Every morning, the fine folks at Sports Radio Interviews sift through the a.m. drive-time chatter to bring you the best interviews with coaches, players, and personalities across the sports landscape. Today: Tennessee head football coach Derek Dooley.
Dooley joined 790 the Zone in Atlanta to talk about the program's off-the-field troubles, whether Matt Simms is going to be the starting quarterback, embracing the UT tradition, and his father Vince Dooley saying that he would wear Tennessee orange when they play Georgia.
Whether he is relieved that he can now focus on football rather than the off-the-field issues:
"Well we certainly haven't been short of stories up here. I felt like it was important we keep things exciting for the fans during the offseason so we did a pretty good job of that and everybody is ready to get started this Saturday."
Whether Matt Simms is going to be the starting quarterback:
"Yeah Matt has had a real good camp and he has really improved since the day he got here. He has only been here since January so he is new to the program, he is new to the guys around him but I felt like we have made a tremendous amount of progress over the course of training camp."
How important it was for him to embrace the tradition of Tennessee football:
"It would be important for me to do that no matter where I go. You know tradition is what links us to the past. It makes your whole experience special. You leave a part of it with you and it was important for me to educate our team on a lot of the traditions at Tennessee. I was surprised at how little they knew about the traditions here. You take it for granted. There is so many things that you see all of the time and I saw it as a young child watching Tennessee from the outside but these players have really enjoyed it. We have embraced a few traditions of the past and we are probably going to start a few of our own."
On Vince Dooley saying that he would wear Tennessee orange when they play Georgia:
"What is amazing to me is that it surprises people. Anybody that has children is shocked that a father would pull for his son but that is the beauty of athletics. It is like everybody's team is more important than their family. We have had a lot of fun with it and I am amazed at how interested everybody is in what my parents will wear on game day. I guess that is what makes college football special."