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April 10, 2014
Quick HiTs: 'Habits' Thursday as Vols grind
The day might not have been given a formal moniker as many of Tennessee's recent spring practices, but coach Butch Jones must unofficially have dubbed the afternoon "Habits Thursday."
Imploring his players to sharpen their "Habits, habits, habits! Nobody walks!" on Haslam Field, Jones put his team through its 13th spring session with a heavy emphasis on fundamentals, effort, details, special teams and some new positional looks for a couple of players. He also did so with Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics Dave Hart among the myriad guests watching practice.
The day also saw at least one Vol --- defensive back Riyahd Jones --- don a commemorative orange football sticker on the back of his helmet with the initials "BD" for long-time announcer Bobby Denton, who died earlier this week. It is expected the rest of the players will have the decals for Saturday's Orange & White Game. Admission is free, kickoff is at 3 p.m. and 'Fan Day' begins inside Neyland Stadium at 12:30 p.m.
Jason Carr, as Jones first revealed a week ago, did indeed get some work with the Vols' offensive line during early drills. Additionally defensive end LaTroy Lewis got a few reps with Tennessee's tight ends.
The Vols also worked their first-team kickoff coverage unit, which consisted of the following players: Cam Sutton, Jaron Toney, Jakob Johnson, Kenny Bynum, Deanthonie Summerhill, Josh Smith, LaDarrell McNeil, A.J. Johnson, Alden Hill, Malik Foreman and kicker George Bullock.
In first-team punt work, Matt Darr booted a punt perhaps 55 or more yards, a punt deep enough that a backpedaling Devrin Young booted the offering.
The quarterbacks worked extensively on ball placement with throws out of the backfield to their tailbacks, with each signal caller having to maintain footwork, eyes downfield and then swinging to a tailback either to his left or right.
Perhaps the most energetic person on the field was secondary coach Willie Martinez, who really got after his players and challenged Emmanuel Moseley, among others, to ramp up their energy and intensity.
Several Vols, as well as the head coach, will greet media following today's practice. It's the players' last availability until following Saturday's Orange & White Game. Tennessee returns to the practice field Friday afternoon, and Jones will address the media following that session in advance of the spring finale.
VolQuest.com will provide daily Quick HiTs from each of the Vols' spring practices. Additionally, we'll have in-depth videos, stories and analysis as well as updates on the message board and via staff twitter handles, which are as follows: @Brent_Hubbs; @VolQuest_Paul; @John_BriceVQ; @GrantRamey; VolQuest_Rob; and @VolQuest_Rivals.