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Thursday, August 11, 2011
Vols get a dose of Shakespeare

By Chris Low

What a Renaissance Man this Derek Dooley is turning out to be.

We knew he was a lawyer for a private firm in Atlanta before getting into coaching.

He turned history teacher on us last season while making an analogy to German field marshal Erwin Rommel and the World War II Normandy invasion.

And on Thursday, the Tennessee second-year coach evoked Shakespeare's play "Richard III" while assessing the Vols' scrimmage on Tuesday.

Yep ... Shakespeare.

What's next? A seminar on Global Warming?

Dooley was trying to get across the importance of details and read to his players the "For want of a horseshoe nail" passage, where King Richard was tossed from his horse because the blacksmith left out a single nail in the horse's shoe.

"One little horseshoe can bring down a whole kingdom. That's what it did back in the 1400's," Dooley said. "Just like stepping with your right foot six inches could cause a guy to get on the edge, which causes the quarterback to get a little flustered, the exchanges goes bad, fumble, turnover, touchdown.

"Every little detail of your technique and assignment can impact the game. We've got a long way to go."

That may be, but Dooley likes the progress his team is making. He's been especially pleased with true freshman linebackers A.J. Johnson and Curt Maggitt, both of whom will have to play a lot of snaps this season. That's not necessarily a bad thing, either, because both players are exactly what you're looking for at the linebacker position in this league.

One of the things that frustrated Dooley the most from Tuesday's scrimmage was sophomore quarterback Tyler Bray's inability to play faster.

"We were just too slow," Dooley said. "We put a lot on him. ... We're going to do some things. We've got to tighten it down and do a better job of coaching so Tyler can get in there and groove it a little bit."

In the meantime, Bray and the rest of the Vols will kick back with a little "Hamlet" or maybe even "Macbeth."