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)


Covenant Men's Soccer, Volleyball Named USA South Sportsmanship Recipients

For a fourth consecutive year, the Covenant men's soccer team has earned the USA South Sportsmanship award for its sport while the Covenant volleyball team picked up its second consecutive Sportsmanship honor, announced the conference  on Monday . During the 2004-05 academic year the USA South Athletic Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) instituted ... (click for more)

Jim Reynolds is Quarterback Club Speaker Today

Hall of Fame announcer and Voice of the Mocs Jim Reynolds is the scheduled guest for today's Chattanooga Quarterback Club lunch at Finley Stadium at noon. J.R. handles the play-by-play for Mocs football and men's basketball and is a member of the Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame, UTC Hall of Fame and will be inducted into the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame in May. The ... (click for more)

Officer Who Was Shot Returned Fire; Is Recovering Well; Shooter Still On Loose

Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher said Monday morning that the officer who was shot three times on Thursday is recovering well.   Chief Fletcher said the officer was wearing a bullet-proof vest and one bullet hit the vest, which protected him during the shooting.  The officer was able to return fire, although Chief Fletcher would not comment on how many bullets ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Couldn't Manage Public Education

I have been reading the buzz about Signal Mountain and other small municipalities considering a move to form their own school district within their municipal boundaries.  It is quite the comedy hour considering the notion that small cities that for decades could not even manage small sewer systems or 911 districts, are somehow going to do a better job with public education ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: School Board Can’t Wait

It took the Hamilton County School board nine months before the group hired a search firm to find a new superintendent. But you mark my words – the Department of Education will undoubtedly implode if our leaders wait another nine months simply hoping for some type of mystical salvation. In the last week Signal Mountain leaders have all but given notice they will form their own district ... (click for more)