Tennessee Football Vols Return To Work After A Week Off

Jones Puts Team Through Most Physical Spring Workout So Far

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - by Special to Chattanoogan.com
Tennessee football coach Butch Jones screams at Vols player during Tuesday's practice session.
Tennessee football coach Butch Jones screams at Vols player during Tuesday's practice session.
- photo by UT Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee, coming off  a week’s vacation, hit the ground running Tuesday with what head coach Butch Jones said was their most physical spring practice so far.

"We spoke prior to spring break that I thought the maturity of our football team would show coming back," Jones said. "Overall I did like our mental approach but also it was very glaring that some individuals are more mature than others. Some individuals prepared more than individuals coming back but I thought it was a very productive practice and probably our most physical practice so far since we've been back."

Not impressed with the effort and intensity in some parts of the first five practices, Jones said he was pleased with what he saw at the Vols’ sixth practice. The second-year head coach of the Vols said that the mental aspect of the practice really stuck out to him as they installed more of their plays and schemes.

"I was not pleased with the first five practices especially the scrimmage in terms of our overall style of play in which we're going to play football here at Tennessee but every opportunity is a teaching moment," he said. "Today had many teaching moments. We concluded practice with a live team period and then we graded our position groups on the field if we had loafs and not playing our style."

For the most part, Jones found that his team retained a lot of what they learned prior to the break. Now their focus shifts to fine tuning the smaller details of the game, playing more physically and conditioning to compete for 60 minutes.

He also recognized that with such a young football team there will be a significant learning curve. Tennessee will replace major chunks of their offensive and defensive lines. The receiving corps remains young and no starting quarterback has yet to be decided - a battle that is expected to last throughout the summer.

With all the room to improve, Jones said practice will continue to demand more and more.

"Today I did like our approach," he said. "I thought our practice was demanding and we'll continue to demand and demand even more as spring ball progresses."

A NEW END IN SIGHT?

Curt Maggitt has become a leader on and off the football field, so when Jones and his assistants asked him to try playing at the defensive end position, Maggitt never questioned the idea.

The redshirt junior has been spending extra time watching film and meeting with coaches to better understand his new role as an end.

"It's definitely a challenge," Maggitt said. "You have some big guys in the SEC. You have to be able to hold your ground and do your job as well. It's definitely a challenge, but I'm up for it."

After missing the entire 2013 season because of injury, Maggitt stresses even more now how he wants to give his all for Tennessee and his teammates are noticing.

"Curt is definitely showing a lot on the line," said defensive lineman Jordan Williams. "He has been playing end a lot. He's doing really good. He has places where he needs to improve, but all you need is a motor. He has it."

(E-mail Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com)


PHOTOS: Boys' Tennis At Spring Fling

McCallie's Phillips, Baylor's Parker Win State Track Titles

MURFREESBORO -- McCallie had one individual state track champ on Friday here at the Dean A. Hayes Track and Soccer Stadium and one relay win as the Blue Tornado finished in fourth place with 63.5 points. Trel Phillips had a best effort of 49 feet, 10.5 inches to take first place in the shot put while teammate Jay Roberts claimed fourth with a best of 47-10.75. The 400-meter ... (click for more)

City Applying For Federal Grant To Extend River Trail To Moccasin Bend In $2.23 Million Project

The city is applying for a $1.6 million federal grant that would be a key part of the funding needed to extend a trail by the Tennessee River from Renaissance Park to Moccasin Bend. The city is seeking an Eastern Federal Highway Division grant to go along with $234,260 of city funds. The state portion would be $259,692.  Grants from the Lyndhurst and Benwood Foundations ... (click for more)

Flora Tydings Selected As Chattanooga State’s Next President

Flora Tydings is expected to be named the next president to lead Chattanooga State Community College pending approval by the Tennessee Board of Regents at a special called meeting next Wednesday. The board will meet at 9:30 a.m. CDT at the TBR System Office in Nashville. Included on the agenda is TBR Chancellor John Morgan’s recommendation for Dr. Tydings to replace Interim President ... (click for more)

Don't Make A Mockery Of Memorial Day - And Response

We're told Memorial Day is the day to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in order that we, as Americans and others around the world, might live free, unshackled (invisible or otherwise) and without oppression. But how is that so when so many in America continue to be denied those freedoms? Others whose family and friends made the ultimate sacrifice? Their surviving families ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Great Orthopedic Success

Mark Freeman, the chief of orthopedic surgery at Erlanger Hospital, shared a dazzling look at our area’s Level One Trauma Center Friday morning. Yet, as he described the dramatic changes that have occurred in just the past 12 months, the promise of what will happen within the next year was even more appealing. Believe this, our flagship hospital is getting well in a hurry. “If ... (click for more)