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October 22, 2013

Quick HiTs: Jones pushing team's buttons

Butch Jones had his support staff pipe in everything from Alabama's fight song to the Southern rock anthem "Sweet Home Alabama" Tuesday as Tennessee went to work on Haslam Field for the Vols' game Saturday at top-ranked Alabama.

Jones also challenged his team with three-on-three drills inside the 10-yard line in goal-to-goal situations and also worked several matchups in the "circle of life" bull-ring drill, even sending out seldom-used junior college tight end Woody Quinn on back-to-back matchups.

The Vols appeared to be dealing with some lingering injury issues. Freshman wideout Josh Smith was very limited while Alex Bullard, benched at the onset of last week's game for multiple reasons per Jones, also was hobbled with a left ankle injury. Bullard's ankle was visibly taped very heavily. Freshman quarterback Riley Ferguson also had a black wrap on his right leg, an unusual addition to Ferguson's standard uniform ensemble. Jacob Carter also was very limited.

The Vols continued to work heavy special teams, with Jones urging players to show "competitive fight" and to work to "deserve to win" on Saturday.

Jones bellowed at tailback Rajion Neal, saying that Neal needed to wear a No. 18 jersey against the Crimson Tide because that's what Jones said Neal had gained against the Tide. Neal missed last year's game with an injury and had 42 combined rushing yards in his first two games against Alabama.

Fundamentals also were a heavy emphasis on both sides of the ball, with the offensive linemen working on the five-man sled while defensive players focused on tackling. Specifically, Vols defensive backs worked on diving tackles against the elevated dummies on tackling pads.

Full coverage throughout the night and all day Wednesday on VolQuest.com. We'll tweet news and post items on the message board in addition to having full stories and video coverage from post-practice comments from Jones and selected players.


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