Cooling of in Knoxville

Derek Dooley and the Tennessee Volunteers worked at Haslam field for the third day of spring practice following yet another big weather shift. Read as InsideTennessee.com brings you all the latest from spring practice.

Derek Dooley and the Tennessee Volunteers took to Haslam field Thursday afternoon following yet another weather pattern shift – this time, the cold hit Knoxville.

Three days into spring football meant it was time to trade in the shorts for full pads. Derek Dooley's time to establish an expectation of intensity amongst his young football team.

"First day in pads you are always working out the kinks when you get in full gear for the first time, but it was a good practice," said Dooley.

If Dooley's team wants to compete for the top spot in the SEC Dooley needs one thing first and foremost.

"The first thing is physicality. I told the team yesterday that there has never been an SEC champion that didn't play physical football.

"It is a mindset, there are going to be a lot of mistakes, but we have to have guys moving fast and hitting hard."

The ever-changing weather in Knoxville has offered many lessons for the young Volunteer football team, some which must be learned in order to enjoy future success.

"Yesterday we didn't handle it well at all when it started raining," said Dooley. "We were about 0 for 5 when it was raining and we talked to the offense about that.

"Young players, things don't go your way, you get affected, you start thinking about the elements, but that is what we have to learn to play through."

Schedule Irregularity

Kicking off spring practice with three straight practices wasn't ideal in the mind of the Volunteers head coach, but there wasn't much of an option.

"Usually the first seven practices I would rather go every other day because it allows you a lot of film time in between, but we couldn't do that because of spring break," said Dooley.

Dooley and the Volunteers will enjoy one day of rest before returning to the field once again Saturday afternoon.

Propst Gaining Praise

Sophomore linebacker and Alabama native John Propst may not have god-given speed, but the young backer makes up for it in other areas.

"He is one of the most instinctive players on defense and you can't have a better quality as a defensive football," said Dooley.

"What he lacks is experience, he is not a burner, his size and speed aren't top shelf, but he has to make up for it in his instincts effort and toughness."

Propst played numerous reps on the Volunteers special teams unit during the 2010 campaign and even saw snaps at the middle linebacker position against SEC east foe Georgia.


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