Team 120 put in a full day’s work on Monday, running through the day’s first practice in the morning on Haslam Field before closing the day with an evening training session at Neyland Stadium. It was the Vols’ second two-a-day of fall camp, comprising practices 13 and 14.
With classes set to begin on Wednesday, Tennessee is looking to wind down the training camp portion of its preseason schedule on a high note. It will transition to an in-season practice schedule beginning on Thursday.
Prior to the Vols’ second practice of the day, head coach Butch Jones met the media at the Ray & Lucy Hand Digital Studio to provide updates on his squad’s progress as the season-opener against Appalachian State creeps ever closer.
Butch Jones Opening Statement
“First of all, I would like to congratulate VFL Justin Gatlin on hi silver medal. I also wish good luck to Christian Coleman. What a job Beth Sullivan and the entire coaching staff has done with our track program. Again, that’s just the progress that they have made and it’s been exciting to sit back and watch.
“I would also like to let the citizens of Baton Rouge know they are in our thoughts and prayers with all the things that they are going through right now.
“This was the first rain that we have had for media day. We had cameras set up so we watched you guys run off the field, so we are going to review your athletic ability here shortly. I have a video that I am putting together right now, a media bloopers video; from the punters spraying you with footballs on the sideline, to how fast you run off the field, it’s quite the comedy. We’ll have that moving forward.
“On a serious note, where we are at after the scrimmage. It’s a great indication for us as a coaching staff where we are right now. The things that we need to do to continue to grow and improve as a football team. Improvement for every player in the football program.
“If you look at preseason football games in the National Football League, you see a lot of turnovers, you see a lot of special teams’ errors, big plays. The thing that keeps you up at night being a college football coach is you don’t have any preseason games. So every scrimmage is critical. The scrimmage is like a preseason game. Great, great teaching points moving forward from Saturday. We always talk about what it takes to play winning football. We do have some players right now that we think that are playing winning football, but we need a lot more.
“We still have a lot of positions that are up for playing time. Again, we talk about when they left Neyland Stadium every player had a football reputation and a football identity. You are responsible for putting your identity and your reputation on video every single day. I do think this football team is a work in progress. But I tell you what, I thought this morning we had one of the better practices we’ve had all training camp. I thought are players were locked in; very focused, very detail-oriented, really paying attention to situational football, owning those situations and moving forward. I like the mentality of our football team.
“Tonight, we have to finish the day out strong. Everything is about a sense of urgency with our football team. As we all know, we start classes on Wednesday so training camp is coming to a closure here. Then, we are in a regular in-season schedule, so we have to make the most of the next couple days.”