Notes: Vols prep for the Gators

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The staff of beat reporters hasn't missed a Tennessee football practice since Josh Woodward took over as the magazine and website's publisher.

Stationed at various parts of Haslam Field and Neyland-Thompson Sports Center, the crew is taking in the Volunteer workouts with a watchful eye to keep its site subscribers as educated on the Big Orange as possible.

Tuesday was no different as InsideTennessee ventured to another preseason camp workout to get as much information, photographs and video footage as possible.

Here's a look at what stuck out to us Tuesday:

  • It was an absolute beautiful morning in Knoxville today. Scattered clouds gave way to bright sunshine and temperatures in the mid 60s. The team was outside on Haslam Field just as the dew was breaking up.
  • New Vol For Life Coordinator Antone Davis was out observing practice this morning. You can tell that Davis is relishing his new role inside the building. He has been much more visible than former coordinator Andre Lott.
  • From the offensive side…

  • Alton "Pig" Howard, who was activated Monday, was back at practice full go this morning. Howard returned punts and ran the Wildcat for the first time with a first-team player, Cordarrelle Patterson. We have yet to see him operate behind the starting offensive line and likely won't during early periods. Zach Rogers helped Howard during passing drills on various routes.
  • Tight ends Brendan Downs (patella) and Joseph Ayres (foot) were both back at practice today. Ayres was running with no visible limp, Downs however, was in a heavy brace and a full length compression sleeve on his left leg.
  • Jay Graham put the running backs through a drill we hadn't yet seen today. The backs squared off in a short-yardage pride drill versus two walk-on linebackers, trying to bust through for a first down. Rajion Neal impressed along with Marlin Lane.
  • Tennessee is obviously preparing for a stout Florida pass rush. Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney had the quarterbacks practice checkdowns with an awkward delivery to simulate having to get rid of the football in a hurry in any way possible. This is something we haven't seen before.
  • On Monday, Florida coach Will Muschamp praised the ability and toughness of now-starting linebacker Antonio Morrison. The freshman's skill set from the neck up will be tested Saturday by both Vol tailbacks and tight ends. Tennessee fifth-year senior Mychal Rivera, who's on the John Mackey Award watch list, enters with five catches for 83 yards and a touchdown.
  • From the defensive side…

  • Linebackers Herman Lathers (shoulder) and Curt Maggitt (turf toe) were both back with the first-team defense and running around.
  • The first team defense for Tuesday's practice was as follows: Daniel McCullers, Darrington Sentimore, Maurice Couch, Jacques Smith, Curt Maggitt, A.J. Johnson, Herman Lathers, Brian Randolph, Byron Moore, Marsalis Teague and Prentiss Waggner.
  • Linebacker Christian Harris, who was activated Monday, looks to be fully recovered from ACL surgery and was running around full speed with the second-team defense.
  • Jordan Williams mixed in with the first team a little more this morning. Wouldn't be surprised to see him get a few more game reps this week.
  • Watch Howard at Tuesday's practice

    Derek Dooley

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