Archive for August 17th, 2006

Heisman Pundit questions David Cutcliffe’s reputation

Thursday, August 17th, 2006

Heisman Pundit is questioning the reputation of David Cutcliffe. An excerpt:

[Is] Cutcliffe’s quarterback pedigree really that special? He gets credit for the Mannings, but both Peyton and Eli were highly-touted recruits and can’t miss prospects who really just needed to be managed properly.

Beyond that, there is Heath Shuler, who was the second pick of the draft based almost solely on his physical skills (he was an NFL bust), and Andy Kelly, who went on to a career in the Arena Football League.

Am I saying Cutcliffe is a bad quarterbacks coach? No. I’m saying that we don’t really know if he is as good as advertised, since even I could probably coach talents like the Mannings to the NFL. He clearly is good at not messing up players who are already on track to be successful. That’s often half the battle. That said, the last quarterback he coached–Ethan Flatt–was flat-out awful.

I don’t think Erik Ainge quite fits the profile of a player with an inevitably bright future.

A couple of thoughts:

  • This analysis conveniently leaves out Tee Martin, who also didn’t exactly “fit[] the profile of a player with an inevitably bright future” and who Cutcliffe coached to a national championship.
  • I don’t know anything about Ethan Flatt, but even if he was “awful,” one failure isn’t necessarily indicative of poor coaching: nobody could teach a lawn chair to play quarterback, for instance.
  • There’s a lot of ground for success or failure between merely not ruining somebody with promise and coaching two No. 1 overall NFL picks and one No. 3 overall NFL pick.
  • If the Mannings were merely “can’t miss prospects who really just needed to be managed properly,” and therefore don’t prove that Cutcliffe is a great coach, then why point out that Heath Shuler was an NFL bust? Essentially, HP is using both the Mannings’ success and Shuler’s failure as evidence against Cutcliffe. And by the way, Shuler couldn’t cut it in the NFL primarily, if not entirely, because of injuries.

Anyway, head on over and give HP the Rocky Top perspective.

Rocky Top hurry up: practice updates and more

Thursday, August 17th, 2006

Here’s the quick view from Rocky Top this morning:

  • VFRT was named Mr. Numb Existence in this season’s first BlogPoll for the “rightest ballot.” I’m awaiting a defense from Frank McGrath, who earned the designation of Mr. Bold.
  • The Volunteer football team was reportedly exhausted after the first day of two-a-days. Tuesday morning, the team focused on special teams, which was no better than fifth in the SEC and 31st nationally in any category. They were last in the SEC and 113th in punt return defense. Coach Fulmer opened Wednesday’s practice by letting each of the 11 offensive starters call their own plays. Today is the last day of two-a-days, and the team will go through limited scrimmage situations, including goal line and short-yardage scenarios.
  • Running back LaMarcus Coker is turning heads on the practice field. “He’s stepping up like you would like,” Fulmer said. “He’s in shape, maybe for the first time since the sixth grade or something. He’s learned how to work and has a nice presence about him, a confidence, demeanor or swagger. It’s not cocky, which I thought he had a little bit of that arrogance to him at times before.
  • Defensive End Gerald Williams’ ACT score of 23 was invalidated due to too big of a jump, and he had to take the test again last week.
  • Receiver Jayson Swain is parlaying The Season of Which We Do Not Speak into a leadership role this season.
  • Junior cornerback Roshaun Fellows has a torn pectoral muscle and may have to miss the season.
  • Redshirt freshman Josh McNeil seems to have overtaken Michael Frogg as the first team center.
  • The three new linebackers that have a combined three career starts are looking like Tennessee ‘backers: fast, strong, explosive, and smart.
  • Tenn Vol Champ appears to be back in the saddle.
  • Scouting reports.’s John Adams warns Volunteers not to underestimate the Pac-10 and Cal. Cal’s offensive line, which looked to be a question early on, is apparently a question no more. Another Florida lineman, Maurice Hurt, was injured a couple of days ago, but it appears he won’t be out long.
  • If you missed it, the UT men’s basketball schedule has been released. What a difference a year makes. Lots of t.v. this time around.
  • has a nice feature on defensive back Inky Johnson.
  • James Wilhoit is on the Lou Groza watch list. Wilhoit is the active SEC scoring leader with 229 career points.

All for now.