The best of the best from UT's football coach

With Thanksgiving holidays wrapping up, it's time to give thanks to one underrated aspect of the Tennessee football season: Derek Dooley's sense of humor. The first-year coach was full of quotes throughout the season, many of which couldn't make it into any Beacon articles until now. So here are some of Dooley's best leftover soundbites from this season:

Aug. 31
On starting a 250-pound defensive tackle:
“I think we had one at Clarke Central, when I was in high school … You know, back in the old days some of the greatest D-tackles ever were about that size. So we’re going old school.”
On getting anxious:
“I’m not always even keel. You just see me when I am. That’s why we closed practices, so you guys can always see me even keel. I won’t be even keel in the games. I’ll have anxiety. I hope I have it if I’m coaching 20 years from now. I think it’s healthy to be a little nervous and to be a little on edge, because your mind's working. I don’t have it right now because I’m really worried about today’s practice and that’s all I’m concerned about, but I’m sure I’ll have some. But you also have to maintain a cool head. Learning how to control your fears and anxieties is important as a coach, just like it is as a player.”

Sept. 7
On the team’s bad showering habits:
“We’ve had a few staph infections, so we did a clinic yesterday on proper shower technique and soap and using a rag. We put some new rags in — y’all think I’m kidding, but I'm serious.
“We had, I told them, the worst shower discipline of any team I’ve ever been around. So we talked a little bit about application of soap to the rag and making sure you hit all your body. You know, you can neglect it trying to cut corners, and it shows in how you practice and elsewhere. I’m hoping we show some improvement in that.”
On the team being overconfident after the UT-Martin game:
“Well, if they look at the film and they get overconfident, then we've got a bigger problem. We've got an intelligence issue that we have to deal with. And then I’ll probably send them to Thornton Center for a little work. If I've got to worry about that this week, we’ve got bigger issues than you guys can ever even imagine.”

Sept. 21
On intelligence’s role in football:
“Your intellectual capacity is an important part of playing football. When I say intellectual I don’t mean your ability to read Shakespeare. I just mean your ability to retain schematically what your job is and then be able to play the play on principle, fast, when things change. That takes a quick mind, and we need more of that. I think we’re a little slow minded at times.”

Sept. 28
On preparing the team for its first road game at LSU:
“Well, I was going to paint the field. But that didn’t work for Oregon State. If they had beaten Boise (State), I might have put a big eye on our field.”

Oct. 2
On coming back to LSU and playing in Tiger Stadium:
“It was a good team we played. What do you want me to say? It is a big stadium, got a nice video board, band was playing a little bit. They’ve got new skyboxes that are really nice. Seats were the same, the field was a lot better, they have improved their grass so that was kudos to their administration for that. The eye hadn’t ruined the field with the paint, that was a problem in the past. They’ve still got the old goal posts, that’s a tradition here. They’ve only replaced one of those video boards, so they need to put in another one, they need to fix that one.”

Oct. 4
On Cody Pope's injury:
“The longest stinger injury in the history of college football. That’s what’s new. It might be because he doesn't eat meat. I’m starting to think red meat and chicken is the cure for stingers. That’s my conclusion. We’re out of any other medical options. So I’m going to try to force a steak down him tonight.”
On what he did when he thought the LSU game was over:
“Well, I didn’t know there was a penalty. I didn’t even know there was a flag. I didn’t know there was a flag. I went over there to shake the coach’s hand. I was going over to do an interview. CBS was right there. Thank God I didn’t do that. That would have really been embarrassing.”

Oct. 18
On the media tweeting during his press conferences:
“I found out last week you guys tweet right in the middle of this thing. Is that what you all are doing? Sorry. I come back and they go, ‘Hey, I heard you said this.’ I said, ‘Was it on TV?’ ‘No, they were tweeting it.’ It’s a whole other — I don’t know where I was. That’s why I don’t allow cell phones in our meeting rooms.

Oct. 25
On the team needing to be more self-sufficient on the field:
“Right now, we’re like the Germans in World War II, all right? Here come the boats. It’s coming. The binoculars, like, ‘Oh my God, the invasion is coming.’ That’s what they were doing. They were in the bunkers. ‘It's coming.’ They call Rommel. They can’t find Rommel. ‘What do we do? I’m not doing anything until we get orders. Have you gotten Rommel yet? The Americans were the exact opposite. We hit the beach, and we’re on the wrong spot, what do we do? I don’t know, but these guys are firing, we better hide over there and blow some stuff up to get up there. They weren’t looking for (orders). So we’ve got to make that transition. I don’t want the German people to get upset at me. I’m not attacking. But that’s what happened. You had one group, they weren’t worried about what the plan was, what the orders were. When the war hit, things change. You’ve got to go. You’ve got another group, now wait a minute, they told us the invasion was way farther north, where we had the empty tanks and were hiding Patton out. ‘We weren’t ready for this. What do we do? Well, we better wait until Rommel tells us what to do.’ I hope I got my names right.”

Nov. 15
On offense’s new “loco” celebration:
“To the crazy deal? I never know if they tell me the truth. They say they’re just going crazy, you know, out there. I told them I do that in the office when I watch the film and I see them line up wrong. In October, I spent a whole month doing this (gestures). I may do it when they mess up, and they can do it when they do well; then we’re even. I don’t know. If that brings them juice, then I’m all for it. I guess it’s kind of like, what was it, Nuke LaLoosh, when he was wearing the ladies’ undergarment?”

Nov. 15
On pronouncing South Carolina as the SEC East champions after the game against the Gamecocks in October:
“By the way, who was the one who challenged me? Who was that? (Told it was someone from South Carolina.) Can we send a memo to him that he can further change all my quotes back to the original. I’ve been waiting on that one. If you all weren’t at South Carolina, you wouldn’t get it. So you had to be there.”