Insider Mailing: Bye Week #2 Edition

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    Josh Dobbs-1-7

    What’s the best way to cook a steak? – @Vologistics

    Reed: A good steak starts with a great piece of meat. I buy only premium, grass fed beef. It makes a huge difference. One of my favorite ways to cook a steak of late has been with a custom made brown sugar dry rub over some mesquite wood either in my egg cooker or on my infrared grill. Yes. I roll two grills deep, because America.

    Let the steak get to room temperature and lightly coat it with olive oil. Then add in a mixture of brown sugar, kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and a little cayenne pepper if you like some flames. Don’t overdo it. You want the steak to really shine through and a little goes a long way. Cooking will vary depending on your grill, but there’s something special about the interaction between the mesquite wood and the brown sugar that WILL change your life forever.

    Houston: Get a cast iron skillet as hot as you possibly can – literally, as hot as you can possibly get that stupid thing. Then add a little bit of cooking oil so that the bottom of the pan is completely covered and allow the oil to heat for about 30 seconds or so. Then, take your perfectly seasoned, bacon-wrapped steak – because a good steak is always wrapped in bacon – and slam it in that oil.

    Now, she’s going to pop and sizzle and splash a little bit, so be careful, but don’t worry. Depending on how you like your steaks cooked and how thick they are, leave leave in that oil from anywhere between 2 and 4 minutes (an average cut filet mignon is perfectly cooked to medium/medium rare after 3 minutes on each side). The piping hot oil gives the steaks a great sear on the outside and gives the steak a nice ‘crust’ layer to protect the perfectly cooked middle. Take the steak out of the oil and let it rest on a plate for four minutes, but not before you put a little bit of butter and cracked pepper on top.

    Take that steak and pair it with some béarnaise sauce, asparagus, a baked potato, and maybe some shrimp, crab or lobster, and thank me later.

    John: On a Big Green Egg, high heat, low flame, between 625 – 675 degrees. Also, buy great meat. At least an inch thick. Let it come down to room temperature before you throw it on. I did some brand work for Nature’s Own and Big Green Egg a while ago and made this video for them. At the 1:11 mark, I talk about how I do my steaks. Check it out if you’re so inclined, my man. (And disregard the picture, the video is about steak, not wings, but, again, the steak part doesn’t start till the 1:11 mark.)

    How scary is Tennessee D Line gonna be next year? I feel sorry for the SEC! – @Rhickson87

    Daniel: I wrote about this after Shy Tuttle committed a few weeks ago. I think a good unit will be even better next year, but I identified 2016 as the season that UT’s defensive line could be downright filthy if all goes as planned. Imagine a starting four of veteran defensive ends Derek Barnett and Corey Vereen with second-year 5-star defensive tackles Shy Tuttle and Kahlil McKenzie in the middle. Add in guys like Danny O’Brien, Dimarya Mixon, Dewayne Hendrix and many others still on the roster or committed, and it’s not a stretch at all to say that the Vols could have one of the most talented and deep defensive lines in the nation very soon.

    Reed: How good? The Vols lead the SEC in tackles for loss and rank fourth in sacks thanks in large part to the play of Curt Maggitt and Derek Barnett. With a few stud defensive linemen coming in the 2015 class, there’s no reason to believe they can’t once again be one of the most disruptive units in the SEC.

    Houston: Assuming Maggitt decides to return, this group could be exceptional. What they’ve been able to do with Maggitt this season has been very impressive and he adds a very versatile piece for the coaches to work with. Corey Vereen has had a solid season and will only improve after another year in the program, and we obviously have a superstar in the making in Derek Barnett.

    The interior will take a hit with the loss of Jordan Williams, but adding players like Shy Tuttle, Kahlil McKenzie and Quay Picou to the returning players should offset that loss of production. Owen Williams, Dimarya Mixon, Dewayne Hendrix and Kendal Vickers will all be in a position to help out more next year than they have this year as well, so Tennessee’s depth looks like it may finally be getting back to SEC level. I’m not ready to crown these individuals – #Butchism – but it’s hard not to see them as having one of the best defensive lines in the SEC next season.

    John: Scarier than one of Ke$ha’s thongs.

    Do you know a good recipe for crow after that USCjr game? – @BucketHeadTN

    Daniel: Let me know. I need a serving after picking SC to win by three and saying I didn’t think UT was ready to win a tight road game. Naturally, I put my neck out for them against Florida against my better judgement, they let me down and then I doubt at SC and they win. Pass some this way…nom, now, nom.

    Reed: I don’t need any crow thanks to Houston convincing me the Vols would win. Thanks Houston. I imagine slow cooked crow over a smoker wouldn’t be too bad. In fact, I think it’s a staple in Kentucky. Ask one of their fans next Saturday.

    Houston:

    1 lg. de-feathered crow
    4 c. cow manure
    6-pack. Beer of choice
    Mix one cup beer with 4 cups cow manure until pastry. Pack the manure around the crow. Bake in preheated oven 2 hours at 375 degrees. Gently crack the manure crust and remove crow. Throw crow away. Serve manure with remaining beer and enjoy.

    John: Crow? No. But, I do know a great recipe for a moonshine cocktail. And it’s a TON easier to eat crow after you’ve taken that edge off. It’s from our friends over at Sugarlands Distilling. Check it out HERE.

    Any word on Marlin lane injury? Who is #2 if he can’t go? – @Blakey_Blake18

    Daniel: Nothing official on exactly what it is yet, but Butch Jones said on the SEC teleconference Wednesday that Lane has returned to practice. That’s probably a good sign for the the senior, though we’ll continue to check his status at practice on Wednesday (most of the starters weren’t on the field Tuesday). On Tuesday Butch Jones added that Devrin Young is nowhere close to game ready, so that might not be an option for RB depth for a little while either.

    But, hypothetically, if Lane were to need to miss time, that means it’s probably Derrell Scott or Justus Pickett at No. 2. Scott has more upside, but Pickett, a former starter at Maryland, has a little more experience. One of those two guys will have to play some if Young or Lane can’t return soon, but look for the Vols to scheme around the position to get Jalen Hurd some rest. They can go with empty sets, or maybe put a tight end in the backfield to help block on clear passing situations. They can also use guys like Pig Howard and Von Pearson on reverses and jet sweeps to extend the running game without putting players on the field they’re not comfortable with.

    What are the chances Brian Randolph and Curt Maggitt stay for their senior seasons? – @BrittonCaleb

    Daniel: I think Randolph comes back. He may have a professional opportunity at some point, but I think he’s more a really good college player than a top-notch NFL prospect. Curt Maggitt is an interesting situation. He’s not even a full-time starter this season, though he’s an impressive athlete who has shown NFL-type flashes at time. With multiple major injuries in his career already, it could be smart to give it a shot now, assuming he finishes up the season healthy. That being said, he’s not really showing up on many draft lists, and it’s hard to see him as a high pick, but I wouldn’t blame him if he thought this was his best shot.

    Houston: As it stands right now, I’d have to think that both players return for next season. Both are very good SEC players, but Randolph probably lacks the speed that he’d need to make the jump at this point. Curt has an NFL skill set, but will probably need to string together two healthy seasons in a row to maximize his earnings and potential in the eyes of NFL scouts and GMs.

    What would you put the odds at for the Kentucky game to be a sellout? – Mr. Vick

    Daniel: I think there’s a decent chance. Fans are excited about Joshua Dobbs and this game is massive for UT’s bowl chances. People recognize that this Kentucky team is more competitive, it’s not on Thanksgiving week and I think the Vols crack six digits, if not sell out.

    Reed: I really like the chances. The Vols have sold out three of five games and there’s arguably more excitement surrounding the program now than at any point in the season. People want to see Dobbs and Hurd run all over the 13th ranked defense in the SEC East and all but secure a bowl berth. Weather will play a factor, but I’ betting sellout.

    Houston: I’m going to go ahead and say that they’ll sell it out. After a huge win and a record-breaking performance by Joshua Dobbs, I think the fans will be excited to see this team finish strong and get to a bowl game. With it being a mid-afternoon kickoff and an early forecast showing clear skies, give me 102,455.

    John: I’m going with strong chance. I’m trying to drum up some tickets for a buddy who’s coming in from out of town and I’m having a hard time. And I’m usually able to scrape up at least a little something. Which means I think we’re gonna have a packed house a week from Saturday.

    Houston Kress
    Houston blurs the line between Vol homer and traditional media member while always offering honest opinions and thoughtful insight into what is happening on ‘The Hill’. (This is the part where he wanted to mention that he bleeds orange but he wasn’t sure if that was allowed or not).