Vols return to the practice fields: Quick observations from the sidelines

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KNOXVILLE, TennesseeTennessee worked outside for only the third time this spring on Tuesday, returning to the practice fields after a 10-day layoff for spring break.

It was brisk but sunny, and the fields looked pristine — better than I’ve ever seen them during my time at Tennessee. The decision to work inside on wet days certainly helped UT’s ground crew.

Compared to the practices immediately before spring break, there were fewer hits and team sessions (at least in the portion we were allowed to view), so the video might not be as compelling today.

* Running back Marlin Lane was not at practice today. We’ll get an explanation from Butch Jones after practice. Check my Twitter feed for the latest.

* After one practice in No. 91, freshman receiver Paul Harris has evidently earned back the right to wear No. 1. I hope everyone is relieved. As much as we will all miss that storyline, it did give us two notes in the spring and for that, we will always be grateful.

* The quarterbacks did some drills with managers pushing large screens in front of them to simulate linemen. Perhaps not as scary, but at least got them thinking about throwing lanes during a rush.

* Junior Justin Worley and redshirt freshman Nathan Peterman have rotated first-team reps at quarterback this spring. But, for whatever it’s worth, Worley worked with the first group during the brief team session we saw today.

* Third-year sophomore Mack Crowder, who we heard good things about last week, worked with the first team offensive line. Marques Pair was also out there. Although barring a major surprise, UT’s offensive line is largely set for 2013, coach Don Mahoney has praised both reserves this spring.

* Devrin Young had a nice catch in the only notable action of the team session. Cody Blanc had a pass bounce off his hands, but it was tough to call it a drop. It would have been a nice grab if he had been able to come down with it.

* We’ll have much more later, including interviews with Jones and players, photos and videos.

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