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Tennessee Spring Practice Report: 3/30/17

Photo Credit: Will Boling/RTI

Some notes and observations from the open portion of practice on Thursday afternoon. 

Quarterbacks Work on Slants: All five of the quarterbacks were working on quick slants over the middle for the practice periods that we saw. With Butch Jones mainly focused on the wide receivers, Mike Canales barked all the orders at all the QBs. Canales seemed to be overall pleased with the QBs’ progress on the day.

Most of what we’ve seen from the QBs has been long stuff down the sidelines. All five of them were throwing darts over the middle today. There weren’t any timing issues, which is the biggest thing in this drill. After a lot of short throws last week, I thought the QBs were more accurate this week as a whole. The slant drill was the most accurate I’ve seen them.

Wideouts — Jennings is back: Jauan Jennings was back on the field for the open portion of practice. He looked smooth on routes and he was coaching other players. Specifically Latrell Williams and Jeff George both caught an earful a couple of times from Jennings. Jennings’ physicality was on display on quick, sharp routes over the middle. That’s something UT’s young wideouts certainly need to take note of.

Latrell Williams continues to impress me. He is a great threat on a quick slant, and showed that on Thursday. Jones was complimentary of Williams and George on both of their couple of catches over the middle of the field. George, usually a fade threat in the redzone, wasn’t as quick as Williams, but used his strength to get off a block and make a grab in the endzone.

Overall, we didn’t get much from the quarterbacks today. But there weren’t any glaring mistakes from any of them.

RTI’s spring practice coverage is sponsored by the Nautical Boat Club of Knoxville!

Other Notes

  • John Kelly continues to embrace his role as a leader on the offense. Kelly helped Carlin Fils-Aime through a few drills, vocally giving instruction from the sideline.
  • Fils-Aime, known for his quickness, still needs work to make his running style a little angrier, like Kelly. The sophomore back had to redo one drill because he wasn’t running strong enough with the ball. Kelly yelled at him as soon as he made the mistake.
  • Offensive linemen were going one-on-one with each other, which gave us a good look at Trey Smith. Smith handled his rep well, showing his crazy upper body strength. His footwork is rusty, which is what you’d expect from a freshman learning the ropes, but his overall size is just overwhelming.
  • Jack Jones seemed to be the class of this group today. Like Jennings and Kelly, Jones finds himself in a new and prominent position of leadership.
  • Walt Wells is still the most vocal coach at practice. During O-line drills he was up close and personal with almost every player involved
  • Butch Jones was more vocal again today. He spent all of the open periods with the wide receivers.

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