Quick-Hitters From Football Practice 8/7
2-Point Conversion: Coach Jones opened practice tonight by going 11 on 11 with the first teams for a two-point conversion. Justin Worley and Marlin Lane got the start in the backfield and the receivers were Marquez North, Jason Croom and Vincent Dallas (At least thats who it looked like from my vantage point). The offense had the defense beat with a play-action rollout from Worley to TE Brendan Downs, but Downs was unable to hold onto the ball and the defense escaped with the victory.
In The Pin: Not participating in tonight’s practice due to injury were Byron Moore, Justin King, Josh Smith, and Paul Harris. Harris practiced yesterday but was seen tonight sporting a new walking boot on his ankle. Being injured does not excuse you from working during practice under Butch Jones, however. Players in “The Pin” spend practice doing sit-ups, push-ups, body rolls, and light running if their injury permits. The plan is to make being injured less enjoyable than practicing…thus, expediting recovery.
Pig Progressing: Drawing noticeable praise from WR coach Zach Azzanni tonight during the open part of practice was Pig Howard. Howard was catching everything thrown his way and, after drawing some criticism yesterday for his route-running, seemed to respond today as the team went through drills. Azzanni was pretty conservative with compliments today but was overheard uttering, “Don’t look now, Pig Howard, but you are becoming a football player.”
Tennessee Tough: Tonight’s TT drill set the receivers against the defensive backs for twenty-one reps of one-on-one blocking. The wide-outs took command of the drill early, winning seven out of the first eight reps. The DBs battled back, however, to tie it at 10-10 before Brian Randolph and Josh Carter squared off for the ‘Winner Take All’ rep. Randolph got the best of Carter and the DBs won the day after rebounding from yesterday’s loss. Coach Jones was there for the entire drill calling out the score over the loudspeaker as he urged both sides to “Compete with toughness!”
Distract The Quarterback: One of the drills the quarterbacks went through today involved coaches and graduate assistants doing anything they could to make them “uncomfortable” (as Butch Jones says) in the pocket. As the QBs took the snap they were immediately pressured by the grad-assitants while Butch Jones hit them with a rubber pad from head to toe. Butch was having a little fun and held nothing back during the drill as he hit all his signal callers in the head, shoulder, legs, stomach and throwing arm as they fired outs and slants to the receivers.
Houston Kress is a writer/producer/host for Tennessee Sports Radio. Contact/Follow him on twitter at @VolRumorMill