Now Is The Time

By Gabe Correa - Smokey's Trail
Aug. 17, 2012

"Now is the time" Yes, we heard this before, and for the last four years we had glimmer of hope that something will change. It's been a rollercoaster ride, up and down and mostly down. We have tasted the dirt being on the bottom side, but "Now is the time" to win. There are no excuses not to be competitive this year. We should compete in the SEC, and win some signature games.

We have the right coaches in place; solid, wide receiver U in place; solid, offensive line in place; solid. The running backs have a question mark, but I think we'll be alright, because the offensive line will open more holes up this year. Jay Graham running back coach is teaching them the basics "you've got to work to get better" and they're doing that.

Former Alabama linebackers coach Sal Sunseri has taken Tennessee's defensive coordinator job. He has brought in the 3-4 defense and have the players to run it. The Vols landed a huge commitment from one of the biggest football players in America. Coming in at a staggering 6'6", 380 pounds, [Mount] Daniel McCullers might just become the biggest person to ever don the orange and white. Sunseri thinking about putting him at nose guard with Daniel Hood, and Maurice Couch by his side, plus the best linebacker crew in America, A.J. Johnson, Curt Maggitt, Herman Lathers, and Jacques Smith.

The special teams coach Charlie Coiner is putting the best players on kickoffs that will wrap-up players instead of arm tackling. He spent six years in the NFL with Chicago and Buffalo as a special-teams assistant. Unlike offense and defense, more guys are available to play special teams, and some guys' only contributions come on those units. Injuries and risks make that depth chart an evolving one, but Coiner feels "very good" about where Tennessee is.

Derek Dooley said, this team has great team chemistry, and the leaders that come to the top will help struggling players get through it in tough times.

These are just a few of the things that are positive coming into this season. We haven't heard this much good news coming out of Knoxville in four years. If you can't get excited about the Vols this year there's something wrong with you. I'm ready for a banner year and the Kick-off Classic in Atlanta against North Carolina State is just the start. The first game is always a measuring stick, because everybody is adjusting their system, what works, and what doesn't. Every win no matter who we play, will be SWEET.

My grandfather always told me when I was down, and feeling low. He said son, you got to have the bitter with the sweet, but mostly bitter. If you didn't have the bitter you wouldn't appreciate the sweet. Is that why they tear down goal post after wins, because they have been beaten down for so long, and the victory is so SWEET. "NOW IS THE TIME" Go Vols!!!

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