Sept. 8, 2010
The following appeared in the Commodore Nation Gameday program for the Northwestern game on Sept. 4.
A native of Trussville, Ala., senior center Joey Bailey is one four team captains on the Commodores. Bailey has played all three positions on the offensive line at Vanderbilt, but has settled in as the team's starting center. Bailey will graduate in December with a degree in human and organizational development.
On the energy Coach Caldwell has brought to the team
There's a lot more energy. We have a buzz about us in the locker room and outside in the city. Everybody's excited. I think we're going to turn some heads with that.
On working with new offensive line coach Herb Hand
He's definitely intense. He's a fiery coach who loves to yell at you, but he loves you as a person. He does everything he can to help you. It's been a lot of fun.
On the transition between Coach Caldwell and now Coach Hand as his position coach
It really hasn't been that much of a change, just because our old coach is still here and the rest of the staff is still here. It's just one change. He's a lot like Coach Caldwell in that he's passionate about what he does and likes to get after it. He likes to yell, likes to make you work, so that's about the same.
On being one of the elder statesmen at the position
It's tough at times, just because last year we had a really experienced offensive line and everybody knew what to do at any given time. And this year we're very inexperienced, and guys have to remember that the new guys have only been here a few weeks and are still learning the offense. At times it is frustrating because they don't know what they're doing, but you've got to remember that they're young and they're still learning. We were there once ourselves.
On what's impressed him most about the young guys on the line
They're tough. They are really starting to quickly grasp what we want. I remember when I was a freshman, I don't think I got it until my sophomore year. They're studying hard. They give all they've got every time they're out on the field. When they're not on the field they're studying their playbook. I've been very impressed by their dedication.
On being a captain
Words really can't describe it. The feeling that your teammates believe in you and want you to represent them, it's really an honor. There's nothing more I can say other than it's an honor.
On the biggest challenge of moving from guard to center
It really has not been much of a change for me. I've actually played all three positions since I've been here. As a center you've got less space to play with. As guard, you can back up a bit behind the center, and as center you've got the guy breathing right down your neck. The biggest difference is just playing with a limited amount of space between you and the defense.
On how much his approach has to change at center
A little bit. You have to be quicker off the ball because you don't have all that extra room.
As told to Laina Balafas