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Top 5 Position Battles to Watch in Camp


2. Offensive line

Kyler Kerbyson-1

“Finding the best five” is a phrase Butch Jones mentioned plenty in 2014 and he brought it up again in his pre-fall press conference, stressing the need for the Vols to figure out the right combination on the o-line. The good news? This will be the deepest group Jones has had in his tenure in Knoxville. And while the talent level is rising with the past couple recruiting classes, this group is certainly no 2013-version of the offensive line. There are questions at several spots. Jashon Robertson and Marcus Jackson seem to have the guard position pretty well taken care of, but with the cross-training and mixing and matching the Vols may do, it’s pretty fair to say that there’s competition at every single spot on this unit. Both tackle spots will be interesting to watch. Kyler Kerbyson, Brett Kendrick, Drew Richmond, Dontavius Blair are expected to be some of the main contenders there. Coleman Thomas remains a wild card at center and tackle as well. There are options, but how will it all mesh together?

What Butch Jones says about the battles at tackle: “Again it’s going to be one of those positions that highly competitive…So we’re going to move people around, and our job in what we end training camp – we have to find the best five that are going to play winning football for Tennessee. Not only the best five but No. 6, No. 7, and No. 8 and also continuing to develop youth in that spot. But that’s going to be critical, as we know it all comes down to protecting the quarterback. We stress negative yardage football plays. We had way too many negative yardage football plays last year, so again, that’s another point of contention as we continue you move forward.”


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