Tennessee wrapped up the non-contact portion of spring football practice with a 2 1/2-hour workout Thursday at Haslam Field.
The Vols drilled in shorts, helmets and shoulder pads for the second time in three days as the week before spring break certainly was a get-to-know affair on several fronts.
“Today looked like they were energized and picking up the system offensively,” head coach Phillip Fulmer said. “We were breaking to the ball and doing good things on defense.
“But football is a contact game. It’s hard to play football not having contact. We got what we wanted out of the two days, as much for the offense as anything. It helped those guys get settled and get into it a little bit while allowing us to sit back and evaluate it before we come back.”
Fulmer has four new coaching staff members, all on the offensive side of the ball, in coordinator Dave Clawson and assistants Stan Drayton, Jason Michael and Latrell Scott. So far, the reviews are positive.
“There is no shortage of energy and enthusiasm out there,” Fulmer said. “There is great communication and the players have listened and learned. There are a lot of little things within this offense that are very important. I saw us from the first day to the second day get better at those things.”
The Vols coach said the staff already is searching for second-team candidates from a year ago who are ready to make that pivotal step toward starting status.
“There are a good many of those guys who we need to come on to close that gap,”? he said. “They need to make a move to play in games or maybe even pull themselves into a competitive starting position. But we’ll find out a lot more about that when we get into pads.”
The team reports back to Knoxville on March 23, with the first day in full pads set for March 25. Tennessee’s Orange and White Game is set for April 19 at Neyland Stadium.