KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — A steamy late afternoon practice at Haslam Field is in the books.
Here are some hastily assembled observations from the open media session. We’ll have more after we talk to players and coaches in a few minutes…
* We saw a lot of veterans trying to help out the younger players. In particular I noticed Jacob Carter helping out some of the freshmen. When freshman Ryan Jenkins messed up on a drill, receivers coach Zach Azzanni said something like, “It’s not your fault,” and implied that players needed to help each other along in the drills.
* Freshman quarterback Josh Dobbs looks a lot more like a football player when he’s in a jersey. He looked incredibly skinny when he was on the sidelines watching practice in street clothes this spring, and he could still add some pounds. But he didn’t look out of place among the other quarterbacks.
* As for Dobbs and fellow freshmen Riley Ferguson, I don’t think we saw enough in Day 1 to register any sort of informed opinion. They weren’t asked to do a lot — at least not while we watching.
* We saw a lot of young guys working on fielding returns, including receiver Josh Smith and defensive back Malik Foreman.
* Walk-on running back Justus Pickett, a Maryland transfer, was working out with his teammates. We’ll see if we get any clarification on his status this weekend.