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Posted: Tuesday, April 18th, 2017, 12:41 PM • Permalink
Vol Colonel
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'Off the top today, I just want to say my heart, thoughts, and prayers are with Tony and his family up in Pennsylvania. This Radio Family has got your back and we have you covered back here at home, big guy. We love you, brudder!

I'm with Tony on Friday's Show. That was some great radio put in by Beano, Brocky, and Philly. Tone, you know you're a blessed man when you can take a leave of absence and can put a triple threat like that on the airwaves and let's not forget the great work by Producer Extraordinaire Brian Hartman behind the scenes. Great job, guys!

Now let's get down to the meat of the matter, shall we.

Spring practice is coming to a close this week as the Volunteers will take the field this coming Saturday for the annual Orange and White game. Right now it's looking like there's about a 40% chance of showers with a high in the low to mid 70's for the game. Hopefully, the weather will hold off until after the game. It sure would be nice to see a lot of folks turn out for the festivities.

It sure would be nice to see a straight up scrimmage with a normal scoring system this year, but with all of the injuries this team has endured this spring, I'm afraid it will be more of the same from Coach Butch Jones and company. We'll get some game like situations on the field, but this thing is chocked full of drills, drills and even more drills. I don't think anyone will leave the stadium knowing a heck of a lot more about the 2017 Volunteers than they did before the game started. The reality is, this is more of a celebration than it is any meaningful football game.

I wish I could bring you more details about what's gone on this spring first hand, but Butch Jones has really had access cut-off this year. I've got great contacts and sources over there, but it's been extra tough this year to get a grip on what's really going on.

It's really a crying shame how paranoid most coaches (including CBJ) are in this day and age. Itís just football. These guys act like they're guarding nuclear secrets. Giving your fans and media more access is not going to change anything in the win/loss column come the fall.

One constant I keep hearing from my contacts is how much more relaxed Butch Jones is, especially on the practice field. I'm hearing Jones is really letting the coaches, coach. I hear Jones is really happy with his current crop of coaches and I must say I've heard nothing but rave reviews on these guys.

One coach I'm really hearing great things about is Mike 'Chico' Canales. When Canales was first hired I must say I wasn't overly impressed. I chalked that hire up to another old pal of Butch coming on board to get a check. I also looked at Canales' long coaching history and what I saw was a journeyman: a jack of all trades and master at none.

If what I'm hearing is true, and I believe it is considering who I'm hearing this from, I'm more than happy to be wrong about Canales. I hear it's a night and day difference the way he's working with our QB's compared to what we've had in the past under Butch.

I'm hearing Coach Canales not only has a great working relationship with our QB's on the field, but he's been building his relationship with these guys off the field too. I've heard on more than one occasion that these guys go out to eat with Coach Canales and how he's had these guys over to his house to break bread also. I think this is fantastic. This kind of stuff builds a trust and a bond with these kids so much more than just a coach they only see at practice and in the film room.. I love what I'm hearing about Canales! Keep up the good work, Coach 'Chico'.

As far as the QB race, I'm hearing there's not been a lot of separation between Guarantano and Dormady. I was told if the season started today that most likely both would play. Folks, that's about what I expected to hear coming out of spring ball. I really hope one of these kids can separate themselves this summer. I'm a firm believer in playing one QB. My money is still on Jarrett Guarantano to win the job this August because I think he gives us a better chance to win in this style of offense, but I'm not foolish enough to think Dormady can't win it. That's going to be one hell of a battle later this summer.

I've heard nothing but great things about offensive lineman Trey Smith. I'm told there's no way they'll be able to keep this kid out of the starting line-up for long and not to be shocked if he's out there starting in his first collegiate game. I'm hearing it's not only his strength and size that are impressive, but his smarts and ability to learn and adapt quickly that has really impressed the coaches. I'm also told this kid is a natural leader and though he's only a freshman going through his first spring of college football, that other players seem to gravitate to this guy. That's really encouraging news!

My biggest concern coming out of spring ball is the injury situation. It blows my mind the amount of injuries this team continues to pile up. While it's true that most guys have only nagging injuries and some are out as a precautionary measure, the frequency to which this team sustains injuries is quite alarming. You just can't chalk it up to "every team has injuries this time of year." It seems to happen too often here. The scary part for me is nobody can seem to put a finger on it as to the main source or cause of these frequent injuries. Last year it seems like everybody wanted to blame injuries on our strength and conditioning program, but once again the same injuries continue to pile up under new Strength Coach Rock Gullickson. BTW I'm not placing any blame on Gullickson. I've heard nothing but good things about him and his program. It's just pretty damn bad when you have to kill scrimmaging because of injuries. Hopefully, something gives this summer and we go into the fall with a healthy set of troops.

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Moving on from football, I want to say I couldn't agree more with Orange Throat on his assessment of Tennessee's Basketball recruiting. Throaty was correct in saying when your class is ranked 56th nationally and 13th in the SEC in recruiting that you just can't overcome that. I'm not here to piss off the Rick Barnes fans, but let's call a spade a spade. I really hope new Athletics Director John Currie has a sit-down with Coach Barnes on what's expected of him here recruiting wise.

I'm sorry Barnes fans, but when I look at our arena and our facilities and the money we invest into basketball, I think it's rather appalling to give this coach a pass when he's recruiting near the bottom of the SEC. Hell, given our facilities and what we do invest, I'd expect better numbers in recruiting from a coach that was plucked straight from the high school ranks. I know some of you think Barnes is going to work some coaching magic and get us into the NCAA Tourney next year and I hope he does, but I'm not going to hold my breath. That's a monumental leap going from being .500 and not even making the NIT to joining the Big Dance with the Big Boys. I'll have to see it to believe it!

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On the way out the door today, I want to say I believe Geoff Brock was absolutely correct on Friday's show in saying he thinks New A.D. John Currie should go ahead and can Vols Baseball Coach Dave Serrano. I think it would send a message to some other coaches on campus to step it up. I also think it could maybe throw a spark into the team. It's obvious this isn't working under Serrano and there's no way you're bringing him back anyways. The reality is, he should have been canned after last season. Dave's a great guy and all, but this is a results oriented business that he's in and clearly the results don't match the numbers on the paycheck for Serrano. I hate being harsh, but that's the reality of the job he has. At the end of the day you're paid to win games!

That's all for this week and if you have any thoughts on what I've written or have any feedback for me, you can find me on Twitter @TheVolColonel.

Have a Great Day and Go Big Orange!

Your Vol Colonel'

A family in the Halls community suffered a total loss this week from a house fire, and they have 2 kids in high school and one in elementary. If you would like to help, here are the details: They are in need of gift cards for gas, groceries and clothing. Donations can be dropped off at the high school or mailed to Halls High School, Attn: Cheri Duncan, 4321 Emory Road, Knoxville TN 37938

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VC: In the order that you threw out your nuggets in today's scintillating report, I'll attempt to match you whim for whim.

Thank you for the well wishes for my family. I'm really glad I've come up here to experience this and honor my father. Not fun but heartily worthwhile. You're right on my team of which you're a valuable member. I'm blessed my good man.

On your Spring Ball observations: On Butch Jones...I want to believe that he's changed and he's going to get out of the way. I guess we'll see. His way hasn't worked to tremendous success so perhaps he'll reverse course.

I agree with you on the Spring game. This should be a fun time for the fans. Let the fans see the QB's play and sling it! Let's see Jennings make some heart stopping grabs and let's put our hair down and enjoy ourselves.

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On Canales. I hate to say I told people that he was going to be fine as QB coach, but I believed what I was told because I trusted the people who told me this. Sometimes in that profession ageism and breaks mean that a coach is below where they belong and I believe this is the case with Chico. Now onto the real question you bring up. Who will be Chico's man? Some callers have suggested in recent weeks letting both QB's play this season. NO!

I'm with you! I think it will be JG but I love Dormady. He's tough. He's a leader and he's a very good QB in his own right. I've heard the comparisons to Michael Vick (prior to his Dog murdering days) with JG and that's got me salivating.

On the injuries....It can't be anything in particular, can it? What I'm trying to say is that I'm hopeful that this ends soon. It's happened under multiple regimes so it can't be anything in particular. I'll call it bad luck. And it must end soon.

On Rick Barnes.....13th in the SEC in recruiting. Back to back non-NIT teams. If fans are happy with this and hoodwinked by this guy and his complete lack of output thus far on the recruiting trail, more power to them and him. Mark this down....Despite what John Currie says publicly, he reads this blog and he hears you my friend. How do I know? Because I know he reads this blog every morning. And John, you're going to have your work cut out for you in motivating this hoops coach to dig on the recruiting trail.

Posted: Fri, Jan 19th, 1:48 AM
by Beano
Posted: Mon, Jan 15th, 11:03 PM
by Doink
National Champions!
Posted: Tue, Jan 9th, 12:24 AM
by Alison
On Serrano....We had a terrific conversation on the air about this yesterday. He's a wonderful guy but it's time for him to go. That's a sad thing to say but it's the truth. And when I say he's a great guy, I really mean he's all heart. Serrano cares about his kids, cares about his community and has done a wonderful job as an ambassador for UT Baseball. If only they didn't keep score, he'd be an all time great. And I really mean that. It's a damn shame but he needs to bear the brunt right now for the rest of an underperforming athletic department.

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Today's Top Question: True or False: I would find an 8-4 season wholeheartedly acceptable at Tennessee this year if it resulted in the Vols winning the East and making the SEC Title Game. True or False?

Final thought: Thanks for being there today. Thanks for being you! Go Preds...Go Grizz....

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