March 26, 2012

New look linebackers on day one

Nothing officially signals the start of practice quite like a few position changes. Tennessee has a handful of players getting a look in new spots this spring. Nowhere is that more true than at linebacker where three players are trying their hands at different roles.

Brent Brewer, who has started 14 games at strong safety in the past two seasons, has moved up a couple of steps to strong-side linebacker. Curt Maggitt, who made noise last year as a freshman edge rusher at outside linebacker, has moved into the middle when the Vols go to a 3-4 look. The biggest change comes from junior Channing Fugate, moving over from fullback to weakside linebacker.

The shift--at least part time--to a 3-4 scheme under new defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri created a need for bodies at a linebacker position that was already one of the thinner spots on the roster.

Brewer, who excelled in run support from his safety spot but sometimes struggled in pass coverage, was a logical choice to make the move. He's somewhat limited this spring while recovering from an ACL tear, but likes everything about his move so far.

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