Tuesday Practice Report

KNOXVILLE-Tuesday's media day allowed plenty of players and coaches to voice their thoughts on the upcoming Florida game. There is definitely an upbeat attitude around the football program.

When asked how the revamped secondary would perform against the Gator offense, free safety Jason Allen replied, "I guess we'll see on Saturday."

Allen will get the start at free safety after playing cornerback versus UNLV. He says the biggest adjustment from cornerback to free safety is becoming the quarterback of the defensive backs.

Tennessee's defensive backs are the defense's least experienced group. Both Jon Hefney and Jon Wade will get their first career starts.

Defensive coordinator John Chavis remarked about his youthful but talented secondary, especially Wade and Hefney.

"Talent will sooner or later catch-up (to experience)," Chavis said.

Defensive backs coach Larry Slade says he's keeping an eye on the weather for this weekend's showdown. Slade said rain favors the offense and wind favors the defense.

As for Tuesday's practice, the team welcomed one player back from injury. Wide receiver Bret Smith was back on the field after sitting out last week because of a bad toe.

Antwan Stewart was also spotted rehabbing his knee on the sidelines. Stewart won't be able to play this year because of season ending knee surgery. Yet, it looks as if he already has his sights set on 2005.

A quick note regarding the open date last week: The time off gave several players some time to do some things they ordinarily wouldn't do.

Kevin Simon traveled to South Bend to watch the Notre Dame-Michigan game. Cody Douglas went home to Texas where he rooted against his home state Longhorns. He thought that if Texas lost than it would help Tennessee in the polls. Justin Harrell went home to Martin to clear his head while watching college football on TV. Finally, Jason Hall attended the UT-UNC women's soccer match. The Lady Vols tied the Lady Tar Heels 0-0. Hall's girlfriend plays forward for Tennessee. He said his attendance at the game got him "out of the doghouse"

. The UT football team practices again on Wednesday and Thursday before having its customary walk through on Friday inside Neyland Stadium.

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