And while football reigns supreme in Knoxville each August, it was the Volunteers who were taking notes from another sport — swimming.
"The biggest thing that I want to emphasize to them is that this is when you begin to develop habits," Dooley said. "There was a great story on Michael Phelps when he (got caught and) won the silver right at the end there. Bob Costas asked him what happened and he had an amazing answer when he said, `I wasn't finishing when I was training and it caught up to me in the final.'
"If you don't train the right way, train to finish and develop that habit, when it gets to crunch time you aren't going to be able to finish it off. That is our starting point right now."
One thing working in favor of the Volunteers efforts is the understanding of the expectation of fall camp in Dooley's third season as head coach of the Orange & White.
"The biggest thing you notice is the administration of practice," Dooley said. "You can actually coach technique and what you are supposed to coach instead of how to get into a stance, where to lineup, don't jump offsides, get the snap. You are coaching the right things. It looked like practice 10 from an administration standpoint and that's good. That's what it should be."
Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray addressed the media after what he called a sweaty first day back to practice on a very muggy afternoon on Rocky Top.
"Yeah, having the helmet on I sweat a little more," Bray said. "I probably lost five pounds just for this practice. So it is a little different. "It went well, the offensive line blocked great, we ran the ball pretty good," said Bray. "The receivers did what they normally do and caught the ball."
Dooley noticed that Bray's receivers seemed to bring and extra jolt to the Vols offense in its first day back at practice, especially from Da'Rick Rogers and Justin Hunter, both preseason All-SEC nominees.
"(Bray) was out there upbeat, played some good balls," Dooley said. "It was good to see Justin (Hunter) back and not out there in a limited capacity. That helps bring a little juice. Da'Rick (Rogers) looked good. They all kind of picked up where we thought they would."
The veteran group of players wrapped up practice around 4:15 p.m., but still to come will be the newbies and junior college transfers, who will take to Haslam Field for the first time Friday evening at 7:45 p.m.
Watch as head coach Derek Dooley addresses the media following Friday's practice below:
See the Vols work out at Haslam Field in the video footage below: