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August 7, 2013

Quick HiTs: 'Tennessee Drills' set the tone

An early two-point conversion opportunity set the tone for Tennessee's sixth session of pre-season camp and second day in full pads on Wednesday evening at Haslam Field.

Barked into position by head coach Butch Jones, the Vols were tested in a two-point situation that went the defense's favor. Not only was the Tennessee offense flagged pre-snap, but tight end Brendan Downs also was unable to corral Justin Worley's pass in the right flat for the conversion.

The Vols shifted into special teams work, with extensive time spent on a punt-block drill. Both receivers coach Zach Azzanni and Jones were heavily involved in the drill. Gunners were dispatched from the left and right sides to block both volleyballs and kickballs in the drill. Jones bellowed to freshman defensive back Devaun Swafford,, 'C'mon Swafford! This is your chance to get on the bus!'

In 'Tennessee Drill,' the Volunteers' defensive backs rallied for an improbable victory. The wideouts had stormed to a big lead, but DB wins by Malik Foreman, JaRon Toney and Swafford set the stage for a winner-take-all showdown. Brian Randolph then got the decisive victory, which didn't sit well with Azzanni. Elsewhere, Corey Miller and Christian Harris, despite a green jersey, had strong performances in 'Tennessee Drill.'

The Vols' receivers coach chided his unit for not winning down the stretch and made clear his players must know that they have yet to accomplish anything in-season.

Tennessee's veteran group of offensive linemen also had a number of strong performances in one-on-one settings.

Curt Maggitt and LaDarrell McNeil also donned green jerseys, while Josh Smith remained limited with soreness in his right knee. Paul Harris had a walking boot on his right foot, and Tom Smith dressed but did not participate or even wear his helmet in most running backs drills. Quarterback Nathan Peterman dressed and participated in early drills, but Peterman appeared very limited with his ability to throw the football. Senior defensive back Naz Oliver was not present on the field, and Oliver was not on the roster that Tennessee handed out to media at practice. Greg Tisho, a tight end from Swain County, was added to the Vols' 105-man roster.

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 videos, a photo gallery, notes and multiple stories throughout the evening and into Thursday before the Vols work outside of the media's purview. Tennessee returns to the practice field Friday afternoon, and VolQuest.com will continue with its coverage throughout the next 48 hours, with War Room, podcast and a video feature part of the content plan. Staff twitter handles are: @VolQuest_Rivals, @VolQuest_Paul, @VolQuest_Rob, @AustinPriceless, @John_BriceVQ and special contributor @GrantRamey.

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