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Coach Speak 101: Deciphering Dooley

You know what can be frustrating? Trying to decipher coach speak. I mean, a coach might say one thing, but so often he means something else entirely, right? Subtext, I believe it’s called. But how are we to know exactly what that subtext means? How do we know what a coach is really trying to say?

I’m afraid I don’t have a simple answer. But I do have a feisty wife. One who often uses subtext to take subtle and endless digs at me. (In a cute way, honey.) Which means that I’m extremely familiar with not only the concept of subtext, but also with the art of interpreting it.

And, I gotta tell you, that really comes in handy when listening to a Dooley presser, because that guy’ll go subtext on you in a nanosecond. Which is why I thought I’d help y’all decipher some of Dooley’s 2012 quotes.

Because helping others is my passion. It completes me.

SO, without further ado, welcome to Coach Speak 101: Deciphering Dooley

Let’s start first with some of Dooley’s quotes following the Florida game. What he said is in bold type. What he meant is in regular type.

I think it’s a good sign that that kind of pain is on us because, you know, we felt like we could go toe to toe and we did.

The pain that comes with a nationally televised meltdown is a good thing. Even if the extent of the meltdown borders upon the mathematically impossible. Because it proves that we could have won — should have won, even — but instead lost by 17.

(Regarding Bray’s composure, and using NFL quarterbacks to illustrate his point) I mean, the quarterback, they say he starts playing his best ball his seventh year in the league, so it’s hard.

Even if I were to somehow keep my job, and even if Tyler were to play his senior year and then magically receive two additional years of eligibility, his play would still be such that I’d have no choice but to continue to make obtuse criticisms of it.

You know, this was a good defense we played…They probably had 2 first rounders on the D line. They’ve got some great linebackers and that secondary is just really aggressive. Their hands were on us the whole game.

If they sucked, you’d be better able to see how just how well I’ve coached our guys up. And if they’d sucked and hadn’t been allowed to touch us? Johnny Ballgame, bitches!

Moving on to quotes after Georgia.

We left outta here a better team than when we got here.

And if we got better by losing to Georgia, just think how good we’ll be after losing to Mississippi State and Bama. Hell, we keep this shit up and we’ll probably be ranked again after South Carolina.

He (Bray) has played a lot but hasn’t been in those kind of end-of-the-game situations enough.

He’ll be a lot more clutch in his seventh year. Mark my words.

I hope we at least showed we’ve got a little resiliency in our ball club and now we just gotta learn how to win ‘em.

I gotta figure out how to teach these losers how to win.

(Asked if he was surprised how well we ran the ball in Athens) I think we’ve been running the ball good all year… This group gets criticized for running the ball we’re averaging 180 a game. Every week you say are you surprised you ran the ball well? I mean, Christ, what does a team have to do?

Um, win a fucking SEC game, maybe? (Sorry, no subtext to decode there. Just thought I’d answer Dooley’s question.)

We miss Bryan Randolph, now. He was our last line of defense for a long time and, you know, he’s a great tackler. So, to say that doesn’t hurt us, it’s not true. It’s hurt us. And it shows.

I’d be 6-1 if he didn’t get hurt.

On to quotes surrounding the Mississippi State game:

(On playing McCullers more, even against a team that likes to throw.) It’s not like we’re having the sack-masters up front. So, we’re not taking any, you know, pass rush specialist outta the game when we put him in. 

Hell, why not play the big fella against the pass? Those other clowns aren’t doing shit.

It was hard up in the box to watch the first half.

Nothing to decode here. I mean, I think we all know what “it was hard up in the box” means, right? (CHOO CHOO. All aboard the bang-bang train, y’all. Next stop — Pound Town.) But I still wanted to add the following:

I don’t think it mattered where you were. I mean, I was camping that night and I found it hard to watch, too.

And I was listening to it on the radio.

This is college football. It’s not the NFL. We have a 20 hour week which we work around. Do we want them all to go grind, you know, a bunch on their own. Of course we do. Are they all gonna do that? No.

Ever try to make chicken salad outta chicken shit?

We’re probably a little better than what the stats are reflecting.

You simpletons lack the vision to recognize what a good job I’m doing, what with your pedestrian dependency upon crass barometers such as stats, win-loss records and whatnot. Idiots.

We gotta learn how to finish the game.

Fucking cowbells.

Quotes during Bama week:

If we can go out and play to our capacity for 60 minutes, we could find ourselves right in that position we’ve been in every week.

I’m reasonably sure I’ll have us in position for a potential moral victory. Assuming everything lines up right.

(On the much-improved offensive line.) You know, this is a group that was totally maligned last year. Saying they stink and we need to replace them. And it just shows you the value of staying the course when you’ve got the right kinda guys in place.

HELLO? Metaphor alert, you nimrods. I am the right kinda guy. And my hair is totally in place, too.

When you win, the more you win, the more confident you get that you can win and know how to win. And the hardest part is getting that thing started. 

Once these losers figure out how to win, this shit’s gonna be easy.

And, finally, after Bama:

It was disappointing we couldn’t go four quarters with these guys and we thought we could…I thought we played well enough for a while on defense to hang in there. But you gotta get points. And right before the half we drop a ball, and then third quarter we’re down there twice (in Alabama territory, but failed to score).

All that great coaching messed up in like two plays. Three tops.

(When asked if he felt he had support of UT moving forward.) Yes.

And by yes, I mean not a chance in hell.

(On Bama’s D) They didn’t do anything differently. You watch them on film. You know what they’re gonna do. And you gotta go win. Sometimes you don’t win and sometimes you win and the quarterback doesn’t make a good throw.

Chicken salad / chicken shit. Part deux. If you’d pay better attention, I’d not have to repeat myself so often.

We haven’t gotten the results that we want, but we’re playing better.

I will be personally handing every single player a Most Improved trophy at the award banquet. Assuming, of course, a fired coach is allowed to attend such functions.

So, yeah, that’s about it. Poor Coach Dooley. These pressers filled with defensive statements, double entendres and thinly veiled finger pointing are getting harder and harder to watch.

Eerie silence is how Dave Hart and company have responded to Dooley’s woes. Which, of course, carries with it a subtext of its own.

We’ll address the situation once figure out where Gruden’s at with all this.

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facebook comments:

  • Richard Monroe

    Ray Boswell is an old buddy of mine and just shared this with me. Good stuff. Every week Gruden’s salary goes up a half a million. I have no problem with an up and coming coach / good coach at small school, think Chris Peterson. But lets make sure they were winning at their school. Doolander was a loser at La. Tech also. Please let this be the end our “Mike Shula / hire a coach who’s dad knew how to coach” era.

    • all VOL, y’all.

      Richard — a friend of Ray’s is a friend of mine. he’s a great guy. thanks for stopping by, my friend, and GO VOLS, brother. agreed on this — at the end of the day, we hired a guy who went 17-20 at La Tech.

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