It was another short day for the media on Wednesday as Tennessee only held two open periods of practice that were primarily geared towards various special teams units.
It was a very low-key two sessions for the Vol offensive players considering that most of them work on various special teams units. The quarterbacks all took shotgun snaps and snaps under center to start practice, but, again, were not seen throwing a pass during the open periods. It may mean nothing, but Justin Worley still looked to be favoring his right shoulder when running from one station to the other and at this point it would seem like a long-shot for him to see the field on Saturday. Joshua Dobbs looks to be in line for his first start of the 2014 season and based on everything we’ve heard from the staff, has had a strong week of preparation.
The running backs were seen working on their footwork with coach Robert Gillespie off to the side during the special teams work while the majority of the receivers (Josh Malone, Pig Howard, Jacob Carter, Vic Wharton) fielded punts and kicks under the direction of Zach Azzanni.
The offensive line gained a body today as Coleman Thomas was back with his group today after missing all of last week. Thomas was sporting a heavily taped ankle but appeared to be moving around without any noticeable limp or hinderances. Marcus Jackson continued to look healthy as well. Still no sign of Devrin Young or Josh Smith.
Defensive/special teams notes:
Drills: The defensive backs worked on making over-the-shoulder interceptions, while the defensive line worked on various blitz and stunt packages. The first-team defensive line in drills consisted of Corey Vereen, Danny O’Brien, Jordan Williams and Derek Barnett. The second team was LaTroy Lewis, Owen Williams, Dimarya Mixon and Dewayne Hendrix. The Vols will be a little shorter on depth this week with Trevarris Saulsberry out. Look for Mixon to be among the reserve defensive tackles who get extra work.
Punt notes: The Vols repped Cam Sutton, Emmanuel Moseley, Josh Malone and Jacob Carter at punt returner. On the punt team, they worked on getting the ball off in the time that Butch Jones wants (about 1.96 seconds).
Butch on the mic: Butch had a few good one-liners on the mic:
• He told Zach Azzanni to make sure that his punt returners aren’t “just going through the motions a la Josh Malone”
• Jones also joked that the team would be intimidated by South Carolina’s black uniforms on Saturday
Injury notes: Evan Berry remained in a green, non-contact jersey, but was going through kickoff return drills. Corey Vereen continues to work with a brace on his knee.