Discipline marks first workout

There were no pads Tuesday afternoon, but Tennessee's first football practice of the 2003 preseason was long, taxing and disciplined. The media recognized that, and so did the players.

''I noticed right away that we're putting an emphasis on discipline and doing things the right way ... not tolerating anything else,'' said junior captain Michael Munoz. ''I think that's something good to establish early on.''

The Vols were widely criticized for their lack of discipline last year. Apparently, the complaints did not fall on deaf ears. UT coaches seemed unusually vocal in pointing out flaws and quite emphatic in correcting them during the initial workout.

''Definitely,'' Munoz said. ''I think they (the coaches) are hungry, too -- just like everyone else. We have something to prove this year after coming off last season. Everybody knows that and everybody wants to do the right thing, so we won't repeat it again.''

Head coach Phillip Fulmer was encouraged by the opening workout but stopped well short of predicting a national title.

''Football's played in pads, and we're still in shorts,'' he said. ''The team reported in good shape, which was a positive. I think we're off to a decent start but, again, we're in shorts.... I can't wait till we get a chance to look at our team in pads. I know that sounds like coach-speak but it's the truth. You can't evaluate a team until you actually get 'em out here and have some contact.

''We've got some work to do in a lot of spots right now. I think the coaches are aware of that and the players are aware of that. We've got to focus on those areas and go from there.''

Two receivers appeared to be the only casualties of Day 1. Freshman Robert Meachem had a sprained wrist and junior Tony Brown appeared to suffer some late-practice leg cramps.

Inside Tennessee Top Stories