Team Depth

savannahfan

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Our weakness right now is our defense. Without the necessary depth and talent level, we will succumb to fatigue. Our only chance is if Heupel gets our defensive players in the best shape they will ever be in in their life. Granted I do not attend practices, but from the films I have seen there simply isn't enough running, especially sprints, taking place to make this happen. Skill development is vitally important and absolutely necessarily, but it is the first thing to go when fatigue sets in. I will be more than happy to be proven wrong this season.
About running etc. I have noticed the same thing. I just wonder if the staff requires this type of activity to be done more or less on the players own. (with maybe an over watch staff person) If I were a coach I would want practice time to be for teaching "the game" as I saw it. You don't need to teach running etc.
 

SayUWantAreVOLution

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Our weakness right now is our defense. Without the necessary depth and talent level, we will succumb to fatigue. Our only chance is if Heupel gets our defensive players in the best shape they will ever be in in their life. Granted I do not attend practices, but from the films I have seen there simply isn't enough running, especially sprints, taking place to make this happen. Skill development is vitally important and absolutely necessarily, but it is the first thing to go when fatigue sets in. I will be more than happy to be proven wrong this season.
Running is mostly done in Anderson, I'm sure, and likely athletes "sign in" to the machines so the S&C staff knows who ran, when, how long, how fast, elevation, etc. At the D1 level, I don't expect to see athletes in practice clips running laps/stadiums or something. This ain't 1975.

They have a multi-million dollar facility for cardio and strength and recovery where all of that can be carefully individualized and monitored for each athlete and we're getting fleeced as donors if it isn't being fully used.
 

chrismc1000

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Depth has been my concern all offseason, particularly on defense and O-line. Weird situation in that we actually seem in pretty good shape at the skill positions, but we're thin almost everywhere else. Situation has been improving, though, and getting Mitchell at LB is particularly huge. Still feel like we could use another quality LB.



Schedule is super-soft this year. If we go 4-8, that would be a very bad sign for Heupel. 6-6 or 7-5 is more reasonable.
Super soft? That's hilarious. Only guaranteed win from SEC is Vandy. The rest we will be struggling to win and struggling to keep it close. Our out of conference schedule isn't bad but Pitt is a good team.
 

keenobserver

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Great idea for a thread for roster junkies.

My take is that I think its apparent the stage is set for record breaking numbers on offense. If you don't think we're gonna score alot next year you haven't been paying attention.

To reply to the thread, the quality of depth is a huge concern IMO in two very important positions---CB and Pass Rusher.

Our corners aren't good, I don't care how we want to spin it. I love our most experienced and best corner, but he's really not very good. CB is the 2nd most important position in football IMO, that's why they get paid the big bucks. The Hadden transfer from Auburn gives me some hope.

Young and Baron are supposedly our best passrushers. How many total sacks do they have?

If we can find players that can get to the QB and players on the back end that can cause/get turnovers, we can win 7-8 games with a very favorable schedule this year. In other words, I think our mentality needs to be instead of stopping teams this season, we'll focus primarily on taking it away from them.
 
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Ole Miss will be a tough one.
UK is going down by 3 TDs or more.
I thought the same thing last year. We played well until TWO pick 6's. We were moving the ball and looked like the better team. JG's mistakes took the air out of the team/defense and we never recovered. The stat line looks even aside from the 17pts we spotted them. They play solid football and limit turnovers, I won't count them as a "W" until we win.
 

LittleVol

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I thought the same thing last year. We played well until TWO pick 6's. We were moving the ball and looked like the better team. JG's mistakes took the air out of the team/defense and we never recovered. The stat line looks even aside from the 17pts we spotted them. They play solid football and limit turnovers, I won't count them as a "W" until we win.
I do.
Look at the results everytime UT has been top 30 in offense in the past 25 years against them.

UK is my 2nd favorite team in the SEC, but UT has always seemed to have a mental advantage over them.

They are doing a great job developing SOME of the talent they have. OL and edge players. They're still not recruiting at a high enough level though. Even before this influx of transfers we were the more talented team coming in to 2021. Arkansas beat us too last yearz and they were less talented than UK.

The best team in the history of UK still lost to a 5-7 UT the same year.

No. They are absolutely not a threat and when we lose to UK it's a sign that there needs to be a coaching change.
 

keenobserver

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I do.
Look at the results everytime UT has been top 30 in offense in the past 25 years against them.

UK is my 2nd favorite team in the SEC, but UT has always seemed to have a mental advantage over them.

They are doing a great job developing SOME of the talent they have. OL and edge players. They're still not recruiting at a high enough level though. Even before this influx of transfers we were the more talented team coming in to 2021. Arkansas beat us too last yearz and they were less talented than UK.

The best team in the history of UK still lost to a 5-7 UT the same year.

No. They are absolutely not a threat and when we lose to UK it's a sign that there needs to be a coaching change.
Some very good points. I will say that I believe Stoops is an excellent coach. I agree that it seems as if he has maximized KY football, so much that I personally wouldn't label them as not a threat. I take your point on having to deal with our talent and scheme on offense next season and I obviously hope you're right---Because as we all know, there is no justfiable excuse for TN to ever lose to KY in football.... Florida State should have really hired the guy IMO. I guess they were looking for the big name at the time.
 
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RTE

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Man ppl on here kill me... y’all do realize a bad Qb can make a team look worse and a good Qb can make a team look a lot better than they are... we are not as bad as a typical 3-7 team it was plenty of talent on both sides of the ball last year the Qb literally made the team moral low... Kentucky game we move the ball all up and down the field but offense gives up 2 pick 6s and a crazy fumble that likely woulda been a walk in TD... that alone makes the defense not wanna play as hard... when you know you got a guy that will win you the game if you get stops then it’s a whole lot easier to play motivated and make stops... this team has 9 games that are possible Ws I to say we only win 4 and base it solely on last year record is crazy... DL depth is not thin... garner get that DL playing good the whole defense will benefit... defense will give up some points but the offense will be able to score much easier this year... a lot of speed and size on offense with 4 legit Qb candidates and a Qb guru head coach staff... Tennessee should win 6 and I have us down for 7-5 but won’t be surprised at 8-4 at all... y’all can have bvs all you want but don’t act like we just playing with bums it’s a lot of talent on this football team and if CJH track record holds we will be a solid team this year.
This UT team will look like no other Vols squad fans have ever seen on Rocky Top. That will be evident from the first game, and is reason to have a bit of excitement about the season. Speed and pace will replace the plodding predictable style that so many of our opponents have figured out.
 

Proud Army Wife

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The rest we will be struggling to win and struggling to keep it close
Are you saying we struggle to keep it close against USCjr, Mizzou, and KY? LOL, I mean strange things happen when it comes to TN, but if that is indeed what you are suggesting, and it does happen then might as well strike up another coaching search 🥴
 

overseasorange2

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Nice smart a$$ response. There’s more to the game than just talent. Pruitt could’ve taken bamas roster and lost 3 games.
I was watching the SEC show about 3 months ago, and they had an x Auburn head coach on. He was saying it is all about recruiting and that the coach doesn't really matter that much with maybe one exception. So far this year UGA has 11 4/5 star commits with more coming. TN has 1 4 star (not blaming the current staff for that, but it is what it is). No coach could overcome that disparity, not even the almighty SABAN.
 

RockyTop140

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I was watching the SEC show about 3 months ago, and they had an x Auburn head coach on. He was saying it is all about recruiting and that the coach doesn't really matter that much with maybe one exception. So far this year UGA has 11 4/5 star commits with more coming. TN has 1 4 star (not blaming the current staff for that, but it is what it is). No coach could overcome that disparity, not even the almighty SABAN.
Agree that no coach could overcome a gap that huge, but for a coach to perform as poorly as Pruitt did with the team he has is just pathetic. We had no business going 3-7. Outcoached by just about every team on the schedule.
 
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Keenobserver did a great job posting about our likely starters. Thanks Keen.

I find myself concerned about our overall depth and it's quality. Injuries always occur and I worry about that and our ability to hang in there in the fourth quarter throughout the tough SEC schedule..

That said I think our first string is rather stout.
Well, not to disagree with you, but a stout first string is nothing to hang your hat on. Though you are choosing to do so, they need to do everything they can to lighten and prevent injury just to survive this season. One or two keys injuries, and the dominos fall. Then you are relying upon unproven players to put their hand up, and prove they are capable of rising to the moment. And we have seen years that the first string cast in game one is vastly different by game 12. And unfortunately in most cases? Not as potent by season's end.

But that is football in any given year. Even in 98. That year, Jamal Lewis went down. And that was a huge and heartbreaking loss. However, a couple of guys named Travis came along. The one named Henry was close to Lewis on power runs, arguably slightly better. And Stephens was good for speed runs. Had Jamal not gotten hurt, I think the three of them would have been a dominate 1-2-3 punch. But somehow it worked out.

That was a special year with a ton of special players. Hopefully, the guys we got now will strive to be like those guys in 98. Not counting on it, but you can always hope. Have you got something better to do?
 

chrismc1000

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Are you saying we struggle to keep it close against USCjr, Mizzou, and KY? LOL, I mean strange things happen when it comes to TN, but if that is indeed what you are suggesting, and it does happen then might as well strike up another coaching search 🥴
Well given the fact we have either been blown out or struggled for the majority of the past decade plus against those teams I'd say let's just give the coach a few years to actually try and make the team better 😉
 

butchna

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Well given the fact we have either been blown out or struggled for the majority of the past decade plus against those teams I'd say let's just give the coach a few years to actually try and make the team better 😉
We’ve dominated Kentucky and recently owned the other two.
 

PlanetVolunteer

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Well given the fact we have either been blown out or struggled for the majority of the past decade plus against those teams I'd say let's just give the coach a few years to actually try and make the team better 😉
A Pruitt offense with JG is much worse than what we will see this year. We will be fine.
 

unfrozencvmanvol

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The UT 247 mods recently did a breakdown of who we have left and on paper, this team is less talented than Pruitt's first team in the majority of position groups per the composite recruiting rankings. Hopefully Heupel is a much better coach and does significantly better than Pruitt's first year record of 5-7 though.

I will be interested to see where we stack up versus the competition when the 247 talent composite for 2021 comes out after the transfer portal deadline of July 1. I think it's a given though that our talent composite ranking is going to go down. The question is how far? Last year, we were No. 15 and more talented than 5 teams on our schedule and less talented than 5.

We could fall pretty significantly in the talent composite rankings, here is an excerpt of the article from Patrick Brown at Vols247:

"[A]ttrition has hit Tennessee hard, and first-year coach Josh Heupel is inheriting a roster that's without (1) two of the four highest-rated players from the 21st-ranked 2018 class, (2) four of the seven highest-rated players from the 13th-ranked 2019 class, (3) the top-ranked player in the top-10 2020 class and (4) three four-star signees in the 2021 class who were granted releases from their National Letter of Intent."

That's alot of talent to lose. I can't post the whole article but if you've got a subscription, definitely worth a read. If we win 6 or 7 games it'll be a good sign, it's certainly possible, but it's far from a given. Thinking there is an easy 7, 8, 9 wins on next year's schedule assumes basically all of our unproven players turn out as well as possible and our opponents question marks turn out as poorly as possible. Maybe that happens, but more likely both us and our opponents question marks are answered with a mix of positive and negative and 6 or 7 wins means we had a pretty darn good year.
 

LWSVOL

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Keenobserver did a great job posting about our likely starters. Thanks Keen.

I find myself concerned about our overall depth and it's quality. Injuries always occur and I worry about that and our ability to hang in there in the fourth quarter throughout the tough SEC schedule..

That said I think our first string is rather stout.
I didnt see his projections but I dont believe there is a single player on this roster that has performed at an all SEC level. It's more than a depth issue when you analyze quality and experience.
 

The Original Fade

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Depth has been my concern all offseason, particularly on defense and O-line. Weird situation in that we actually seem in pretty good shape at the skill positions, but we're thin almost everywhere else. Situation has been improving, though, and getting Mitchell at LB is particularly huge. Still feel like we could use another quality LB.



Schedule is super-soft this year. If we go 4-8, that would be a very bad sign for Heupel. 6-6 or 7-5 is more reasonable.
Show me 6 wins on our schedule
 
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GetYouSomeofThat

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Our weakness right now is our defense. Without the necessary depth and talent level, we will succumb to fatigue. Our only chance is if Heupel gets our defensive players in the best shape they will ever be in in their life. Granted I do not attend practices, but from the films I have seen there simply isn't enough running, especially sprints, taking place to make this happen. Skill development is vitally important and absolutely necessarily, but it is the first thing to go when fatigue sets in. I will be more than happy to be proven wrong this season.
I have no idea how Heupel is coaching practice...but sprinting is basically a waste of practice time.


If a coach runs a fast paced practice with everyone in constant motion and not standing in line waiting your turn...fatigue and conditioning wont be a problem.

Based on the story of the ball boy having to increase the amount of footballs available tells me therebis very little standing around going on. I may be wrong...but i don't think so
 

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