Vols prepare for final scrimmage

Derek Dooley and the Tennessee Volunteers took to Haslam Field for their Friday practice in preparation for their final scrimmage on Saturday. Read as InsideTennessee brings you all things Tennessee football.

Derek Dooley and his Tennessee Volunteers took to Haslam Field on Friday morning to make their final preparations for Saturday's scrimmage in Neyland Stadium.

Normally, Dooley's third scrimmage of the preseason is mostly situational work, but Saturday will be a little different given the progress of his 2011 team.

"We are probably going to get about 40 plays, 20 each, of just playing," Dooley said. "Normally, this time, everywhere I have been, I have done straight situations this scrimmage, but I am changing it a little bit because I think we need plays. We need to run plays."

Dooley has been leery of his offensive inconsistency through the preseason, specifically that of quarterback Tyler Bray, who has put up varying numbers dating back to spring training.

Perhaps the biggest story coming out of Friday's practice — Bray and the Tennessee quarterbacks will have two new targets for Saturday's scrimmage.

In the wake of injuries to both Zach Rogers (biceps) and DeAnthony Arnett (lower extremity), cornerbacks Nyshier Oliver and Anthony Anderson have been moved to the other side of the ball.

Both, out of Austin East (Knoxville) and St. Peter's Preparatory (N.J.) played receiver in high school.

"They will give us more bodies and a presence of leadership in there," Dooley said of the move. "Hopefully, it will be a good move for everybody."

Anderson, a fifth-year senior was recruited to the Vols as a defensive back, but has shown he will move to any spot that will help his team.

"Great character, team football player, loves Tennessee and it is easier said than done," Dooley said of Anderson. "We are all selfish by nature … we are born selfish. When a baby is hungry, he cries because all he is thinking about is some milk … you have to beat out that self-absorbed trait that we all are born with. Anthony has none of that."

In the mix

Not only is Anthony Anderson now switching to wide receiver, but he continues to make a case as punt returner as well.

"He is in the mix," Dooley said of Anderson. "Tom (Smith) was back there, he's hurt. Devrin (Young) is hurt. We have two of our freshmen who we were really hoping to get some depth from … they are out. Right now we have Marlin Lane, Anthony is back there, we still have Justin (Hunter) and Janzen (Jackson)."

Anderson is one of the few players in the mix at punt returner with game experience having fielded punts for the Orange and White in several 2010 contests.

Vereen brings stability

With senior leadership few and far between on Dooley's underclassmen-laden football team Daryl Vereen is one of very few seniors who is bringing a little experience to the mix.

"We hope he can do that in (the linebacker) room," Dooley said of Vereen. "Bring a little bit of stability there emotionally. Daryl has done a good job … I have seen a lot more maturity because there are a lot more older guys on defense. We are just young on offense."

Dooley's defense far outweighs the offensive unit, which boasts only three upperclassmen starters.

Sapp returns

Dontavis Sapp returned to practice Friday sporting a massive club on his left hand to protect a finger that was repaired earlier in the preseason.

"He is back and we need him back," Dooley said. "He is an important guy … He can't extend his hands to take on a block. He can tackle a little bit because you have to wrap (up). We are easing him back in."

Sapp proved to be one of Dooley's most productive players on special teams in 2010. The Valdosta, Ga., native recorded four tackles on special teams, which tied for 11th most on the team.

Nyshier Oliver


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