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Vols Practice Notes and Observations: 8-31-17

The Vols are officially preparing for Georgia Tech this week during the first game week of the 2017 season. And they were inside the indoor practice facility today because of rainy weather outside. There was a lot of special teams work, but we got to see plenty of quarterback and receiver work along with some running back drills as well.

Tennessee had their scout team out and active today, especially on the defensive side preparing for Georgia Tech’s flexbone/triple-option offense. We cannot disclose the work the defense was doing, but needless to say they were going at it and working hard to make sure they’re ready on Monday to defend the most unique offense they’ll face all season.

As wide receivers coach Kevin Beard has said earlier this fall, the Vols have some impressive athletes at receiver. True freshman Josh Palmer is listed as a co-starter on Tennessee’s first official depth chart, and he’s showed why all camp. Today, he had a drop during a drill when an assistant with a hitting pad and Beard were harassing receivers on short routes. But he came back on his do-over and looked better.

Shy Tuttle’s progression from injury has been nothing short of impressive. He was fully dressed out today, and it looks as though he’ll be ready if needed during the Vols’ season opener. Playing against Tech may not be the greatest move, especially considering he’s recovering from a knee injury. But he appears ready to go regardless.

Here are some more observations from the Vols’ practice today:

  • Quinten Dormady can really throw a pretty ball while on the run. The quarterbacks practiced rolling out of the pocket and throwing some intermediate passes while on the run, and Dormady’s throws were on the money, especially on a pass to tight end Ethan Wolf. Jarrett Guarantano isn’t bad on the run either, and he appears faster than Dormady when running. But Dormady’s touch/velocity was on point on his throws.
  • Ty Chandler is incredibly athletic and quick, and he showed that a couple times during today’s practice. He doesn’t quite have the size you’d want for an SEC running back, but that will come in time. He’s only a freshman, after all.
  • Speaking of speed and athleticism, sophomore receiver Tyler Byrd has that as well. It’s surprising to me that he was listed as a co-starter at the slot receiver position and not the outright starter. But I think Byrd will still have a solid sophomore campaign this year. He’s been very consistent during drills this fall, and he looked particularly solid today as well.

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