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Defensive Notes and Observations: 10/22

Derek Barnett-1-4Some notes and observations from the defensive side of the ball from the open portion of Tennessee’s practice on Wednesday afternoon:

A.J. the D.B.?: As he often does, A.J. Johnson worked with a different position group when the rest of the linebackers were doing special teams. He got some reps in with the defensive backs on Wednesday, working on a simulated tip drill where the coach throws a wobbly pass and the players work on intercepting it. The DBs always enjoy giving him a hard time when he drops one. Don’t look for Johnson to line up at DB any time soon, though he likes to get those different drills in.

Defensive line: The defensive line worked on some agility and pass-rushing moves. They did a drill where they had to swivel their hips around some blocking dummies and then get to the quarterback. They had one of their best pass-rushing games of the year at Ole Miss, getting to Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace five times. An official scorer’s change on Wednesday credited three of those sacks to Derek Barnett (he previously was credited with 1.5). With four on the year, he’s now halfway to Jadeveon Clowney’s freshman record for sacks on the season (8), though current Texas A&M freshman Myles Garrett already has 7.5 this season.

Preparing for Alabama: The scout team was wearing red jerseys to simulate Alabama in practice. On the defensive line, walk-on Charles Fogler was simulating Alabama d-tackle A’Shawn Robinson, Michael Sawyers was simulating Jarran Reed and Jaylen Miller was simulating Jonathan Allen.

On the other side of the ball, Mike Wegzyn is simulating quarterback Blake Sims and walk-on transfer receiver Adrian Gamble is simulating Amari Cooper.

Other notes:

 • The Jaguars and Steelers both had a scout at practice

• Evan Berry had a nice kickoff return in a drill that matched up the first team kickoff return and coverage teams. It’s hard to say it would’ve been a touchdown in live action since they weren’t tackling all the way, but Berry found plenty of room and ran all the way through the coverage team. Butch Jones called out Geraldo Orta on that play, calling it a “losing rep” as apparently Berry broke loose due to his missed assignment.

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