The C.J. Leak factor

The fact C.J. Leak played for Tennesse in 2004 and coaches for Florida in 2005 clearly complicates Saturday's Vol-Gator showdown a bit.

After four years in the Vol system, Leak obviously knows a great deal about Tennessee's offensive schemes, tendencies, terminology, etc. Now that he has a minor position on the Gator staff, he's no doubt sharing that knowledge with his new team – a team that includes his younger brother Chris as its starting quarterback.

"He (C.J.) knows our signals, our system and a lot of things about our offense," Vol coach Phillip Fulmer concedes.

So how does UT combat this built-in advantage?

"You can put in indicators like in baseball," Fulmer said.

The reference is to the third-base coach in baseball, who flashes numerous signs with only the one that follows the "indicator" – say, touching his nose – to be recognized by the batter.

There's another way the Vols can stop C.J. Leak from stealing UT's signals, though.

"You can have two or three people sending in the signals," Fulmer said.

For instance, UT may have offensive coordinator Randy Sanders and walk-on QB Jim Bob Cooter giving signals on the sidelines Saturday. Only Tennessee's quarterback will know which signs are "live" and which are decoys.

Although Tennessee has ways to combat Leak's knowledge of the its schemes, Fulmer concedes that this situation "can be a distraction if you become more concerned with what he's doing than with what you should be doing."

How much of UT's system has Leak retained? A lot, most likely.

"I'm sure he has plenty of notes," Fulmer said. "He was always quite a note-taker."

Even so, the Vol coach is a lot more concerned about Chris Leak than C.J. Leak heading into this game.

Said Fulmer: "It still gets back to the players on the field."


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