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I want to like Dooley, I really do, because he's Vince Dooley's son and a Saban disciple, and he seems like a good guy. But he has made some coaching decisions and turned in some coaching performances that are real head scratchers to me. You can compare him to Saban's first year all you want, but these are things he would never have done and/or things that would never have happened on Saban's watch, even in the first year or so.
1) Burning that freshman QB's redshirt against us when his starter was injured, even though he had a serviceable backup ready to go, he was never going to win against us and no one expected him to, and his starter was going to come back later in the season. This decision never gets any attention, but IMO it's one of the stupidest things I've ever seen a head coach do. Why would you burn that kid's redshirt unless you absolutely had to? Totally altered that kid's career, and for what? It reeked of desperation.
2) The end of the UT/LSU game 2010. WTF.
3) Seven coaches leaving in the off-season. We've seen plenty of rats leaving sinking ships in the past, with multiple coaches leaving, but nothing like that. Huge red flag that his own people, who are up close and personal every day, don't see it getting any better.
4) (one of the biggest red flags) UT's academics. Again, WTF. That's the most abysmal thing I've ever seen. It's almost like he made no effort whatsoever at keeping track of player academics or holding them accountable during the semester. I genuinely do not understand how that could happen.
Bottom line is that he does not appear to have control of either his team or his staff, and his on the field coaching and preparation is, shall we say, suspect. If his last name was not Dooley and he was not a Saban disciple, I think he would have already been fired.
The one thing that gets me about Dooley/UT. With all the coaching turn over he's had. How in the blue hell did he convince Sal Sunseri to walk onto a "sinking ship?" I know it's a promotion & an oppurtunity for Sal. But I think had he waited at least one more season. He would've gotten at least another dc job. Or perhaps even a head coaching gig. I'm still a little baffled by this.
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An NFL scout says: “Winning is important, and strictly speaking football, his players are ready to go in our league from the moment they step on the field. For the most part, they’re good character kids. Nick won’t put up with crap, and that shows with the way they perform week after week.”
A three year contract totaling 2.4M, that's how. Sinking ship yes, but Coach Sal has a golden life jacket, and he will never, ever, have to worry about his next job. There's no downside...everyone knows Tennessee sucks and Dooley is, well, Dooley. Large upside potential, however. If Dooley gets fired, Sal will still get a good job (or draw 1.6M over the following two years for playing golf and going fishing), and if Tennessee surpasses expectations, it will be due in no small part to the fact that Sal will have been successful. Win-win situation for Sal, IMO.
How is there no downside here? What if his defense well.....sucks the whole time he is at UT? & given the talent level compared to other current SEC schools. That very well could happen imho.
One difference is that Dooley is having problems with players he signed, not just ones he inherited.
Saban put up with a lot in his first year, but I believe he also said he had more suspensions that year than he's ever had. By 2008 things were on the right path and it was evident to everyone... going into year three, not sure anything sees much improvement at UT under Dooley.
Totally disagree. Dooley has done nothing to make anyone think he is turning that program around. It's not just the record. It's that they're not even competitive in so many games.
We can talk all we want, I believe the bottom line is Dooley has to put a better product on the field than he has of yet. The feeling here in Tennessee among the Tennessee fans is the honeymoon is over. He better produce this year. I guess we will all see.
First of all...did you completely miss the point I mentioned about getting to draw 1.6M for the following two years to just play golf or go fishing? Newsflash...if his defense sucks this year, Dooley gets fired and Sunseri moves on. No...I don't see the downside.
Besides, I guess I'm assuming that Sunseri is a good coach and is capable of coaching kids up. And again, given his reputation for being an outstanding coach, and if he doesn't have good talent to work with, as you suggest, most future employers would understand that you can't make chicken salad out of chicken s**t. Sure...the talent level there sucks right now. If their defense has no talent, future employers will know that it wasn't Sunseri's fault that UT's defense sucked this year.
This post was edited by airharper 2 years ago
I didn't miss any points. But the move still makes little sense to me. But we don't have to agree on it. He seemed a little eager to move on imo.
I get that people like Dooley, they want him to be successful because he coached under Saban, yada yada yada. But I have yet to see anyone point to one thing about Dooley that shows he's a good coach. Not one trait, not one accomplishment. One lone second half comeback...against Vandy. Not one upset victory over a better team. Nothing.
You're right; reasonable people can disagree. He was eager, and there could be all kinds of reasons for that. It was a promotion to a coordinator's position. I would say this, though...if not for the multi-year contract, I would agree that it would have been a foolish move.
I say that because he had his name out for any possible job since he first took a spot on Saban's staff. I think Saban was just a stepping stone for him. The way things look now.
It probably was a stepping stone and I think he has stated that his goal was to become a DC. I am not sure he has stated intent to be a HC, but I wouldn't doubt it because most coaches want to be a HC. Working for Saban looks good and probably increases the amout of teams that will look to hire you in the future.
You would have to think it is just one more item for his resume, DC at a major football college. With his ties to Pitt, who knows, that may be his dream job and all these things just a means to get there.
Dooley never should have gotten that job. People forget that he had a losing record at Louisiana Tech. How does having a losing record at Louisiana Tech land you a job like Tennessee? Two reasons - his name is Dooley and he is a "Saban disciple." He's NEVER shown that he is anything other than an average to below average head coach. He talks a good game, I'll give him that.
Fair statement. Saban also didn't lose his two most important players to his team. I wonder how 2008 would have been without Andre Smith and Mike Johnson. If Utah is any indication. Not good.
I have never understood why people say this about Dooley. He was Coach Saban's TE coach which is one of the lower ranking coaches. I hate to say this part but if it wasn't for the January recruits Kiffin had in Knoxville before he bolted for USC ut would be in a lot worse shape.
Like I said we don't have to agree. But the guy is Vince Dooley's son. & is also of the Saban coaching tree.
There's one more very critical reason...the job was open at a time that was outside the normal cycle for hiring new football coaches...a couple of weeks into January. Just as Mike Shula never would have never gotten an interview had the Alabama job been open in December. Many experienced head coaches would not have been willing to jump ship in the middle of January, just a couple of weeks or so before NSD.
I suppose the question we're wondering is, exactly what is it that Dooley himself has done as a head coach that indicates to you that he is above average? Again, reasonable people can disagree, but what accomplishments, other than who he was born to and who he worked for, do you base your assessment on? Just curious.
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