terrible person, cheap coach, and the black Lane Kiffin. And I feel for Lane Kiffin after typing that. Thanks to the Senator for linking to an article in yesterdays Tennessean. Here’s what Mr. Franklin has to say in regards to people calling his team dirty and making so called chop blocks.
“When you get into that discussion, it’s when you’re trying to hurt somebody,” Franklin said. “That’s what dirty is. Our kids are just trying to play real hard. They’re not trying to hurt anybody. There’s no doubt in my mind.”
Nope, not trying to hurt anybody.
But getting an attitude and blaming others for your problem doesn’t end with Mr. Franklin. His O-Line coach and players chime in on the situation.
Sophomore lineman Wesley Johnson said Vanderbilt is cut blocking — trying to take out a defender’s legs — about the same as last season. “Every team in the country is taught to cut. “I think people have started to take notice because we’re playing a lot better. They’re looking for a reason to point out things we’ve done wrong. We’re not doing anything against the rules. We’re just playing aggressive. If (defenders) are chasing the ball and the whistle hasn’t blown, we’re going to block them. So no, we’re not dirty. Nobody has tried to injury anybody.”
Offensive line coach Herb Hand said the low hitting he teaches is also utilized by defenses to take on a block or to tackle the ball carrier. “That’s part of the game,” Hand said. “The biggest part in doing it is proper hat placement and making sure you’re not hitting from behind. You can’t ever cut a guy when someone is already making contact with them. But if you want to learn about cut blocks, go watch Navy and Army play. They’re going to cut you, and that’s part of the game.”
So Josh Jelesky didn’t make a dirty hit from behind in the 4th quarter of the UT game, he just had his head in the wrong place…behind the UT lineman’s leg and twenty yards behind the play.
As for why Vanderbilt linemen are diving at opponents’ legs as opposed to doing more blocking from the waist up, left guard Ryan Seymour said it sends a message. “A cut block is just an intimidation factor,” Seymour said. “It’s one more time the defender has to stand up, so it’s making an opponent more tired. We’re going to keep doing what our coaches want us to do. But, obviously, we need to be smarter with our cut blocks away from the ball.
So while we watch Mr. Franklin visit high schools in a helicopter, charge after opposing players, pitch a hissy fit after games, and teach his players to dive for the knee remember he’s sending a message. This isn’t your white collar and silver spoon Vandy, this is the new Vanderbilt and they deserve your respect.