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August 9, 2013
Quick HiTs: Jones challenges Vols' physicality
Tennessee's Friday practice on Haslam Field was marked by physical challenges thrown down by head coach Butch Jones, a couple of dust-ups between the Vols' offense and defense and more roster moves for Team 117.
With Vol legend Al Wilson addressing both the collective team and defensive unit individually today, Tennessee's players were quickly put to the test by Jones. After a trio of two-point conversion plays --- the Vols' offense easily scored on Marlin Lane's run up the gut to set the stage --- Jones decried that his defense was going to get run on all day.
But later in practice, during fiery, third-and-short situations, the Vols' defense answered the call. Working against Tennessee's second- and third-team offenses, the UT defense repeatedly denied its offensive counterparts.
"We're gonna stop the run around here," Jones boomed on his microphone.
With Justin Worley dressed but not throwing as the staff continued its 'maintenance day' program for quarterbacks, Nathan Peterman took the majority of snaps with the Vols' first-team offense. Joshua Dobbs and Riley Ferguson also got an increased workload, with Dobbs particularly shining in some team settings. He deftly executed a fake after handing off the football and also completed a nice screen pass.
In terms of some roster moves, walk-on Austin Bolen has left the squad and it appears senior linebacker Channing Fugate also is seeking to depart the football team and finish his career closer to home, according to sources. Fugate was not on the practice field Friday and VolQuest.com was told that Fugate had told friends he was unhappy with his spot in the rotation and would look to complete his career elsewhere. Walk-ons Tyler Page and Tyler Coombes began their acclimation periods on the practice field after rejoining the Vols' 105-man roster.
Tennessee also worked its special teams units in-depth and showcased the early frontrunners to open on first-team kickoff coverage. Redshirt freshman defensive back Michael Williams was among the surprise starters on the coverage team, with Byron Moore, Greg King, Riyahd Jones, JaRon Toney, Geraldo Orta, Raiques Crump, Christian Harris, Brent Brewer and LaDarrell McNeil joining kicker Michael Palardy.
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 Saturday morning before the Vols conduct their first two-a-day practices, including a night scrimmage. Staff twitter handles are: @VolQuest_Rivals, @VolQuest_Paul, @VolQuest_Rob, @AustinPriceless, @John_BriceVQ and special contributor @GrantRamey.