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God the offense is sucking so hard this year. Something about Clawsons offense has made the offensive line go from one of the best to pretty bad. We can't run the ball, they're getting called for a lot of penalties. We move backwards when we get in opponents territory. The WR's seem to have regressed as well. The defensive talent is being wasted because they have to stay on the field for far too long. They just fade towards the end because they're so tired. Special teams has been atrocious as well. How can a team with the funds that Tennessee has not have a special teams coordinator when it's been a bugaboo for so long now? Ughhh, I'm so frustrated. I feel bad for Eric Berry. I wish he could be playing for a contender.
Well, the current guys on the OL weren't recruited to play in Clawson's spread offense. That's part of the reason why so many plays get blown up or fail horribly. Second part is QB play. Cutcliffe made Ainge get rid of the ball hella' quick, so that's why the OL only gave up 4 sacks. Plus, Ainge was a senior QB with very good accuracy, and may have been a bit under-valued by Vols fans when compared to guys like Stafford and Tebow. Crompton busted harshly, and though Stevens has been an upgrade, he's not the ideal fit.
Plus, how many offensive coaches left when Cutcliffe went to Duke? I miss Trooper Taylor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anyway, Tee Martin is right! We have to decide what we want to do. Clawson won't able to show what kind of OC he can be until he gets his recruits. But, UT has such a high standard that patience may run out before he has that chance. We can either commit to Clawson until the turn around for the offense comes, or we can overhaul the coaching staff.
As for me, I prefer to commit to Clawson. Look, we are having a great recruiting class so far this season - despite having our worst season since '05! Fulmer, Clawson, and Co. have landed verbal commit from touted skill position players in 4* WR Je'Ron Stokes, #1 All-Purpose RB David Oku(4*), #2 All-Purpose RB Jarvis Giles(4*), and speedy ATH Damien Thigpen(4*). Stokes is a good WR, which is welcome to matter what, but Oku and Giles are perfect for the spread. Four OL's have given verbals too. And to think, Oku commited even though Giles had committed and the Vols were losing? Someone's telling the recruits something they want to hear.
The offensive turn around will come very soon. Michigan is going through this same problem goin from Carr to Rodriguez. This is what our possible future skill position depth chart could look like:
RB: David Oku (4*)
RB: Jarvis Giles (4*)
WR: Gerald Jones (4*)
WR: Denarius Moore (3*)
WR: Je'Ron Stokes (4*)
WR: Ahmad Paige (4*)
TE: Branden Warren (5*)
Alas, the all crucial QB position is a question mark! But fear not, for we are in luck with dual-threat QB recruits! Rivals #3 Dual-Threat QB Tahj Boyd (4*; 6'1, 208, 4.7 40, 4.4 shuttle, 24-in vertical) and #4 Dual-Threat QB Kevin Newsome (4*; 6'3, 217, 4.57 40) have the Vols in their list of schools. Boyd has us in his list of 9 schools, and Newsome has only 4 listed schools: Boston College, Penn St., Tennessee, and Virginia Tech. Plus, both players are in Virginia, with Newsome at Hargrave Military Academy, a recent recruiting pipeline for the Vols. The Vols already have a history of recruiting well in Virginia, especially with the Hargrave connections, but Dave Clawson has a history there by being Richmond's former HC. So, I am pretty hopeful of getting one of these two guys. Forget Josh Nunes!
Clawson still has work to do on his play-calling, but with the personnel he has, his play-calling is probably kinda limited. Growing pains are what we're goin through now, and that's fine - we weren't going to win a National Championship this year. One losing season won't discredit our national image. We're still the University of Tennessee, and we can suck ass on offense and still bring in highly touted skill players! Slow and steady wins the race, and if we want to return to being a team in the national scene year in and year out, we gotta show patience.
Urban Meyer came in and landed Tebow and Harvin right off the bat. Clawson came and inherited Crompton and Foster...
I do my best just to browse forums like VolNation and TitansCentral, but I do post occassionally.
On those forums, there's really only fellow fans to talk to, unlike on DraftCountdown where all 32 teams are represented. We have to defend our team here from criticism by other fans, so I think that kinda has built up a fondness of players who are targets of slights, jokes, or whatever, like LenDale and Vince. We have to look at their positives instead of their negatives in order to defend them. We don't have the time to say we rock, rah, rah, rah! They do, so when they don't rock, it's someone else's fault because everyone is in the concensus that they in fact should rock.
When I go to TitansCentral, I can find threads started by Titans fans whose sole purpose is to try to convince others why a certain player is bad by listing all of the negatives about the player. The only time they have to defend the team is when a troll comes in. Because of that, it's only natural to look at the downsides of things, but it's still ridiculous - especially when the team is winning.
The same goes on at VolNation. The only forum there I enjoy is the Recruiting Forum, because there's actually positivity there (Well, aside when some downer comes in and says, "Well, USC or Ohio St. will prolly get him cuz they're contendors.") Other than that, it's just an entire fandom simultaneously *****ing. Look at the top threads on the Vols Forum: "Fulmer is GONE," "Put Crompton Back In," "My TN coaching staff replacements." There are still players to root for, but there's not one, "Eric Berry for Thorpe Award!" thread or anything. Just the same ole same old complaining about problems, and no one pointing out the positive or pointing out solutions besides firing the entire coaching staff.
I try to just hang around these parts. I think the group of Titans fans here have more logic, reasoning, and ideas than some entire boards around the internet. I get along with ya'll guys better. I get into too many fights on the other ones.^^
I'm actually pretty torn. I want to give him another shot, but at the same time I don't.
I really like Fulmer as a person. He's done a lot of good things for the University and for people in general. He usually brings in excellent recruiting classes, and the players really seem to like him.
At the same time, I feel like Tennessee has become less competitive with the nations top teams lately. I also feel like sometimes he's a push over when it comes to discipline. One of the major things that has always annoyed me though is the tendency to let special teams slip. I couldn't even tell you the last time Tennessee has returned a kickoff for a TD. They're punt coverages always seem to get them burned as well.
I feel like if the AD chooses to go in a new direction after this season, I'm OK with that, but I think with the money that they're going to have to pay him either way, I'm also OK with them keeping him at least one more year. I think he's earned the right to go out with his head held high instead of being forced out. If he does return, I would like for the AD or somebody close to him to push for a special teams coach hire so that that part of the game will quit biting them in the butt.
One more thing. If we do go with a new coach for whatever reason, I think we should hire new young blood that's not necessarily tied to the program. A guy like Chris Petersen from Boise St. really intrigues me.