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Dooley Likes Look of Young Vols Up Front
Dallas Thomas (71)

Dallas Thomas (71)

April 13, 2010

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley said after Tuesday's practice that he liked what he saw Saturday from mid-term freshmen defensive ends Corey Miller and Jacques Smith.

"Let me tell you, those two guys are going to be really good football players. They have a great attitude and great character; they play with tremendous effort and have a lot of physical skills. They are progressing at a really rapid pace and are going to be important to us this year.

"I'm glad they are part of our program."

On the offensive side, Dooley had words of support for three of the members of his young offensive line:

Dallas Thomas -- "The most consistent performer has been Dallas Thomas. He's been a real steady hand at left tackle.

Ja'Wuan James -- "Ol' Ja'Wuan, we forget he's a high school guy. He's quietly going about his business. We're not noticing great things out of him, but that's sometimes a good thing because noticing a lot. Which means, he's just functioning, and that's a heck of a statement for a (mid-term) freshman. I feel like the future at tackle is in pretty good hands."

JerQuari Schofield -- "I think Schofield has a chance to be a real good player. He's a young guy; he's got a lot of mass to him. And when he hits you, you don't want to get hit by him because he's going to knock every one of you about 20 feet back. He's got a lot of explosive power."

Dooley earlier took a page out Gen. Neyland's playbook when he offered perhaps one of his own maxims of football: "You don't have to do anything special in a game; you just have to do the common things uncommonly well."

 

 

He was referring to Saturday's scrimmage and his team's inability to limit miscues in the crucial closing portion of a game.

"It was amazing the number of critical, game-changing mistakes that we made during the stretch," he said. "I think I counted 15, and I'm talking about penalties, poor snaps, dropped passes -- simple things.

"I did a little research for the team to show how important those last four minutes of a game are. In the last two years, we had a chance to win seven times in the last four minutes where it was a one-possession or 10-point difference and we didn't win one of them. We even lost the lead one time."

Tennessee practices again Wednesday and Thursday in advance of Saturday's Dish Network Orange and White Game. Kickoff Saturday is 2 p.m. Eastern time.

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