football

Butch Jones, Vols see benefits to 7-on-7 offseason work

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UTSports.com

HOOVER, Ala. -- For the first time since Emmanuel Moseley has been wearing orange, it won't be a new feeling in August when the back end of the defense lines up for 7-on-7 drills.

As Jones told Volquest at the SEC Spring Meetings in May, he is allowing 7-on-7 work this summer for the first time in his Tennessee tenure. Jones cited his youth at quarterback as well as defensive back as two key reasons for the change in his approach. A change, Moseley feels has been very helpful.

“It's been very beneficial because now the first time you are doing it is not during camp,” Moseley offered. “It lets you get that feel back and that feel is really important.”

That feel means the ability to talk to each other and have great chemistry.

“Communicating on the field with each other and it's basically the fact that the first time we do it won't be in camp,” Moseley said. “It helps get a feel for each other.”

Jones, who hasn't allowed the work in the past after losing some players to summer injury while he was at Central Michigan believes the work has been very good for his team.

“It's been very, very productive,” Jones said. “Any time you can simulate that (it's great). The great thing is that the quarterbacks have been leading it. That's been the great thing with our football team. There have been times I've been told that coach Gullickson has told guys they had to go home because we have another work day tomorrow. We are doing more group things in those player led sessions than we ever have.”

In 2016, Tennessee gave up 2999 yards passing and the defensive backs recorded 6 interceptions with only two coming from the cornerback spot.

COMPETITON FUELING THE DEFENSIVE SECONDARY

With the emergence of Justin Martin in the the spring as well as the arrival of fifth year senior Shaq Wiggins who is transferring in from Louisville, competition at cornerback could be more intense than it's been in several years for the Vols. Moseley said the depth at the position has increased the intensity this summer.

“I don't think that it adds pressure. I think it makes you go harder knowing there is a guy beside you,” Moseley said. “We are working hard and helping each other out.”

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