Hello Darkness, my old friend
One of the side benefits of having to endure all of the nonsense about Butch Jones actually thinking positive thoughts is that it has distracted us from the old habit of rehashing for the thousandth time the misery of the last decade. It’s kind of too bad that Dave Hooker didn’t post his Top 10 reasons for Tennessee’s slide over the past decade last year sometime, because it’s actually one of the better treatments of the issue even if it is, hopefully, old news. Me, I’m side-stepping the blame-game and just trying to identify the first domino to tip, which I believe was Fulmer’s hiring of Dave Clawson at the wrong time. Lots of action set in motion by that ill-fated decision.
- From the Knoxville News Sentinel, Dan Fleser has a piece rounding up all of the latest on the Vols’ new emphasis on toughness, and John Adams says Team 121 could use a bit of the 2007 team’s resourcefulness. Side note, KNS has like the messiest-coded pages on the internet. This has been a public service announcement.
- SB Nation’s Bill Connelly ranks every SEC team using all of his fancy numbers, charts, and stuff. Spoiler: Tennessee is in “Tier 3” with six other teams, after a Tier 2 consisting of Auburn and LSU and Tier 1 consisting of the team you think is in Tier 1.
- 247Sports has a nice feature on Jajuan Jennings, who they rank as No. 4 on their ongoing list of Tennessee’s most important players in 2017. And Scout, which is now showing up on 247‘s page, has a similarly nice feature on offensive lineman Marcus Tatum, who’s trying to work his way into significant playing time, largely by gaining weight. I didn’t follow it all the way to the end, but I think the article concludes with a slideshow documenting Tatum’s weight gain. Incidentally, my Facebook page shows basically the same thing.
- Defensive tackle Kendal Vickers is making me cringe by admitting that “every D-lineman hates to be cut-blocked” when asked about the challenges of playing Georgia Tech. Are you worried about injuries to defensive tackles in the very first game of the season? Join the club!
- Butch Jones has attached “Quarterback Leadership Cameras” to the QBs, and they record every single little thing they do so it can be subjected to criticism by the coaching staff later. Woo!
- New punter commit Paxton Brooks says he “just felt like Tennessee was my home.” Missed opportunity to use “home sweet home” there, but that’ll come.
- High five to hoopster Grant Williams, who lobbied John Currie to open Smokey’s Sports Grill in Anderson Training Center for summer sessions so the athletes didn’t have to bulk up on Gus’ Good Times Deli. I mean, Gus and his seasoned fries are partly responsible for some of the aforementioned images on my Facebook page, but I’m not an athlete and “offensive-lineman-shaped” does not equal “offensive lineman,” so good call, Currie.
- If a lawn mower company is going to sponsor a bowl game played on artificial turf, it had better at least be named the “Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl.”