Tennessee Football: Dooley's Heroes for 2010-2011
As I browse the Internet for Derek Dooley images and videos, I keep seeing his passion.
That might seem crazy because if all anyone was to see is the interviews he has given to this point, you would think he was a choir boy. However, I truly do not believe this to be the case.
Sometimes people like to mess with the quiet guy until the heat of the moment comes and he knocks them on their butt.
Sure the bullies when we were growing up might end up getting the upper hand, but they remembered the next time they messed with the kid.
Evidence is Chris Petersen, head coach of Boise State, saying how glad he was to not have to tangle with Dooley anymore.
Apparently, the scrappy kid inspired one of Petersen's clan enough that he wanted to come along for the ride as well in the name of Justin Wilcox, Boise State's defensive coordinator the last couple of years.
Dooley believes in discipline and doing his talking on the field with execution. There will be no celebrating when they are losing, as Vol fans have seen in the past, where some Tennessee player celebrates because he made a big hit.
It always made me vomit a little in my mouth to see such ignorance.
He can't do it alone no matter how scrappy he is, however.
He needs some heroes to step up and be leaders, from incoming freshmen to assistant coaches.
In the following slides are big names I look to really help the Vols do some great things this year.
When all is said and done Tennessee might not be dominant but they definitely will have the respect of every team they play as long as they take their head coach's queue.
Offensive Coordinator: Jim Chaney
A pretty well-traveled guy is Mr. Chaney. From tutoring Drew Brees at Purdue to coaching tight ends with the St. Louis Rams.
He gets to dust off the rust on his play calling this year with him pretty much having full reign over the offense.
Lots of tight end plays will be used this year, which is pretty much par for the course considering Chaney and Dooley's history coaching tight ends.
Though he was with the Vols last year, he was really limited in actual play calling with every Vol fan's favorite person Lane Kiffin calling the plays on Saturdays.
He seems to really love Tennessee considering he didn't defect when the sky was falling back in January like most of the other coaches did.
Some followed the "HYPE" to USC and some decided the situation was just way too sticky to hang around, but not Jim Chaney.
He let Dooley know he loved the Vols and helped assist in keeping the broken recruiting class from completely shattering.
Look for lots of play action to the tight ends as long as he keeps the line intact to establish the running game first.
Something tells me Chaney knows its his time now, and as the old saying goes: "When in charge, take charge."
That's exactly what he has in mind.
Wide Reciever: Gerald Jones
It's his time to shine.
He was relied on too heavily to help Phillip Fulmer keep his job running the G-Gun as a sophomore in 2008 and was injured much of last year in the short-lived Kiffin era.
Jones seems to really be ready to step up to his full potential this year.
Normally a quiet person, he has spoken up this Spring with letting Vol fans know that he is not as concerned about all the departures this year as many would believe.
Sure, a senior is supposed to stand behind his team no matter what, but never has he shown so much praise for a quarterback like he has transfer Matt Simms.
It seems these two have a chemistry that he and recently departed Nick Stevens never could obtain.
If he stays off the injury list, he will be leading a very young but talented receiving corps this season.
But even if he can't stay healthy he seems ready to take a leadership role, which is what the All-Star cast of young receivers are going to need.
Tight End: Luke Stocker
Another All-Vol candidate is Luke Stocker.
He skipped the chance of being a highly sought after draft prospect to stay for his senior year.
Stocker's name seems to come up in every article referring to Spring ball this year.
He is even helping the offensive line get set in the correct positions.
As many offensive coordinators as this young man has had, he definitely knows what right looks like.
Look for Stocker to be one of the main targets this season and possibly the safety outlet as he provides a big athletic target for even the blindest of quarterbacks to find when the pressure is mounting.
With the inexperienced line Tennessee is dealing with, look for Stocker to be saving the quarterback a lot this year.
Running Back: Taureen Poole
I agree that the loss of Bryce Brown (pictured) can't help a team trying to resurface from the rubble, but some Vol fans didn't like how it seemed that Brown shied away from contact at times last year.
Enter Taureen Poole, who shined bright last Spring, constantly breaking long runs and punishing any linebacker that got in his way.
Well, he has picked up where he left off last March.
In two scrimmages so far, he is averaging over eight yards a carry. Considering no other running back is even coming close to those numbers it should tell you something.
Never getting his shot last year behind an All-SEC running back in Montario Hardesty and seemingly the head coach's pick, Poole showed he is ready to steam roll through defenses even without the offensive line's help.
If he can get a seam he is gone, as long runs are his specialty.
They will need the spark he can provide as the offensive line could struggle the majority of the time.
Defensive Gurus: Justin Wilcox, Lance Thompson, and Chuck Smith
That's right folks.
One of Tennessee's legends has come back home.
He's bringing all his knowledge of how to use your body as a weapon on the defensive line with him.
Chuck Smith has been credited with the resurrection of Albert Haynesworth's career and has been coaching young defensive lineman at his camps for years.
He also was a defensive correspondent with the tenacious Jets defense last year. He's back with his high school buddy Dooley and motivated more than ever to bring his Alma Mater back to glory.
Lance Thompson, like Jim Chaney, is another class act.
He looked at the falling sky and laughed in its face.
One heck of a recruiter, he is also a pretty good linebackers coach and motivator. Being one of Saban's boys along with Dooley at LSU, and later on without Dooley at Alabama, they know what it takes to win games.
With all the injuries at linebacker last year, Thompson has done one heck of a good job getting this crew trained up to par. What once was a position of concern is now one of depth as many players have gotten playing time which makes this squad very dangerous.
Justin Wilcox is coming for a piece of the SEC pie to see if he can work the same magic he did for Boise State last year.
Once a team known for their offense, he made their defense a legitimate squad during his tenure as the defensive coordinator.
I don't know what was more impressive, whether it was making an offensive juggernaut like Oregon look like a high school team or seeing Andy Dalton of TCU constantly sitting on his backside in the Fiesta Bowl.
We will see if he is Wonderboy or just someone who did well in the WAC.
I have a feeling it will be in the form of a hero.
Middle Linebacker: Nick Reveiz
Nothing was more heartbreaking than seeing the heart and soul of the Tennessee team limping off the field during the Ohio game last year.
A walk-on from Farragut High School in Knoxville, Nick Reveiz has been defying odds since he walked onto campus. No one works harder in the weight room or the practice field.
Being made to wear a red jersey, meaning no contact for much of the spring, Nick is not a happy camper.
He is chomping at the bit to get out there and deliver one of his signature bone-crushing blows he is so well known for.
He may not be as fast or big as most Division 1 linebackers, but he is very smart and picks up on defenses very quickly.
He could be considered another coach with his tutoring of Herman Lathers last year and now converted fullback Austin Johnson.
He may have trained Johnson a little too well considering he is getting the biggest load of tackles this spring. Not to worry, though, Nick Reveiz will be on the field, because he provides all the fire to make the train run.
Look for Nick Reviez to make it on the field for Saturday's upcoming Orange and White game.
If I was a running back, I hope he rests that rehabilitated knee until fall.
Strong Safety: Janzen Jackson
Still trying to prove he is not a bad kid after that bad episode of dumb and dumber last year at a gas station, Janzen Jackson will make himself a scary opponent for SEC foes come fall.
Jackson had a Tennessee nation buzzing last year with his bone-crushing hits and athletic plays against the pass, so nothing hurt the fans more than to see him in a Tennessee hoodie getting arrested with two other teammates for holding up two kids that looked like they couldn't afford the hamburgers they were eating.
Jackson was proven to not be an accomplice, but simply at the wrong place at the wrong time as all charges were dropped. Right or wrong, it is all water under the bridge.
He learned from someone who is already being held as a Tennessee legend, Eric Berry. That's right, potential top-five draft pick Eric Berry.
Berry was known to say that Jackson is far more talented then he was at that point in his career.
That's a scary thought considering Berry was 75 percent of what offensive coordinators planned against when playing the Vols last season.
Lets hope Jackson has his head on straight now and can focus on football.
If he does, I see nothing but great things in this kid's future.
Neyland Stadium: The Fans
Once a feared venue, Neyland Stadium has given away some of its dominance over the past couple of years.
It's ultimately up to the fans that fill these seats every weekend. I mean, they only have to sell a little over 100,000 tickets. What else is there to do in East Tennessee on a Saturday?
Football is still a very passionate sport for Vol fans, however, they have not had as much to cheer about lately.
It's time they become the 12th man once again.
Hopefully the fans will buckle in for a long scrappy ride with Dooley and gang. As long as the effort and heart is there, I see no reason for Neyland Stadium not to be rocking every Saturday.