KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee coach Butch Jones delivered on his promise of a physical practice on Tuesday — at least in the brief viewing period open to the media.
The Vols (4-5, 1-4 SEC) play No. 7 Auburn (8-1, 4-1) on Saturday at Neyland Stadium (TV: ESPN, noon).
Tennessee lost to Missouri 31-3 last week and Jones said the Vols were dominated on both lines of scrimmage.
Jones referred to the offensive line as “Club 90” on Tuesday for the number of rushing yards Tennessee managed at Mizzou.
He interrupted the pre-practice stretch — “Listen, we don’t need no elaborate stretch!” — for his Circle of Life drills, which are essentially one-on-one blocking competitions in front of the entire team.
“Everybody wants in (to the Circle) until you’re hit in the mouth,” Jones said.
We’d need another two or three entries for all the players who got called out as soft today. But his banter with running back Marlin Lane was most humorous.
After criticizing his weight room efforts, Jones asked running backs coach Robert Gillespie, “Robert, why do you have bigger traps (trapezoid muscles) than your running backs?”
Another line to Lane, a Daytona Beach, Fla., native: “We’re working on a trade to Bethune-Cookman.”
How much actual hitting took place after we left is unclear, but give Jones credit for advancing the storyline effectively while we were there.
* The only players in green non-contact jerseys Tuesday were true freshman tight end A.J. Branisel and safety Brian Randolph. Both players have been wearing green for weeks and still playing in games. Safeties Byron Moore and LaDarrell McNeil and cornerback Justin Coleman were all in orange.
* Lot of good music today, including B.o.B., 2Chainz and apparently unedited Young Jeezy. Song of the day, however, was “Tha Block is Hot” (feat. Juvenile and B.G.), which was on Lil’ Wayne’s debut album in 1999.