The full pads were on for the first time Tuesday afternoon as the Vols went through their fifth practice of fall camp at Haslam Field in temperatures pushing 90 degrees.
Here are some of our notes and observations from the defensive side of the ball:
One-on-one defensive back drill: The defensive backs got put on an island as the team circled up to watch one-on-one drills with the WRs and DBs. This is what it looked like from the defensive perspective for those 15 reps, which required the DB to defend a WR or TE one-on-on from about the 3-yard line :
– Justin Coleman made a nice deflection in the corner on a jump ball against Marquez North
– Cam Sutton had good coverage on Von Pearson, but Pearson made a nice twisting grab
– Malik Foreman got beat on a slant route by Josh Smith
– D’Andre Payne had good defense on the much-larger Jason Croom on an overthrown ball
– Emmanuel Moseley got beat to the inside by Ryan Jenkins, but Jenkins dropped a low-thrown ball
– Riyahd Jones had good coverage on Josh Malone, but Malone won the jump ball in the corner
– Michael Williams smothered Johnathon Johnson, who tripped and couldn’t make a catch, likely would’ve been a facemask call on Williams
– Brian Randolph stepped in front of Ethan Wolf and made an interception that easily could’ve been a pick-6 if it were game action
– Devaun Swafford got blown by on a slant route by Alex Ellis
– Todd Kelly Jr. had good coverage on Daniel Helm on an overthrown ball in the corner
– Evan Berry got beaten badly by Brendan Downs on an out route
– A.J. Johnson jammed A.J. Branisel so tough at the line that he couldn’t run the route at all
– LaDarrell McNeil covered Alex Ellis on an overthrown pass
– Curt Maggitt got blown by on a slant by Ethan Wolf
– Lemond Johnson stuck close with Daniel Helm, but Helm made the catch anyhow
Seven-on-seven work: We also saw some semi-live seven-on-seven work. On the first play, Emmanuel Moseley got beat by Marquez North on a deep ball opportunity, but an overthrow prevented a big play. The defense bounced back on the next play when Brian Randolph made a nice break on a ball intended for Von Pearson and broke the pass up. In total, the defense won that drill by a final score of 15-12, according to the always-confusing Butch Jones method of scoring practice.
Tackling drills: A few highlights from when the receivers and wide receivers worked on open-field tackling:
• Evan Berry got his welcome to college football when Marquez North lowered his shoulder and went right at him. Berry hung on for the tackle, but it was quite a pop by North
• Riyahd Jones got absolutely trucked by Drae Bowles
• Todd Kelly caused a fumble by Ryan Jenkins
• Emmanuel Moseley got juked out by Josh Smith
• D’Andre Payne took down Josh Malone
• Malik Foreman brought down Von Pearson
• Drae Bowles and Geraldo Orta got in a quick scrap after one rep. It was quickly broken up by teammates, but tensions got a little high for a moment.
Injury notes: Gavin Bryant, Cortez McDowell and Jakob Johnson were among the defensive players being held out of the full-contact drills. Charles Mosley was at practice again and was seen at least putting some weight on his injured left leg, so while we still don’t expect him to play this year, that’s a good sign after his car accident this summer.
Here is the link to the Offensive Notes and Observations.