published Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Sal Sunseri talks potential move to coaching box

KNOXVILLE - Sal Sunseri was giving no hints.

Tennessee's maligned defensive coordinator wasn't willing to reveal if he'd be moving to the coaching booth when the Volunteers play visiting Missouri on Saturday.

"You'll have to wait till Saturday to find that out," he said after Wednesday morning's practice.

Head coach Derek Dooley said Monday the Vols would be making "a lot" of changes defensively, including some game-day changes with how the defensive coaching staff implements and calls the game. The third-year coach said Sunseri "could" coach from the booth. Safeties coach Josh Conklin and graduate assistant Brandon Staley, who helps Sunseri coach linebackers, are the two normal coaches in the booth.

"We're just going to do some things a little bit different, and you guys can see what we're going to do on Saturday when we play," Sunseri said. "He's the boss. Derek's the boss. I think it'll be good."

Sunseri has experience coaching from the booth, and in answering a question about the pros and cons of the bird's-eye view, the first-year coordinator hinted the move would happen.

"To me, I like being up there because you're away from everything," he said. "I think you get better eyes up there. You can see more what's going on.

"The only thing you miss is being around those kids and pushing them and all that, but coach has made a good decision on this and he wants to do it, so we're going to do it."

Tennessee's defense has been the worst statistically in the program's history and allowed 721 yards and 48 points to Troy. The Vols are last in the SEC and 112th nationally in total defense. Tennessee hasn't held an opponent under 30 points in five games.

"I am not disappointed in the kids," Sunseri said. "I'm disappointed in myself. I've just got to keep pushing them and keep on finding out what's going to trigger them to make them better.

"I'm disappointed in myself because I know what's going to work, I know what they have the capabilities of doing and I've just got to get it out of them."

about Patrick Brown...

Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...

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