Precious takes the stand rocking the Power T lapel pin, necessary to be trusted as a human being within the Parallelogram State in much the same way as flag pins are as crucial as oxygen to career politicians. His Sabanite training kicks in and he thanks the room for their coverage, straight off.
• I did not intend to be the first one called on, but here goes nothing: Dooley's first question at his first Media Days is me asking about his momma, who is nothing short of a graven idol in the state of Tennessee at this point. Precious says he's attempted to pull her back a bit, but adds, "As you know, that's impossible."
• On his dad: Eventually, "We'll get him in orange." He's "not intrusive, and he never will be. I would be a fool if I didn't reach out to him."
• Whatever interns are in charge of putting together the slide shows of coaches' pictures on the projection screen must have a contest going to find the doofiest-looking photos possible. Dooley takes a clear lead here with one shot that makes him look like an angry baby bird.
• On his relationship with Saban, other SEC coaches from his stint at LSU: "It's no different than playing your friends ... nobody wants to win more."
• On the Vawl Brawl and assorted lesser shenanigans: "Our image is not where we want it to be." There will be a surprisingly small number of questions on the recent fiasco, thanks in large part to a still-ongoing and still-tangly police investigation. Says everything the players told him has matched up with what the cops have found, which has to surprise even the most Pollyannaish of Knoxville beat writers.
• Speaking of which: We are developing a healthy disdain for reporters who introduce themselves and their outlets before questions like we're in the White House Press Room or some damn thing, and Dooley doesn't appear too fond of it either. Cutting off the question of a local radio host: "I know that, Jimmy. Are you telling everybody else who you are?" Precious is doing juuuust fine.
• On employing his lawyaly skillset to the coaching profession: "I am able to read the NCAA manual and understand it the first time."
• Matt Simms is having his maturity touted. Eeeenteresting.
• An exasperating barrage of Kiffykins-related questions follows. Dooley responds, in increasingly irritated sequence: "Y'all are just waiting for me to say something?"
"I didn't evaluate the job Lane did. All I know is, I got to Tennessee, here' s the situation, here's the roster, how do we move forward."
"No matter who your predecessor is, you have challenges. You're gonna have to handle that."
• The SEC rep onstage loses track of the mic. Dooley: "You told me we were gonna communicate well?"
• Jimmy Hyams raises his hand for a second time. Dooley: "You gonna introduce yourself again?"
• A Nashville newspaper wag follows this up: "Still with the Tennessean."
• On his dad overloading himself with SEC information in his leisure hours and expecting him to know the names of All-Conference players back to the 1960s: "Dad, I don't even know who my defensive end is."
• On his parents' reaction to him leaving the law for the gridiron: "My mother was devastated for my wife. My father, he understood."
• Some emotion trickles in as he clearly gets het up asking players to (paraphrasing here) STOP FUCKING GETTING ARRESTED FOR STUPID SHIT ALL THE TIME.
• On agents, considerably more temperate than Saban: "It's no different than coaches going out recruiting. I mean, I really believe that. What a lot of those agents are doing is no different than what our coaches do: they're trying to get a player to come to their program. There's boundaries when you do that.
Now you're always in that little gray area: Do I cross the line? Every profession has that."
• Most interesting tidbit, re: Vawl Brawl, "I blame Nick Reveiz as much as I blame the guys who made bad decisions out there. ... Just because you represent this place well, it's your responsibility to make sure everybody out there does."
• During player interviews, Reveiz is asked about this. He says it's human nature, when you hear something like that, to think your accuser's missing the point, but "When I thought about it more, he's right." Says Dooley told them it's their team, not is, and they have to make the sea changes.
• More Reveiz: Reins are off. He won't be held back even in the opening cupcake game, and has gone through every conditioning drill. "If you're playing timid, playing not to get hurt, eventually you will get hurt."
• On three head coached in three years: "It's life. You have to change. Things have to happen." That said, he regrets the loss of yet another strength coach, because "you spend more time with him than your position coach, your coordinator, head coach, anybody."
• That said, he says he respects Bennie Wylie more than any strength coach he's ever had.
• On Dooley: "He doesn't just want to know you for what your number is and what you do on the field."
• If we were the tearing-up type, we'd be doing it here. From walk-on to captain to team rep at Media Days. Nick Reveiz's story just wrecks us a little, every time.
• For the second time at these Media Days, time is called. We are appalled to notice there have been no hair questions. Dooley closes by touching on his outreach to Majors and Fulmer. This is crucial to succeed in this position, because there is nothing more integral to Tennesseans as a people than high-fructose corn syrup and hilarious alcoholism.