Vol Football Report: Assistants' Insight

Monday, August 12, 2013 - by special report to chattanoogan.com

KNOXVILLE  -- Tennessee's assistant coaches met with the media following the first of two practices on Monday.

 

A few items of note in this morning's practice. Vincent Dallas worked out at cornerback. It marks a return to the secondary for the second time for Dallas, who has yo-yoed between receiver and defensive back in his three years with the Vols.

 

"We're trying to develop some depth at the position," defensive coordinator John Jancek said. "Vincent has experience there so we're taking a look at it. ... He was more than willing. Great kid, very attentive, listened, picked up a couple things and this afternoon we'll know a little bit more."

 

Also, freshman Jalen Reeves-Maybin, saw time as a linebacker after working in the secondary early in camp.

 

"I see physicality, he's a very smart player, and he's got good size," Jancek said on Reeves-Maybin. "I think his natural fit is going to be at linebacker as we move forward. He's only going to get bigger and we need some help at that position. He's a guy that I would say has the skillset to play all three positions."

 

We are going to take a look at comments from the coaches on various members of the Vols.

 

DEFENSIVE LINE

 

(Steve Stripling On Danny O'Brien)

"Danny O'Brien is a warrior. He's probably got the best mental toughness of the group and I think now he's just got to keep working his skills and his athleticism, which is better than the spring. He's improved in those areas."

 

(Steve Stripling On Corey Miller)

"Yes he has (been a leader) and I think that's the advantage of my group right now. I have six seniors. All six have done an outstanding job of being a leader. So, obviously when someone has to step up that really helps you that he has the maturity and it's not a freshman."

 

(Steve Stripling On Jason Carr)

"He has the stature, he has the personality, and he has the ability. What he lacks is the training. He, typical, thinks he can get away with everything he got away with in high school and in college you can't do that. So, for him it's strictly a matter of soundness, of learning your techniques and applying them."

 

(Steve Stripling On Corey Vereen)

"Well, he had a big smile on his face (when he had his black stripe removed). I would say this, like every other coach, I would've bet 100 dollars that he would have got his stripe off first and he would've had he not got injured. He's injured but kids still respect him so much because now he's approaching the injury just like he does football. Treatment ten hours a day, film study five hours a day, he's nonstop."

 

(Steve Stripling On Jacques Smith)

"Again, (despite his injury) he's showing great leadership and energy, understanding what the other guys are going through, the grind. He's out there doing a great job of leading."

 

DEFENSIVE BACKS

 

(John Jancek On Malik Foreman and Cameron Sutton)

"Malik (Foreman) and Cameron (Sutton) are going to play. That's the reality of it. I'm glad they're here, they're going to take their lumps early, but the thing that I like about them is, and Cam especially has a really good demeanor. He doesn't get too frustrated, too up or too low, so I think he has the right demeanor if you're going to play a freshman. Because they're going to take some lumps. He's got the ability to snap-and-clear and come back."

 

(Willie Martinez On Cameron Sutton and Malik Foreman)

"They are a work in progress. We still have a long way to go. They are getting better of understanding our defense but it is nowhere near where it needs to be as far as fundamentals and technique. They are just starting to learn, the guys that we had from spring, they understood the tempo and for them it is the first time around. They are still adjusting to that speed."

 

(Willie Martinez On JaRon Toney)

"Experience... He played some last year. It is showing from the spring too. His retention has been pretty good from the back. Experience you can see it. He is a really good special teams player too. Understanding leverage, understanding his assignment is crucial because that is a position that you have to know a lot. You have to be involved in the checks. It gives us a tremendous amount of experience that some of the other guys don't have."

 

"He is one of the guys that is wanted on special teams by all of the coaches. I see that [he has a chip on his shoulder from being a walk-on]. But I see his personality. He is a kid that practices really hard, has a good attitude and is really coachable and you can't ask mush more than that."

 

(Willie Martinez On Vincent Dallas)

"We are just in the process right now of looking at some guys and trying to get our best available on the field so we are taking a look at Vincent. We love Vincent. We love Vincent as a staff. He is an unselfish player and has a great attitude and did a good job.

 

"The great thing about it is, he has played defensive back before. So he's got awareness and anytime you play the opposite position, in this case it is the wide receiver and defensive back, there are a lot of similarities and lingo that he hears so he knows how to attack it. It is very good. He feels comfortable with it."

 

(John Jancek On Michael Williams)

"Mike is probably the most-improved DB we've got. He's just got to keep getting better and better. I'm pleased with Mike's progress."

 

LINEBACKERS

 

(John Jancek On A.J. Johnson)

"He's done everything we've asked him. The way we're going to be successful is by playing team defense, everybody doing their job, every man - 1-to-11 - each and every single play. That's how we've approached it with A.J., as well as all the players on our defense. It's not just one guy running around making 130 or 140 tackles and playing lousy defense, it's about the team and playing team defense. That's been our emphasis."

 

(Tommy Thigpen On A.J. Johnson)

"He has an uncanny knack for playing in traffic, things look congested most guys can't see, for a big guy he has an uncanny ability to get the ball, he has a nose for it. I mean there are a lot of things you can't coach, I mean I look at him some times and say 'How did you make that play?' He has a great knack, a great sense of how to get to the ball then he's such a strong tackler, he very rarely misses a tackle."

 

(Tommy Thigpen On Curt Maggitt)

"He will start in a couple days... he's been doing all of our drills and stuff. He's starting to work on his pass skills and slow to start building. He's trying hard and we teach a lot of effort, that's one of our main priorities, effort, effort, effort on every single play. He dropped off in one scrimmage and we got after him and he came back and responded to that."

 

(Tommy Thigpen On Dontavis Sapp and Brent Brewer)

"You want guys to be playing in space as those two guys being in the back end before that's got to be their advantage. They don't panic. DBs are usually out there in space so the offense is trying to take advantage of that. Guys like Brewer and Sapp, they don't panic when they get out in space."

 

(Tommy Thigpen On Jalen Reeves-Maybin)

"He'll learn as he goes along, as time goes on he'll start getting the calls. We see that in practice now, he's not afraid of contact by any stretch of the imagination. He gets after it and he's a really smart and cerebral kid and that's kind of our motto to him. Great linebacker, just smart and tough you know and he possess a lot of good qualities of a linebacker."

 

(Willie Martinez On Jalen Reeves-Maybin)

"We are trying to get the best players on the field. Where we think it's their best position. I love Jalen. Jalen is a smart tough football player and we are going to just take a look at his situation the next couple of days because we have the time, why not do it."

 

(Tommy Thigpen On Christian Harris)

"He's coming along, we're going to keep challenging him, the theme of our room is just tough guys, smart guys, a lot of pride. And Christian has a lot of that. He's got all the intangibles of being a really good linebacker. He's strong, he can run, he's a smart kid, and it's just takes experience getting out there and playing more."

 

(Tommy Thigpen On Justin King)

"He's a good guy. I tell you, every day I can see the confidence in him, he's a lot more presence then when he first got there, of course, new defense so guys were asked to talk and nobody wanted to ask questions. Now when we come into the room, guys got their notebooks asking questions, they're not afraid to ask because they don't understand something. We can draw this on the board for them. So now, they're students of the game so they want to know how the defense moves, what are the advantages of it, what are the disadvantages of it, what kind of techniques are they need to use. The fact that you ask a lot of questions tells me it's in tune."

 

RUNNING BACKS

(Robert Gillespie On Rajion Neal)

"He's been doing well. Just has to get better in some areas in pass protection. Just still getting his body in bad position in some of those aspects but overall, his attitude's been pretty good. The competition has made him step his game up and become a better football player. So, so far he's doing pretty good."

 

(Robert Gillespie On Marlin Lane)

"You can just tell that he's more appreciative of being here and being around his teammates. Slowly but surely he's starting to become a guy that's vocal, being a good leader, encouraging guys, coaching when I can't get to a guy because of our speed of practice. I can just tell that he's excited to be back and he's been a really good teammate so far."

 

(Robert Gillespie On Marlin Lane and Rajion Neal)

"Well, I mean the better backs in this conference have depth. I've made those guys understand that Rajion Neal is only going to be as good as Marlin (Lane) can help him become. We've got to have fresh guys in the game. Guys that will want to come out. The tempo and the style that we play, they'll drop off. So, I think that they're starting to buy in to that they need each other to be a good backfield and good running backs."

 

(Robert Gillespie On Justus Pickett)

"He has. He's been a good addition from a lot of different aspects but really good for the meeting room. Very mature, understands it, great attitude, works hard, and slowly but surely he's starting to make all of his teammates, even the guys in the other room, know who he is. So, that's always the first step. That guys are starting to respect the way he plays."

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

 

(Zach Azzanni On Vincent Dallas)

"You know what, those are personale decisions that Coach Jones makes and you know, for our situation at corner right now, I think Coach is just experimenting a little and putting the best players on the field."

 

(Zach Azzanni On Josh Smith)

"Instincts... He's an instinctive player. He catches the ball. He has a lot to work on, but he's instinctual. He's tough. Those are the things that I like about Josh. He's a pleasant surprise and we're happy to have him. He's going to keep getting better and better, just like those other freshmen.

 

(Mike Bajakian On Josh Smith)

"He has made plays. He has very good ball skills, he makes the difficult catches and that is big. We want to get the ball in the hands of the playmakers. Those guys that demonstrate those abilities will find their way onto the field."

 

(Zach Azzanni On Marquez North)

"The biggest thing for a freshman is to take some deep breaths and refocus and keep going, because they keep getting drilled from every direction as far as amount of install, coaches on them, this schedule is rigorous. Our pace is rigorous. Just being able for him to slow it down, to take a deep breath, refocus, and go play the next play. He's really done that. Saturday, or whenever, I don't even know what day of the week, whenever we just scrimmaged here a couple days ago, I thought he really came back, took some deep breaths, worked on things like his stances and things. He's a coachable kid, so that's what's really intriguing about him. That's why you know his game will keep getting better and better."

 

(Mike Bajakian On Marquez North)

"Freshman and veterans, the snap and clear mentality that we preach doesn't come naturally to guys. We are always emphasizing to them no matter how good or bad your last play was you have to focus on the next play. For a freshman to demonstrate the ability to do that just shows that his learning curve is just that much better, it is pretty exciting to see."

 

(Zach Azzanni On Johnathon Johnson and Devrin Young)

"I'm very happy with Johnathn and Devrin [Young]. Both of those guys, I think have really brought it. Devrin has really worked his tail off and brought some good things to the table. I'm pleased with how he is playing right now. Johnathon Johnson - I don't know what we would do without him, just from the depth standpoint. He's a crafty player; he's a productive player. All those three guys, between Pig [Howard], Devrin [Young] and Johnson, are doing a nice job complementing each other in and out of that slot."

 

(Zach Azzanni On Pig Howard)

"Pig started off like gang busters, you know - had a couple of bad doldrums practices here and has picked it back up today. I think he just hit that middle of the camp grind. He's being coachable, he's really trying to do the things I ask him. I can tell by the way he meets, how he comes to meetings, how he walks around the facility. He's a different kid than he was in the spring. Those things translate to the field and now he's taking coaching on the field whereas in the spring, you really didn't know what to expect a little bit. He's fighting a little bit. He's getting better and better."

 

(Zach Azzanni On Ryan Jenkins)

"Ryan is up and down, up and down, up and down. Off the field, on the field he's up and down. He's kind of all over the place right now, which a lot of freshmen are. So, we're just trying to reel him back in to focus. He's a great kid too. I tell you what, there's nobody fighting it right now. He is a yes sir, no sir kid. I mean I can chase him up and down the field, be in his grill telling him, yelling at him, patting him on the butt, it doesn't matter. He's always the same, yes sir, yes sir, yes sir. I know he'll get better."

 

(Zach Azzanni On Drae Bowles)

"Yes, Drae can help us. Drae is a great kid. Drae can really help us on special teams right now. I think his old place where he's kind of showing off a little bit, but you know, as far as receiver spot, we're still waiting to see. I know what he can do from the spring. That's why these young guys are getting all the reps. I want to see what they can do now. As it gets closer to game time, we'll kind of sort it out.

 

QUARTERBACKS

 

(Mike Bajakian On Joshua Dobbs and Riley Ferguson)

"Great progress. They are both very sharp and very talented. I have said that in the past. I am really happy with how they are grasping the offense and how they are coming along physically. They are hungry and they have been hungry since they stepped on campus. It just means they both have promising futures."

 

"I am continually impressed with when we are reviewing and they are quickly spitting out answers in the meeting room and even on the field with how quickly they are able to transition the physical skill that I am looking for into their mechanics."

 

(Mike Bajakian On Justin Worley and Nathan Peterman)

“We like to create competition and that is what we are doing. It is a very competitive situation; I wouldn’t classify it as good or bad, just a competitive situation.”

 

TIGHT ENDS

 

(Mark Elder on Brendan Downs)

"Brendan Downs has been having a good fall camp, still has a lot of things that he needs to improve upon. He's got a high expectation level for himself, as do I, and so as far as that's concerned. He's doing well, I still would like to see him taking some bigger steps forward."

 

(Mark Elder On Woody Quinn and tight end corps)

"We're taking baby steps forward. I'd like to see leaps and bounds at this point in time. So, it's not where I want it. No, it's not. I wish I could say it the other way, but I'm seeing progress, but it's not where it needs to be, and it's not nearly fast enough. Not nearly fast enough at this point."

 

OFFENSIVE LINE

 

(Don Mahoney On Dylan Wiesman)

"The strides he is making each day are encouraging. Again, there are two questions a freshman has to answer when he comes in and truly play as a freshman: can you handle it mentally and physically? He has answered both of those because physically he is able to hold up, and right now, he is one of our most physical guys as far as lockdowns, but he also understands that mental part of that. It is allowing him to play fast. He has definitely worked himself into that role where his opportunity to play is going to be sooner than later from what I originally thought."

 

(Mike Bajakian On Dylan Wiesman)

"When you are recruiting, particularly at that position, all players but specifically the big guys at the offensive, defensive sides of the lines, you look for a guy who plays with a mean streak. We have known Dylan very well since he was an underclassman. He has always demonstrated that mean streak. He always finishes blocks; he has a nasty edge to him. We talk about recruiting personalities, obviously physical skills are important but we recruit guys that have the personality that we are looking for, that championship personality, that championship mentality. Dylan comes in here with that mentality firmly ingrained in him and that is a testament to his high school coach and his high school program. But it is also a testament to the kid and his competitive spirit and his physicality."

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

 

(Mark Elder On special teams)

"We're coming along. I think that the kickers are, their competing. I mean they're working hard. I mean they're is a couple guys that want that spot, both in the actual field goal position and kickoff, and punt as well. The kickoff returners, those guys are just now starting to get those reps. I mean some of the young guys that you're throwing out there, again the drill work. Seeing them catch a kickoff and not necessarily have to make people miss and run the return. That's easy, that's the easy part is catching the kickoff, and it's seeing what they can do with the football, and that's what were now getting to do as we get the eleven on eleven stuff out here on the field. So, the returner stuff, besides the technique, I mean some of the guys have eliminated themselves. The guys that have gone out there when we do drill work and catching the ball, and they don't catch it. Their not getting anymore reps, but now it's a matter of who's catching it in a pressure situation and then what are they doing with that football once they've caught it."

 

ONLY 19 DAYS UNTIL...

 

The Vols will open the 2013 campaign against Austin Peay on Aug. 31. To purchase season tickets, go to UTTix.com.

 

For more information about Tennessee football, visit UTSports.com/football, follow @Vol_Football on Twitter or like the Vols at Facebook.com/VolFootball.

 

SOUND BITES

 

Here are a few of the most important quotes of the day:

 

ASSOC. HEAD COACH/DEF. LINE STEVE STRIPLING

 

»(On what he saw out of the defensive line)

 

"Well, I feel on defense, like the team, we're trying to establish our identity and that's going to be based on playing hard and playing physical, and it's a work in progress. We got a lot of work to do. I think in certain situations in the scrimmage we saw improvement. In certain situations we got a long way to go."

 

»(On who has stepped up to replace injured players)

 

"Injuries are part of the game. We cross-trained, we talked about injuries, and we just say the next man is ready to go. I think Corey Miller has stepped up and has given us good, solid, consistent play. Again, he needs to become more of a playmaker but right now he has consistently stepped in there."

 

»(On being three weeks away from the opener and the sense of urgency)

 

"No, intense sense of urgency. I talked to the guys every day. Man, this is day nineteen. We don't have time, we've got to continue. Again, we're still at the point of developing, playing hard, playing physical, having mental toughness, but we've got to do it with a sense of urgency since the clock is ticking."

 

»(On what stood out about the D-Line during Saturday's scrimmage)

 

"I thought they handled adversity well. We played poorly in one section; we came back and played good in the next section. That's what I told the team I was most impressed with. Second, I saw for the first time some individual techniques that we had been working that had not showed up, they finally showed up. So, while there were some bright spots, there were lots to be analyzed and to be corrected in there."

 

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR MIKE BAJAKIAN

 

»(On precautionary measures of resting quarterbacks arms)

 

"Just precautionary. A pitcher doesn't get out there and pitch every day. We throw a lot of balls throughout the course of the day, they have both thrown five straight days. With an off day sandwiched in between it gave them 48 hours to rest their arm. So that was the thinking behind that, it was just preventative."

 

»(On the offensive line)

 

"It was good to see that our offensive line, that was our second unit, they came out and they played physically, we played with good tempo, that always helps when we are talking about the run game. Even in the first unit we were able to snap off the 98-yard run and have some production in the run game. That was good to see and that is always going to be a point of emphasis for us."

 

»(On freshmen receivers)

 

"They are a young group that is getting better every day and we are throwing a lot at them every day. To a certain degree it is two steps forward, one step back, they are not where we want them to be yet but they are getting better. Through the course of the rest of training camp and through the course of the season I am sure we will see them with more improvement."

 

»(On a specific tempo wanted on offense)

 

"I do not. Win football games it the only goal. A lot of times - what the things that will slow down the tempo? Obviously, if you are winning and you get to the third and fourth quarter you are going to slow down quite a bit. Last season we had ten wins, the season before we had ten wins. We were in a situation quite often where we were purposefully slowing it down. I am not big into rankings and those types of statistics, I am big into execution and making sure we do what is necessary to win the game."

 

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR JOHN JANCEK

 

»(On live tackling during camp)

 

"We're going to tackle, run our feet and stay up, but there will be some things that when we articulate and get with the offense, we'll actually try and tackle to the ground. If you don't do it, you won't be a very good tackling team. It's a fine line. You run the risk of getting a guy injured, but you do that anyway. Heck, you can get injured walking to class. You have to do it. If you don't tackle, you're not going to be good at it."

 

»(On the defensive line)

 

"It's an opportunity for guys to show what they can do. Unfortunately, it's part of our sport. We'll certainly want those guys in the lineup as soon as they can possibly be back. Our trainer will let us know when we can do that, but you've got to move forward. That's just the reality of it. It's unfortunate. We do miss those guys - they were in the lineup - but we can't slow down. We've got to keep pressing-on and getting better each and every single day with the guys that are able to practice."

 

»(On the veteran presence on the D-Line)

 

"I think they've been pretty quick to learn the system. We're not overly complicated; we don't do a whole lot. So it's just a matter of going out and executing the fundamentals. That's really what I want to see. I want to see a guy strike a man and get off a block. That's the essence of that position. We run a couple of different fronts and some line stunts, but basically it's 1-on-1 every play, you against the man across from you. That's the mentality that we're taking."

 

ASST. HEAD COACH DEFENSE/DEF. BACKS WILLIE MARTINEZ

 

»(On getting the best 11 on the field)

 

"We are just going to take a look at it for a couple of days and the whole idea is to try and get our best 11 on the field."

 

»(On playing freshmen)

 

"I have always played freshmen. You play the best player. If you are ready, you are playing. I am not a big redshirt guy. If you are recruiting the right type of players to play here at Tennessee, then those are guys that are difference makers. You are better off playing them. Again you won't play them if they aren't ready. Our intentions are to play them. We recruit the type of personality kids that we have, I am fine with that. All of the places I have been we have played freshmen. Play the best."

 

»(On Brian Randolph's hit on Marquez North, Saturday)

 

"I was the same as you, I thought Brian did everything that we teach as a coaching staff and was trying to go for the ball. I don't think there was any intention of targeting, but we know that has been a point of emphasis so we are coaching our kids to make sure we properly do that. We are doing that every day. It is too questionable so we are going to continue to talk about it. It is a new rule this year so not only do we have to be concerned with it from the standpoint that they are going to emphasize it, but it will also be replayed too. If you didn't call it, they are going to review it inside 2:00. Anything that is gray, we have to make sure we are teaching the right things to get out of the grayness. Tackle lower."

 

WIDE RECEIVERS COACH ZACH AZZANNI

 

»(On Coach Jones' enthusiasm at practice)

 

"Yes. I think they always need a shock. Unfortunately, I guess I'm always the same out there. Coach does a really good job of shocking them when they need it, pulling them up when they need it. He's probably one of the best that I've been around at what does our team need right now? They need, not literally, but they need a punch in the face a little bit to get them going and they need to pull off, so he's really good at that."

 

»(On freshmen mistakes)

 

"All of that. It has to do with all of that. It has to do with learning how to run routes. A lot of people don't understand that dropping balls, a lot of times has to do with not just eyes and hands, is your route. Marquez [North] drops a couple balls because he has no idea how to run a route yet, so his eyes get around later than a guy that's more polished. That gives you less time to find a ball. So all those things with those young guys are coming into play and you can see them being young and making young mistakes and not learning how to run those routes yet. When they get better and better and better, those balls will be caught."

 

»(On route running)

 

"Yes. It's typical. I teach routes a little bit different. My philosophy is a little bit different. It takes them longer to learn, so that's why you're seeing some dropped passes right now and those kinds of things. Route technique isn't anywhere where I want it to be and it's not going to be as a freshman. It's going to keep getting better and better as the years, months, days go by."

 

»(On persevering through practice)

 

"Yes. They hit a wall. We run, we run a lot and I know that, and I try to pull back as much as I can, but at the same time, it's a fine line. I also need them to play. So yes, they hit a little bit of a wall, but I have to push them through it. They have to love the grind. If I go out there and I'm dull, they're going to be dull, so that's why you don't ever see me dull out there. I'm running around all over the place and they have to feed off me. I told them the other day, you know, when the wall comes, are you going to run into it or are you going to run through it?"

 

RUNNING BACKS COACH ROBERT GILLESPIE

 

»(On Justus Pickett)

 

"It is. Obviously, when you get a guy that's a transfer or even a juco (junior college) player, they come in a little bit hungry. They come in with something to prove. So, I kind of treat him as being like a junior college guy. A guy that comes in, knows he doesn't have long, knows he has to make a big impression on the program and the coaches real real fast and I think he's done that so far. He's a hungry kid, very determined, and so far he's been doing a great job."

 

»(On running behind the offensive line)

 

"Well, I talk all the time about in this league you have to able to run the ball and the better teams are teams that can control the clock and move the chains. We do understand that we have one of the best offensive lines in the country and we have to be able to produce behind them. So, I've challenged those guys and constantly ask who's going to be the thousand yard rusher, who's going to be the guy. Because this offense and that offensive line can produce them but right now I just want to create a competition on who's going to be that guy."

 

»(On the running backs' to-do list)

 

"Protection. The things they do as running backs have to be natural but the things that we constantly work on are protecting the football and protecting the quarterback. So, pass protection and protecting the football/ball security are the two things that we constantly harp on."

 

OFFENSIVE LINE COACH DON MAHONEY

 

»(On the O-Line from scrimmage)

 

"I think they are understanding the part of sustaining blocks longer. Within that fourteen play drive, as positive as that was and the end result, there are still up tempo things that got sloppy. Whether it be pad level or maybe one or two guys not sustaining blocks long enough. It was encouraging the end result, but there is still a lot to teach off of which is good. The thing we can't rely on is big plays. He have to have driven where we sustain the ball and keep the ball for a period of time which was good. Rajion Neal's run was big run was exciting, but we can't rely on big plays.

 

That is probably the big thing with the ones that was a teaching point, and something for us to build on was I didn't think we played consistently as a group. There are guys that played solid but not overall consistently, especially on critical downs. There were some downs especially late in the day were we had the four minute drill. We need to finish that off. We can't have a kicking situation at that point in time. We have to win the game. There were a lot of positives, but there were a lot of teaching points that our players still left the meeting room with yesterday where I said we aren't anywhere close to where we need to be, and they know that. There were some individual guys that did some things wrong, but collectively, we still aren't there."

 

»(On avoiding penalties with four different quarterback cadences)

 

"The one thing is that the rhythm of the cadence that Coach Bajakian makes sure the quarterback is on is staying the same with it. In a way, that he has given a command. You heard Coach Jones out there today, as far as commanding, the alpha male, the voice, the presence that he has with taking control that every quarterback's rhythm has to be the same. When we do several quarterbacks changing at the beginning of practice, it is one quarterback each time giving the cadence so it all the same rhythm whether it be on one, two, hard count and so forth. We work hard at that. All four of them are getting work."

 

LINEBACKERS COACH TOMMY THIGPEN

 

»(On Maggitt returning)

 

"I'll tell you, in spring time you know he was coming from the back to the front getting close to the line so he was a little hesitant about being a linemen. But now, I'll tell you he's gotten a lot stronger he's probably the most viscous guy we've got coming off the walls. Kind of sifting through the room, he really strikes the linemen, really strains hard on every single play. If you ask the guys in the room right now, he's probably playing the most consistent."

 

»(On Al Wilson)

 

"We're talking about alpha males and beta males, alphas being the lions of the jungle, betas being the hyenas. Say Al Wilson is the ultimate alpha, you know and he's the ultimate guy, he won 45 games here only lost five in his whole career, so you talk about a mark to be reached. You see a guy like him, come to talk to your team so it's the things that we preach in our room, toughness and being sparse, then a guy like him come in there in and says the same things we talk about. You know, it's the characteristic of a great linebacker, a great leader.''

 

(E-mail Stan Crawley at wscrawley@earthlink.net)

 


Tim Ensign Wins Fifth Straight Wauhatchie Trail Run

Tim Ensign is still an outstanding and competitive runner, even at age 52. Give him a head start and he’s almost impossible to beat. Such was the case at the Chattanooga Nature Center on Saturday morning for the 30 th annual Wauhatchie Trail Run. This is a one-of-a-kind race where runners are handicapped in time, based on their age and gender. It’s also one of the toughest ... (click for more)

Middle Tennessee Holds Off UTC 68-58

MURFREESBORO, Tenn.---The Chattanooga Mocs dropped a 68-58 decision on the road to a hot-shooting Middle Tennessee squad in Murphy Center Friday night. The loss evens Chattanooga’s record to 6-6, while the Blue Raiders improve to 6-5. Greg Pryor tied for game-high honors with 16 points to go with three assists and two steals. Casey Jones added 10 with two blocks and two steals. ... (click for more)

2 Suspects Sought In Armed Robbery At Highway 153 Long John Silver's

Police are searching for two suspects in an armed robbery that happened Friday morning. At approximately  8:10  a.m. the Chattanooga Police Department responded to 5317 Highway 153 for a robbery at the Long John Silver's.  Officers discovered that two black men, wearing hoodies and masks, entered the Long John Silver's and forced the assistant manager ... (click for more)

Pair Charged With Beating Man With Stick, Taking His Wallet

Two men are charged with beating a man with a large stick while he slept on the steps of a downtown church, then taking his wallet. Jerry Quincy Allen, 45, and James Leo Boas, 40, both of 727 E. 11th St., are charged with aggravated robbery. In the incident on Wednesday, Bradley Casehart said he and a friend were asleep at Tompkin Chapel Church on Palmetto Street. He ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place - And Response

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Scrooge’ Of The Year

As we move into the last weekend before Christmas, the “Scrooge of the Year” has just appeared in Aurora, Ill. Actually Connie Ley has just died. She passed away on Nov. 25, but in her wake left the worst will many around the country have ever heard – her last wishes included that her nine-year-old dog should be put to death, cremated, and buried with her. Bela, a beautiful German ... (click for more)