KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — It’s Alabama week — err, red team week — at Tennessee, and Tuesday’s practice clips should offer little doubt.
(For best results, watch in your highest available HD setting.)
Why are the Vols seeing red? Here’s an excerpt from my story in Wednesday’s News Sentinel:
The Vols chanted “RED!” as they wrapped up their stretching with jumping jacks on Tuesday.
When coach Butch Jones referred to Alabama by name on the wireless microphone that he totes around in practice, he quickly corrected himself to “the red team.”
Afterward, Jones downplayed the motivational ploy, saying it was “no big deal.”
But players said it was a way of tearing down some of the mystique that surrounded the nation’s top team, focusing players’ attention on the things they could control.
“Mentally, just by their name, when team’s hear that name, they’re mentally beat already before they step on the field,” said Tennessee receiver Alton “Pig” Howard. “I give them credit, but we’ve got warriors on our team as well. We’re ready to go to war.”