Soggy bottom boys

Mother nature rained on the parade of Derek Dooley and the Tennessee Volunteers during their second day of spring practice. Read as InsideTennessee brings you all the latest from the Vols practice.

Fits of rain, lightning and thunder sent Derek Dooley and the Tennessee Volunteers scrambling from inside to out for the second day of spring football.

On the surface, such weather would seem annoying, but it might serve as a lesson to a team who dealt with their fair share of game ending chaos during their 2010 campaign.

"We had a lot of adversity today," said Derek Dooley. "We had lightning, so we went outside, inside, outside, inside, so it was kind of sudden change work.

"It was a good lesson, we got a little rain, got a little wet-ball work and it was good start conditioning the mind – when things don't go as planned."

Dooley emphasized once again that although the tempo and enthusiasm were top notch for day two, they wouldn't have the full story before the traded shorts for full pads Thursday afternoon.

"I hope it is a physical practice," said Dooley. "I told them today that I have never seen one team win a conference championship that wasn't physical.

"They need to go to bed tonight and wake up with a physical mindset tomorrow. It is going to be day one of turning us into a physical football team."

Do to their shortened practice lengths players have noticed an revamped tempo to practice, perhaps even more than they were used to under Dooley last season.

"We are not on the field as long as a lot of them teams, but to do that you have to be very efficient when you are planning and have a lot of repetition in a short time," said Dooley. "I think it works better that way and keeps them into it mentally – not a lot of standing around."

However, the effort can't start a 4 p.m. and end a 6:15 p.m. Derek Dooley has to relay that there is much more needed if his players are looking for greatness.

"I have never seen a good team and good players become champions and work the minimum," said Dooley. "It requires a tremendous investment when they leave this building. A lot of people don't like to hear that."

Owning It

With their three leading receivers departing following last season a whole slue of newcomers must step up to fill void is Tennessee's wide receiving core.

"They know it is their passing game," said Derek Dooley. "And when you take that kind of ownership it puts pressure on you to go out there and perform."

Spring practice will serve as a proving ground for the new skill players offense and they will have plates stacked full of new responsibility.

"We are putting everything on them and those guys are doing really well right now, but each day there is more," said Derek Dooley.

"We are not really limiting Tyler (Bray), Da'Rick (Rogers), Justin (Hunter), Matt (Milton) and all those guys this spring. This spring is going to be for putting as much as we can on them and see how they respond."

Growing Up

Part of the young receiving cores new responsibility will include playing out of funks and learning how to make lemonade out of lemons.

"We need them to grow up in a hurry, we need them to be able to perform when things don't go their way early or when things aren't nice and neat," said Derek Dooley.

"When things get a little edgey, defender is out there holding you, not getting the balls, you have to learn how to stick with it and play out of it."

Brewer Grinding

Brent Brewer has been hard at work. After serving a suspension from all team activity following a domestic incident during the off-season it is evident that his suspension didn't stop the safety from staying hard at work.

"Brent has been good," said Derek Dooley. "He obviously worked really hard while he was suspended and that is a credit to him."

With the absence of Janzen Jackson, Tennessee's other starting safety, former minor league baseball player Brent Brewer will undoubtedly be a critical element of the Tennessee defensive backfield.


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