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The InsideTennessee.com 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, Neyland-Thompson Sports Center and Shields-Watkins Field, 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.
Thursday morning was no different as InsideTennessee ventured to another spring practice to get as much information, photographs and video footage as possible.
Here's a look at what stuck out to us:
With heavy storms not set to enter the Knoxville area until Thursday afternoon, the Vols were able to practice outdoors at Haslam Field under sunny skies.
The yellow non-participant jerseys still seem to gather quite the crowd including Curt Maggitt, Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Justin Meredith, Jacob Carter, Vincent Dallas and Paul Harris. Tiny Richardson and Tino Thomas weren't in yellow, but didn't participate. During practice running back Tom Smith also joined the group after working normally during the opening periods.
Former All-SEC punt returner (1996) turned offensive quality control coach Terry Fair was working with the punt returners today. Alton Howard had the only muff of the early period.
Coaches from all over arrived early to Haslam Field today as the annual high school coaching clinic is slotted to get started Friday and features keynote speaker and All-Pro quarterback Peyton Manning.
Former Vols and second-round NFL draft pick DeRon Jenkins was in attendance Thursday morning.
From the offensive side…
Missing for the second time this spring was running back Marlin Lane. UPDATE: Lane's absence came due to disciplinary reasons.
During one-on-one periods with wide receivers and corner backs that drops were nothing short of rampant. Jason Croom had one nice deep-ball catch, but it was proceeded by several offensive pass interference calls. It continues to be more and more evident that the receiving corps have a long way to go.
With Lane being out, the No. 2 reps are clearly going to redshirt freshman tailback Alden Hill. However, after watching and listening to running back coach Robert Gillespie it is evident Hill has a long way to go from a technique standpoint in order to grab significant playing time.
From the defensive side…
At the very start of practice, Butch Jones called corner Justin Coleman to go one-on-one with wide receiver Jason Croom on a fade route. Coleman set the tone with an interception in the corner of the end zone.
Defensive back Riyahd Jones was back with the one defense Thursday after missing Tuesday's practice due to injury. However, defensive back coach Willie Martinez spoke to Jones during practice saying that something seems to be missing from his original arrival on campus, adding that he just isn't the same player.
Linebacker Dontavis Sapp continues to stick out in the absence of Curt Maggitt. The senior 'backer flies to the ball and is also playing a key role in punt coverage where he helped recover a muffed punt in special teams work Thursday.
Daniel McCullers still seems to be adjusting to the fast-paced practice under Jones. It seems as though a day doesn't go by that his name is ringing out over the loud speaker to get moving.
Here's a look at the Vol defensive backs at work this week