Tennessee Fall Camp Notes And Observations: Practice Three

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    Tennessee was back on Haslam Field Wednesday morning for its third practice of fall camp. The Vols upped things a bit on the third day, putting on shoulder pads to go with their helmets.

    Like Tuesday, Tennessee made the first three periods — slightly under 20 minutes — privy to the media.

    However, there was some excitement in those 20ish minutes. Here’s our notes and observations from Tennessee’s third fall practice.

    Offense

    Let’s start with the excitement from the day, or at least the three periods available to the media. There was a squirmish in the offensive line drills between R.J. Perry and Gerald Mincey. The pair were in a mild yelling match when the media made their way from the indoor practice field to Haslam Field.

    That was broken up between some strong words from Jerome Carvin and an up-down session for the whole offensive line group.

    The Vols went back to work but it was only a matter of minutes before things spilled over between Perry and Mincey once again. Going up against each other in a drill the two continued long after the whistle with one losing their helmet — didn’t catch that one. More words transpired and offensive line coach Glen Elarbee huddled the whole group up for a chat.

    Fifth year senior Jerome Carvin was impressive throughout the entire interaction. Carvin — a soft spoken kid in interviews — really got after the group following the first dust up and then took Mincey aside to talk to him following the second brouhaha.

    Tennessee’s receivers and quarterbacks worked on red zone route trees today. While there was no live defense, Vols’ managers provided slight defense attempting to throw off the timing of routes.

    Despite this, Tennessee’s receivers, tight ends and quarterbacks looked extremely crisp.  Two quarterbacks threw passes to both receivers each rep and only one ball from either Hendon Hooker or Joe Milton III hit the ground — a fade route to Jacob Warren.

    On the left side, Tennessee’s slot receivers and an outside receiver worked in tandem. Ramel Keyton and Jalin Hyatt were the first group while Walker Merrill and Jimmy Calloway were the second group. Freshmen Kaleb Webb and Squirrel White were the third group.

    On the right side, Tennessee’s tight ends lined up in the slot while an outside receiver flanked them. Jacob Warren and Cedric Tillman were the first group while Princeton Fant and Jimmy Holliday were the second group.

    Merrill continues to earn a lot of second team work out wide with the strong depth Tennessee has in the slot. Bru McCoy is down the reps chart and is clearly going to have to work his way up the depth chart.

    Before the red zone work, Tennessee’s quarterbacks threw routes on air to its running backs. They first worked on play action swing routes and then running backs motioning into the slot to run out routes.

    While Jaylen Wright wasn’t in a red no contact jersey, he didn’t participate in the drills. The sophomore worked to the side. Dylan Sampson worked with Joe Milton III behind Jabari Small and Justin Williams-Thomas worked with Tayven Jackson behind both.

    Williams-Thomas — who talked about his emphasis on trying to improve as a pass catcher Tuesday — had the only drop of the session.

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    Defense

    Defensive back Cheyenne LaBruzza joined Christian Charles as the only non quarterbacks to wear a red jersey.

    The Vols defensive backs worked in similar groups as they have the first few days with Jaylen McCollough, Trevon Flowers, Wesley Walker, Andre Turrentine, Tamarion McDonald and Doneiko Slaughter headlining those working at safety. Warren Burrell, De’Shawn Rucker, Dee Williams, Christian Charles, Brandon Turnage and Kamal Hadden worked at corner.

    That group has stayed relatively consistent throughout the first few days of practice. It will be interesting to see if that changes at all once the pads come on.

    The status quo remained the same for the defensive line with Tyler Baron and Byron Young leading the way and plenty of players doing multiple reps after drawing Rodney Garner’s ire.

    Freshman lineman Tyre West got some extra work on his own. Garner didn’t single himself out after one of his reps, but West was displeased nonetheless getting a second rep.

    Teaching continued to be a major point for linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary. The linebackers continued a lot of foundational drills focusing on first steps and tackling fundamentals. Juwan Mitchell continues to look impressive. We will see whether he can find consistency throughout fall practice.

    Ryan Schumpert is a senior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. He just completed a three-year stint with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent last three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Did we leave out the part about Ryan interning for the Smokies? Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three of the reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.

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