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September 17, 2013

Quick HiTs: Jones begins Vols' mental tests anew

Ratcheting up the mental tests even before his team got deep into Tuesday's practice on Haslam Field, Butch Jones had service team helmets adorned with Florida's "Gators" logo and also again piped in the Gators' fight song through the practice-field sound system.

Tennessee (2-1), coming off a 59-14 loss at Oregon, continued its preparation for Saturday's visit to the 19th-ranked Gators, who have won eight-straight games in this series.

Jones didn't let that fact pass by either, reminding the Vols' seniors that 'this is your last Florida week Tuesday, seniors! You'll remember this the rest of your lives.'

Even in the early moments, coaches put players through mentally and physically demanding drills. Wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni, a one-time Florida assistant during the 2010 season, had his players catching passes over a stationary football dummy while teammates attempted to distract them.

Elsewhere, the Vols had a bevy of players in green, non-contact jerseys. Among them: Brian Randolph, Dontavis Sapp, A.J. Branisel, Max Arnold, Brent Brewer and Byron Moore. Working in the 'black hole' were: Mack Crowder, George Bullock, Ryan Jenkins and Johnathon Johnson.

Allan Carson wore an orange 44 jersey --- the same number previously work by Mo Couch.

At quarterback, Justin Worley and Nathan Peterman both worked with the first- and second-team wideouts during the open portions of practice.

Curt Maggitt was again in full uniform in the defense's orange jersey with a brace on his right knee. Corey Vereen was fully dressed and did not have a brace on his knee. Vereen was very active during the open portions and certainly bouncing around with teammates following stretch when the Vols shifted into individual and special teams work.

Alton 'Pig' Howard participated early with the wideouts but he soon shifted to the stationary bike alongside Raiques Crump, who again is expected to miss several weeks with an apparent illness. Devrin Young appeared closer to a return in the coming weeks as he donned uppers and went through some light work on the field with a cast on his left wrist

Defensively, the Vols appeared ready to open with Jacques Smith, Dan McCullers, Dan Hood and Corey Miller up front while A.J. Johnson, Brent Brewer and Dontavis Sapp were the linebackers. In the secondary, it was Justin Coleman and Cam Sutton at corner while LaDarrell McNeil and Brian Randolph worked at safety.

VolQuest.com will tweet and post notes immediately following today's post-practice comments --- and will do so each day of practice. Additionally we will have a variety of content items this evening, more Wednesday including the matchup piece and recruiting roundup and have podcast and predictions on Friday. Staff twitter handles are: @VolQuest_Rivals, @VolQuest_Paul, @VolQuest_Rob, @AustinPriceless, @John_BriceVQ and special contributor @GrantRamey.

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