Category Archives: Practice Reports

Vols wrap up Wednesday practice in chilly weather (photo gallery)

Running backs coach Robert Gillespie talks to running back Deanthonie Summerhill on Wednesday. (Photo by Evan Woodbery)


KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee practiced for a couple of hours late Wednesday afternoon in Knoxville.

There’s a freeze warning tonight, and it’s already starting to get chilly.

No word on if that’s why a portion of practice was indoors, but as a native Michigander, Butch Jones seems unlikely to worry about a mild chill.

We didn’t get to see much today, but here’s a photo gallery. More notes and quotes coming after we talk to assistant coaches this evening.

Running backs coach Robert Gillespie looks on as running back Marlin Lane (15) goes through drills.

Defensive backs Willie Martinez coaches during a drill on Wednesday (Photo by Evan Woodbery)

Continue reading

Vols prepping for ‘the red team’ in practice Tuesday (video)

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.”

Vols practice highlights from Tuesday (video)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — The Vols practiced on a gray afternoon at Haslam Field on Tuesday. Rain held off until overnight, but could force the team indoors on Wednesday.

The highlights video includes some good shots of receivers and some jokes from Butch Jones. As always, the video features the most comprehensive stretching you will find anywhere.

Watch in the highest HD setting for best results.

Some good jabs at A.J. Johnson

A.J. Johnson (UT photo)

Practice regulars know that coach Butch Jones likes to rag on linebacker A.J. Johnson more than just about any other player.

During the stretching period on Tuesday, Jones mentioned a visiting scout from the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“The Steelers are here to see (Dontavis) Sapp,” Jones said. “The Pittsburgh Gladiators are here to see A.J. Johnson.”

(The Gladiators are a now-defunct arena league team).

Curt Maggitt in the ‘circle of life’

Curt Maggitt

Curt Maggitt (UT Sports)

In the “circle of life” practice drill, players form a circle around two teammates who go head-to-head in a blocking drill.

Butch Jones called out a surprising name on Tuesday: Linebacker Curt Maggitt.

Teammates cheered and several craned their necks or stood on tiptoes to get a view. It wasn’t clear who he competed against, but it was clear that he won easily.

Maggitt is still expected to take a redshirt this season after a slow recovery from an offseason ACL injury. But never say never….

Update: Say never.

Vols’ Devrin Young returning punts and other injury notes….

Devrin Young (UT photo)

Receiver Devrin Young, who broke a bone in his hand earlier this year, was wearing a greens shirt but appeared to fully participate in practice on Tuesday. He even caught punts.

Offensive lineman Alex Bullard, who missed some practice last week, returned to practice and looked no worse for the wear.

Defensive tackle Trevarris Saulsberry (knee) also seemed to be practicing fairly normally.

The Vols practice at Neyland Stadium on Oct. 9, 2013.

The Vols practice at Neyland Stadium on Oct. 9, 2013. (Photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee moved practice to Neyland Stadium on Wednesday while crews did some sod work on Haslam Field.

It made me wonder if Neyland Stadium might also see some new turf before the Vols’ next game on Oct. 19 against South Carolina.

This evening is the final media availability for the football team until Monday.

Tennessee practice highlights from Tuesday (video)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — This is a bye week, not an off-week, Tennessee coach Butch Jones reminded players (and media) on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s practice video includes plenty of receiver action, some offensive line blocks, some quarterbacks, some Young Jeezy and more.

Watch the video above in your highest available HD settings for best quality.

‘Back-to-basics’ day at practice for the Vols

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — In the first of two off-week practices open to the media, Tennessee spent extra time on special teams and other individual drills that might get squeezed out of practices during game weeks.

Head coach Butch Jones spent a lot of time with working the punt teams. He also watched a lot of the receivers. The good news: We saw very few drops — none by scholarship receivers — in drills that might have had a dozen in the spring.

In the “Circle of Life” one-on-one competitions, linebacker Kenny Bynum apparently beat running back Alden Hill, because Jones started calling him “Alden Bynum.”

Later, Jones called Hill “Mr. Personal Foul,” in reference the penalty called on him on the first play of the Georgia game. Hill responded by calling Jones, “Coach Unsportsmanlike Conduct” in reference to Jones’ penalty on the first play of the second half. Just kidding. That second part didn’t happen.

* On the music front, good selections from the Big Tymers and Young Jeezy today.

Stories, video and more coming on GoVolsXtra….