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7/13 Weekly Mailbag

Welcome to the first edition of the FOX Sports Knoxville weekly mailbag. To get us rolling we take a look at one of the comments Butch Jones made at Tennessee’s SEC Media Day this week.

Johnny T. writes:

“I wanted to get your guys thoughts on one of Butch’s quotes at media days in regards to the QB situation. Coach Jones made the comment that ‘if both players earn the right to play, we’ll play both quarterbacks.’ What are your thoughts on the Vols using a 2 QB system?”

I received several questions on this topic, and it is definitely one of the more intriguing story lines heading into camp. After hearing Butch say the quote above, I would hedge your bets that you will see a good dose of both Dormady and Guarantano come the season opener against Georgia Tech.

I have yet to see a 2 QB system work long-term when it comes to swapping QBs every other possession or quarter. That being said, Florida won a national championship having Chris Leak be the primary QB and bringing in Tebow for several goal line formations. Tennessee tried the rotating QB strategy back in ’04 with Ainge and Schaeffer, and you could argue it worked okay until Schaeffer went down with the Collarbone injury.

Based off both Dormady and Guarantano’s body of work to this point, I would have to give the edge to Dormady on being the first QB we see take a snap against Georgia Tech. If that is the case, I would like to see a package created for him that allows him to show off his rushing ability. It’s another component that will keep the Vols’ opponents on their toes.

It took the season opener for Saban to figure out who was going to be Alabama’s quarterback moving forward last season. We all know Jalen Hurts ultimately beat out Blake Barnett for the starting spot. So there you have it…Tennessee is going to have a season like Bama did last year!

– Davey Hudson

 

Jacob L. writes:

Did Intern Jake intentionally leave a wet spot for Malik Monk to slip on in the Kentucky vs. Tennessee game in Thompson-Boling Arena?

A little background for this question: This past year I volunteered as a part of the court crew for men’s basketball home games. Basically, I was one of the guys who mopped the floor before games and during timeouts. During the Kentucky game, I was working the Kentucky side of the floor. Typically during timeouts, the teams will set up in their bench area and take up a little bit of the court with other chairs.

Kentucky, on the other hand, pulled out chairs onto the court and set up in a circle. As you might imagine, dozens of athletes and coaches dripping sweat and Gatorade onto the floor while we’re unable to mop it doesn’t help the situation. Plus, Kentucky takes an obnoxiously long time to get out of timeouts, sitting until the ref comes over to give them a warning each time. This gives the court crew approximately 15-20 seconds to mop up this entire area, which needs it the most. When the fall happened, the first thought that ran through my head was “Oh shoot” (but a little less family-friendly).

After that, we got chewed out badly by some Kentucky assistant, and Coach Cal kept shooting us dirty looks the rest of the game. On the bright side, from that point forward Kentucky got out of the huddle earlier and the assistants even kindly helped us wipe the floor. So to answer the question, no it wasn’t intentional. I am very glad that no one ended up getting hurt from this situation. However, people have asked me if I regret the whole situation. In the words of John Currie, “Will it help us win?” It did help us win, and I don’t regret a thing.

– Jake Tidwell

 

Tyler G. writes:

What is there to NOT like about Jarrett Guarantano? He’s mobile (Josh Dobbs was mobile), he has a strong arm, and he’s confident. Sounds like he should be the starting QB.

Jarrett Guarantano is an unbelievable talent, no question. He has all of the tools that Tennessee needs from the quarterback in their current offensive system.

That said, Quinten Dormady is also very talented and far from a statue in the pocket. He out-performed Guarantano in the Orange and White Game and has an extra year of experience running Tennessee’s system, as well as some actual in-game reps.

At this level, talent alone at the quarterback position can only get you so far. The need for your quarterback to understand coverages, audibles, alignment, personnel, film-study…etc. is incredibly important – as is the talent you put around him. That’s why I think you’ll see Dormady start the season and play more that Guarantano in the earlier games due to his experience. After that, however, it’s anyone’s guess as to what Butch Jones will decide to do. It all depends on how quickly Jarrett Gurantano can progress and how well Dormady runs the offense when he’s in there.

Your guess is probably as good as mine as to how this shakes out during the regular season, but I’ll put my money on Dormady to take the first snap.

– Houston Kress

 

Bradley B. writes:

It’s been a fairly entertaing offseason for the NBA so far. With everything that has happened which NBA offseason move will have the largest impact on the season itself?

In my opinion, Paul George joining the Thunder has been the most impactful move. Yes, Chris Paul joining James Harden gives the Rockets a backcourt to rival the Warriors, but the Rockets had to give up so much depth to acquire him. I also don’t think the Timberwolves will compete for a championship this year either.

Paul George is a top 10 NBA player and gives Russell Westbrook the complementary scoring option the Thunder so desperately needed last season. When Westbrook goes to the bench, George can carry the load. George’s defense will also pay dividends. While Andre Roberson is a very good defender, George doesn’t have the same offensive restrictions when he’s on the floor. With Westbrook and George, the Thunder have a chance at securing a top 3 seed in the loaded Western Conference and challenging the Warriors.

– Jake Tidwell

 

William C. writes:

“I’m really excited for the Tennessee Titans upcoming season! They made a lot of quality additions this offseason through free agency and the draft that I feel made them the favorites for the AFC South. With that being said, what do you all see as the biggest position of need going into the season?”

William, I am right there with you when it comes to the excitement and anticipation for the Titans season. It’s been over a decade where I thought the Titans have a legitimate chance at winning the division. As far as biggest position of need, I have to go with cornerback. The Titans have no depth whatsoever at the cornerback position.

This is the first time Logan Ryan will take on the role as the number 1 CB. I do like Adoree Jackson’s potential, but I am still unsure on how the Titan’s will best utilize his abilities early on. He is slightly undersized, but Just looking at the roster, you would put him ahead of Brice McCain on the depth chart. McCain played mostly nickel last season. LeShaun Sims and Kalan Reed will most likely make the roster, but based on what I have seen from both those players to this point, I would not want to have them play extended minutes down the stretch this season.

Outside of Mariota suffering an injury, cornerback is by far the thinnest position group, and the Titans cannot aboard to take any loses on the starting front. They were horrendous against opposing teams last season, especially after how bad the group was last season.

Some would argue that the tight end position would be the biggest need due to amount of blocking that the Titans ask of their TEs. The departure of Anthony Fasano to Miami was a big loss. But I believe the Jon Robinson and company have faith in Phillip Supernaw to help feel the void. I am anxious to see if Robinson sees Jace Amaro as a player worthy of a roster spot when it is time for the cuts to take place. Jonnu Smith will be asked to step up and contribute, but I view him more as receiving weapon then I do someone expected to be consistently on the line blocking for the ground and pound attack led by Demarco Murray and Derrick Henry.

– Davey Hudson

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If you would like to be a part of the mailbag send your questions to foxsportsknoxville@gmail.com.

 

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