Friday, August 31, 2007

Mega-phone Madness

Cal was overwhelmed by the one of the top distinguished college football atmospheres in college football last season as they suffered their 35-18 blowout to the mighty Vols. Now, with the Vols on their way to the west coast, how can Cal match that exceptional noise, in an attempt to disrupt the Vols goal of winning the game? Mega-phones. California's athletic department will be handing out mega-phones to the Berkeley crowd on Saturday. They hope to create the same atmosphere as the 107,000+ crazy fans of Vol Nation.

Tennessee senior safety Jonathan Hefney is not impressed.

“They did that in high school,” Hefney said with a smile. “We come from the South,” Hefney said. “We play tough football.

“In high school, we played tough football. We came here (to UT) and it was the same thing. That’s what we're bringing to California just like when they came down last year.”

Can a bunch of West Coast fans seriously get into the Vols' heads, a school that plays in the tough stadium atmospheres of the SEC? This is a team that came back from 21 points down in one of the harshest atmosphere's of LSU's Death Valley in Baton Rouge. This is a team that has won 2 out of the last 3 in the Swamp. This is a team that goes into Tuscaloosa , where every fan hates Phillip Fulmer down to their bones, and comes out victorious.

“We're just going to go in like we did last year and do what we have to do, man to man, throw the zone in there, do whatever we have to do to stay on top of them and not let them get the big play,” Hefney said.

Vols, listen up. You go into Cal and show the how SEC football is played. You're fighting for your school, your city, your state, all the Vols fans around the Nation, a whole region where football reigns supreme, and the millions of SEC fans that call it home.
Go Vols!

LSU - MSU Game Recap - A World Class Beatdown

Thursday night's match up between 2nd ranked LSU and unranked Mississippi State kicked off the SEC season in dramatic fashion. No, it was not even competitive. But it was southern football at it's finest, a rain-drenched, hard fought (initially) battle between classic foes.

The final score doesn't tell the whole story. MSU's defense played well early and LSU's offense struggled to find any kind of a rhythm, but the poor play of State quarterback Mike Henig gave the Tigers' offense ample opportunities to put together scoring drives. Factor in that new LSU Offensive Coordinator Gary Crowton did not really want to show his hand early with much tougher games coming up, and the Tiger's offensive flatness makes more sense.

While Matt Flynn did little to live up to the billing the LSU faithful had given him all off-season as the next great LSU quarterback, Henig made him look like a pro.

Henig finished the day 11 of 28 passing for 120 yards and 6 interceptions. The Tigers scored points after five of his interceptions and he also fumbled a snap on a fourth and 1 play in the first of only two trips into LSU territory.

It is hard to say anything positive about a team that fails to score even a field goal, but the MSU defense played with heart. Unfortunately heart was not enough on that fatal evening in Starkville.

Final Score 45-0

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Vols Land "Big" Recruit

The Vols made one positive step in improving their run game in the 2008 season on Wednesday as 6'5", 315 pound offensive lineman, Preston Bailey stepped to the podium and said he would be playing for the Big Orange next season. Out of Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville, TN, Preston is a 4-star recruit, the number 4 prospect out of Tennessee, and ranked 30 at his position by Rivals.

In the back of Preston's mind, he knew Tennessee was the right place to go, but a visit to Michigan had him second guessing. When it was all said and done, Bailey could just not refrain from the great Rocky Top atmosphere, "playing in the best conference and against the top athletes in the Nation," as Preston put it to terms.

Bailey also seemed very intrigued with the thought of playing under Phillip Fulmer. From his visit, he admires Fulmer greatly as a coach, and as a mentor. His family grew to like Fulmer as well, and Bailey referred to his visit as "Not a college visit, but visiting a friend."

Bailey will join high school teammate Ben Bartholomew in Knoxville next season. Both players are known for their strength and leadership, as well as being great gentlemen and students, and we are happy to have them as a part of the Vols.

College Football is Finally Here


Yes, loyal readers, I awoke to the same smell you did. I sat straight up in my bed (still wearing last evening's attire. Whoa what a night) and the air had a familiar aroma. Then I remembered....It's friggin' college football time!

Tonight, the No. 2 LSU Tigers travel to Starkville to face the unranked Mississippi State Bulldogs.

It's likely to not be a very close game, but it is the first SEC match-up of the year. We will finally see what these LSU fans have been clamoring about regarding Matt Flynn and be able to judge for ourselves whether or not he is the "real deal". Granted this aint Florida, but it is an SEC team and anything can happen.

It is time for tailgating, vulgar displays of beer drinking, beautiful southern college girls, and last but not least, royal ass whippings handed to your most hated rival. (one can hope, right?)

So pick up that 12 pack of your favorite choice beverage, call in a pizza on your way home from work. And tune in to ESPN tonight at 8:00 Eastern Time to see some SEC action.

Thank god it's finally football time.

Sab's prediction:

This one won't be as close as the final score will dictate. Expect MSU to come strong out of the gate, but succumb eventually to the superior talent of the Tigers.

Final Score: 34 -10

Ainge's Broken Pinkie - What to Expect

It has been all over the internet news sites and sports radio, so it is nothing new that Erik Ainge has a broken pinkie finger on his throwing hand. Some have gone as far as projecting backup Jonathan Crompton to get the start versus Cal on Saturday.

Few doubt the ability of Jon Crompton to come in and handle the offense. He did so as a freshman last year and performed as well as could be expected against top SEC foes LSU and Arkansas.

“You’ve got to go out there and compete everyday,” Crompton has said. “That’s what everybody on this team does no matter if you’re first, second, third or fourth team. I think our whole team does a good job with that.”

Crompton came in to the Tennessee program surrounded by all the hype that one would expect when the number one pro style quarterback in the Nation commits to as prestigious a school as the University of Tennessee. While he has been competitive, he has been satisfied with playing the role of a back up his first two years.

“You’ve got to do what’s best for the team,” Crompton said. “You’ve got to know when to be selfish and when not to be.”

But losing a player of Ainge's ability is never good, especially when playing an opponent with the talent that will be seen when Cal takes the field on Saturday.

But Ainge insists that he will line up behind center come game time.

“The issue is, am I going to be able to be as effective as I need to be to win the football game?” Ainge said. “I believe that answer is yes.”

Ainge has been limited in practice but has been throwing some. Fulmer and receiver Josh Briscoe said his passes have looked good.

“It was the same as it’s been,” Briscoe said

The injury to Ainge’s pinkie has more of an effect on his grip on the ball than it does his throwing.

An injury to the middle finger or index finger would be more significant because those fingers stay on the football longest.

Ainge finished practice on Monday after sustaining the injury and has been held back in practice only as a precautionary measure.

The real question becomes, how soon can his finger heal with Southern Miss and Florida looming large in the coming weeks?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Two Top 15 Teams Face Off To Open the Season

Saturday, 12th ranked Cal plays host to the 15th ranked Tennessee Volunteers. Last year these teams met to open the season and Tennessee handed the 9th ranked Golden Bears a 35-18 pounding in Neyland Stadium. Tennessee led 35-0 at one point late in the game before putting in backups to gain experience.

So suffice it to say Cal has a chip on their shoulder the size of Neyland Stadium. This year Tennesse must travel to Berkley to face the Bears on their home turf. The Vols have historically been a good road team, but traveling across country is somewhat different then to Tuscaloosa or Lexington.

The Volunteers will also be without the help of sophomore running back LaMarcus Coker. Coker has been practicing with the team since being reinstated but is not on the travel roster. Junior Arian Foster and sophomore Montario Hardesty will shoulder the load at running back behind a revamped offensive line.

Senior Quarterback Erik Ainge suffered a pinky jam on his throwing hand and will be limited in practice leading up to the game. Fulmer has said that Jonathan Crompton is ready to start in the event that Ainge can't go.

The Vol's travel roster will include true freshmen, Eric Berry, Denarius Moore, Brent Vinson, Daryl Vereen and Gerald Jones, as well as junior college transfer Kenny O'Neal.

Cal, which appears to be an offensive juggernaut, is a six-point favorite heading into the 2007 opener.

Under Fulmer, the Vols are 13-1 their first game of the season, with the only loss coming in their last trip to the West Coast at No. 14 UCLA in 1994.

Keys to the game:

Volunteers running attack vs. Cal defensive line - Each time the Vols rushed for over 100 yards last year, they won that game, the problem is that only happened five times. Look for a heavy dose of the running game early to test the Cal defensive line. If the running game is successful, the vols have a good shot at winning the game.

Vols secondary vs. Cal Wide Receivers - Cal is lead by all-everything receiver DeSean Jackson who is widely regarded as the no. 1 receiver in all of college football. A key to a Vols victory will be how well the secondary led by senior Jonathan Hefney will be able to keep Jackson in check. Two first year starters will get the nod at corner back in Marsalous Johnson and Antonio Gaines, but don't be surprised to see a lot of true freshman Eric Berry as he is slated to be the starter at Nickelback.

Special Teams - Special Teams will factor in on both sides as Cal has DeSean Jackson returning punts. All he did last year was average 18.2 yards and score 4 touchdowns to lead the nation in that category.
The Vol's talented punter, Britton Colquitt is nursing a Quad pull and will be limited to punt duties. Daniel Lincoln is an unproven kicker and he will be handling kickoffs, extra points, and field goals.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Tennessee Names Game Captains for Cal

Tennessee named four seniors as game captains for the season opener at California on Friday.

The defensive captains will be free safety Jonathan Hefney and defensive end Xavier Mitchell.

The offensive captains will be quarterback Erik Ainge and offensive tackle Eric Young.

They will handle all coin toss duties as well as being the designated players that will communicate, if necessary, with the officials.

Kickoff is set for 7pm CST on Saturday September the 1st at California Memorial Stadium in

Berkley. The game will be televised nationally on ABC.

Friday, August 24, 2007

LaMarcus Coker Reinstated

Sophomore running back LaMarcus Coker has fulfilled all obligations and has been reinstated to the Volunteer Football team on Friday afternoon. He will practice on Saturday, but will not travel to California with the team.

"I do expect him to return against Southern Miss if he continues on a positive track." Coach Phillip Fulmer said late Friday.

Fulmer also said that the troubled tailback's attitude through the entire ordeal has been exceptional.

Coker led the Vols in rushing last year and was expected to play a large role in the Tennessee ground game until he was suspended indefinitely by Fulmer for undisclosed reasons earlier this month.

Coker adds a dimension to the Volunteers' run game that isn't to be had in projected started Arian Foster and makes an already potent Tennessee offense outright dangerous.

Loser With Socks - Tennessee Playbook

LWS has posted a simplified playbook for the Tennessee receivers that you simply have to see.
Find it here.

Scrotum Wars

In Oklahoma City, a man has been charged with aggravated assault and battery, after causing extensive damage to another man's scrotum.

Allen Michael Beckett reacted violently and launched a verbal attack when Brian Thomas entered a local bar wearing a Texas Longhorn T-shirt. Thomas said Beckett called him "everything under the sun”.
Thomas claims he and a friend sat at a table in the corner and tried to ignore Beckett's tirade, but Beckett -- who is apparently an OU fan, kept screaming at him.

He said after about 20 minutes, he had had enough of the abuse so he went to pay his tab when Beckett grabbed his crotch and would not let go.

Thomas repeatedly punched the man in self-defense attempting to deter him from further harm to his groin, but to no avail. The crazed man continued to pull at his scrotum until Thomas felt his scrotum tear and blood dripping down his leg.

It took more than 60 stitches to close the wound to his scrotum.

The felony charge carries up to five years in prison.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Jimmy Clausen Busted

Not many quarterbacks enter their Freshman years surrounded by more hype than has Jimmy Clausen. The number one overall recruit in last years class is expected to break records at Notre Dame before his four years are completed. The only thing he has broken as of now, however is the law.

as entered a pretrial diversion program after receiving a misdemeanor citation for transporting alcohol as a minor.

Indiana State Excise had been staking out a liquor store in an unmarked car near the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana that was known to have sold alcohol to minors. Police cited Clausen and a 23-year-old companion on June 23 for trans

Clausen was cited for a misdemeanor citation, while the 23-year-old, a recent Notre Dame graduate, was cited for inducing a minor to possess alcohol, an infraction.

Police said the 23-year-old entered the store and bought two 1.75-liter bottles of vodka, a 200-milliliter bottle of whiskey, and case containing 30 cans of Natural Light beer.

Clausen stayed outside the store in a Chevrolet Tahoe along with another Notre Dame freshman, who was not cited.

Clausen has entered a pretrial diversion program with the St. Joseph County prosecutor's office.

Under the terms of the agreement, signed on July 11, Clausen agreed to pay a $170 fee and to remain trouble free for a year.

If he meets those terms, he will not face a misdemeanor charge for the June incident. But if he's cited for the same offense within a year, he'll face two misdemeanor charges.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Tatoo Parlors Across Alabama Prepare for Flood

Tatoo artists around the Southeast are readying their guns for the rush of fans they are certain to see. Hendrick Motorsports announced Friday, that despite diligent attempts to negotiate a deal that would bring the no. 8 to Hendrick Motorsports and allow Dale Earnhardt Jr. to continue to drive his trademark car number.

"We've been working hard to secure the #8 for Dale Jr.'s car number next season," said Marshall Carlson, general manager of Hendrick Motorsports. "Obviously, he has a tremendous history with that number, and we know how important it is to his fans. Unfortunately, we couldn't reach a point where the terms made sense, and now we have to move forward with other options."

"Personally, I sort of planned for this," Earnhardt said. "I've been in these negotiations with the same person before, and they've never worked out in our favor. I knew this was the way it was going to be. I just didn't have the guts to tell my fans. They were holding out and hoping it would work out. I didn't have the guts to tell them it was just a waste of time hoping that would happen."

So the battle between step-mother and son continues and it is clear that there are hard feelings when it comes to Jr. leaving the company his father founded. It is sad that the company that bears his name is being run by someone that truly has the wrong motivations at heart.

"I'm not going to sit here and get personal about this. The personal stuff is way far away from the racetrack. It's upsetting as hell, and unfortunate. But you know, that's just what happens sometimes. Like I say, I kind of had an idea that we were going to come down this road and have to take another turn. I knew this was the way it was going to happen. I'm not really all that surprised," he said.

Earnhardt was complimentary of DEI president Max Siegel's efforts to negotiate the use of the number."Max tried his butt off to make it work," Earnhardt Jr. said. "He was trying to talk to Teresa and get some sense into her."

Jr. has said all along that if Hendrick couldn't procure the no. 8 that his preference would be the 81. Jr. has driven that number before in the Busch series, but as of now, no timetable has been set for the announcement of his new number.

And to all his fans with No. 8 tattoos? "Hold on. Hang tight," he said.

Fiction turns reality

Friday, August 17, 2007

Chris Hannon

Chris Hannon finished Thursday night's exhibition game with three catches for 33 yards and caught the Chiefs' lone touchdown.

Okay. Not sure how much more I need to say here. Go Chris Hannnon!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Michael Vick Alleged to have Al Qaeda Ties

A South Carolina inmate has become the latest to accuse Mike Vick of criminal activities. Jonathan Lee Riches is suing the embattled Falcons quarterback to the tune of 63 billion dollars. (backed by gold and silver and to be delivered via UPS to the front gates of Williamsburg Federal Correctional Facility, Sulters, SC.) Riches claims that on April the 20th, 2007, Vick stole two white mixed pitt bulls from his Holliday, Florida residence which he then used for fighting until on April the 28th, Vick put the dogs up for auction on Ebay and used the proceeds to purchase missles from the Irani government.

But the harassment did not end there. On May the 4th, Riches alleges, Vick stole his identity from his coat and used it to open new store accounts at PetSmart and Doggie Warehouse.

And we're still not done. Riches futher alleges that Vick voilated his copyright laws by using his copyright name on his personal football outfit.

Further allegations:
  • On February the 10th, 2007 Vick pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda
  • Michael Vick subjected me to microwave testing (this guy is one cooked turkey)
  • Michael Vick used drugs in school zones
  • Michael Vick is in the business of illegal steroids
Riches implores the court to issue a temorary restraining order barring Vick from "selling my copyrighted materials," stealing anymore of his animals, and "Michael Vick has to stop physically hurting my feelings and dashing my hopes."

Riches is an inmate at the facility serving out a wire fraud conviction.

View charges here

Steven Fowlkes Commits

At Banneker High School in College Park, Ga., he plays wide receiver on offense and defensive end on defense. Oklahoma, South Carolina, Alabama, and Central Florida were among the schools recruiting him to play defensive end. But Fowlkes says the Vols want him at wide receiver.

“They are going to give me an opportunity to play it (receiver). I want to take advantage of the opportunity.”

Fowlkes is being recruited by Trooper Taylor. “He’s a good coach for me," he said of Taylor. "He’s a good person and I’ve enjoyed talking to him.”

Steven was one of the visitors on hand for the Volunteers first fall scrimmage on Saturday.

The 6'5", 215lb. player is rated a 3 star recruit by One reason why may be that he didn’t begin playing football until last fall and missed five games last year due to a nagging elbow problem. He s also a standout post player on the basketball squad at Banneker.

Fowlkes also knows he will have something else if things don’t work out at receiver. While offense is his preference, he’s keeping his options open to playing defensive end.

Fowlkes makes eight commitments for Tennessee's 2008 class.

First Wrestling, Now Singing?

Tennessee Titan's estranged cornerback Adam (Pacman) Jones has yet another exploit to add to his resume during his time off from football. His record label, National Street League Records, , announced Wednesday that he will team with producer Spoaty in a hip-hop group called Posterboyz. Posterboyz will be releasing the first single "Let it Shine" on August the 27th.The song talks about big money, cars and jewelry.

"I am also an entrepreneur." Pacman said in an interview earlier on Thursday. "It takes a team player to make plays happen so I am bonding with my staff and recording artist to make this company a success. I went within myself to find a place to release my talents while I filter through my career from all of the things that have taken place around me. I find tranquility in writing lyrics, establishing my company and preparing for my promo tour in mid September. Looking from the outside in, I have been the example for many to see the poster child if you will; and from that sentiment the “Posterboyz” group name was born”.

An album is due to be released early in 2008.

NFL Officals are looking into whether or not the record label's name infringes on NFL trademarks.

Looking Back on the 2003 NFL Draft

Former Tennessee Titans GM Floyd Reese with newly-drafted cornerback Andre Woolfolk

The year is 2003. The Tennessee Titans are just coming off of a year which saw them lose in the AFL Championship game to the Oakland Raiders and they have the 28th pick in the draft. Eddie George is wearing down and behind Derrick Mason, there really are no proven wide receivers.

So who do the Titans pick with their precious first round selection? Andre Woolfolk out of Oklahoma. A cornerback that had been a wide receiver his entire career. He had one year of experience playing cornerback.

The other cornerbacks available at pick 28 are are Charles Tillman, Eugene Wilson, both are starting for their respective teams. Woolfolk has never held on to a starting position.

What running backs were available? Well Larry Johnson went one pick earlier to the Kansas City Cheifs. What a pick that turned out to be. One has to think that had he been available, the Titans would not have passed up on him. Of course, the need for a running back due to Preist Holme's potentially career-ending hip injury was apparent. And it was not out of the realm of possibility to trade up a couple of picks with San Francisco (the 49'ers took OT Kwame Harris with the 26th pick) or New York (pick 25 DT William Joseph). Both of them would've been able to draft their desired player with the 28th pick.

Or they could've addressed their other need, wide receiver. Bethel Johnson, Taylor Jacobs, and Anquan Bolden were all available.

But they filled the hole at wide receiver with their next pick, Tyrone Calico out of MTSU. The wide receivers available when the Titans selected Calico? Kelley Washington, Nate Burleson, and Kevin Curtis who paid a visit to the Titans this offseason before signing eventually with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Flash forward to 2007. Tyrone Calico is not on a roster after the Titans cut him last summer.
And today they announced that they had placed Andre Woolfolk on injured reserve after evaluation of a hamstring issue showed that it was going to take some time to heal. The Titans hope to reach an injury settlement with Woolfolk and release him.

This season will tell if the Titans' third pick in that draft will pan out. Chris Brown signed a one-year extension with the Titans and is competing with last year's second round pick Lendale White for the starting job.

Oh, and the man who made these incredible picks, General Manager Floyd Reese? He is now an analyst with ESPN. Thanks Floyd. At least you gave us Vince Young before you skipped town.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Will the Volunteer Receivers Make an Impact

Much has been said recently about the inability of the incoming receivers to separate themselves from the pack.

Both Offensive Coordinator David Cutcliffe and wide receivers Coach Trooper Taylor have been very critical of their performance to date.

After a Saturday's scrimmage Cutcliffe had this to say about Junior Wide Receiver Kenny O'Neal:"Right now, he doesn't know what he's doing. He couldn't play for me right now."

Factor in that Kenny had missed several days of valuable practice time leading up to the game due to a hamstring issue and that isn't very surprising. In fact I believe Cutcliffe was alluding to that in his statement.

On freshman receiver Todd Campbell: “Todd is a little ways back because Todd is not competing how I like for them to compete. He knows that.” Taylor said. “I think he’s in awe of some of these guys that have come in. He needs to do a better job of playing fast.”

It isn't that difficult to over-analyze the comments made thus far by coaches as we Tennessee fans are itching for any news indicative of how our beloved Volunteers will fare this coming season.

High School Quarterback turned receiver Gerald Jones was not impressive early but has been spectacular as of late.

“The thing that got him is that he didn’t understand the little things about a receiver running routes … because he had been playing quarterback,” Taylor said. “He’s improved his hands a great deal and he’s athletic.”

“If he can stay healthy, he’ll be ready to play because he’s really sharp,” Taylor said of Jones.

Recently Taylor has also been complimentary of O'Neal.

“Kenny O’Neal can outrun a spotted ape,” Taylor said. “You’ve never seen a spotted ape because they’ve never been caught on tape. They’re too fast. That’s what Kenny can do. He can stretch the field.”

Less than a week ago Taylor was also very critical of sophomore Quintin Hancock. But recently has said that he’s pleased with junior Josh Briscoe and sophomores Quintin Hancock and Austin Rogers as the Vols complete their second full week of preseason camp.

Freshman Ahmad Paige has been the receiver least talked about which leads me to bleieve he will red-shirt. He will be a player down the road there is no question. Taylor has said of him: “He’s got to learn how to practice, He’s never done a three-hour practice at the pace that we’ve been on. Very talented. Probably got the most talent overall as far as speed and ability to separate. “But he’s got to practice faster and he hasn’t learned how to do that yet.”

Paige, who’s listed at 6-foot-3 and 175 pounds, would obviously benefit from adding some weight.

“You could slide him under the door right now,” Taylor said.

Brent Vinson figures to see a lot of playing time this fall as the heralded 5 star Hargrave Military school prospect is needed desperately to stretch the field for the Volunteers. “Brent Vinson can play fast,” Taylor said. “He’s got to forget everything he learned at Hargrave and start over.

“It’s like deprogramming and building back up. He is a playmaker. The fans will be glad we signed him. He will help us this year.”

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

One Will Shoulder the Load

From left to right, runningbacks LaMarcus Coker, Arian Foster, and Montario Hardesty

There were many concerns for the Volunteer Nation headed into fall practice. Who is going to step up and be the guy at right tackle, which of the new receivers is going to separate himself from the rest and demand a starting spot? The only thing, it seemed, that wasn't a concern was whether or not there would be enough talent at the running back position.

LaMarcus Coker had just come off a year which saw him run for nearly 700 yards and scoring 5 touchdowns while not even starting most games, not playing at all in many of the early games, I would add, and averaging a healthy 6.4 yards per carry.

Montatio Hardesty would be one year removed from a severe knee injury that clearly hampered him in 2006, and fresher than ever.

And Arian Foster had been getting all kinds of praise throughout the Spring, gaining many hoorahs from the coaching staff and Phillip Fulmer in particular for his effort, his work ethic, and his determination to excel. Many speculated that the praise rained on Foster was intended to motivate the younger, and more prone to mishap, Coker. Speculation which looks all the more founded considering the situation Coker now finds himself in.

Just before Fall practice began Fulmer announced the indefinite suspension of LaMarcus Coker for a violation of team policy. Inside information has revealed that most likely a drug test discovered marijuana in his system. He has been ordered to rehab and his return to the team is conditional and the length of his absence indeterminable.

So the weight then falls on the two aforementioned backs and true Freshmen to try and make up for the loss of Coker. No small task to say the least. But I am of the opinion that the third running back is going to see very few carries by the time it is all said and done for one key reason: Arian Foster is perfectly poised to have a break-out year.

Foster is the prototypical NFL rusher at 6'1" and 225 lb.s and he has proven that he can be durable.

After taking over the starting position in 2005 for the injured Gerald Riggs, Foster proceeded to run for nearly 150 yards each of the last five games and looked like the next great thing at running back at the University of Tennessee.

He was a preseason second-team All-SEC pick coming into 2006 but he injured his ankle in the second game of the year against Air Force and was plagued by the injury for several weeks afterward. He finally regained his form in the Outback Bowl vs. Penn State only to fumble on a key drive at the opponents 12-yard line in a 10-10 tie. The Nittany Lion's Tony Davis recovered the fumble and returned it 88 yards for a touchdown. Penn State won the game 20-10.

After the game Foster said "I feel like I let my team, the coaching staff, and everybody that came on this trip down. I put it on my shoulders. It's going to be a chip on my shoulder for next year." Exactly the reaction you would want from a player with Foster's up-side and he is staying true to his word.

Instead of hanging his head Foster has used the game as motivation and is more determined than ever to play at a superstar level in 2007. He has a picture of the ill-fated fumble that he keeps in his locker and looks at each time he leaves for practice for motivation.

"I don't remember working this hard in the off-season." Foster has said. "I worked myself to death this season. Last year was tough. I'm over that. That's the past, and I'm just ready to kick it into gear and go to California."

One of the factors that has me convinced Foster is back to his 2005 form and is going to be a featured back is that, despite Coker playing extremely well last year and despite his big-play potential, he couldn’t beat out Foster in the spring. Foster cemented himself first on the depth chart with an impressive showing in the Spring game when he rushed for 63 yards on eight tries.

“This is why he’s No. 1,” Cutcliffe said. “He runs the football well. He breaks tackles. He’s got enough moves to make you miss.

“He’s a heckuva pass protector and a heckuva receiver. That’s what you are looking for in an every-down back.”

Don't be surprised to see this year's Vol team resemble teams of old when they would hand the ball off almost every play, demonstratively driving down the field in a dominant fashion. Foster is the perfect fit for David Cutcliffe's offense and he will be a star in the 2007 season.

On an interesting note, Arian Foster did not give himself any credit whatsoever for the 63 yard performance in the Spring game. So was it his offensive line he credited? Was it the lead blocking of the H-backs? None of the above. It was all Spencer Douglas according to Foster.

"I'm Spencer Douglas. There ain't no Arian here. I changed my name about two weeks ago. I just changed it.” It seems he has adopted an alter-ego akin to Clinton Portis' noted role-playing.

When asked after the spring game where he thought the offense was right now, Douglas replied “They're probably in the locker room because we just had a spring game.”

A Tribute to Arian Foster

Monday, August 13, 2007

There's a New Steeler in Town

The name "Steely McBeam" was chosen out of 70,000 fan submissions as the official name of the Steelers' new beam-toting mascot. Diane Roles submitted the winning name and will receive a VIP package for four to the Steelers' Sept. 16 home opener against the Buffalo Bills, including premium seating and pre-game hospitality. She will also receive an authentic Steelers throwback helmet and jersey just like the one that will be worn by the team that day.

I always thought that the Steelers' mascot should look more like the guy on the right. This guy looks like Bill Cower as a Simpsons character.

The Steelers' also unveiled a new logo to commemerate their 75th season and it will appear on the turf at the 50-yard line of Heinz Field as well as the uniforms worn by the players this upcoming season..

The 75th Season Celebration will be led by Steelers Hall of Fame member Joe Greene, who wore the number 75, and will serve as the Honorary Captain for the season. It is not known whether he will be throwing any terrible towels at any young fans.

Calling All Writers, Storytellers, and Comedians

I would like to add a few more writers here at Breathe if You Love Football to add to the variety and number of posts. One can only do so much. If you have a knack for it, let me know. We are getting a lot of recognition early and many sites are mentioning this blog. Loser With Socks posted an article earlier today referencing the Bedlam at the Glen post and a link to the site.
I want this to be the best blog out there in terms of variety. Whether your interests are football, baseball, basketball, Nascar, Hockey, reviewing movies, or shows, Our readers want to know about it. Whether the stories are fictional for comedic purposes, interviews, your personal take on a topic, team, or player it doesn't matter. I would like someone to volunteer to do a match up for each opponent the Vols face this year.

I don't care who you root for, even if it is a rival team, I want to hear different perspectives. We are going to make a splash in the world of blogs, guys and gals. Jump on board with me.

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Vince Young Comes Clean

Titan's fans from all over tuned in on Saturday evening to see their team get a win over the Redskins in the preseason opener, and to get a glimpse of star quarterback and Madden coverboy Vince Young. They were disappointed in both regards.

Head Coach Jeff Fisher suspended Young from the game for violation of a team rule and the Titans dropped the game at L.P. Field 14-6. "I made a decision to not allow Vince to play in the ball game for violating a team rule, period. End of story,'' Fisher said. "He will be back practicing Monday with his teammates. He is our starting quarterback and we like him. He is going to be a good quarterback. … I am done talking about it.''

Saturday night saw Vince sidelined, covering his face with a towel on occasion and refusing to talk to reporters about the incident. What team rule was broken remained unknown. Until today.

Team rules require a player with less than 4 years on the squad to stay at a hotel near the stadium the night before a game. Vince chose to ignore that rule and drove home to sleep.

“I apologize to my teammates, coaches, fans and everybody,’’ Young said. “I really feel like I am not a bad guy, but I made a bad decision to try to go home and get some rest in my own bed.

The Titan's quarterback was made example to the team in hopes that the 2007 season can be one without incident.

"I broke the rules, I can’t play. You have to go by the rules,’’ Young said. “It happens, I was the one that got singled out and being one of the leaders I can’t do that

Young will resume his role as starting quarterback in Friday's preseason game in New England.

Taking a "dump" on Tradition

Living deep in the heart of Bama country, AlabamaVolunteer from the Volnation message board will jump at any opportunity to "stick it" to the Bama Nation. His latest endevour involves one of Bama's most prized traditions, the houndstooth hat made famous by the late Bear Bryant.

"I found a guy at a flea market that had the blank hats. Then I went to Lids...and had it embroidered. Was only like ten or twelve bucks for the whole thing."

"I've got some interesting comments and have truly made some bammers irate. But I am 6'4" and 275 lbs. I can get away with being an [ass] from time to time."

Keep up the good fight, AlambamaVolunteer.

Pacman is Here

So the pay-per-view event featuring Tennessee Titan's cornerback Adam (Pacman) Jones Sunday evening left much to the imagination and little for the wrestling fans to witness.

Pacman arrived decked in a black TNA ski cap and a customized Pacman hooded sweatshirt to the vehement boos of the crowd. Some in Soundstage 21 at Universal Studios held up "Pacman" signs, while others "made it rain" with Monopoly money, mockin Jones' involvement in a shooting February at a Las Vegas strip club.

Jones made a few comments during an in-ring interview before taking off his sweatshirt and showing off his tattooed body.

Ron "The Truth" Killings then confronted the estranged Titan challenging him to a fight. No contact occurred and Killings mentioned the court order that barred Pacman from contact. "Your contract won't allow you to touch or be touched. Ain't that a bitch." Killings yelled to Jones. "We don't have to worry about you whipping no one's ass around here."

Pacman said he'd see him backstage after security kept the two apart.

He was later shown backstage, knocked out, apparently the victim of an attack by The Truth. He shown leaving in a neck brace and on a stretcher although none of the "altercation" was caught on camera.

Pacman is Coming

Kevin Harvick is Entertainment

In honor of the aforementioned brawl, I thought I would post some of Harvick's more memorable altercations through the years. I love his fire.

While vying for the same piece of real estate in the Channellock 250 in 2002 at Bristol Motor Speedway, Biffle tapped the left rear quarter panel of Harvick’s Chevy, sending him hard into the outside wall and demolishing a brand-new racecar.
K-Harv vs. Greg Biffle

Kevin Harvick was penalized with a $35,000 fine and probation until December 31 in 2003 at Rockingham for hitting another car on pit road after the race and improper language. NASCAR stopped short of taking championship points away from Harvick despite his repeated actions in the past and also during the Busch race the night before.
The infamous quote by Ricky "He's got that little yap=yap mouth, I couldn't tell what he was saying."
K-Harv vs. Ricky Rudd

And probably the funniest one, in the 2005 Allstar Race Harvick and Nemechek exchange blows after a wreck.
K-Harv vs. Joe Nemechek

And of Course Sunday's affair at Watkins Glen
K-Harv vs. Pablo

And on a lighter note at the Allstar Race earlier this year:
K-Harv vs. Champagne Bottle

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Bedlam at the Glen

Kevin Harvick decided Sunday at Watkins Glen after contact with Juan Pablo Montoya that the Columbian driver needed an ass-whoopin' and he was going to be the one to give it to him.

The 1 car of Martin Truex Jr. got into the back of Montoya's No. 42 Big Red Dodge Avenger headed into the treacherous first turn of the road course and sent him careening into Harvick. A red flad followed and the race was delayed for clean-up. Both cars were stopped when Harvick exited his car and rushed over to Montoya, where he was evaluating the damage to his car. A shoving match ensued with both drivers yelling vehemently at the other.

"I was talking about kicking his ass" Harvick said when asked what the two were discussing. "because that's how I felt about him."

Tony Stewart, the eventual race winner, had this to say about the altercation: "I hear they still had the Hans and helmets on ... If you're not going to take 'em off then don't waste everyone's time."

The incident involving the two drivers was not the first time they have collided on the track.

In the Pepsi 400 at Daytona, Montoya's No. 42 machine got loose and made contact with Harvick bouncing the No. 29 machine off the wall. Crew members in Harvick's pits were apparently ticked off at Montoya for sending their driver into the wall early in the race and voiced their disgust via the side of a used race tire.

Displayed for all to read on the wall of a tire in yellow was the phrase: "Keep for 42, go back to F1 so you don't have to race."

NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said Harvick will not be penalized for using the word "ass" on live television.

Pablo Runs Over Camera Man

Which One Juan?

Some of My Photoshop Work

Here are some examples of what I've done recently in Photoshop.

Early Impressions of Top Receivers Positive

One of the gems of Tennessee's 2007 recruiting class was Brent Vinson, a 5 star wide receiver out of Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia. Vinson signed with the Vols in 2006 but did not qualify academically. He spent last year playing football at Hargrave getting his grades up in addition to becoming stronger, faster, and more anxious than ever to play for the Vols.

In just one game last year, against the West Virginia junior varsity team, Vinson had more than 350 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

"I like the speed that he plays with," wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor says of Vinson. "He comes in and out of his breaks well. He wants to win and you can tell. Even in practice when he catches the ball, he takes the ball all the way. I never have to tell him to finish. Some of those younger guys, I have to say, 'Finish, finish, finish.'"

"I try to go full speed on every play" Vinson said. "Even though we are supposed to slow down on some of the drills, I found myself going too fast because I'm so anxious to play."

The Vols definitely need one of the incoming receivers to step up and Vinson could well be that guy.

Kenny O'Neal is the other heralded newcomer in the wide receiving core and he has stolen his share of the spotlight. Offensive Coordinator David Cutcliffe has been quoted as saying that O'Neal was the guy that stood out early to him, and Taylor deemed him "a king in shorts" due to his impressive early play.

O'Neal had been held out of practice early last week because of a sore hamstring, thus all eyes
were on him in Saturday's scrimmage to see if the missed practice time had put him behind his fellow newcomers. He responded by recording 2 receptions for 64 yards and one touchdown, including a 60-yard touchdown reception off a throw from Red-shirt freshman quarterback Nick Stephens. He dropped an additional 37 yard pass that would've been for a touchdown, but was tipped by freshman corner back Art Evans.

On a sidenote, there was an altercation involving O'Neal and Evans earlier in the game that would've gotten him ejected according to Phillip Fulmer.

"I don't have any idea what happened to cause the whole thing, but Kenny would have been kicked out," Fulmer said. "You can't do that, but you like the fact that he's out there trying to compete."

Speed is the first thing teammates and coaches mention when you ask about the new receivers. But speed alone does not a receiver make. It is early, but one has to be impressed by the showing of these two young men.

The Vols will have Sunday off from practice but will return Monday morning in full pads.

David Holbert Out for the Year

David Holbert suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Friday’s practice and will miss the entire 2007 season.

“That’s disappointing for us; he has done really well,” Fulmer said of the Nashville native.

“Fortunately, David has a redshirt year left and we had discussed such a redshirt scenario because we have two other seniors at that position in Chris Brown and Brad Cottam. Now he has to take it and have a tremendous attitude about his rehab and we will have him back next year. It’s a plus if he makes it a plus and I hope he will.”

A plus in that he had moved to TE and we are deep there with two senior starters. Plus if he red-shirts, (which he will) we could potentially have him and Brandon Warren as well as Jeff Cottam, Luke Stocker, and heralded freshman Aaron Douglas.
But it appears we have no true Fullback on the roster for this year. FB Ben Bartholomew, brother of former Vol and founder of D1 Sports Training, Will Bartholomew has committed to play for the Vols in '08. But the absence of a FB (even though we have axed the position in favor of a dual TE formation) makes me nervous.

TE Aaron Douglas class of 2008

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Saturday's UT Scrimmage Stats


Offensive Starters:
C Josh McNeil, OT Chris Scott and Eric Young, OG Ramon Foster and Anthony Parker, TE Chris Brown and Brad Cottam, WR Austin Rogers and Lucas Taylor, TB Arian Foster, QB Erik Ainge.
Defensive Starters:
DE Xavier Mitchell and Antonio Reynolds, DT J.T. Mapu and Demonte Bolden, LB Rico McCoy, Jerod Mayo and Adam Myers-White, CB Marsalous Johnson and Antonio Gaines, S Jonathan Hefney and Jarod Parrish.

Rushing Leaders (Att.-Yds.-TD)
Arian Foster 13-47-1
Daryl Vereen 13-41-0
Lennon Creer 11-84-0
Josh Hawkins 7-16-0
Roy Olasimbo 6-25-0
Montario Hardesty 5-14-0

Passing Leaders (Att.-Comp.-Int.-Yds.-TD)
Jonathan Crompton 16-11-1-93-0
Erik Ainge 17-9-2-70-0
Nick Stephens 7-4-0-94-1

Recieving Leaders (No.-Yds.-TD)
Jeff Cottam 4-16-0
Gerald Jones 3-45-0
Lucas Taylor 3-28-0
Kenny O’Neal 2-64-1
Quintin Hancock 2-33-0
Luke Stocker 2-8-0

Defensive Leaders
Andre Mathis 7 tackles, 4 sacks (-28)
Jerod Mayo 6 tackles, 1 sack (-4)
Dorian Davis 6 tackles, 1 PBU
Nevin McKenzie 6 tackles
Dan Williams 5 tackles, 4 sacks (-17)
Antonio Gaines 3 tackles, 1 sack (-7), 1 interception
Marsalous Johnson 3 tackles, 1 PBU
Robert Ayers 3 tackles, 2 TFL (-7), 1 sack (-6)
Rico McCoy 3 tackles
Art Evans 3 tackles
Jonathan Hefney 3 tackles
Chris Walker 3 tackles
Walter Fisher 3 tackles
Demonte Bolden 3 tackles
Eric Berry 2 tackles, 1 interception
Jarod Parrish 2 tackles, 1 PBU
Savion Frazier 2 tackles, 1 TFL (-2)
Antonio Reynolds 2 tackles, 1 sack (-7)
Ben Martin 2 tackles, 2 PBU
Chase Nelson 2 tackles, 1 sack (-6)
DeAngelo Willingham 1 tackle, 1 interception

Punting Leaders (No.-Avg.-Long)
Britton Colquitt 2-43.0-44
Chad Cunningham 9-37.0-53

Field Goal Leaders
Daniel Lincoln 4-of-7, long 51
Britton Colquitt 4-of-6, long 51

Note Lincoln having a better day than Colquitt kicking. Wish I knew what distance the three he missed were from.

Erik Ainge directed a no-huddle attack on the opening drive that encompassed 68 yards in 15 plays and was capped off by a touchdown run by Arian Foster. However the defense responded afterward and were the highlight of the game intercepting the ball 3 times, rocording 13 sacks, and holding the offense to only one additional touchdown, a 60-yard strike to junior WR Kenny O’Neal.

"The no-huddle offense, that tempo caught us a little off guard early." said junior linebacker Jerod Mayo. "We've seen it a lot, but when you come out here and scrimmage, they kind of turn it up."

True Freshmen Lennon Creer and Daryl Vereen led the Vols in rushing on the day. Creer led all rushers with 84 yards on 11 carries, a 7.6 yard per carry average, while Vereen had a respectable 41 yards on 13 carries.

On Creer's second handoff, he bounced outside a crowded backfield for 14 yards. On the following play, he doled out another 35 yard run.

Said Ainge: "I definitely like where we're at with the running-back position."

The Vols are searching for a 3rd running back after the recent suspension of LaMarcus Coker.