Joe Fisher's Mailbag, Sept. 27

Sept. 27, 2013

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Wondering about a player, a game or another topic involving the Commodores? The Voice of the Commodores Joe Fisher will answer a variety of questions from fans during the season on

Vandy's defense has seemed to have significant problems facing running quarterbacks against OleMiss, South Carolina, and a little bit against UMass. Do you think Vandy will begin to play better against rushing quarterbacks, especially with Texas A&M, Mizzou, and Florida on the horizon?
- Ben Elasy (Brentwood, Tenn.)

I'm sure as those games approach that will be a much more elevated focus.From watching the rest of the nation, the quarterbacks and offenses that run the read option very effectively have been a nightmare for opposing defenses.The good news about having faced Ole Miss and South Carolina already is now the coaches and players have working knowledge and experience in dealing with it, as well as plenty of tape to go back and look at to correct mistakes and help prepare.

Why do we leave the middle of the field open on defense, our two rush ends go for quarterback and the middle just opens up for them to run. Can't find a linebacker when this happens.
- Bill (Mount Juliet, Tenn.)

Sometimes you have to credit the offense for making the right call, perhaps catching us in a 4-2-5 or "nickel" defensive package and finding a soft spot in the middle. We certainly miss Chase Garnham in the rotation, though the younger players continue to improve. Darreon Herring almost had a monster game at UMass, had it not been for a penalty and a replay review. The good news, to me, is the defensive staff has made the same commitment this year that they did last year; to rotate players early and often at all the positions. Every season our team has improved as the season went along, and I anticipate that happening this year as well.

When does fall baseball practice start and when will the black and gold games be played?
- John Johnson (Nashville, Tenn.)

Coach Corbin moved the fall practice back this season. It's my understanding practice will begin on October 15th, with the Black and Gold Series scheduled for November 14th, 15th and 17th. Be sure and check regularly for updates.

Joe, Why does the University not broadcast there games on a major radio channel so those of us in Rutherford County (states largest county) can listen to the pre-game and post-game shows? From the moment I hit I-24 coming out of Nashville I get static on the radio. It would make more sense to buy up air time on a county station like 103.3 instead of these small stations that have broadcasting issues.
- Ted Davis (Smyrna, Tenn.) - 30-year season ticket holder

Ted, thanks for your loyalty to Vanderbilt athletics.I've had several questions in the mailbag regarding our radio network, so let me clarify things. Our network flagship station is WLAC-AM, 1510 on the dial, a clear-channel, 50,000 watt signal that is among the strongest in the country. It's daytime signal is a strong one in middle Tennessee, with a nighttime signal that covers more than half of the United States. The parent company of WLAC, Clear Channel, has a corporate policy that no event can be carried absolutely live on their station (thank you Janet Jackson and the Super Bowl halftime show). As a result, their signal, has a significant delay.Before this season, we added WNSR-AM 560 and their new FM signal 95.9 in Nashville to our network. Sports radio 560 had already been and continues to be our flagship for women's basketball and baseball. Now, also carrying football, their signal is available at the stadium without delay.

Believe me, this is a subject very important to me, and I along with our partners at IMG will continue to strive to improve our product. I am extremely pleased with our flagship stations and network affiliates.

Are there no plans for TE's in the offensive game plan? The year prior to coach Franklin, we threw over 60 times to the TE. In the last 28 games we are lucky to have thrown, 40 time in all. Seems we could open up our WRs if we get the TEs in the game early?
- Al Bowden (Clarksville, Tenn.)

I think this is one of the common complaints of fans in college football, what is perceived as under utilization of the tight end.In many cases, the offense is in "max protect," so the TE must stay in to block and only one or two receivers are out on routes. We've seen Steven Scheu make some catches this season and I think his role, along with Kris Kentera and Dillon van der Wal will continue to expand.



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