Doug Matthews show today

#1

Freak

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#1
Courtesy of @ChattaTNVol

Coach Doug Matthews discussed the first 2 days of spring practice on his “Big Orange Sunday” show this morning. He started off by talking about meeting with some Vol supporters at a pub in Bellevue (I was guessing they were probably bag men – just kidding – maybe). He said when he was coaching Kippy Brown was recruiting Memphis but he and Phil had the rest of the state. One of the things he noticed then was the further you got away from Knoxville in the state, the more rabid the fanbase. He said it probably had a lot to do with not always being able to get to Knoxville for games. It was, he said, one of the reasons back then why John Ward became so hugely popular.

CDM said he has been told that DKjr’s rehab is nothing structural so he expects DK will be back ready to go by fall. He said one of the reasons Jeremy Banks is back at running back may be because of the shoulder surgery that Eric Gray underwent in addition to Pruitt’s desire to have at least one big running back. CDM said he really liked Banks on the defensive side because he was so explosive but we now have a number of young guys on that side of the ball that are very explosive. He said while WR is probably the easiest position for a young guy to learn, in his opinion, running back was probably second easiest. CDM <3 Jeremy Banks.

Trey Smith is part of the team until he’s not. We’ll know this fall.

CDM was a defensive coach but coached offense for 8 and ½ years. He pointed to Pruitt’s comments about having offensive linemen with 3 years and some going into their 4th year and said he doesn’t really like the expression “pumping the brakes” but maybe we should a bit with some of the younger guys coming in on the offensive line. While they have good size there’s a question as to whether they have the strength to play well in this league at the outset. He again pointed to Pruitt’s comments about the offensive line being a developmental position.

He noted that Pruitt gave recognition to the strength and nutrition staff in his press conference and talked about how these people are so important to the development of a football team. He said Pruitt probably has extra appreciation for people who work behind the scenes for the football team because until he came to Tennessee that was all he did himself.

When you hear the expression we need to stay off the ground the reason for that is because if you’re on the ground the potential for injury goes up significantly.

When we hear that on the offensive side we’re keeping much of the same terminology. It’s not really rocket science but there are a lot of terms. For example, it could be something as simple as a take-off route which would be the same as a go route which is the same as a fly route. Keeping the same terminology shortens the learning/adjustment curve for the guys with Chaney and heads off some potential confusion.

He talked about the importance of drills. The point is you’re learning to play fast. When you’re in the game you can’t be thinking; you have to “flow and go”.

As an aside, I have a long paper I could write on playing fast but for now I’ll spare you the details. Suffice it to say that the typical brain has around 100 billion neurons and 1,000 trillion synapses (connections between various neurons). The 3 main components of the neurons are the dendrites, the soma, and the axons. The dendrites receive input and the axons generate output. Every neuron is connected to about 10,000 of the other neurons in the brain. The neurons are basically computer processors and while modern computers can do a single thing (one processor) billions of times per second the human brain can do quadrillions of things 30 times per second. The human brain is a parallel computer while classical computing is a serial computer. As you learn concepts and drill and drill the dendrites are receiving all that input. Throughout the day and more-so at night when you’re sleeping the brain is generating new synaptic (chemical electrical) connections (making associations) to neurons located in various regions of your brain. This is how you learn. The key to being able to play fast after you have done your learning and drilling is simply to trust yourself. If you’re thinking too much you’re slowing yourself down. You already know what to do and how to do it. The sooner you begin to show a little faith in yourself the better your performance will be on the field.

One of the key reasons we have to be perhaps a much improved football team this year is that for many of our guys it won’t be their first year in our systems. They should be able to play a lot faster. That’s an advantage we’ve been surrendering to a lot of less talented teams in recent years.
 
#3

HuntlandVolinColo

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#3
Oh Synapses! That was good stuff.

I did notice we were hesitant the last few seasons on defense, even with guys running straight at us, we seem to wait on them instead of attacking.

As for OL, I feel that Tatum, Jamir Johnson, Niehaus and Kennedy will lead the way initially until our incoming studs get spun up and have several months of S&C. That's not to say that Wayna, Chris or Darnell won't push for immediate playing time though...should be some good performance inspiring competition.
 
#7

njvols

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#7
I like hearing input from folks who are in-the-know, and have good rational thoughts, like Matthews, in order to get some insights. It's so painful to listen to Pruitt in off season. I like him "in season" in the way he breaks down a game and answers questions, pretty much pulling no punches.
 
#16

unfrozencvmanvol

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#16
Sounds about right. Although there is a possibility that it could be sooner if the coaching staff is worth their salt and the players play up to their potential.
I don't know, you notice he said pump the brakes on the expectations for the freshmen OL, that liability isn't going to turn into a strength anytime soon. Considering we are replacing the DL starters as well I think a 1-2 game improvement will be a solid outing for this coaching staff.

Hopefully we can be a 8-9 win team in 2020, but to sniff championships, we've got to close the talent gap with Bama and Georgia, and we haven't begun to do that yet. They both signed essentially twice as many 4 and 5 star recruits as we did in 2019, even though we had a solid class.

Our immediate goal is beating Sakerlina, Mizzou, and Vandy consistently. This past recruiting class has us on our way to that goal, but I doubt we beat all of them this year though.
 
#18

Tin Man

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#18
John Ward became so hugely popular because he was John Ward. Who we are and how we are remembered is about character. Strengths and virtues, faults and foibles, we could all relate to John Ward. We were comfortable inviting him into our lives. He was a fan, and he was a professional. The manner in which he manifested both without compromising the other instructed us, made us comfortable, and invoked within us aspiration to be the better fan, the better representative of our university and our state.
 
#22

GBOVFL88

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#22
IMO there will be some obvious improvements from the team as a whole, but individual mental mistakes will be the detriment of the team in 2019. Not because there is such a large learning curve, but because the team, while returning a lot, is still young in the sense that many of them have played at several positions last year along the lines specifically. There will be blown assignments and penalties that hurt us. I do expect us to tackle better on defense, which is one of the areas that I noticed was severely lacking last year. Better tackling and faster play will keep the score margin down compared to last year, but we will still drop a couple that we could/should win from individual errors and those will be more glaring against more disciplined teams ( common sense assessment I suppose).

I think that we will have a couple of defensive guys break out a little because they will trust their instincts more and play more aggressively. On the offensive side of the ball we will improve with greater depth, but we will struggle in the technical and physical aspects of the game. There will be no shortage of aggressive playing, but I think that aggression may be misplaced at times. This year we will see more development from the beginning to the end of the season, which is what many looked for but didn't see last year.
 
#23

KBVol

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#23
Where’s the guy who said Matthews wasn’t connected anymore?
He’s literally been wrong about everything he’s predicted the last several months. The 2 that jump right to mind is, obviously, the OC hire and his recent statement that “there’s no way Tennessee has 6 offensive coaches and 4 defensive coaches on this staff, Pruitt will definitely make changes there to even things out to 5 on each side of the ball”.

Now, there are some things that he’s said recently about AD priorities, including upgrades to Neyland stadium, where he said he spoke directly with Fulmer about....that’s one thing, he’s gonna be accurate there because he has direct ties with Phil and Phil will talk with him about those things. But if Doug is making predictions about coaching hires or things specially involving team/staff personnel, things he says he doesn’t ask Phil about, then you can bet he’s guessing, that his information is 50/50, AT BEST....and recently it’s been 0/100.
 
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#24

savannahfan

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#24
John Ward became so hugely popular because he was John Ward. Who we are and how we are remembered is about character. Strengths and virtues, faults and foibles, we could all relate to John Ward. We were comfortable inviting him into our lives. He was a fan, and he was a professional. The manner in which he manifested both without compromising the other instructed us, made us comfortable, and invoked within us aspiration to be the better fan, the better representative of our university and our state.
Looking back, John Ward made you (me) feel like you (I) were (was) in the stadium in beautiful east Tennessee every Saturday. Always set the scene, color of trees, the way the sky look, the river, temperature, the beauty of the field and fans, Pride of the Southland Band, the National Anthem with George and all the things that you see and here in your minds eye. Then came the game, you could see it in the same way as he described the players of both teams running up and down the field. There is now way to completely describe what Mr. John Ward meant to UT football, and UT sports in general. (remembered and spoken from the west of the great state of Tennessee)
 

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