BMW or Yugo?

BMW or Yugo?

Some football players look like flashy new BMWs until they try to start their engines. Then they run like vintage Yugos.

That analogy applied to former Tennessee defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, who took a lot of plays off before finally revving his engine as a junior. The analogy also applied in 2006 and '07 to current defensive tackle Demonte Bolden.

Can the 6-6, 290-pound Bolden put the pedal to the metal in '08 the way Haynesworth did in '01? He thinks so.

"Last year I worked on a lot – getting off blocks and working with my hands," he says. "This year I've got to work on my motor. I feel like if I can keep adding pressure every snap, that will be better for me."

It will be better for the Vols, too. Defensive tackle might be the team's weakest position, so Tennessee needs a big year from Bolden if it is to improve significantly on 2007, when the Big Orange ranked ninth among the 12 SEC teams in rushing defense and 10th in scoring defense.

Bolden believes he will have much more impact in 2008 – not just because he's better but because Tennessee's depth is better.

"Last year we really didn't have a lot of people behind the starters, and the defensive line got tired," he recalls. "This year we've got people that can back us up, and I feel like we can get things done."

Knowing there was no capable backup to relieve him, Bolden may have paced himself a bit in 2007. He should be able to run his motor full throttle in '08, however, if a couple of the Vols' young defensive tackles prove to be capable reserves.

"I feel like they can come on to it, progress as the year goes on," Bolden says. "They just need to get some game experience. As they get game experience, I think they can adapt to the game."

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