It was shorts and shoulder pads for Tennessee today as the preparation for Oklahoma becomes much more mental for the Vols moving forward as opposed to physical. The media was only allowed to view two portions of practice today, so less than normal in terms of news and notes from practice, but here’s what we got:
Offensive drills: Seeing as how we only got two periods and the team spent those two periods working on special teams, there isn’t much to report from the offensive side of the ball. It is worth noting, however, that Jacob Gilliam spent almost all of his time at practice helping fellow tackles Coleman Thomas and Dontavius Blair. Tennessee desperately needs the light bulb to turn on for one or both of those guys, so it was good to see Gilliam doing all he could to help them.
Special teams: Working on kick returns today for the Vols were Evan Berry, Malik Foreman, Jalen Hurd, Devrin Young, Justus Pickett and Johnathon Johnson while Cam Sutton got work fielding punts during a full-speed punt simulation. Butch Jones continues to emphasize the importance of special teams to his guys. He let Emmanuel Moseley know at one point that his effort wasn’t where it needed to be and later told the players on the sidelines, “Don’t drink the five win poison. Poor effort will poison this football team.”
Injury update: Tight end Ethan Wolf was back out with the team today in shoulder pads and his helmet getting in some route running in under the eyes of an athletic trainer. Wolf looks like he may be progressing fast enough to see the field on Saturday. Derrell Scott was in the hole for the duration of the practice time we were allowed to see.
Defensive drills: The defensive backs worked on high-pointing the ball on interception attempts. The Vols will look for any break or advantage like that they can get at Oklahoma. The defensive line worked on various stunts and twists. One small note of perhaps future relevance is that Kendal Vickers was working some as a defensive tackle during drills.
Injury update: DT Trevarris Saulsberry (knee) continues to look better and better health-wise. He was in a jersey with a helmet and was jogging around and doing some basic agility work. CB Rashaan Gaulden continued to practice with a wrap on his wrist. S Brian Randolph (ankle) looks really healthy. He went up and made an interception in a drill, came down on his ankle and made an immediate cut up field. He should be good to go on Saturday.