April 11, 2012

Ground game still in focus

Spend any amount of time around Tennessee's spring football practice, and it's clear that making marked improvement as a running team is a point of emphasis. A quick look back at last year's stats (last in the SEC at 90.3 yards per game on the ground) also makes it quickly apparent why the need to get significantly better is far more than 'coach speak' from Derrick Dooley.

New offensive line coach Sam Pittman is well aware of the struggles the Vols had on the ground a year ago. He's also under the early impression that the presence of so many veterans in his unit should make the task of turning things around realistic.

"They know football, they understand football, and I think we're playing faster, and hopefully it will show up on the field. But it's been a pleasure to coach these guys, and they're working hard," Pittman said in assessing his unit and their work ethic slightly more than halfway through spring practice.

"Obviously, when I came in, I knew we had some guys coming back, and some of it(experience) makes a big difference. It sure does."

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