Derek Dooley on SEC expansion: 'I'm a traditionalist'

Derek Dooley on SEC expansion: 'I'm a traditionalist'

September 7th, 2011 by Patrick Brown in Sports - College

University of Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley speaks to the press during an event.

University of Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley speaks...

Photo by Jenna Walker /Times Free Press.

KNOXVILLE - Derek Dooley is more focused on his University of Tennessee football team's game against Cincinnati on Saturday, but he was asked about the potential move of Texas A&M to the SEC.

"I don't really have many thoughts on it, other than the questions we all have -- is there another one, how are we going to do the scheduling," the Volunteers' second-year coach said Wednesday morning.

"I'm not a decision-maker, and I'm a traditionalist. I think we had a real good thing, and I hope we don't disrupt it too much and we preserve that this is a special league. One of the reasons it's so special is we don't day-trade our teams. We'll see, but the landscape is changing. It's that old saying -- it's not about the money, it's about the amount."


Dooley spoke more about his own team, and UT's assistant coaches met with the media per the usual Wednesday post-practice routine. Here are some notable quotes:

"We've got four guys who have ability, but what we've got to do is turn ability into production, and we haven't done that yet. It'll come in time, we just have to be patient. We can't forget, I mean, we act like our offensive line is the Green Bay Packers. These guys are four sophomores and a junior, so it's hard. It's hard to play up front, it takes time, it takes reps, and they're going to be there -- but I don't know when" -- Dooley on his running backs and the Vols' running game.

"The ball was out way too much. We were very fortunate what took place in the ball game as loose as we was with the football, so that's been a point of emphasis. Basically 90 percent of the emphasis has been on ball security, so hopefully we'll get that cleared as we move into this ball game." -- offensive coordinator Jim Chaney on the Vols' offensive performance against Montana. UT fumbled six times and recovered all six.

"I was pleased with how he played in some situations. He threw a couple balls up that I thought he probably shouldn't have, but for the most part he and I only had disagreements on two or three plays that I thought he played poorly. That's way down from the previous occasions I've had with Tyler." -- Chaney on quarterback Tyler Bray's performance against Montana.

"The big picture is the execution at every level, and that has to improve. We obviously had some misfits in the run game, we missed some pattern matches during the game obviously but as a whole I thought the guys played hard. But we've got make a big jump this week because the speed at which these guys play is going to be different than last week." -- defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox on UT's performance against Montana.

"Justin is maturing at a fast pace. I can say that his improvement from last year, at the end of last year to the present, has been tremendous. If he continues to get better and improve, I think that the sky is the limit for him. I'm very excited about what he can do and what he can be. The good thing about him is he listens and he studies the game and he's going to get better. It's exciting for me." -- receivers coach Charlie Baggett on sophomore Justin Hunter.

""Obviously, I think Art's knocking on the door with a big play. I think any time you get a touchdown on defense, you need to be rewarded for that. I think he's knocking on the door, and I was happy with some of the things Izauea did. Izauea's come along a good deal. I think there's still four guys who are going to play out there, and still feel good about those four." -- secondary coach Terry Joseph on status of starting cornerbacks Marsalis Teague and Justin Coleman.


Defensive tackle Maurice Couch was integrated a little more in Wednesday's practice, but Dooley said he's day to day with a knee sprain. Defensive tackle Malik Jackson was back at practice after missing Tuesday's workout because he was sick.

More coverage in Thursday's Times Free Press. Follow Tennessee beat writer Patrick Brown on Twitter for more continuous updates.