It was a day for offensive linemen, as Cooper Mays, Cade Mays and Jerome Carvin spoke with the media. It’s all about adjustment for these three, as they detailed their experiences with the new coaching staff and picking up the new offense.
Jerome Carvin described the new offense with a term we’ve heard numerous times this spring, fast. It should come as no surprise that this scheme will benefit the skill players, but for the linemen, it’s about endurance and wearing down the defense. As Carvin mentioned today, it hasn’t been very difficult to keep up with the speed, thanks to their S&C staff having them ready.
For this group, it’s all about punishing the opposing defensive line, which Cooper Mays said is what brings him joy with the new offense. But when it comes to which position they’ll play, Carvin says that he’s comfortable playing anywhere within the interior. Over the course of spring, Carvin and Cooper have been working at the Center position, but Carvin said “Anything interior I can play it, doesn’t matter which side”.
Asked to describe offensive coordinator Alex Golesh, Carvin used the term “Juice”, as he said Golesh is always bringing the juice to practice. Also, this isn’t very hard to notice, as Golesh is very vocal with his TE’s and offensive group.
There is one player that both Cooper Mays and Jerome Carvin pointed out on Wednesday as the toughest player to block on the opposing side, Elijah Simmons. They both feel he will be a force this season, as Mays said “He’s a load and he’s coming at you a little different this year”.
Cade Mays has played just about every position on the offensive line during his college career so far, which is a benefit for this Tennessee coaching staff. The fact that they have the option to place him where they feel is needed shouldn’t be lost on anyone. When asked about playing in this scheme, Cade was adamant that it’s just regular football on the line of scrimmage, “As on OL, we’re passing and running the football, it’s all the same”.
But, Cade did make it a point to say when asked that he feels like he plays his best ball at right guard, but has also enjoyed playing the tackle spot. Either way, he’ll be someone the staff relies on this season to anchor his group.
The fun for the Mays brothers comes from the fact that with this offense, they have the ability to wear down the defensive line, not allowing them to sub out on consecutive plays. He makes a very good point, as this scheme doesn’t allow the defense to make many adjustments when it comes to personnel. It’s so fast that defensive players cannot get off the field quick enough, which Cooper loves.
As Cooper described it, he loves seeing the defense gasping for air, as the offense continues to push the tempo.
The brothers discussed who they found to be the hardest to block on the DL, as mentioned before, Cooper and Jerome thought it was Elijah Simmons. But for Cade, he was thinking about the JUCO transfer, Byron Young.
“Byron Young has done a really good job at coming to practice everyday with Juice. He’s going to be a really special player here one day.”
It’s becoming clearer everyday that this group has the potential to be a major factor for Tennessee this season, as they continue to grow as a unit. Both Cade and Cooper were very pleased with one teammate who has continued to work his tail off this spring, Dayne Davis.
Cade was quick to point out the work ethic of Davis. “The whole OL room has watched him work hard. He asks questions and wants to get better. Comes to work every day. We are all proud of him and were happy when he got put on scholarship”.
The new coaching staff will take it, especially having someone with size like Davis, who’s trying to crack the starting rotation. If he doesn’t get the nod to start, he won’t be far behind if he keeps this hard work up, as folks have been raving about him behind the scenes. It’s sure fire depth, at a position the Vols need it at.
With just a number of practices left in the spring, and the upcoming scrimmage on Saturday, the players will continue to work on learning every aspect of this offense.
Hard to believe they’re already near the finish line of spring, but the work is just beginning.