Football Notebook

Derek Dooley and the Volunteers are wrapping up bye week practice and it seems the Vols head coach couldn't be more pleased. Read as InsideTennessee gives you all the latest concerning Vols football.

Bye Week Improvement

After two days of bye week practice it appears that Tennessee Head Coach Derek Dooley couldn't have asked for anything more.

"Two good days of work, we got a lot accomplished and got a little better as a team," Dooley said.

"I don't know how much, but we got a little better and that was the objective. I think every player got a little better in some fashion."

Senior Must Stay Focused

Many of Tennessee's seniors have not accomplished the goals they once sought to meet while wearing the orange, but they will be instrumental in future success.

"We need the seniors. We have some good players in the senior class and some of them are playing well (and) some of them need to play a little better," Dooley said.

Dooley said those veterans are off to a good start during the team's bye week.

"They all worked hard this week, attitude was great and they were upbeat," he said.

Dooley All About the Now

With the Volunteers struggling it has left many fans thinking about the big picture, but Derek Dooley is focused on the now.

"We are going to go out and try to win the next game," Dooley said. "I am not into this big picture like everyone else is.

"We aren't here to win the championship, lay the foundation, but we are here to win the next game."

According to Dooley, a foundation is built every day when the Vols come to work.

"We lay the foundation by the values we are instilling, but our objective is to win the next game," he said.

"When you start thinking (big picture) you quit competing in the game the right way – it (was) what we did last week."

Vols Snag Hall Pass

The Volunteers will be given a 48-hour break over the weekend and will be able to drive home and see their families, if they desire.

"We are giving them a 48-hour hall pass – weekend leave. It is important that they manage it right," Dooley said.

While Dooley understands that the team needs a break, not all of the players are encouraged to leave campus.

"If it's not more than about a three-hour drive we encourage them not to – they need to get away and get refreshed, but it's not spring break."

Wilcox Plans Have Shrunk

Derek Dooley has said Defensive Coordinator Justin Wilcox has been forced to shrink his game plans based on the team's abilities to absorb a multitude of looks - something Wilcox says can be frustrating at times.

"Sometimes it is (frustrating)," Wilcox said. "I think it is all what you think your best plan is for them, what your players can handle and it's a fine line between what you can carry and what you can't.

"You would like to carry it all, but sometimes it doesn't work that way."

Injury Update

Daniel Lincoln did not kick during this week's practice. Lincoln will give it another go during next week's practice.

Dallas Thomas and JerQuari Schofield did not practice this week. Derek Dooley hopes both will be able to return to practice next week.

Montori Hughes was seen in a walking boot following Wednesday's practice. Dooley said Hughes has been out of practice all week and won't be re-evaluated until next week when the team returns.

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