Clausen defends Sanders

Because a lot of fans blame Tennessee's modest point production on poor play selection, Vol offensive coordinator Randy Sanders has taken a lot of heat this season. Vol quarterback Casey Clausen says the criticism should be directed elsewhere.

''Everybody's talking about this year -- how frustrating it was and the playcalling,'' he said. ''You can call the best play in the world but if don't have people execute it, it's not going to work.''

Clausen went on to make abundantly clear that he figures it was poor execution, rather than poor playcalling, that caused Tennessee's offense to sputter throughout an 8-4 regular season.

''There's nowhere to go but up,'' he said. ''We've been down pretty much as far as we can get. There's no hard feelings about it. Guys just need to understand where they're playing and what it takes to win. Guys have to be more accountable as individuals -- know what's right and wrong, know what it takes to get things done.''

Clausen was openly critical of some young Vols who declined to show up for offseason workouts last summer. Asked if he'll take steps to get young players more involved in the offseason ahead, he shook his head.

''There will be a sign -- like there always is -- but I'm not going to grab anybody and walk them by the hand,'' he said. ''I'm not going to do that. You either want to be with us or not.''


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