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Ex-UT Coach Dooley Finalizes Deal With Cowboys

It took longer than expected — heck, the Dallas Cowboys jumped the gun and posted the hiring on their own website more than a week ago — but former Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley is returning to the NFL.  Dooley confirmed via Twitter last night that he is indeed heading to Dallas to coach the team’s wide receivers.























Dooley served along with current Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett with the Miami Dolphins in 2005 and 2006.  Alabama coach Nick Saban was that team’s head coach and Dooley handled the tight end duties.

Thanks to his Tennessee buyout, Dooley will likely be making more cash than any other position coach in the NFL next year.  He’ll be paid $5 million in monthly installments of $102,040 through December of 2016.

Dooley will serve on the same staff with new Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin.  Kiffin’s son, Lane, opened the door for Dooley to move from Louisiana Tech to Knoxville (after a 4-8 season) when he left the Vols after just one season.  His annihilation of the Volunteer roster, however, also left Dooley in a no-win situation.

Next question: Will quarterback Tyler Bray, receivers Justin Hunter or Cordarrelle Patterson, or ex-receiver Da’Rick Rogers be reunited with their old coach in Big D?  And would they want to be?

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Returning Bama Aide Thompson Talks Up Saban; Says He Lost His Mind To Leave

Lance Thompson is now on his third stop at Alabama.  The linebackers coach previously served under both Mike Dubose and Nick Saban before landing at SEC rival Tennessee for three seasons.  Back with the Crimson Tide and speaking to a booster group last night, the prodigal son opened up about his current boss.

Whether you take his take his comments as some sort of reflection/comparison to the qualities and traits of his last boss — UT’s Derek Dooley — is completely up to you:


“The number one thing about Nick is he is the most focused individual in the world.  He ignores all external stimuli…  It’s the ability to focus on what’s important, what’s going to get you to where you want to go…

(Saban) has incredible judgment in how he uses his time, in how we evaluated our players.  He exercises impeccable judgment…  (He’s got a) keen eye for talent…  (And he’s) an effective communicator…

“He’s the most competitive man I’ve ever seen.  If it’s a midnight pool game on a recruiting trip, he wants to win.  And if you beat him, he’ll be mad at you.  He’s a special guy.  He’s kinda like Coach (Bear) Bryant of this era because everybody wants to be like him, everybody wonders how he does it.  And you know what, they never figured it out. And they never will.  Because he’s a special guy.”


Thompson also joked with Bama fans at last night’s event that a case of temporary insanity led him from Tuscaloosa to Knoxville.  ”I lost my mind, lost my way,” he said.  At the time, Thompson said he left Alabama to work with then-Tennessee defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin.  When Kiffin left, Thompson stayed on for two more years under the Dooley regime.  This past offseason he was passed over for UT’s defensive coordinator job and that spot was handed, ironically, to Sal Sunseri, another former Alabama linebackers coach who joined Bama’s staff just as Thompson was leaving three years ago.  Thompson then took Sunseri’s old slot back at Alabama.


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Freshman “Freak” Looks To Shine At LSU

LSU freshman defensive tackle Anthony Johnson is known as “Freak” by his teammates.  He’s 6-3, 295 pounds and he happens to be remarkably fast for his size.  How fast?

“My sophomore year, I committed to the University of Tennessee, and the defensive coordinator at the time, Monte Kiffin, said he wanted me to run a 40-yard dash.  I was 315 pounds at the time and I ran a 4.8-second 40.

Ever since that day, (Kiffin) said it was some freaky stuff, so he called me the ‘Freak’ — and it just stuck with me.”

While Tiger coaches are trying not to overwhelm the freshman phenom, his teammates already see a guy who can go toe-to-toe with LSU’s offensive linemen.  “This guy comes in and goes against the ones, and it looks like he’s been playing int he SEC for a long time,” Michael Brockers told The New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Get used to hearing the name Anthony Johnson, folks.

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