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September 2, 2014

Quick HiTs: Vols have some missing pieces

Tennessee returned to Haslam Field Tuesday afternoon, 1-0 on the heels of its blowout-win against Utah State to open the 2014 season but still seeking many answers --- particularly along its offensive front and special teams units.

The Vols did not appear to have either of their starting specialists out at practice --- redshirt-senior punter Matt Darr and true-freshman placekicker Aaron Medley as both players are nursing likely ankle injuries. Trevarris Saulsberry, Johnathon Johnson, Rashaan Gaulden all were on the practice field but not dressed. Gaulden had his right wrist bandaged while Saulsberry was in shorts and jersey but did not have a knee-brace on. Jason Croom was in a green, non-contact jersey and continued to have a protective wrap on his hand.

Punting on the practice field were Troy Waites, Ryan Ault and Trevor Daniel. George Bullock and Derrick Brodus worked on field goals and kickoffs.

Working to find a new tackle, Tennessee offensive linemen Brett Kendrick, Dontavius Blair and Coleman Thomas all got significant work at left tackle while Dylan Wiesman got increased work under center.

The Vols appeared in offense to work on some vertical passing while pass-sets also were a point of emphasis for running backs. Butch Jones also wasn't bashful in calling out his team's ground attack over the microphone at the onset of practice, just two days after the Vols finished with just 110 yards.

Defensively, Willie Martinez pushed the Vols' defensive backs through extensive drills focused on back-pedaling and eye-discipline while linebackers and linemen worked agility and pass-rush sessions.

Tennessee also stressed work on kickoff return, with coaches barking it was "live game" speed for the return unit. Devrin Young remained the deep return man while Justus Pickett stayed as the upback.

VolQuest.com has video highlights and many other items, including players' reactions coming immediately after practice. We'll post updates to the General's Quarters, as well as our Twitter handles: @John_BriceVQ; @Brent_Hubbs; @VolQuest_Rob; @VolQuest_Paul; @GrantRamey; @AustinPriceless.

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