Tag Archives: practice reports

Tennessee football practice: Goodbye Daniel McCullers, Hello Dan McCullers

Butch Jones says we should be grilling out today.

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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — The pre-practice stretch period is a time when Butch Jones usually imparts serious messages. So there was a look of mild concern among players when he announced, “I want you to know, I cut somebody today.”

He was met by silence.

“Do you know who I cut?”

More silence.

“Look around and see who’s missing.”

Finally, players caught on. No. 98 Daniel McCullers was gone.

In his place, was No. 63.

“I want everyone to welcome No. 63, Dan McCullers to the team,” Jones said.

Everyone started clapping. The media put down their rosters and stopped  hunting for a missing player.

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Tennessee football practice: Vols return after a 2-day break

Tennessee running backs coach Robert Gillespie at practice on Aug. 22, 2013. (Photo by Evan Woodbery)

Tennessee running backs coach Robert Gillespie at practice on Aug. 22, 2013. (Photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — After 48 hours away from the practice fields, players returned on Thursday to higher expectations from coach Butch Jones.

“Nice and fresh!” he yelled. “You oughtta be nice and fresh.”

We’ll find out later if Jones noticed any rejuvenation. For now, here are some post-practice notes:

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Tennessee football practice: Notes from Sunday’s session at Haslam Field

Justin Worley

Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley takes a snap in practice on Aug. 18, 2013 at Haslam Field in Knoxville.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — One day after an open session at Neyland Stadium, the Vols were back on the normal practice fields.

A heavy morning rain gave way to some sunshine, so Tennessee stayed outdoors for the workout.

The Vols will have one more practice on Monday before taking off Tuesday and Wednesday to get players ready for the start of school. (Although as Butch Jones would point out, there are no true off-days. They just won’t practice).

Here’s what we learned from Sunday’s session:

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Tennessee football practice video: Highlights from Monday morning’s session


KNOXVILLE, TennesseeButch Jones offered an homage to the Harlem Globetrotters on Monday morning.

In an otherwise intense and testy morning practice, a drill that is more often seen on the basketball court offered a little bit of levity.

Jones took it seriously, though. Much like the similar drill in basketball, players had to call out the name of the person they were passing to. When Jones told them to speed up the tempo, there were some drops.

The Harlem Globetrotters theme music in the background offers a nice touch. Check out the video above, and view it in the highest available HD setting for best results.

Tennessee football practice: Observations from Saturday morning scrimmage

Tyler Coombes on the blocking dummy.

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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — There’s a nice symmetry to August. A bad performance by a unit one day is usually followed by a bounce-back performance the next afternoon.

Sometimes the coaches orchestrate the ups and downs. But on Saturday morning, the defense’s dominance appeared genuine.

In a wide-ranging, hour-long situational and special teams scrimmage at Haslam Field, the Vols defense clearly won the day.

Or at least the morning. There will be another scrimmage this evening at Neyland Stadium. Don’t be surprised if the offense looks better.

Plenty of meaty observations today…

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Tennessee football practice: As dusk falls, Vols go one-on-one

Tennessee receivers

Vols receivers work on their hands during a JUGS gun drill in practice on Tuesday. (Photos by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — The Vols went through “Tennessee tough” drills this evening, which are usually some sort of one-on-one blocking or tackling drills.

In most cases, there’s a well-defined winner and loser. (Alas, most of the drills were obscured by players and not in an ideal video-shooting area.).

My favorite part came when walk-on defensive lineman Charles Folger was matched with freshman Brett Kendrick for a one-on-one drill. I’m not sure if he was being serious or sarcastic, but Folger called for Antonio “Tiny” Richardson to go against him. Tiny’s response: “You ain’t ready for me. Take the freshman, boy.”

The horn sounded just before Folger and Kendrick were to go against each other, much to the disappointment of Folger. 

We’ll have more notes and quotes from coaches, plus more photos and videos, late tonight and Wednesday morning.

* The camp gods giveth and taketh away. On Monday, freshman receiver Josh Smith was working with the first team. A day later, he was the lone player in the “Hole,” the fenced area for rehabbing injured players.

* In receiver drills, we saw a couple of really nice catches by Jason Croom and a good one by Devrin Young. Rough day for Paul Harris.

We’ll get some perspective from receivers coach Zach Azzanni after practice.

Tennessee football #PracticeGram: Images from Monday’s practice

UT quarterback Nayhan Peterman.

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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee’s practice on Monday was the first time we got to see significant 11-on-11 work with our own eyes.

We could see some more on Tuesday night when the Vols don full pads and practice for the fifth time.

In the meantime, here are some images from Day 4 of camp.

Freshman Dylan Wiesman limbering up.

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Tennessee football practice: Quick review of Monday’s session

Don Mahoney, Tennessee

Tennessee offensive line coach Don Mahoney instructs players during practice at Haslam Field on Aug. 5, 2013, in Knoxville. (Photos by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee did some team work in the early session of Monday afternoon’s practice. The brief window offered few concrete details, but did reinforce how difficult it is for freshmen quarterbacks to win a starting job in August.

We’ll have more after we talk to coach Butch Jones and players later this evening.

* Among the notable plays from our view of the team work was a bad snap by third-string center Dylan Wiesman, a freshman, that sent quarterback Riley Ferguson scrambling after the ball.

Ferguson later threw an interception right in the numbers of safety Tino Thomas.

Co-third-team quarterback Josh Dobbs didn’t fare better, as he dropped a snap that hit off his hands in the last play we saw of the team drills before we had to leave for the evening.

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Tennessee football practice quick hits: Shells on and intensity heats up

Alex Ellis, Tennessee

Tennessee tight end Alex Ellis looks in a pass from the JUGS gun during a practice drill on Aug. 4, 2013 at Haslam Field in Knoxville. (Photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee players wore shells (shoulder pads and helmets) for their third practice on Sunday, so while full-pad hitting is still a couple of days away, there was room for a little more contact.

We’ll talk to players and coach Butch Jones when practice ends this evening. For now, here are some quick observations from the media viewing period.

* The first of several one-on-one competitions at midfield featured running back Alden Hill against linebacker Kenny Bynum. Because these scrums are surrounded by a wall of players, we didn’t see who won.

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Tennessee football practice: Vols back for Day 2 of camp

Drae Bowles, GIF

Tennessee receiver Drae Bowles bobbles and nearly catches a pass in practice on Friday. (photos by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee’s football team went through the second day of training camp on Saturday at Haslam Field.

The weather cooperated again. Those summer thunder showers that seem to strike every afternoon have stayed away.

We’ll have more after the post-practice interviews, including notes and quotes from players and coaches. For now, a few quick thoughts.

* The receivers, as a whole, look better than they did in the spring. Part of the reason is that there are simply more of them, so more reps are going to scholarship players. Freshman Paul Harris has clearly improved. Justin Croom has looked fairly sharp. Among the newcomers, I’m not sure anyone has stood out. MarQuez North and Josh Smith have both struggled with stuff at times, but also have shown promise.

* Linebacker/tight end/fullback Justin King was in the injury cage again today, although based on some of the physical work he was doing, I can’t imagine he’ll be there for long. He was joined by linebacker Christian Harris.

* Receiver Cody Blanc was responsible for “winning” the opening part of practice for the offense by catching a short pass in the middle of the end zone for a touchdown.

Otherwise, I’m not sure they’re “keeping score” of these early practices like they were in the spring. If they are, they’re certainly not advertising the winners and losers. We may see some more hitting and Oklahoma drills later in camp. (Or given the precarious depth in some areas, maybe we won’t).

* We heard Butch call out Daniel McCullers for the first time this camp. (See the story about him in today’s paper). But while he left tight end Woody Quinn — Friday’s whipping boy — alone, he did target two freshmen tight ends for walking. “Coach Mark Elder,” he yelled over the mic to the tight ends coach. “Your two freshmen are walking!”