Insider Mailing: Two Weeks Out Edition

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    Butch Jones-1

    What’s the best restaurant in Destin, Florida? – @Vologistics

    Bob: I only know of one restaurant in Destin, but it’s a great one.  It’s called Cuvee Destin.  Nice mix of cuisines, great bar, even some live entertainment thrown in for good measure, and not like “dinner theatre” entertainment.  Actual music with dancing.  A little more high-brow than some of the other joints on the Emerald Coast, but it’s worth checking out!  And, the owner/chef is extended family, so if you ever stop in, mention my name!

    Houston: Dewey Destin’s. It’s authentic, locally caught seafood served simple-style at a reasonable price, and it’s right on the water. I went in July and had the crab-stuffed, bacon-wrapped fried shrimp and I still dream about them to this day. There are a lot of “nicer” restaurants in Destin with great food, but this one is tough to beat. It just “feels” like what you should eat at the beach.

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

    Bob:  Get the heat up to 600ish degrees (if you’re Big Green Egg grillin’ that is).  And then it’s quick….a couple minutes per side, with the heat (air-flow) tamped down.  Then, get ’em out to cool, but not for long.  That’s if you like them medium rare to medium, which I do.

    Houston: Quick. I like to grill everything except filets – which I cook in a cast-iron skillet that is as hot as I can get it with a little bit of oil. Wrap the filet in bacon, add your (dry) seasonings, and cook for a minute and thirty seconds per side (or slightly longer depending on thickness), then serve with bearnaise sauce.

    On the grill, I just go with salt and pepper and some charcoal-based seasoning for that smoky flavor. Just be sure to let all your steaks sit for 3 minutes after they cook. Anything above medium-rare is a waste of your time.

    If there was a “Knoxville Ninja Warrior” which current Vol would do the best? I’m thinking Jalen Reeves-Maybin or Cam Sutton. – @jeffarchersport

    Bob:  If he’s healthy, without a doubt I’m putting my money on Josh Smith.  The kid has “freerunner” written all over him with his unbelievable athleticism.

    Daniel: According to my extensive research, the average Ninja Warrior is between 5-foot-8, 150 pounds and 6-foot-4, 205 pounds. So that rules out anybody but the skill players. It takes great body control, pound-for-pound strength and athleticism. Really most of the top scholarship cornerbacks could be in consideration – Cam Sutton, Malik Foreman, Emmanuel Moseley, and Rashaan Gaulden (when healthy) all fit the mold. Todd Kelly Jr., Max Arnold, Josh Smith, LaDarrell McNeil, Brian Randolph, Pig Howard and Johnathon Johnson could be some other dark horses to watch.

    Houston: I think Emmanuel Moseley would have a shot based on his leaner build and cat-like quickness, but it’s hard to pick against Cam Sutton.

    Kevin: This is a great question. I’m going to go with Evan Berry, he’s light enough to complete the various challenges that would require him to hold his body weight and strong enough to complete any obstacle. In general a defensive back or wideout would have the best odds. Side note: look at Daniel just listing half the roster and sandbagging the rest of us with this question.

    My wife’s a UGA grad. How much Tennessee decoration can I put in the house before experiencing unwanted consequences? – @TravisRussellTN

    Bob:  It doesn’t have to take much to send a message that yours is a Volunteer house.  I have two words for you:  LIVING ROOM!  Set the tone with an action picture of Peyton over your fireplace, accentuate that with some checkerboard throw pillows on your sofa, and drape a sweet bright orange polar fleece on your easy chair with ’98 National Champion coasters on the coffee table, and you will have effectively killed any chance of  Bulldog decor ever making it into your home.  You may have also ruined your marriage as well, which is why that picture over the fireplace better be pretty timeless!

    Houston: There is no limit, Travis. You’re a man and it’s time you started acting like one. Throw that orange and white all over the place and tell her to deal with it. If she leaves, she leaves…and you’d likely be better off. Do you want your children exposed to barking humans?

    Kevin: Establish your dominance now Travis, tell her she’s free to put up any UGA decorations that commemorates a UGA national championship. It’s not likely that she’ll have much stuff from that long ago, and you’re in the clear to put your ’98 memorabilia all over the house. Chess, not checkers my man.

    I heard Disney is creating a new Star Wars theme park in Orlando…Which poses a greater threat to global security, a nuclear Iran, or a Florida Man that has learned to harness the powers of The Force? – @RockyTopWoooo

    Bob:  That’s a tough one to answer, but I will say this:  The prospect of being able to tell people that I “occupied” the bathroom in the Millennium Falcon would be an incredibly impressive calling card in my book, and I’m certain that would be a top-shelf draw to any Florida Man as well.  Good lord, does that make me a prospective Florida Man?!?

    Houston: This can’t be a serious question. A Florida Man with The Force would destroy the world in mere seconds. Iran could only do it a city at a time for a limited amount of time before someone turned them into a huge hole in the ground. I don’t want either, but I’d choose Iran if given the option.

    Daniel: Considering Florida men and women on flakka are already basically a national security threat, think it’d be really bad news for everybody if they got The Force.

    Kevin: If a Florida man were to harness the power of The Force he would spend six months levitating beers to himself before he ever got off the couch. Once he left the couch however, we’re talking about an apocalypse scenario.

    1st-and-10 from the 11 or 1st-and-goal from the 10? Your pick… – @Danayers19Dan

    Bob:  I absolutely love the 1st and 10 from the 11 scenario!  First off, I’m a huge fan of 2nd and 1 from anywhere on the field; it allows that second down play to be a true mystery…imagine if you gained nine yards on that 1st and 10 from the 11.  You’d have 2nd and 1 from the 2, or as many as 7 plays to run from the 2 to get into the end zone.  Absolute nirvana for me!

    Houston: Great, schematical question. Assuming time is not a factor, give me 1st and 10 from the 11. It’s one extra yard with the potential for eight plays instead of four. That’s a no-brainer, right? How many times are 4th and goals stopped at the goal line? Now imagine that “stop” just meant you get a first down… I can’t be alone on this one.

    Daniel: I agree with the others on the 1st-and-10 from the 11 scenario. The final yard is the toughest to get on a drive, so if you can get to the 1, get those four extra chances. Defenders also get in protect-the-goal-line-at-all-costs mode when inside the 10, so sometime they may forget mid-play that the offense can get that first by getting to the 1.

    Kevin: If Tennessee had a better offensive line I would say give the ball to Jalen Hurd and watch him go to work. With its current line up i’ll take 1st and 10 from the 11, and give Marquez North at least one shot to get in a 1-0n-1 situation with a defensive back and high point a catch.

    It may have already been addressed, but what is the status of Zach Stewart? – @SheaAntunes

    Daniel: He is delaying his enrollment after the death of his mother a few months ago. We don’t know the exact details of his plan going forward, but Butch Jones said, “We will welcome him when he feels he’s ready to come back,” at his pre-camp press conference earlier this month.

    With everyone at RTI, who would win a decathlon? – @richmond_325

    Bob: Depends on what kind of decathlon we’re talking about.  If it’s the traditional athletic kind, I’d probably choose John…I try to stay active and hit the gym regularly, but that guy’s an absolute machine!  Now if it’s, say, a “dude decathlon” with watching vintage NBA games on TV, gambling, and consuming excessive amounts of Funyun’s and Monster Energy Drink as some of the signature events, then give me Kevin Hughes!!!

    Daniel: I’m going with Kevin. He told me recently his bench is pushing 300, so I think he might sweep the throwing events, which is 30% of the contest, and then I think he could hold his own enough in the other events to pull out the win. (Turns in resignation letter for not picking John)

    Houston: As much as I hate to say it (but he’d probably fire me if I didn’t), it’s probably John.

    Kevin: I’m not even sure what a decathlon is, but if involves any long distance cardio stuff I’m totally out. I’ve not seen a single person from RTI do anything active but I know that John Osborne is still pretty upset about the bench press thing so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt here.

    Do you think our defense will be atop the SEC in total defense? – @DaShepster80

    Bob:  No.  The Vols are about a season away from that kind of standing.  I predict Auburn will take that honor now that Muschamp is there, doing the job he’s actually good at.

    Daniel: Tennessee finished eighth in the SEC in total defense last year, so that’d be a pretty big jump. I think top five is more of a reasonable expectation. It can be a little bit of a fluky stat, though. I actually prefer to judge defenses based on yards per play that they give up (UT was also eighth in that last year). Getting into the top five in both of those categories is a realistic goal for this defense.

    Houston: Probably not at the top based on the schedule, but they will be one of the best in the league – easily in the top-4 when all is said and done.

    Kevin: Top 5 would be a big improvement, and there are just so many great defensive players and coaches around the league. Losing Gaulden was a really big deal for this team, and if Darrin Kirkland doesn’t click after a few games then Tennessee is stuck with a relatively average middle linebacker rotation. The secondary and defensive line will be in the top 2-3 units around the conference for sure.