October 16, 2012

Sentimore 'regrets' 'Bama time

Defensive end Darrington Sentimore has never been shy about his thoughts.

In the season opener, Sentimore declared that N.C. State's quarterback and offensive line were overrated before the two kicked off in the Georgia Dome.

Tuesday, the former Alabama Crimson Tide player, who transferred after his freshman year, didn't mince any words when it came to his feelings about his former head coach, Nick Saban.

Sentimore said he regretted signing with the Tide and didn't care for his former coach's actions.

"It's his personality. It's like some players he will see you like in the hallway and he will walk right past you like he don't even see you. I don't like stuff like that," Sentimore said. "I ain't going to lie to you. I want this game more than any other game because I want to beat Saban.

"I have had this game on the calendar for a long time."

Sentimore did have nice things to say about the 'Bama program.

"You have to stay on top of your game," Sentimore said. "You can't get into no trouble. You can't get into the doghouse. You have to stay focused. If Saban sees you are focused he will play you. Saban is on those guys. He's a defensive-minded coach. He's in the meetings and everything with the defense … it's all about the defense.

"You have to play for 60 minutes (against Alabama) because they are going to go hard and out-physical you. You have to play for 60 minutes. They want to outthink you and outsmart you. You have to study film and be on top of your game."

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley said he he didn't talk to Saban about Sentimore when Sentimore was coming out of junior college a year ago. Dooley said that Sentimore has made plenty of mistakes in the past but has come a long way since his arrival in Knoxville.

"He's an emotional guy," Dooley said. "He's a passionate guy. I'm sure he says things and does things that he looks back on and wishes he wouldn't. That's part of maturing. We have had a lot of discussions with him and Darrington has made a lot of mistakes that he acknowledges. That part of his growth. He's made a lot of progress from a maturity standpoint in the last year. He really has. He has a lot to keep building on. I'm proud of how he has integrated in. I think he learned a lot of lessons from his time at Alabama. I think he will be the first to tell you he made a lot mistakes that he wishes he didn't make and probably could have had success there like he is having here had he made better personal choices."


With linebacker Curt Maggitt nursing a turf toe injury as well as a stinger, Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley is looking to sophomore linebacker Jordan Williams to help spell Maggitt.

Dooley admitted the Vols don't have a lot of options behind Williams but they hope to get him going this weekend against Alabama.

"It's a struggle. We're not as good without Curt. That's how it is when you take a real dynamic edge playmaker off the field and you're just not as good. It doesn't mean the other guys aren't good it just means Curt has really good ability. You know Jacques and Willie (Bohannon) are there and we're probably going to try and integrate Jordan Williams a little bit," Dooley said. "We need to get him going because he's a fast-twitch, big guy with some disruptive ability. We're still trying to figure out the right pieces."

Williams said he's practiced better over the last several weeks and understands the Vols need to add depth to the linebacking corp.

"We need people to step up with Curt being down and stuff and I think what it is is we need more depth and I haven't been playing much but I think this week might be when I get a little time," Williams offered. "I'm getting the schemes more, I'm getting everything down and less (missed assignments) so that's helped me move up a little bit."


Sophomore cornerback Justin Coleman likely played the best game of his young career Saturday against Mississippi State finishing with nine tackles and broke up two passes against the Bulldogs.

Dooley was complementary of the 5-foot-10, 182-pounder, noting he's come a long way at the position after not playing it in high school and that he's what he looks for in a corner.

"He's played very well. He has the measurables we look for at corner. He has the range, the size, the speed, the height, so to us, he's kind of prototype in what you're looking for from a height, weight, speed position specific standpoint," Dooley said. "His biggest issue is of course learning the techniques. He wasn't really a corner in high school and just maintaining his calm. He gets a little out of control at some times and that costs him. But, he's playing really well and I think he has a chance to have a really bright future at that position."

Coleman credited having a better grasp of the defense as well as the coaches for helping him come on the last several games.

"I feel like I'm doing pretty good, getting molded into the defense, getting a good connection with everybody. That's where I'm at right now," Coleman said. "I really just gave a lot of effort and played with a lot of confidence. I'm listening to the coaches and doing the technique they're asking for."

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