The Return of Derek Dooley

By Alex Norman

It was a typical Friday night in the Norman household.  The Smith’s came over for a rousing game of pinochle and we had the meal catered by Denny’s.

Then it happened.

Missouri announced that Derek Dooley was their new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Oh Lord take me now I’ve seen it all!  The former Tennessee head coach is back in the Southeastern Conference.

“I am excited to be a Mizzou Tiger and look forward to helping Coach (Barry) Odom carry out his vision for the program. I am grateful for this opportunity, and am ready to get to Columbia and go to work,” said Dooley in a press release.

“I’m excited for our football program, Derek brings tremendous energy, knowledge and experience to our staff,” said Missouri head coach Barry Odom in the same press release. “He will do a great job of mentoring our student-athletes in all areas of their lives, and I know he will add great benefit and loyalty to our staff room with his experiences he’s gained over his career. His football knowledge and offensive beliefs are in line with what will make Mizzou very successful. We have a great foundation to build on and along with the rest of the offensive staff we will put our kids in position to be their very best. I’m very happy to welcome the Dooley family to our organization!”

Press releases are fun.  It’s like statistics.  You can always find some numbers to back up your point.  So, Mizzou was promoting the record breaking Tennessee team that Dooley coached that lit up the scoreboard in 2012.

First of all, the offensive coordinator was Jim Chaney, who has proven to be one of the great offensive minds in college football.  He was the guy calling the plays, not Dooley.

Also, that Vols team had quarterback Tyler Bray, wide receivers Justin Hunter, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Zach Rogers, plus tight end Mychal Rivera, running backs Marlin Lane and Rajion Neal and an experienced offensive line.  They had talent in spades.   It was so good that Dooley kicked receiver Da’Rick Rogers off the team before the 2012 season.

Over the past five years Dooley has served as the wide receivers’ coach for the Dallas Cowboys.  In that time Dez Bryant has gone from being one of the league’s dominant receivers to one of its most overrated.

This is not a coincidence.

So, what does Missouri have to look forward to?

Well you better hope that quarterback Drew Lock doesn’t want to throw beer bottles from his apartment onto parked cars in their complex.  History has proven that Dooley won’t discipline him a bit, thus causing issues in the locker room.

You better hope that the Tigers know how to shower properly… and that they can grow bamboo in Columbia… and that they are up on their D-Day history.

Derek Dooley continues a tradition of falling into good opportunities, and this might be another one.  The Tigers offense averaged over 51 points a game in their last six games of the 2017 regular season.

Either way, November 17th will be a scene when Missouri comes to Neyland Stadium.

Derek Dooley is back.

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