Insider Mailing: Mid-Summer Night’s Dream Edition

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    Derek Dooley-1

    Should Jason Witten bitch slap Dooley into next week for his tenure with the #Vols – ‏@OlegZeltser

    Bob:  Witten wouldn’t get his hands dirty in such nonsense….he hires Dez Bryant to handle that.

    Daniel: I’ve always wondered what that first conversation was like between those two. “Oh, hey, that’s kind of cool that you were my alma mater’s head coach, but you kind of ran it into the ground, so welcome?”

    Houston: I think there’s a chance that Witten did that on Dooley’s very first day in Dallas, but I cannot confirm or deny that as a fact.

    Kevin: I’ve always taken the stance that it’s not Derek Dooley’s fault that Mike Hamilton hired him. If someone offered me a few million dollars per year to do a job that I knew I couldn’t do, I’m still going to do it. That being said, Jason Witten should absolutely ridicule Dooley endlessly, and i’m sure he has, at least once.

    Reed: Witten is a class act and wouldn’t do such a thing – but I would.

    What are the tv shows you will be watching until fall camp starts? – @richmond_325

    Bob:  I’m wrapping up Bloodline on Netflix right now.  Then moving right on into Daredevil.  Oh, and lots and lots of America’s Got Talent!

    Houston: Major League Fishing, Hook and Look, Bassmasters, Bloodline, Short Poppies, Bob’s Burgers… That seems like a good start.

    Kevin: I’ll stick with my HBO Sunday Night Lineup of Game of Thrones & Veep, which will eventually be replaced by True Detective Season 2. Netflix will be rolling out its reboot of Wet, Hot American Summer later this month with the entire cast of the film in place to make appearances. If you need something to go back and binge on during the summer I recommend Broad City (NFSW), Archer, Hell on Wheels, True Detective Season 1 and Cheers. Everyone should watch Cheers all the way through once in their life, I fear that my generation will miss out on that experience.

    Reed: I’m in the midst of a couple moves so I’m currently without television. I’m using this time to watch a couple shows on DVD (old school, I know) that I’ve wanted to catch: The Blacklist and Game of Thrones. Once I get back to a world with internet, I’ll pick up season four of The Wire.

    Who’s going to be the back up to Dobbs? –  @nposey23

    Houston: At this point, I think it’s safe to say that Quinten Dormady enters fall camp with a firm grasp on the number-two spot behind Dobbs. I also have a hard time seeing anybody jumping ahead of him before at least midway through the season. Jauan Jennings took some positive steps during spring practice, but looks likely to be headed for a redshirt year in 2015, so that leaves Sheriron Jones as the most likely player to unseat Dormady at two. Jones has a ton of talent, but will need to learn the playbook before having a real shot at pushing Dormady.

    Daniel: No need to complicate it – it’s Dormady’s job to lose. Sheriron Jones needs to come in and absolutely blow people away this summer and fall if he’s going to have a serious chance. Jennings just needs more time, and if they’re serious about him making it in the SEC as a quarterback, a redshirt year would really help him.

    I’d be interested in some rundown on expectations of weights / body transformations that y’all expect to see. Do they want Williams to hit 210? Etc. – Bo Knox (@bo_knox)

    Daniel: The biggest one is Kahlil McKenzie, who they want to play at about 330 pounds. Steve Stripling told us in April that he was down into the 340s, and we’ve heard he’s lost some more weight since then, so 330 seems like a very reasonable goal by the time camp rolls around. With Preston Williams, the biggest thing is getting his knee healthy before they worry too much about him frame, though they’d like him to add a little weight over time.

    In terms of guys already on campus, look for Emmanuel Moseley and Rashaan Gaulden to try to add 5-10 pounds as the Vols will be counting on them a lot in 2015. Both have fought some injury/illness issues, so it’ll be a big summer for them. Dillon Bates is another guy coming off injury who they’re trying to bulk up some.

    What newcomer are you expecting the most out of during fall camp? Who do you think could prove to be a surprise? – Gary in Newport

    Daniel: Of the guys coming in over the summer, Kahlil McKenzie, Justin Martin, Tommy Townsend and Preston Williams (injury pending) stand out as the guys I expect the most of. All three could press for immediate playing time, if not a starting position. There’s a ton of talent in that group.

    In terms of a surprise, I’ve heard some great things about Vincent Perry and wonder if he could help out in the slot more than some are expecting. He’s a newcomer by way of transfer, but I think Ralph David Abernathy IV could give the Vols a new dimension on offense and help ease some of the concerns at running back. I’ll be interested to see if any offensive linemen, Drew Richmond or anybody else, make a push for a starting spot. Venzell Boulware could be a name to watch there.

    Houston:  I’ll take Kahlil McKenzie as the player I’m expecting the most out of. He’s just so strong and fast for his size that I think he will give SEC linemen trouble all season. He likely has some catching up to do conditioning-wise before he can be expected to play a ton of snaps, but he just seems like the kind of player who will come in and make some noise right away.

    As far as a surprise-player, I’ll take John Kelly. The Vols need help and depth at running back and I think Kelly will get plenty of opportunities to proves that he can give this team some carries once the season start. I certainly don’t think that Jalen Hurd or Alvin Kamara are in any danger of losing their spot on the depth chart to Kelly, but I could see him making a few plays once practice starts as they do all they can to prepare him for the season.

    Reed: I don’t think my expectations could be higher for Kahlil McKenzie. He simply dominated in high school and on the camp circuit and I want to see him do the same against college athletes. Justin Martin is also a player I expect to come in and make a big splash. He’s an electric athlete with NFL potential. I’m betting he finds the field.

    I like either John Kelly or Ralph David Abernathy as a surprise player this fall. Each will get their share of reps and at least one of them should see significant action this season.

    If Tennessee does make the SEC Title game, who’s the most likely West opponent they could realistically beat? – Doug Brooks

    Daniel: Maybe one of the teams without a top-tier defensive line like LSU, Texas A&M or Arkansas. Of course, none of those teams are heavily picked to get there. I think Alabama or Auburn would both be really tough matchups. Alabama’s defensive front is better, but maybe you like your chances against a less mobile quarterback that Derek Barnett, Curt Maggitt and Co. could tee off on.

    Houston: Call me crazy….But I’d take Alabama. Tennessee will have already played them once, so they’d likely have a better idea of what to do the second time around, regardless of how the first game went. Tennessee’s young talent will have had an entire season to develop and mature, and the thought of facing Alabama for an SEC Championship would be sure to get everyone’s focus dialed in.

    This Tennessee team hung with the Tide in Knoxville last year after an absolute disaster of a first quarter, and while I think this year’s regular season game in Tuscaloosa will be incredibly difficult, I just think there is something beneficial to playing a team you’ve already seen once before in the same season (see Alabama vs. LSU in 2011).

    Also, what if the Vols are somehow able to win in Tuscaloosa? Could you imagine this fanbase if Tennessee were somehow able to beat their most hated rival TWICE in the same season? It would be the most glorious thing ever. The internet would burn.

    Reed: LSU would probably be an ideal matchup if they can somehow get there. They have serious questions at quarterback and a new defensive coordinator. Their only chance is if the West beats itself up and an 8-4 type record gets a West team to Atlanta.

    Kevin: LSU is the obvious answer, but I also am tempted to poke the bear that is Texas A&M right now. I realize that Chavis is going to shore up that defense, but if a Joshua Dobbs lead offense had taken the field against a Chavis defense in his Tennessee days, we all know how that movie ends. Tennessee finally has enough athletes to stay on the field against almost anyone, but LSU is probably the only team in the West that I would bet on Tennessee to beat.

    Bob:  LSU, without a doubt.  First off, imagine the press conference spectacle that Butch and Les would provide during that week before the game!  And, I feel Butch would work The Hat over in a head to head coaching battle.  Won’t likely happen, but wow…how great would that be?!?

     

    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).