A few quick notes from the practice field on Thursday evening
It was a very light day on the practice field Thursday evening as the Vols went through a light final spring practice with no pads as they prepare for Saturday’s Orange and White Game.
Most notable was the return of a handful of injured players to the practice field. I use the term “return” lightly since it was a non-padded practice and the injured players such as Derek Barnett, Kyle Phillips, Kendal Vickers, Evan Berry and Josh Malone were going through drills that involved limited or no contact.
Butch Jones wasn’t scheduled to speak to the media this evening, so there’s no confirmation, but it’d be surprising to see any of those injured players do anything in Saturday’s game.
Here are a few quotes from the assistant coaches earlier in the day, via UT:
Offensive coordinator Mike DeBord:
“We’re not going to show any of the new stuff that we’re doing. We’re going to keep it pretty simple to be very honest with you. Again, just let the guys play. Let’s just let them line up and go play football. So, that’s what we want to do. We want to watch them execute and improve as a unit.”
“I just want to win and score points. I don’t care if I have to carry the ball, which that’s not going to happen, but we want to score points on offense, and we want to win games. Whatever that takes. If it takes throwing it more than running it, we’ll do that. Whatever it takes in a ball game, we’re going to do. Balance is kind of what is given in particular games, I think, and balance is also doing what your guys do best in a particular game as well. I’m not tied up with running the ball or throwing the ball, either one. Whatever is the best way to move the football, we’re going to do.”
Defensive coordinator Bob Shoop:
“I think we have really good depth up front. I’m really excited. I’m banking on the fact that the guys who aren’t practicing this spring are as good as everybody tells me they are. I’m excited to see Shy Tuttle. I’m excited to see Derek Barnett. I’m excited to see Kyle Phillips. I’m excited to see Kendal Vickers. I’m excited for Johnathan Kongbo coming in. Corey Vereen’s not practiced every day this spring. Those guys, you could make a case that if you’re listing the D-line, that’s one through six right there, as far as talent. I’m banking on the fact that they’ll be fine.”