Some notes and observations from the offensive side of the ball at Tennessee’s first spring practice on Tuesday:
Practice number two of spring practice is in the books. Only three periods of today’s practice were open to the media today, so not a ton to report, but here are some key takeaways from today’s session.
Passing work: The quarterbacks spent their portion of practice under the watchful eye of OC and quarterbacks coach Mike DeBord as they worked on deep routes and quick throws. The deep routes were with the receivers and running backs down the sideline, and, I must say, Joshua Dobbs and Quinten Dormady continue to impress with their zip and accuracy on passes. We discussed it some on RTI Radio yesterday, but Dormady has a compact release with excellent velocity and a high level of RPM’s on his passes. Dobbs – not to be outdone – threw the ball about as well as he has in his time here on the longer throws, including an absolute perfect toss to Pig Howard down the left sideline that allowed Howard to stay at full speed throughout the catch. Jauan Jennings made a few nice throws, but still struggled with consistency. It appears as if he’s having a hard time getting a firm grip on the football before starting his throwing motion.
It’s also worth noting that the offense was working with some new footballs during today’s practice. They were void of any logo or script, but they certainly looked like they could maybe, potentially, possibly be Nike footballs to me (I can confirm nothing). It would make sense for the team to start working with the footballs they will be using in the fall, but if they truly are Nike footballs, they will have to remain logo-less for the duration of spring practice since Nike’s contract with Tennessee doesn’t kick in until July 1st. All that said, they could just be prototype Wilson balls…who knows.
The running backs also got in some work with the quarterbacks during this drill, but only for a few reps. Both Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara caught the ball extremely well in their limited reps running wheel routes. Not a lot of news from this position group other than Kamara is as every bit as athletic as advertised.
Miscellaneous: As expected, Coleman Thomas was absent from today’s practice in the wake of his arrest last night. Jalen Hurd and Marquez North were both seen in green non-contact jerseys.