News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

LSU's Glenn Dorsey talks with reporters during the Southeastern Conference media days.
AP photo by Rob Carr
LSU's Glenn Dorsey talks with reporters during the Southeastern Conference media days.

Passing the play-calling

HOOVER — It’s like a weight has been lifted off Georgia coach Mark Richt. He enters the 2007 season without play-calling duties for the first time in nearly two decades.

“You can definitely sense that he’s more laid back,” Bulldogs center Fernando Velasco said Friday at SEC media days, which is the league’s annual publicity sessions.

Velasco, a 6-foot-4, 330 pounder, said his head coach has been joking more around the football facilities. He’s even been more “hands-on” with the players.

Richt gave the play-calling duties to quarterbacks coach Mike Bobo before last season’s finale against Georgia Tech. The Bulldogs beat the Yellow Jackets and then came from behind to win the Chick-fil-A Bowl over Virginia Tech, a victory that capped a 9-4 campaign.

But the four losses were the most from a Georgia team under Richt, who served as offensive coordinator at Florida State before his stint began in Athens, Ga., in 2001.

“If you’re just the coordinator alone, it’s a grind. But if you’re the coordinator and the head coach, it’s more than that,” he said.

Richt said he was “leery of the decision” at first, but soon realized it was for the best of the team.

“I think there’s also some merit to ... being able to remove yourself a little bit to see the bigger picture,” he said.

2 Ex-Saban players

The two players who LSU brought to media days, wide receiver Early Doucet and defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, each have a unique view on the situation with former LSU coach and current Alabama coach Nick Saban.

Dorsey and Doucet were part of Saban’s final recruiting class and played one season under him. On Friday, both gave their support to third-year LSU head coach Les Miles.

“I don’t think people give coach Miles enough credit,” Dorsey said. “He is a great guy on and off the field. He is a great leader for LSU and the whole community.”

Meanwhile, Dorsey took the old “Bull Durham” approach to the Alabama game this year, set for Nov. 3 at Bryant-Denny stadium — it’s just another game to him.

“We take one game at a time because we have a lot of games before that game,” Dorsey said. “The fans and the media want to hype it up.”

Back for another year

When Dorsey announced that he was not going to the 2007 NFL draft, it was somewhat surprising.

The 6-foot-2 290-pound Dorsey was considered a potential first-round pick. But on media days, Dorsey said that he felt a shin injury could have hurt his stock.

“It is what it is and I am going to live with it,” Dorsey said. “I’m very confident about the decision I have made. It’s all in the past.”

Life without Jimbo

Some media types predicted offensive difficulties for LSU with new starting quarterback Matt Flynn and a new system, not designed by former offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher.

Fisher, LSU’s offensive coordinator from 2000-06, left the Tigers to go to Florida State in the offseason.

At LSU, Fisher’s offenses were ranked in the top 20 in either passing, scoring or total offense in the NCAA six times.

Miles hired Gary Crowton, former offensive coordinator at Oregon, to replace Fisher, and according to Miles, not much has changed.

“I think you’ll see a very similar approach just was we’ve been in the past with certain issues,” Miles said. “Yet, we’ll bring some expertise in the throwing game that will allow us to maybe attack opponents a little differently than we’ve attacked in the past.”

No QB announcement

Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron said that senior quarterbacks Brent Schaeffer and Seth Adams will be in competition to be the lone starter come the fall.

While Orgeron said he is not going to rule out a two-starter system, he prefers to go with one starter.

“You have to go through camp, have those guys go through adversity, go through scrimmages, go through game-type atmosphere to see how they perform,” Orgeron said. “It’s going to take a while.”

Orgeron didn’t say which quarterback he is leaning toward, but mentioned that Schaeffer had some questionable character issues that needed to be dealt with.

“He’s been on his best behavior,” Orgeron said. “I just think, you know, being the quarterback, you have to have some leadership qualities.”


CBS has changed the kickoff times for its weekly televised SEC games. They will begin at 4 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. That’s 90 minutes later than previously scheduled. The network announced the changes this week.

The network’s first game of the season is Tennessee at Florida on Sept. 15.

Yearning for another title

Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer seems as if he is on the edge, more anxious than ever.

Fulmer’s team followed a tumultuous 5-6 season in 2005 with a 9-4 record last year and a second-place finish in the SEC East.

But a 20-10 loss in the Outback Bowl to Penn State that impeded a double-digit win total has left a bad taste in the coach’s mouth.

“If we had had 10 wins, we’d all have been pretty happy about a turnaround season,” Fulmer said.

Said senior quarterback Eric Ainge: “Coach Fulmer has a sense of urgency now.”

- Ross Dellenger, Josh Cooper

and The Associated Press

Copyright 2005 THE DECATUR DAILY. All rights reserved.
AP contributed to this report.

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