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D-Coordinator Jancek Eager To See How Vols Respond To Adversity

vol-defense-run-throughIn 2012, the Tennessee defense broke school records for futility.  Finishing 14th in a 14-team SEC in total defense and scoring defense, the Volunteers surrendered 2,266 yards on the ground and 3,390 yards through the air.  They were battered for a grand total of 5,656 yards, a 6.13 yards-per-play average, and 428 points, including 53 touchdowns.

The basic math?  UT’s foes averaged 35.7 points and 471.3 yards per game.

Needless to say, new defensive coordinator John Jancek wonders how his players will react when the breaks go against them:

 

“That’s really my concern with this group in a first ball game.  Hey, if something bad happens, maybe they get a big pass, or there’s a turnover, or they get a long run, or there’s something that happens to change the momentum on special teams — how are we going to respond as a defense.  That’s what I’m probably paying most attention to.”

 

Tennessee’s new defense is reportedly much simpler than the complex/confusing/confounding scheme drawn up by one-and-done coordinator Sal Sunseri a year ago.  At the very least, the Vols shouldn’t set any new lows when it comes to school history.

The Volunteers open against Austin Peay on Saturday.  That needs to be a confidence-builder for a group that will face Bobby Petrino’s Western Kentucky squad and then travel to Oregon and Florida before the end of September.

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SEC Headlines 3/15/2013

headlines-friSEC Football

1. Biggest change LSU players are seeing with new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron? Tempo. Running back Jeremy Hill: “We got in a lot more plays than we do normally.”

2. With multiple players headed to the NFL, LSU needs to rebuild its defensive line.  In all, defensive coordinator John Chavis has to replace eight starters.  ”We’ve done this before.”

3. Tennessee practices for the first time in full pads.  What did defensive coordinator John Jancek think? “I think we’re a poor tackling team right now.”

4. Tennessee wide receivers coach Zach Azzani: “I have a bunch of guys that really have no foundation.”

5. With spring practice now underway this week at Arkansas, what does new Bret Bielema have to say about his team?  “They are open to coaching. They’re hungry. They are obsessed with doing things that we’re asking them to do, even if it is taxing or exhausting.”

6. Former Arkansas running back Knile Davis on the impact of Bobby Petrino’s departure: “There was no order when Bobby left.”

7. South Carolina quarterback Dylan Thompson on coach Steve Spurrier: “He demands perfection and isn’t going to stop until he gets what he wants.”

8. Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen says he’ll have his staff completed when the Bulldogs start spring practice on March 21.

9. Biggest spring practice question at Vanderbilt? “Can redshirt freshman Patton Robinette leapfrog senior Austyn Carta-Samuels for the Vanderbilt starting quarterback job?”

10. Coach James Franklin: “We have a chance to be close to 300 pounds across the offensive line and four deep at defensive tackle. We haven’t had that before.”

11. Looks like Johnny Manziel is enjoying spring break. Is Manziel more like Manti Te’o than we may think? “Manziel revels in his newfound role as the country’s biggest troll.”

12. Texas Tech would like to renew a rivalry with the Aggies.  Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt: “We would welcome the opportunity to play Texas A&M in every sport.”

13. SEC Media Days schedule set - July 16-18.

SEC Basketball

14. LSU vs. Florida starts the ball rolling this afternoon in Nashville.  Florida won the first round 74-52 back in January but Tigers playing well lately – 10-5 in their last 15 games.

15. It’s Tennessee vs. Alabama in the rubber match this afternoon in Nashville.  Keep your eye on rebounds – Tennessee has had 15 more in each of the first two games. Does a win over Alabama make Tennessee bubble-proof?

16. Vanderbilt gets Kentucky again tonight - sixth time in two years these two teams have met. John Calipari:  ”We’ve got a challenge. This is going to be a really hard game for us.”

17. Ole Miss faces Missouri tonight.  With two sub-200 RPI losses, Rebels desperately need a win to keep any NCAA Tournament hopes alive.

18. What to do with Missouri? “Short of winning the SEC tourney, Mizzou will be a complicated team to seed.”

19. Tough call for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – stay or leave or NBA?  Projects as late first-round or second-round pick.

20. A first-year coach in Frank Martin but fourth straight losing season at South Carolina.  Where do the Gamecocks go from here?

22. Stat on SEC basketball: From 1997 to 2008, the SEC averaged 5.7 NCAA Tournament bids per season. Now, the SEC won’t have more than five bids for the fifth straight year.

23.  What to expect from this year’s NCAA Tournament?  Buckle up for a wild ride.

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UGA Reports NCAA Violations Relating To Richt Paying… His Assistants

The University of Georgia has reported secondary rules violations withing its football program to the NCAA.  The violations involved head coach Mark Richt handing out money.

No, it’s not what you think.  He’s not been paying players.  He’s been giving an extra farthing or two to his assistants and support staff.

According to records obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution through the Freedom of Information Act, Richt “made personal payments of more than $25,000 to coaches and support staff due to what he perceived as inadequate compensation for those individuals.”  Richt wrote three staff members checks from his personal accounts after UGA declined to give the men raises.

Richt’s generosity was a violation of NCAA bylaw 11.3.2.2.  That rule is designed to regulate the amount of supplemental pay staff members can receive.

Here’s who Richt provided extra cash to:

* Charlie Cantor, former recruiting assistant, $10,842 in 2010-2011

* John Jancek, former linebackers coach, $10,000 in 2009

* John Eason, director of player development, $6,150 in 2010

All three men and Richt must now go through NCAA rules education.  Richt and athletic director Greg McGarity would not get into specifics on the report with the AD saying simply: “The reports stands on its own.  There’s nothing to add.  We’re moving forward.”

We’ll add only this: If we’d been told an SEC coach was going to get into trouble for being too nice… we’d have put our money on Richt.

UPDATE It has been reported this afternoon that Richt also paid $15,227 to 10 non-coaching staff members when UGA refused to give them bowl bonuses (due to “difficult economic conditions being experienced by the University”).  He also paid a five-year longevity bonus of $15,337.50 to tight ends coach Dave Johnson who left for a job at West Virginia just before his fifth anniversary rolled around.  In addition, Richt paid $6,000 to fired defensive ends coach Jon Fabris in 2010 when the coach’s severance package had expired and he still hadn’t found a job.

Look up “good guy” in the dictionary…

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