On freshman tailbacks Marlin Lane and Tom Smith:
"Marlin's a little more elusive kind of guy. Tom is a little more of a hammer-knocker. He came from a Wing-T offense. They teach you in the Wing-T to run straight. You don't even look up, you just run."
On freshman linebackers A.J. Johnson and Curt Maggitt:
"Despite what guys on our staff are saying, I'm not ready to anoint them as Lawrence Taylor. They haven't played a game."
On the team working hard every day:
"We have this sign, I don't know if you've all seen it. 'Relentless pursuit of continuous improvement.' That's our sign. That's what we stand for. I told the players there's not a parenthesis under it that says, 'When I feel like it,' unless somebody wrote it this morning. That was about the mentality today. 'I don't feel like it so I'm not going to do it.' It was not the start that we needed mentally. We are a very immature team when it comes to working. We have to learn that nobody really cares how you feel. When you're in the fourth quarter and you're tired and hurting, the 102,000 that paid money to come see you don't really care how you feel, nor does the guy lining up next to you. The only way to be able to perform in those circumstances is when you don't feel good, you have to overcome it mentally. We're still working on that."
On freshman running back Marlin Lane muffing the first punt of the team's final fall camp scrimmage:
"That was a part of the script. What's so funny? We script everything so we don't get a crazy reaction."
On wearing orange pants against Montana:
"I just remember seeing the old footage of the coaches out there and they all had orange pants on. So I asked (equipment manager Roger Frazier) if he could get a pair of orange pants. He didn't think I'd wear them. He thought I was wasting my money. So Fraiz got it done and I felt like, let's put it on. I'm not at the blazer yet. Everybody else wanted me to wear white shoes and a white belt. My wife intervened on that. That's why you never do anything without asking your wife."
On Texas A&M joining the SEC:
"I'm a traditionalist. I think we had a real good thing and I hope we don't disrupt it too much, that we preserve that this is a special league. One of the reasons it's so special is because we don't day-trade our teams. We'll see but the landscape is changing. It's that old saying, 'It's not about the money. It's about the amount.'"
On wearing his orange pants at Florida:
"That's the last thing I'm worried about. I can assure you the orange slacks aren't the reason we're winning."
On the offense, specifically the passing game, seemingly having fun on the field:
"You can't just go out there and play backyard ball. But there are times within the system that you have to be a player and use your creativity to make a play."
On UT's lack of production running the football:
"I never think things are as bad as everybody else does I never think they are as good as everybody else does."
On playing Georgia at home for the first time:
"It really means absolutely nothing. It was a good story last year, but the fact that it's home doesn't make it any different. It means a lot more people are coming to the game — that's probably the biggest thing personally. I will stay away from my house this week because there will be 600 people."
On the team's reaction to Tyler Bray's injury:
"I know a lot of you guys have heard Jim Stockdale, prisoner of war in Vietnam. I don't know if you've read about him. Eight years he was a prisoner of war. Tortured, beat down and of course when he gets out he survived it. And everybody says, 'Well, how did you do it?' He was very solution-oriented the whole time he was in there. They asked him who didn't survive and he said, 'The optimists.' And you think, 'What?' Because you're told, 'Hey, everything is going to be O.K.' What he said was that the optimists would say, 'I'm going to get out by Christmas.' Then Christmas would come, 'I'm going to get out by Easter.' Easter would come, 'I'm going to be out by the summer.' Then the summer would come and their spirit would get broken and they died because they quit. The point of it is that you never lose faith in what the end of the story is going to be. I told the team that."
On the impact of losing key players during the season:
"Nobody is going to feel sorry for Tennessee and they're not going to feel sorry for me. That's O.K. I'm not going in the tank because we have had some things happen to us that make it a lot more challenging. Anybody can go in the tank and blame. We just have to find solutions and that is what we are going to do. With good energy, go out there and compete — compete like men. And that's what we should do."
On how to prepare for Alabama:
"Don't score first. It just pisses them off."
On South Carolina receiver Alshon Jeffrey:
"He's a great player. And if you don't believe it, just go play one-on-one with him and let them throw a jump ball."
On the team improving over the course of the season:
"I told the team yesterday, 'What's the smallest room in the world?' Do you know? It's a mushroom. Right? That's what it is. The largest room in the world is the room for improvement. That's where we are. We have to focus on the largest room in the world. I didn't plan on saying that today, but I did tell the team. You guys always draw it out of me."
On kicker Derrick Brodus playing against MTSU:
"We didn't have a kicker so we had to make a call to the frat house. This is no lie. We called the frat house and had a policeman go get him and he goes out there, suits up and nails three PATs and afield goal. He got the game ball. I was proud of him. Great story. I'm going to write a book one day about the things that happened to me over the years. I had to find a kicker out of a frat. I didn't know what we were going to do. Just when I think it has all happened to me, we are going out to pregame without a kicker ... It's a good thing he wasn't having too much fun on a Saturday afternoon. I told the coaches, 'Hey, an intoxicated Brodus is better than nobody. Get him. Just get him here. Give him a breathalyzer.' Fortunately he didn't do anything bad."
On kicker Chip Rhome's injury:
"He's hurt. He pulled something. You know, kickers have muscles we don't know about."
Talking to reporters about a muffed punt costing UT field position:
"They went 60-something (yards), but if you did Pythagorean theorem — you know, a-squared plus b-squared equals c-squared — I bet it was about a 75-yard kick. None of you guys have any idea what that is. That's why you write. You create a right-angle. That's the long side and you get the 90-degree. Did you make it past Algebra I? It's geometry, man."