2022 Fall Practice #4

#1

Fingers

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#1
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Off the top, Vols new running back Lyn-J Dixon was present and accounted for Thursday morning, donning the No. 23 out on the practice field. He was wearing a helmet, but no shoulder pads like the rest of the team as his acclimation period is now a few days behind.
As far as how he looked, he appeared to be the typical 5-10, 195-pound running back we last saw play. I can’t comment on if he is ‘in shape’ or not, as the running backs were going over simple drills while the media was present. But just by watching him step, take the handoff and run through the ‘blaster,’ you can tell he’s been coached up and is a Power 5 college football player.
Christian Charles and Cheyenne Labruzza remain in red jerseys while Jaylen Wright – though dressed out – was not working with the running backs. The sophomore continues to get work in off to the side with a trainer.
Kamal Hadden was spotted and accounted for following Wednesday’s absence from practice (while the media was present). He was off to the side, wearing only a jersey with no helmet or shoulder pads. There was no visible evidence of a brace or sling for his elbow/arm. He was not doing any practice – from what it appeared. In conversations with people, the injury is not expected to be a big deal, but we will work to gain more information and continue to keep close tabs on his progress.
Tennessee’s skilled players continue to work on timing as routes on-air have looked a lot better this camp compared to last. You can really tell these veteran quarterbacks – along with Tayven Jackson – have spent time throwing with receivers this offseason. There’s not been too many balls hit the ground while we’ve been there this week.
For those of you wondering how Bru McCoy is looking – it’s better and better every day. Physically, he’s looked good all week, but his routes have become smooth and much more crisp as the week has progressed. He’s been getting coached up as the week has gone on and you can tell he’s been putting it to use, showing he’s a coachable player.
And finally, you can really tell the work these running backs have put in over the offseason. I know it’s been said before, but Jabari Small and Jaylen Wright look good. They’ve gotten noticeably bigger and look the part now – playing tailback in the Southeastern Conference.
e.cain

Tennessee’s receiver rotation was par for the course over the last few days. Ramel Keyton, Jalin Hyatt and Cedric Tillman led the way in drills though Jimmy Holliday went before Tillman in one drill.

Jimmy Calloway and Squirell White followed behind Hyatt while Walker Merrill and freshman Kaleb Webb and Chas Nimrod followed behind Keyton. Bru McCoy continued to be one of the last Vols to get reps.
The tight ends were included in the routes on air portion with Jacob Warren leading the way followed by Princeton Fant and Miles Campbell.
There’s only so much you can glean from routes on air but Tennessee continues to look really crisp in those sessions. It’s extremely rare for a Hooker or Milton pass to hit the ground. That’s all you can really ask for from that portion.
The interior and exterior of Tennessee’s defensive line spent the majority of the open sessions working separate from one another. Sixth year senior LaTrell Bumphus worked with the outside guys.

Bryson Eason earned the ire of Mike Ekeler at one point, having to repeat a rep on the ladders.
r.schumpert

The running backs started out individual work with the quarterbacks working on handoffs and burst and then drilled footwork before running through the blasters. Dixon looked fairly normal through all of it. You see some athleticism and physically while not the biggest back he looks like a player who’s been in college for a while. It’s all new to him and there’s going to be some rust.
Dixon was getting some one-on-one coaching from Josh Heupel himself as the running backs took handoffs from the quarterbacks and darted through a chute to improve their burst, vision and leverage. Heupel stopped Dixon briefly to give him some points on how to carry the football high and tight with two hands as he went through the simulated hole provided by the chute, pointing to freshman Dylan Sampson as an example on the correct technique. On Dixon’s next turn, he got some positive reinforcement and another pointer or two from Heupel before getting a helmet tap from the head coach as he headed back for his next rep.
With no Hadden and Charles a little limited, the cornerbacks getting the bulk of the work are Warren Burrell, Brandon Turnage, Dee Williams, De’Shawn Rucker, Christian Harrison and a few walk-ons – and Heupel watched nearly a full period of their drills on Thursday morning.
You never want to pay too much attention to what order guys are going through drills in practice, but consistently the first through the defensive line drills are Baron, Young, Harrison, Bumphus and Omari Thomas. Obviously that group has big leadership shoes to fill with Matthew Butler in the NFL (and slated for his debut on Thursday night). Thus that is worth noting.
Hyatt ran a beautiful wheel-stop route (that Calloway and White weren’t quite able to replicate) and continues to look crisp and confident. Tillman looks and carries himself like a guy who’s going to be an NFL receiver in the not-too-distant future. Merrill and Holiday look athletic and McCoy, who we talked about at length in the latest GoVols247 Podcast, looked at little looser, to me at least, on Thursday morning as he continues to shake off the rust built up from an offseason injury, not playing (or practicing) last season and learning a new fast-paced
p.brown






 
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#12

TN-POSSUM

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#12
Hopefully the old school letters bring back the good ole days when the VOLS kicked AZZ. GBO!!
I'm pumped man. I took that pic from the roof of Fort Sanders Hospital. That was the 1st time I had saw the new letters in person. I got one from the Henley Street Bridge too. They look absolutely awesome. It's going to be a fun season. 20220719_125310.jpg
 
#15

Dallasbowlin

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#15
It was hard for me to tell. He seemed quick to me but he went down too easily. Im expecting him to make a big jump this season
I could be misremembering. I’ll have to go watch a few of his rushes.

Edit: yeah, going back, I just don’t see that burst that most successful SEC running backs have. If he has bulked up, maybe we could use him in short yardage situations.
 
#17

IndianaVol

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#17
I'm pumped man. I took that pic from the roof of Fort Sanders Hospital. That was the 1st time I had saw the new letters in person. I got one from the Henley Street Bridge too. They look absolutely awesome. It's going to be a fun season. View attachment 477696
1659623478435.png

Here's one of the letters that one of our Volnation friends took from the river.
 
#21

IndianaVol

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#21
Two things stick out to me from today's practice:
1) Coach Ekler calling out Bryson Eason and making him work harder - seems like this coaching staff isn't afraid to break a few eggs to make a better omelet. Past staff seemed reluctant to do this as it might cause a guy to 'quit' or 'not feel loved' or what ever. Seems like every practice so far there are examples of guys getting called out but also those same guys getting praised when it goes right. I LOVE that culture of break it down and build it back the right way !!!

2) Absolutely LOVE the fact that the first day Dixon is here he gets some serious one on one time with the head man. I've become part of some really high performing teams on projects and the first few days I was added to the project was spent with the project lead. Why you ask - because that's how I learned what the expectation was the level of performance and output...one single voice from the guy leading out front. Can't say enough about Coach Heupel's approach with building a winning culture and high performing, accountable, team.
 
#22

VOLfrombama

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#22
Two things stick out to me from today's practice:
1) Coach Ekler calling out Bryson Eason and making him work harder - seems like this coaching staff isn't afraid to break a few eggs to make a better omelet. Past staff seemed reluctant to do this as it might cause a guy to 'quit' or 'not feel loved' or what ever. Seems like every practice so far there are examples of guys getting called out but also those same guys getting praised when it goes right. I LOVE that culture of break it down and build it back the right way !!!

2) Absolutely LOVE the fact that the first day Dixon is here he gets some serious one on one time with the head man. I've become part of some really high performing teams on projects and the first few days I was added to the project was spent with the project lead. Why you ask - because that's how I learned what the expectation was the level of performance and output...one single voice from the guy leading out front. Can't say enough about Coach Heupel's approach with building a winning culture and high performing, accountable, team.
He seems like the right guy for the job in almost every facet of the game. Now if he can just win.
 
#23

American_PitVol

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#23
Personally, Wright getting “bigger” isn’t a positive to me. He seemed to be a step slow last year.
I know he is not slow. He just looked like a Freshman playing Big time football when he wasn't quite ready. He was hesitant and at times, timid. With new found confidence, the burst and decisiveness will come. Stick that outside foot in the ground and get upfield!
 
#25

RockyTop140

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#25
Two things stick out to me from today's practice:
1) Coach Ekler calling out Bryson Eason and making him work harder - seems like this coaching staff isn't afraid to break a few eggs to make a better omelet. Past staff seemed reluctant to do this as it might cause a guy to 'quit' or 'not feel loved' or what ever. Seems like every practice so far there are examples of guys getting called out but also those same guys getting praised when it goes right. I LOVE that culture of break it down and build it back the right way !!!

2) Absolutely LOVE the fact that the first day Dixon is here he gets some serious one on one time with the head man. I've become part of some really high performing teams on projects and the first few days I was added to the project was spent with the project lead. Why you ask - because that's how I learned what the expectation was the level of performance and output...one single voice from the guy leading out front. Can't say enough about Coach Heupel's approach with building a winning culture and high performing, accountable, team.
I don’t think Pruitts problem was calling guys out. He pretty much took a steaming crap on the players in a post game interview one time. Said something along the lines of “there are 25 guys coming here next year that’ll take some spots.”
 

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