Thursday, July 30, 2009
Johnson takes part in football luncheon
By Ryan Schulz – Vanderbilt Head Coach Bobby Johnson and Tennessee Head Coach Lane Kiffin took part in the Nashville Sports Council’s annual SEC Football Luncheon on Thursday afternoon at the Wildhorse Saloon.
Approximately 400 people were in attendance at the event to watch Johnson and Kiffin discuss the upcoming 2009 season. Kevin Ingram from 104.5 The Zone emceed the luncheon, which began with Ingram taking turns asking each coach questions before opening the floor for questions from the audience.
Included among the questions directed at Coach Johnson were ones about replacing D.J. Moore and Reshard Langford in the secondary, the status of the running back situation, the implementation of a no-huddle offense, etc.
There were a few laughs among the crowd during the luncheon, but maybe the largest laugh came when someone in the crowd asked each coach to pick their sleeper team in 2009. “Vanderbilt,” answered Kiffin. “Tennessee,” replied Johnson.
Johnson was also asked about being one of the oldest coaches in the SEC and how he plans on teaching lessons to youthful coaches in the league. The question and Johnson’s initial response drew a large laugh from the crowd.
“The thing about being an old hat in this league is my premature gray is no longer premature, it matches my age now,” cracked Johnson.
Below are a few more quotes from the luncheon.
On the running back situation:
“We feel like we will be much better at running back because our offensive line is back intact, but also because we have more talent at the position than we have had.”
On the no-huddle offense:
“The no-huddle offense gives us an opportunity to do a lot of things, but the main thing you want to do is dictate tempo. Also a lot of times the defense may tip off what they are going to do. We had a down year on offense and we want to improve on that this year.”
On the stadium renovations:
“We are excited about the renovations. They will be a great improvement to our stadium and it is a big commitment by our administration.”
On what to expect over the next few weeks:
“Football today is a whole lot different because the players all used to go home and you didn’t know if they were working hard and getting ready. Now, we’ve been with them all summer. They come through the office and tell us how they are doing. The strength staff tells us how they are doing. There are no surprises. We are just ready to get to work. A lot of these guys played big roles for us last year, so we expect them to step up and play big roles for us this year.”