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October 1, 2013

Quick HiTs: Vols prep for Dawgs

After an extremely light Monday that focused on film work and a walk-thru of corrections from Saturday's win over South Alabama, the Vols were back on the practice field Tuesday afternoon as Georgia week preps are in high gear.

The early concern is at the running back position where Marlin Lane was a spectator observing practice while riding an exercise bike. Starting tailback Rajion Neal dressed for practice in a green jersey but was limited. Neal suffered an ankle sprain at the end of the first half Saturday. He finished the game and finished with a career high 169 yards on 25 carries.

The rest of the green jersey (non-contact) group featured: Drae Bowles, Brendan Downs, A.J. Branisel, J.R. Carr, and Brian Randolph. Tuesday marked the first time slot receiver Johnathon Johnson was not in a green jersey since his return to practice after the Oregon game.

Head coach Butch Jones opened practice with what he calls the "circle of life" drill and today's matchups featured: Austin Sanders vs. Malik Brown, Brett Kendrick vs. Kendall Vickers, Paul Harris vs. Malik Foreman, Thomas Edwards vs. Jason Carr (by request declared Jones), and the last one featured tight end Woody Quinn. Jones barked on the microphone, "Quinn wants some, Quinn wants some." It appeared Quinn beat the defender he went against. It was a week ago that Jones got onto Quinn for hiding in the back during the drill so he wouldn't be called out.

In the early quarterbacks/receivers routes versus air drill, it was one of the better days as there were few balls on the ground. At one junction, offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian was quizzing Pig Howard on a route. Bajakian high fived his pupil after the answer. Jones chest bumped Joshua Dobbs after one of his throws. Ferguson again took the first of the second quarterback reps that we were allowed to watch.

On Monday, Jones declared it "positive" Monday and that appeared to be continuing on Tuesday with lots of encouragement from the entire coaching staff particularly on the offensive side as the Vols had a couple new wrinkles in their passing game work.

Defensively, the lineup across the board looked the same with the exception of nickel back where Jaron Toney was working in front of Devaun Swafford. A week ago Tennessee repped Justin Coleman a lot at the nickel back position. But that was not how they started the day on Tuesday as it was Coleman and Sutton on the corners.

Several players were breaking in their new cleats for Saturday and several did a jersey swap on Tuesday with Curt Maggitt wearing Kenny Bynum's 51. Alan Carson was wearing Maggitt's 56.

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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