Coalfield (Univ. of the Cumberlands)
89
Daniel Hood
OL
6-5
255
Fr.
HS
Knoxville (Catholic HS)
93
Montori Hughes
DT
6-4
312
Fr.
HS
Murfreesboro (Siegel HS)
10
Ethan Ingham
PK
6-0
195
Fr.
Sq.
Portland (Gallatin)
15
Janzen Jackson
DB
6-0
180
Fr.
HS
Lake Charles, La. (Barbe HS)
95
Arthur Jeffery
DL
6-4
285
Fr.
HS
Sarasota, Fla. (Booker HS)
Grant Jessen
LB
6-0
210
Fr.
Sq.
Cordova (St. George’s)
Jeremy Jester
TE
6-3
235
Fr.
Sq.
Sevierville (Hargrave Military Acad.)
40
Austin Johnson
FB
6-2
234
So.
1L
Hickory, N.C. (Hickory)
31
Marsalous Johnson
DB
5-9
184
Sr.
3L
Smyrna (Smyrna)
4
Gerald Jones
WR
6-0
199
Jr.
2L
Oklahoma City, Okla. (Millwood)
83
Charles Karlosky
DL
6-3
220
Jr.
Tr.
Cookeville (Tennessee Tech)
47
Greg King
LB
6-3
205
Fr.
HS
Memphis (Melrose HS)
Nick Lamaison
QB
6-1
210
Jr.
JC
Walnut, Calif. (Mt. San Antonio [CA] College)
34
Herman Lathers
LB
6-1
213
Fr.
RS
Baton Rouge, La. (Scotlandville)
Ben Lehning
TE
6-0
230
So.
Sq.
Nashville (David Lipscomb)
26
Daniel Lincoln
PK
6-0
203
Jr.
2L
Ocala, Fla. (Forest)
99
Ben Martin
DE
6-3
239
Jr.
2L
Cincinnati, Ohio (La Salle)
46
Andre Mathis
DT
6-2
280
Sr.
2L
Erie, Pa. (Cathedral Prep)
3
Darren Myles, Jr.
S
6-2
190
Fr.
HS
Atlanta, Ga. (Carver HS)
65
Jacques McClendon
OG
6-3
324
Sr.
3L
Cleveland (The Baylor School)
5
Rico McCoy
LB
6-1
220
Sr.
3L
Washington, D.C. (St. John’s College HS)
50
Josh McNeil
C
6-4
280
Sr.
3L
Collins, Miss. (Collins)
37
Nigel Mitchell-Thornton
LB
6-0
229
Fr.
HS
Stone Mountain, Ga. (Stephenson HS)
6
Denarius Moore
WR
6-1
190
Jr.
2L
Tatum, Texas (Tatum)
Jon Morrison
DE
6-2
255
So.
Sq.
Knoxville (Farragut)
97
Chase Nelson
DT
6-4
292
Jr.
Sq.
Tulsa, Okla. (Union)
97
Robert Nelson
LB
6-0
205
Fr.
HS
Stone Mountain, Ga. (Stone Mountain HS)
Michael Odell
WR
6-0
211
So.
Sq.
Kodiak, Alaska (Kodiak)
27
David Oku
RB
5-10
186
Fr.
HS
Midwest City, Okla. (Carl Albert HS)
30
Nyshier Oliver
ATH
5-10
180
Fr.
HS
Jersey City, NJ (Saint Peter’s Prep)
28
Tauren Poole
RB
5-10
203
So.
1L
Toccoa, Ga. (Stephens County)
77
Cody Pope
OG
6-6
288
So.
Sq.
Julian, Calif. (Cathedral Catholic)
29
Stephaun Raines
DB
5-10
179
So.
Sq.
Dalton, Ga. (Coffeyville [Kan.] CC)
56
Nick Reveiz
LB
5-10
220
Jr.
2L
Farragut (Farragut)
45
Shane Reveiz
LB
5-11
210
So.
Sq.
Farragut (Farragut)
83
Kevin Revis
OL
6-4
265
Fr.
HS
Evansville (Rhea County HS)
47
Chip Rhome
P
6-3
200
So.
Tr.
Christiana (Austin Peay State Univ.)
51
Vladimir Richard
OL
6-4
300
Sr.
2L
Sunrise, Fla. (Piper)
7
Nu’Keese Richardson
WR
5-10
165
Fr.
HS
Pahokee, Fla. (Pahokee HS)
41
Dennis Rogan
DB
5-10
178
Jr.
2L
Knoxville (Fulton)
21
Austin Rogers
WR
6-2
190
Sr.
3L
Nashville (David Lipscomb)
83
Zach Rogers
WR
6-2
170
Fr.
HS
Nashville (David Lipscomb HS)
79
Chris Scott
OT
6-5
346
Sr.
3L
Riverdale, Ga. (Lovejoy)
74
Jarrod Shaw
OG
6-4
332
Jr.
1L
Lafayette, La. (Northside)
75
JerQuari Schofield
OL
6-6
315
Fr.
HS
Aiken, S.C. (South Aiken HS)
17
Nick Stephens
QB
6-4
227
Jr.
1L
Flower Mound, Texas (Flower Mound)
88
Luke Stocker
TE
6-6
240
Jr.
2L
Berea, Ky. (Madison Southern)
40
Jake Storey
LB
5-11
218
So.
Sq.
Titusville, Fla. (Astronaut)
66
Cody Sullins
C
6-1
260
Sr.
2L
Cottontown (White House)
69
Cory Sullins
OL
6-1
270
Sr.
1L
Cottontown (White House)
98
Rae Sykes
DE
6-2
255
So.
JC
Alcoa (Alcoa HS/Coffeyville CC)
10
Marsalis Teague
ATH
5-10
180
Fr.
HS
Paris (Henry County HS)
71
Dallas Thomas
OT
6-5
268
Fr.
RS
Baton Rouge, La. (Scotlandville)
52
Victor Thomas
DT
6-4
286
Jr.
1L
Olive Branch, Miss. (Olive Branch)
42
LaMarcus Thompson
LB
6-1
221
Jr.
2L
Lithonia, Ga. (Redan HS)
9
Daryl Vereen
LB
6-0
213
So.
1L
Charlotte, N.C. (North Mecklenburg)
13
Brent Vinson
DB
6-0
201
Jr.
2L
Hampton, Va. (Hargrave Military)
23
Prentiss Waggner
DB
6-2
177
Fr.
RS
Clinton, La. (Clinton)
84
Chris Walker
DE
6-3
232
Jr.
2L
Memphis (Christian Brothers)
58
Marlon Walls
DL
6-2
225
Fr.
HS
Olive Branch, Miss. (/Hargrave Military Academy)
1
Brandon Warren
WR
6-2
216
Jr.
1L
Alcoa (Florida State Univ.)
Matt Wegzyn
TE
6-3
230
Fr.
Sq.
Northville, Mich. (Northville)
22
Rod Wilks
DB
6-0
220
Fr.
RS
Smyrna (Smyrna)
55
Dan Williams
DT
6-3
327
Sr.
2L
Memphis (Memphis East)
57
Gerald Williams
DE
6-4
248
Jr.
1L
Lauderdale Lakes, Fla. (City Col. of San Fran.)
33
Toney Williams
TB
6-0
218
Fr.
HS
Alpharetta, Ga. (Milton HS)
Tyler Wolf
DB
6-0
200
Jr.
Sq.
Cookeville (Cookeville)

Navigation: Coaching StaffAssistant Coaches2009 Alphabetical RosterThe TennesseeumReturn to Top

2009 Big Orange Roundtable: Week 3

This Week’s Roundtable is hosted by:

Your Mother Slept with Wilt Chamberlain

This week’s Big Orange Roundtable is hosted by Thomas the Terrible over at YMSWWC.  As you may have noticed, I have been a bit scarce this week, while HSH has been burning it up with his awesome series of 2009 SEC Football Previews (which, by the way, are now linked and accessible via the links on the countdown widget in the sidebars).  Given the fact that he has done yeoman’s work this week already (and the fact that I have been so un-helpful due to a spate of pesky depositions), this week I am flying solo on the Big Orange Roundtable.  Which pretty much means that this set of responses will suck more than usual.

At any rate, here are my thoughts for the week:

Week 3

1) Now that we have covered the receivers & QB’s, let’s get to the running game.  Just how much improved do you think the running game will be??

bullet Lawvol: Every time I make predictions about how good someone is going to be, how many games someone will win, or how likely it is that Charlie Weiss develops a gravitational field and causes opposing coaches to go into orbit, I look like a fool.  I am awful at this sort of thing.

I suppose that Niels Bohr got it right when he said “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.”

All that said, I do think that the running backs this year have the chance to really do some special things … or fall flat on their faces.  We really have no choice but to lean on them.  My gut tells me that Bryce Brown will be great someday, but that it is simply unreasonable to expect him to come exploding out of the gates from day one.  While he might end up factoring-in significantly by mid-season I don’t see him being the cure-all for the Vols offensive woes from last season immediately.

For this reason, I see Montario Hardesty as the man on which the Vols’ early-season offensive hopes hangs.  If he can stay healthy and stay focused, I think he has the potential to really put up some gaudy numbers behind the re-tooled offensive line with its zone-blocking scheme.  Of course, no matter how good Hardesty may be, if Tennessee cannot improve its passing game at least a little, then defenses are simply going to stack-up to kill the run all day long.  As a result, I think whether Hardesty is able to actually make things happens depends a great deal on whether the quarterback under center can play his role effectively.  If so, then I think that Tennessee’s backs should be more than strong enough to score some points.  If not, then the scores may be low—and the risk of injuries to the running backs great—as opposing defenses pound away at the Vols ground attack.

Still, I am hopeful and optimistic that running backs, now coached by Eddie Gran, are up to the challenge.

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