Good riddance. I think most fans are glad this season has come to an end. The ups and VERY low downs are enough to cause any fan, follower, player or coach angst.
The hopes this season were SO high, with several sources predicting a season in which the Vols would make it to the Sugar Bowl. Boy did they get it wrong. The Volunteers were unable to even make a bowl at all, ending the season at 5-7 and 1-7 in conference play.
By now, everyone knows Head Coach Derek Dooley was fired after a terrible loss to Vanderbilt in Nashville and didn’t coach Saturday’s win over Kentucky. Interim Head Coach Jim Chaney was able to help lead the Vols to a comfortable 37-17 win over the Wildcats.
THINGS WE HOPE ARE STILL THERE NEXT SEASON:
- An explosive offense — It is uncertain if Quarterback Tyler Bray, and Wide Receivers Justin Hunter and Cordarelle Patterson will declare for the draft early. Scouts predict that all 3 could be taken within the first 2 rounds. With Zack Rodgers, Mychal Rivera leaving for sure and the other 3 unsure…all we can do is HOPE.
…….. Besides an awesome offense….there is a LOT to change needed within this organization.
THINGS WE HOPE CHANGE NEXT SEASON:
- Obviously the coaching staff…we can spend hours, days and weeks speculating WHO will be Tennessee’s next coach, but until that person is chosen, this team cannot move on. The new coaching staff can help determine if the 3 power offense players will declare for the draft early. It can also start working on changes for next year….
- BIG Changes on Defense: A new defensive coordinator didn’t do anything to help the defense, so we will have to see what the new coaching staff will be able to pull out. Some good recruits may help also, as most of the Vols defense seems pretty mediocre.
- Leadership. The lack of a leader on the team makes it hard for the team to rally around someone. Take some teams in the SEC: Alabama has A.J McCarron. Texas A&M has Johnny Manziel. South Carolina has Marcus Lattimore. These guys are respected on and off the field for what they are able to accomplish and their demeanor. The Vols have no one like this. Bray, if he returns really needs to step it up and be mature. If he doesn’t return, we’ll have to see if backup Quarterback Justin Worley can step it up!
The next few weeks are crucial for the Vols because a new head coach could change everything, not just in the game, but the culture around Rocky Top. Here’s to hoping the Vols get the best candidate for the job….and they can actually make a turnaround next year!