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Insider Mailing: Peyton’s Last Ride? Edition


“Does (Tyler) Byrd flip and do you think we land (Landon) Dickerson or (Derrick) Brown?” – Josh Callaway

Daniel: My best guess is that they are able to get Byrd – I like the connections with Carlin Fils-Aime and Larry Scott there. I think Dickerson is pretty much anybody’s guess at this point, though I would give UT at least 40-50% chance there. I’m going to say no on Derrick Brown, but that last visit is huge, so there’s at least a shot.

Nathanael: I wasn’t leaning towards Byrd flipping until recently. Now I think there’s a legitimate shot that he does. I still think it’s more likely he won’t, but the Vols are putting on a ton of pressure for sure. I’ve said before I think the Vols get Dickerson to finish off a stellar OL class. I don’t think they get Brown, but Butch has done a great job on landing guys on last minute visits, so don’t count it out still.

[“Say Peyton wins, does he retire or hang in there for another year? Does he ever come back to a coaching/AD position at UT?” – @jacoblholley

“As much as I hate to say it, it’s the Sheriff’s last ride, isn’t it? His comments after the game sure seemed so.” – Kenny Martin]

Daniel: I really don’t know what he’ll do, but I think this should be his last ride. He’s got enough left that he’s an effective game manager for the Broncos at this point, but with Brock Osweiler in a contract year, I’m just not sure Manning would be a great fit to return to Denver next year, meaning he’d have to play an awkward final year somewhere like L.A, Houston or New York. I’m just not sure what else he has to prove at this point. In terms of him coming back to UT, he has said he doesn’t want to be a head coach, but didn’t deny that he would consider being a position coach or something. My gut says he never gets into collegiate coaching – I think he’d be a better fit in a John Elway-like role for a team like the Titans (SOS, please save us).

Erik: Peyton wins the Super Bowl, wins the MVP and retires. It’s VERY likely he could end up coaching the quarterbacks at Tennessee. He won’t call plays or be a head coach though.

John: Erik, seriously, stop, man.

“Does Croom playing TE add a greater likelihood of less spread offense?” – David Maxedon 

Erik: No, I don’t think Croom will actually see the field as a tight end. I think he will maybe serve as an H-Back, motion in the backfield, run some routes, maybe block the edge a little, but he’s not a hand-in-the-dirt tight end type.

Nathanael: Not in my opinion, no. I think they may try to use Croom more as an H-back type of player, but they’re still going to try to use their spread offense. I think we may see a little more I-formation, but it’ll still be mostly spread.

Daniel: I’m not sure that it says a lot about the scheme – I think it just means the Vols need another option at tight end, because they have almost nothing proven behind Ethan Wolf heading into 2016.

“Do you think the dudes behind the bar at the Apple Store are really geniuses?” – PJ Neyland

John: Before I answer that, let me first assure you of this, PJ. They certainly think they’re geniuses. Or so I gather by how condescending they are every time I visit the Apple Store.

My stats are skewed a bit from having five kids, but between iPhones, iPads, iMacs (both at home at here at RTI), MacBook Airs, MacBook Pros, TimeCapsules and iPod Touches (ew), my device count flirts with 20. So I’d be the first to admit, I love Apple products. Always have. But one thing I don’t love is the Apple culture.

It renders Starbucks downright humble.

The last time I was in there, it was due to a problem with my MacBook Pro  a problem I articulated in a manner that should have made clear I knew what was up. Yet the posture the associate took in the problem-solving process was that of someone trying to coach an octogenarian through sending his first email. 

“Yes, the device was on.”

“Force quit. Sure did.”

“Right. Rebooting. I’m familiar with the practice. Didn’t work.” 

After 30 minutes of getting demeaned, I was finally told what I tried to tell that dude the first second I saw him. The problem wasn’t on my end. So they scheduled a repair (presumably conducted by a team of like-minded geniuses) to remedy the situation.

Genius Bar. Gimme a break. Hard for me to believe someone’s a genius who used to bus tables at the Olive Garden. 

“What’s the status on Kongbo?” – @onthecatibbean

Daniel: He’s down to four – USC, Tennessee, Florida State and Ole Miss – with FSU in line to get the final visit this weekend. I pretty much wrote him off when he de-committed, but credit Tennessee for sticking with him and I think he has a pretty good comfort level with the Vols. They certainly have a shot.

Nathanael: The more time passes, the more I think the Vols actually have a shot of landing him. Again. I’m still holding off from saying he comes because I usually lean towards not getting hopes up, but there’s actually a good shot they get him.

John: The last three letters of his last name are GBO. Please. He’s a lock.

“Did CBJ’s staff get raises after the season was done?” – Phillip Bell

Daniel: They haven’t formally announced any for the returning guys, but I think some, if not all, will get some. Dave Hart really opened up the checkbook this offseason to give Butch Jones the ability to build the staff that he thinks he needs. I think that will include raises for at least several guys.

Nathanael: If they haven’t yet, they will. And most of them deserve it. The team as a whole improved last year, and that in itself warranted a little raise. Throw in Jones’s raise and the massive amount of money Bob Shoop will be making, and I think they certainly will.

“How do we finish the class?” – Justin Townsend

Daniel: I think they get one of the top defensive linemen (Derrick Brown, Jonathan Kongbo III, Chris Daniels), Tyler Byrd, Nigel Warrior and then have a real chance on Landon Dickerson, but that one is too close to call right now. I’ve heard some say that the Vols will only be able to take three, but I’ll believe it when I see it. Butch always finds a way to get one or two more in one way or another.

Erik: One or two of the big names, not ranked as high, but full of what they need. I think it will grade out about a B+. But it won’t matter if Peyton is coaching.

John: Seriously, Erik…

Nathanael: The Vols are going to finish this class strong. Bank on it. They will get 3-4 guys who rank as 4-5 star players in my opinion, and this will finish as a top 15 class. Not the absolute best class overall that Jones has pulled in, but considering the smaller amount of players they are bringing in, it’s a great class if it finishes that way.

 “I asked this about Tyndall, but what does an ideal CRB (Rich Barnes) team look like?” – Alan Baird 

Daniel: From what I’ve read and studied from his time at Texas, it seems like ideally he would want a couple long, athletic rim protectors that focus on blocking and altering shots along with dominating the boards. I think that’s what he wants Kyle Alexander to grow into. Then he wants a few big guys who can stretch the floor (like commitment John Fulkerson), a true point guard and some extremely aggressive, and big (6-5 range) wing players. He wants a defense-first, protect-the-rim and communicate mentality and then an offense that can run, get points in transition, but also get into sets and work for open shots.

He has shown his system is malleable though. He’s played a lot of small ball in his career (like he’s having to at UT) and has had some massive teams as well. You pick up a lot of tricks when you have a career as long as his.

Nathanael: Kevin Punter is probably the only “ideal Barnes guy” on the roster right now in terms of development and experience. I think Kyle Alexander and Ray Kasongo have the potential to become what Barnes wants, but right now this team isn’t at all what Barnes wants the Vols to look like. Much like what Daniel said, I think he likes to have some athletic big men and a good point guard that distributes more than scores. I think Josh Richardson would’ve been an ideal guard for Barnes, and Punter certainly fits it as well. Very few others on this roster are “true Barnes guys,” though. But kudos to him for adjusting his style to fit their strengths and weaknesses.

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