Tag Archives: Marcus Jackson

Tennessee spring football 2014: The offensive line

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With spring practice starting this week, we’re revisiting some of our projections from the post-season. Today: the offensive line. 

Antonio “Tiny” Richardson opted to leave early for the NFL (photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee –Perhaps no other position will have a bigger impact on the Vols’ success or failure in 2014 than the offensive line.

In 2013, the Vols not only had five experienced starters, but they had five players who had worked together as a unit for at least two years.

The Vols are losing all five starters, who accounted for roughly 92 percent of all snaps taken this year. The potential replacements are green.

The offense might not have been as prolific as hoped, but the line helped power a running game that kept UT afloat when other options failed. At least three of the linemen will be in the NFL next year.

The line was also remarkably durable. Ja’Wuan James set records for longevity. None of this teammates missed any significant time this year.

As you can see from the chart below, the Vols are replacing a lot of starts and a lot of combined experience.

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Tennessee football practice: Vols emphasize ‘great efforts’ in Western Kentucky prep


KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Butch Jones was in comedian mode on Tuesday afternoon, and UT linebacker A.J. Johnson was the subject of his barbs.

You see, Western Kentucky has an A.J., too. Linebacker Andrew Jackson is apparently an NFL prospect, although I had never heard of him until Monday. (Jackson needs to hire Jones as his agent, because Jones has been talking him up nonstop).

Anyway, here are some of the one-liners from practice today.

“A.J., you get to play on the same field as an NFL linebacker!”

“This A.J. (Jackson) is a first-round draft pick; you’re a practice-squad guy.”

(To equipment man) “Can you get me a white football for this Saturday? My son wants to get Andrew Jackson’s autograph.”

* The theme of practice on Tuesday was “63.” That’s six seconds per play with three great efforts. Or something along those lines. Look for plenty of “63”  references on our practice video.

* Linebacker Curt Maggitt is no longer wearing a green non-contact jersey. That’s happened before, but with game week approaching, it might be more meaningful.

* Neither junior Marcus Jackson nor true freshman Dylan Wiesman played on Saturday, although both players went through practice normally on Tuesday and remained members of the second-team unit. That doesn’t mean a redshirt is a certainty for either player, but it does mean that it remains on the table as an option. And coaches probably decided they didn’t want to remove that option for a blowout against Austin Peay.

* Unless my eyes deceived me, Michael F. Williams and Michael L. Williams were the only two players in the injured area. Receiver Ryan Jenkins may be getting better, but he was wearing a scout team jersey on Tuesday.