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Vols' Rogers officially in doghouse

12/2/2011

With several different reports swirling Friday concerning the status of Tennessee receiver Da'Rick Rogers, what's clear is that the Vols' star receiver has some work to do to get back into good graces with the team.

Tennessee coach Derek Dooley released a statement Friday saying only that Rogers had not been suspended and was "still a part of our football team." But how much longer he's a part of the team and to what degree is the issue if Rogers doesn't show progress in terms of his overall attitude, work ethic and commitment to being a part of the solution and not part of the problem. Dooley met with the team on Friday, and Rogers wasn't present.

Despite being the Vols' top offensive threat this season with 1,040 receiving yards and nine touchdowns, Rogers caused waves in the locker room and was a divisive force at times. He's an exceptional talent, but wasn't viewed as much of a team player.

The Vols bottomed out last Saturday in their 10-7 loss to Kentucky, and Rogers at least twice failed to come up with key catches in what was a miserable performance all the way around for the Tennessee offense.

Clearly, this offseason will be critical for Rogers and his future with the Tennessee program.

It's equally critical for Dooley in getting a locker room back under control that got away from him this season.