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August 27, 2013Working in uppers but without full lower pads, Tennessee's players continued their game week preparations Tuesday on Haslam Field for Saturday's season opener against visiting Austin Peay.
Early in Tuesday's work Butch Jones had the team recognize Reggie Juin. Jones touted Juin's contributions to the team and told the Vols that Juin deserved to be recognized "because he wants to play for the University of Tennessee."
During team stretch, secondary coach Willie Martinez came over and worked ball security with tailback Rajion Neal and tried to strip Neal of the ball to no avail.
As the team worked special teams, specifically punt coverage, Jones harped on redshirt junior Matt Darr's get-off time, asking for the time on a particular punt --- it was 2.07 seconds --- and imploring Darr to be faster. Jones bellowed "What's the op time? Can't have it. Gotta have 1.98 seconds, Darr. I punt fast. I punt fast. I punt fast."
Brian Randolph was one of several Vols in a green jersey and also had his left shoulder heavily wrapped. Athletic trainers checked on Randolph, who appeared to suffer a slight shoulder stinger but Randolph made clear he was fine.
Marlin Lane remained in the green jersey, as did Curt Maggitt, Ryan Jenkins, Paul Harris and Johnathon Johnson. Maggitt did not have a knee brace as he continues to recover from the ACL tear he suffered last season against Missouri and worked in the 'black hole' with Maggitt, Jenkins and George Bullock while walk-on defensive back Michael Williams ran laps as he continued to work his way back from a shoulder injury.
Jones and wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni drilled wideouts in a variety of routes and techniques, with Jones offering some one-on-one instruction to Marquez North and Josh Smith. Both coaches emphasized players making catches at the top point of the ball's arc. Jacob Carter had a sparkling one-handed grab.
The Vols began to work team periods as the open portioned close, with Jones again emphasizing the time is now to set the standard for how this team will be viewed.
VolQuest.com will tweet and post notes immediately following today's post-practice comments --- and will do so each day of camp. Additionally we will have a variety of content items this evening, more tomorrow and continue to bring our 'Rocky Top Roundtable' and podcast features. Staff twitter handles are: @VolQuest_Rivals, @VolQuest_Paul, @VolQuest_Rob, @AustinPriceless, @John_BriceVQ and special contributor @GrantRamey.