Vols in the Pros: Season in review

Photo by Sumner Gilliam

Even though the 2017 season was a tough one to swallow for the current Volunteers and their fans, former players now playing in the NFL had a big year. Here’s a look at how all of the NFL Vols faired in 2017.

Baltimore Ravens

Long-snapper, Morgan Cox – Cox started all 16 games for the Ravens. The Ravens finished the season 9-7 and missed the playoffs.

Carolina Panthers 

Punter, Michael Palardy – Palardy played in all 16 games for the Panther, registering 71 punts. His average was 46 yards with a long of 63 yards. The Panthers finished the season 11-5 and lost to the Saints in the NFC Wildcard playoffs.

Cincinnati Bengals

Wide receiver, Josh Malone – In his rookie season, Malone played in 11 games and had six cathes for 63 total yards. The Bengals finished the season 7-9.

Cleveland Browns

Punter, Britton Colquitt – Colquitt played in all 16 games for the Browns and had 80 punts on the year. He had an average of 47.6 yards per punt with a long of 67 yards. The Browns finished the season 0-16.

Dallas Cowboys

Tight end, Jason Witten – Jason Witten finished his 15th season in the NFL with 63 receptions and 560 yards and five touchdowns. The Cowboys finished the season 9-7 and missed the playoffs.

Detroit Lions

Linebacker, Jalen Reeves-Maybin – Maybin finished his rookie season playing in 14 games with 30 combined tackles and 0.5 sacks. The Lions finished the season 9-7 and missed the playoffs.

Houston Texans

Linebacker, LaTroy Lewis – Lewis had three total tackles and one sack in his rookie season while playing in two games. The Texans finished the season 4-12 and did not make the playoffs.

Jacksonville Jaguars 

Defensive lineman, Malik Jackson – In his sixth season in the league, Jackson played in all 16 games for the Jags. He had 39 total tackles and eight sacks on the year. The Jaguars finished the season 10-6 and lost to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.

Tight end, Mychal Rivera – Rivera did not play in 2017 due to a hand injury. He was placed on IR and has not played since the 2016 season with the Oakland Raiders.

Kansas City Chiefs

Safety, Eric Berry – The all-pro safety Berry played in only one game in 2017 due to an Achilles tendon injury. In his only game played, Berry had seven tackles.

Quarterback, Tyler Bray – Bray played in one game and had one passing attempt in 2017.

Punter, Dustin Colquitt – In 2017, Colquitt played in all 16 games for the Chiefs. He had 65 punts on the year with an average of 45.2 yards and a long of 77 yards.

Offensive lineman, Zach Fulton – Fulton started in all of the Chiefs games in 2017. The Chiefs finished the season 10-6 and lost to the Titans in the opening round of the Wild Card playoffs.

Miami Dolphins

Offensive lineman, Ja’Wuan James – James played in all 16 games for the Dolphins in 2017. The Dolphins finished the season 6-10 and missed the playoffs.

New Orleans Saints

Running back, Alvin Kamara – Kamara burst onto the scene in his 2017 rookie season. With over 1,500 yards of total offense and 14 total touchdowns, Kamara earned the honor of Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2017. The Saints finished the season 11-5 and lost to the Vikings in the NFC Divisional Playoffs.

Oakland Raiders

Wide receiver, Cordarrelle Patterson – The electric return man Patterson finished the season with 19 kickoff returns, 968 total yards and two touchdowns.

Offensive lineman, James Stone – Stone played in the last two games of the season this year after sitting out all of 2016 with the Falcons due to injury. The Raiders finished the season 6-10 and did not make the playoffs.

Philadelphia Eagles

Defensive end, Derek Barnett – The Nashville native burst onto the scene in 2017 in his rookie season. Barnett finished the season with 23 total tackles and five sacks. He also had a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown in the week 15 matchup with Oakland. Barnett had a key fumble recovery in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl to seal the win for the Eagles. The Eagles finished the season 13-3 and won Super Bowl LII.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Quarterback, Joshua Dobbs – Dobbs did not play in any games in his 2017 rookie season.

Offensive lineman, Ramon Foster – Foster played in all 16 games for the Steelers in 2017.

Wide receiver, Justin Hunter – Hunter finished his fifth season in the league with four receptions, 23 yards, and one touchdown. Hunter only played in 7 games for the Steelers in 2017.

Defensive tackle, Daniel McCullers – In his fourth year in the league, McCullers played in five games with only one tackle on the year.

Corner, Cameron Sutton – In his rookie season, Sutton played in five games and finished with five combined tackles. Plagued by injury in 2017, Sutton looks to surge up the Steelers roster in 2018. The Steelers finished the year 13-3 and lost to Jacksonville in the AFC Divisional Playoffs.

Seattle Seahawks

Cornerback, Justin Coleman – The third-year corner finished 2017 with 42 combined tackles, two interceptions and two touchdowns. Seattle finished the season 9-7 and did not make the playoffs.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Defensive end, Robert Ayers – In his ninth NFL season, Ayers finished with 31 combined tackles and two sacks. The Buccaneers finished the season 5-11 and missed the playoffs.

Tennessee Titans

Tight end, Luke Stocker – Playing in nine games in 2017, Stocker had three catches for 18 yards and one touchdown. The Titans finished the season 9-7 and lost to the Patriots in the AFC Divisional Playoffs.

 

 Feature image courtesy of Sumner Gilliam

Vols in the pros: Week 10

Photo by Ben Proffitt

With six players drafted in the 2017 NFL Draft, the contingent of former Vols in the league grew significantly. Let’s take a look at how former Tennessee stars performed during Week 10 of the NFL season.

Baltimore Ravens

Morgan Cox: Ravens were on a bye this week.

Carolina Panthers

Michael Palardy: Palardy had two punts for a total of 85 yards. The Panthers beat Miami 45-21.

Cincinnati Bengals

Josh Malone: The Bengals suffered a loss against the Titans, 20-24. Malone had one reception for six-yards.

Cleveland Browns

Britton Colquitt: Colquitt had five punts for a total of 241 yards.

Dallas Cowboys

Jason Witten: The Cowboys suffered a rough loss against the Falcons, 27-7. Witten had seven receptions for a total of 59 yards.

Detroit Lions

Jalen Reeves-Maybin: Reeves-Maybin was out this week due to an ankle injury.

Houston Texans

LaTroy Lewis: Lewis is on the Texans practice squad.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Malik Jackson: Jackson had three tackles and one assisted tackle to contribute to the Jaguars 20-17 win over the Chargers.

Mychal Rivera: Rivera did not have and recorded stats.

Kansas City Chiefs

Tyler Bray: Chiefs were on a bye this week.

Eric Berry: Chiefs were on a bye this week.

Zach Fulton: Chiefs were on a bye this week.

Dustin Colquitt: Chiefs were on a bye this week.

Miami Dolphins

Ja’Waun James: James was placed on injury reserve Saturday due to a hamstring injury.

New Orleans Saints

Alvin Kamara: Kamara had a three-yard rushing touchdown to contribute to the Saints win over the Buffalo Bills, 47-10. Kamara rushed for a total of 106 yards.

New York Giants

Jordan Williams: Williams is currently on the Giants practice squad.

Oakland Raiders

Cordarrelle Patterson: Raiders were on a bye this week.

Philadelphia Eagles

Derek Barnett: Eagles were on a bye this week.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Joshua Dobbs: Dobbs was inactive on Sunday’s game.

Ramon Foster: Foster was inactive due to an injury.

Justin Hunter: Hunter was inactive on Sunday’s game.

Daniel McCullers: McCullers was inactive on Sunday’s game.

Cam Sutton: Sutton remains on the injury reserve list, but he has returned to practice.

Seattle Seahawks

Justin Coleman: Coleman had three tackles and one assisted tackle on Thursday. The Seahawks defeated the Cardinals, 22-16.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Robert Ayers: Ayers had four tackles and one sack in the Buccaneers 15-10 win over the Jets

Austin Johnson: Johnson is currently on the practice squad.

Luke Stocker: Stocker had no reported stats during this game.

Featured image courtesy of Ben Proffitt 

Edited by Seth Raborn

Vols in the pros: Week 6

Photo by Ben Proffitt

With six players drafted in the 2017 NFL Draft, the contingent of former Vols in the league grew significantly. Let’s take a look at how former Tennessee stars performed during Week 6 of the NFL season.

Baltimore Ravens

Morgan Cox: Cox contributed to the Ravens in their 27-24 to the Bears in overtime.

Carolina Panthers

Michael Palardy: Palardy punted the ball three times for an average of 45.3 yards in the Panthers 28-23 loss to the Eagles. His longest punt on the day went 50-yards, but he pinned Philadelphia inside the 20-yard line three separate times.

Cincinnati Bengals

Josh Malone: The Bengals were on a bye this week. While Malone has been inactive, good news could be on the way for the Tennessee native. Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd has been diagnosed with a sprained MCL and is expected to miss a couple of weeks. This could lead to Malone dressing out and receiving some playing time.

Cleveland Browns

Britton Colquitt: In the Browns 33-17 loss to the Texans, Colquitt punted seven times for an average of 51.1 yards-per-punt. Colquitt pinned  Houston inside the 20-yard line three times, with his longest punt of the day going 61-yards.

Dallas Cowboys

Jason Witten: The Cowboys were on a bye this week.

Detroit Lions

Jalen Reeves-Maybin: Recorded four tackles, including a tackle-for-loss in the Lions’ 52-38 loss to the Saints.

Houston Texans

LaTroy Lewis: Lewis is currently on the Texans practice squad, but with the recent injuries to the Houston defense, he could be placed on the active roster this week.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Malik Jackson: Jackson recorded three tackles in the Jaguars 27-17 loss to the Rams.

Mychal Rivera: Rivera did not record any stats in the Jaguars loss to the Rams.

Kansas City Chiefs

Tyler Bray: Bray was inactive in the Chiefs loss to the Steelers.

Eric Berry: Berry is out for the season after he ruptured his Achilles tendon in the Chiefs Week 1 win over the Patriots.

Zach Fulton: Started for the Chiefs at center in Kansas City’s 19-13 loss to the Steelers.

Dustin Colquitt: Punted four times for an average of 47.5 yards in the Chiefs loss to the Steelers. Colquitt pinned the Steelers within the 20-yard line three times, and had a long of 54-yards.

Miami Dolphins

Ja’Wuan James: Started at tackle for the Dolphins in their 20-17 win over the Falcons.

New Orleans Saints

Alvin Kamara: In the Saints 52-38 win over the Lions, Kamara rushed the ball 10 times for 75 yards. Kamara rushed for 7.5-yards-per-carry while hauling in four receptions for 12 yards.

New York Giants

Jordan Williams: Williams is currently on the Giants practice squad.

Oakland Raiders

Cordarrelle Patterson: Caught just one pass for 5-yards, but rushed for a 47-yard touchdown. Patterson finished with four touches for a total of 60 yards.

James Stone: Stone is currently on the Raiders practice squad

Philadelphia Eagles

Derek Barnett: Recorded his first NFL career sack in the Eagles 28-23 win over the Panthers. Barnett finished with two tackles, a tackle-for-loss and two quarterback hits.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Joshua Dobbs: Dobbs was inactive Sunday afternoon for Pittsburgh’s 19-13 win over the Chiefs.

Ramon Foster: Missed the Steelers win over the Chiefs due to injury.

Justin Hunter: Hunter was inactive Sunday afternoon for Pittsburgh’s 19-13 win over the Chiefs.

Daniel McCullers: McCullers was inactive Sunday afternoon for Pittsburgh’s 19-13 win over the Chiefs.

Cam Sutton: Sutton is on the injured reserve list with a hamstring injury.

Seattle Seahawks

Justin Coleman: The Seahawks were on a bye week.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Robert Ayers: Recorded one tackles in the Buccaneers loss to the Cardinals.

Austin Johnson: Johnson is currently on the Bucs practice squad.

Luke Stocker: Caught one pass for 5-yards in Tampa Bay’s 38-33 loss to Arizona.

Feature Photo by Ben Proffitt

Vols in the pros: Week 2

With six players drafted in the 2017 NFL Draft, the contingent of former Vols in the league grew significantly. Let’s take a look at how former Tennessee stars performed during Week 2 of the NFL season.

Baltimore Ravens

Morgan Cox: Cox contributed to the Ravens beating the Browns 24-10.

Carolina Panthers

Michael Palardy: Palardy punted the ball six times for an average of 41.4 yards in the Panthers 9-3 win over the Bills.

Cincinnati Bengals

Josh Malone: Malone was inactive in the Bengals loss to the Texans on Thursday Night Football.

Cleveland Browns

Britton Colquitt: In the Browns 24-10 loss to the Ravens, Colquitt punted four times for an average of 52.3 yards.

Dallas Cowboys

Jason Witten: With 10 catches for 97 yards and a touchdown, Witten was the only bright spot in Dallas’ 42-17 loss to the Broncos.

Detroit Lions

Jalen Reeves-Maybin: On Monday Night Football, Reeves-Maybin finished with two tackles in the Lions 24-10 win over the Giants.

Houston Texans

LaTroy Lewis: Lewis is currently on the Texans practice squad.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Malik Jackson: Jackson recorded two tackles in the Jaguars 37-16 loss to the Titans.

Mychal Rivera: Rivera is on the injured reserve list with a wrist injury.

Kansas City Chiefs

Tyler Bray: Bray was inactive in the Chiefs win over the Eagles.

Eric Berry: Berry is out for the season after he ruptured his Achilles tendon in the Chiefs Week 1 win over the Patriots.

Zach Fulton: Came off the bench to play in the Chiefs’ win.

Dustin Colquitt: Punted five times for an average of 45.4 yards in the Chiefs 27-20 win over the Eagles.

Miami Dolphins

Ja’Wuan James: Starts at tackle for the Dolphins in their 19-17 win over the Chargers.

New Orleans Saints

Alvin Kamara: Had three catches for 51 yards while receiving one carry for 3-yards in the Saints 36-20 loss to the Patriots.

New York Giants

Jordan Williams: Williams is currently on the Giants practice squad.

Oakland Raiders

Cordarrelle Patterson: In the Raiders 45-20 win over the Jets, Patterson ran for a 43-yard touchdown. Patterson finished with 63 total yards on seven touches.

James Stone: Stone is currently on the Raiders practice squad

Philadelphia Eagles

Derek Barnett: In his second career game, Barnett recorded just one tackle in the Eagles’ 27-20 loss to the Chiefs.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Joshua Dobbs: Dobbs was inactive Sunday afternoon for Pittsburgh’s 26-9 win over the Vikings.

Ramon Foster: Started at left guard and helped the Steelers defeat the Vikings 26-9.

Justin Hunter: Hunter was inactive Sunday afternoon for Pittsburgh’s 26-9 win over the Vikings.

Daniel McCullers: McCullers was active on Sunday as the Steelers beat the Vikings, but he did not record any stats in limited playing time.

Cam Sutton: Sutton is on the injured reserve list with a hamstring injury.

Seattle Seahawks

Justin Coleman: Registered just one assisted tackle in the Seahawks 12-9 win over the 49ers.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Robert Ayers: In Tampa’s 29-7 win over the Bears, Ayers was active, but he did not start. He didn’t record any stats.

Austin Johnson: Johnson is currently on the Bucs practice squad.

Luke Stocker: Stocker was active in the Bucs win over the Bears, but did not record any stats.

 

Feature image courtesy of Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group

Top 10 Football Players in Tennessee History – No. 3

Johnny Majors

Running back, 1953-56

There is no discussion about the tradition at the University of Tennessee without mentioning the iconic Johnny Majors.

Hailing from Lynchburg, Tn., Majors provided early flashes of brilliance on the field when he led his high school football team to the state championship in 1951.

At Tennessee, Majors was the embodiment of a do-it-all player. His primary position was halfback, but as the leader of Robert Neyland’s famous single-wing offense, Majors was also responsible for throwing the ball. Additionally, he punted and returned kicks. An appropriate depiction of Majors’ style was that of an iron man — a player who played a multitude of positions and never complained despite the physical punishment.

One of the most decorated players in Vols’ history, Majors was an All-SEC selection and SEC MVP in both 1955 and 1956. He also earned All-American honors in 1956 and finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting, losing to Notre Dame’s Paul Hornung.

After his stint on the field with Tennessee culminated in 1956, Majors moved to the sidelines and became a head coach. After experiencing minor success at Iowa State, Majors truly established himself as a formidable coach at Pittsburgh. With the Panthers, Majors won a national title in 1976. However, Majors couldn’t stay away from Rocky Top after too long, and became the program’s head coach in 1977.

The program Majors inherited was in absolute shambles, but after a few seasons, he steered the Vols in the right direction. Despite guiding the program back to the success fans were accustomed to seeing, Majors was unable to capture at national championship for the Vols.

To put it simply, Majors is a Vols’ Vol. He is the embodiment of what giving your all for Tennessee is. During his career at Tennessee, Majors accumulated 1,622 yards rushing and 15 rushing touchdowns, along with 1,135 passing yards and 10 passing touchdowns. As a coach, Majors finished with an overall record of 185-137-10, including a 116-62-8 record at Tennessee.

Majors is an undeniable great in not only Tennessee’s history, but also college football’s history. His place in the Pantheon of Tennessee football will never be questioned.

Featured image courtesy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District

Edited by Jordan Dajani

Kara Lawson and Dale Ellis elected in Tennessee Athletics Hall of Fame

On Friday, select members of the 2016 Tennessee Athletics Hall of Fame induction class gathered at Ray and Lucy Hand Digital Studio for media availability. Among the present Tennessee legends were basketball standouts Dale Ellis and Lady Vol Kara Lawson.

Lawson earned first-team All-SEC honors three times in her four seasons at UT. After being drafted No. 5 overall in 2003 by the Detroit Shock, she was immediately traded to the Sacramento Monarchs. A champion in 2005 and All-Star in 2007, she continues to play in the WNBA and is a noteworthy reporter for ESPN.

What was your initial reaction to being inducted into the Hall of Fame?

“I was really excited about it.  To be able to distinguish yourself a little bit more as a player is a real neat accomplishment for me, my family, and friends. It’s always good to come back and see everybody, it’s like a little reunion for me. I got the chance to visit Coach Summit earlier today. It’s an even extra honor to be inducted with this class. It has some pretty high character guys associated with it.”

What are some your best memories while at UT?

“My best memories were just the relationships that I made here, that I still have with my teammates, coaches, and friends. When you get honored like this it makes you be reflective and be thankful for the relationships you had and the people who helped you get here.”

How do you use your influence on the current Tennessee players?

“When I come to watch a practice or workout they know that they have access to any of us who have played if they want it or need it. Some are interested in after UT, so that’s always good when they are looking forward to what they want to do when they are done playing ball here.”

What has your experience at ESPN been like?

“It’s been great. I just finished my 13 NCAA tournament with them. The final four is always great. I get to do SEC with the men on Saturdays which is really cool. Doing a little NBA, it’s the best players in the world it’s awesome. Just staying around basketball I think that I’ll always stay around the game I have such a passion for it. I’m lucky that my job is my hobby and my hobby is my job.”

Also being inducted into the Hall of Fame is former men’s basketball star Dale Ellis. Ellis was a two-time SEC player of the year and a first-team All-American. Drafted by the Dallas Mavericks No. 9 overall in 1983, his accomplishments over his 17-year career includ an All-Star selection, NBA Most Improved Player award in 1987 and an NBA three-point shootout championship in 1989.

Ellis discussed his love for the years he spent at Tennessee, as well as memories of clutch shots that gave him the belief that he could play in the NBA.

Edited by David Bradford

Featured image courtesy of Joel Kramer