UT using too many WRs?

One of the many theories on why Tennessee's offense has struggled so much this season holds that playing eight or nine wide receivers has the passing game's timing fouled up.

Wide receiver coach Pat Washington chuckled when told of the theory.

"We ain't playing nine guys," he said. "We're playing about four guys, and we have a couple of guys who come in and spell ‘em every now and then."

The Big Four, of course, consists of Robert Meachem, Chris Hannon, Jayson Swain and Bret Smith. C.J. Fayton made it a Big Five until he suffered a high-ankle sprain vs. Ole Miss that caused him to miss the Georgia game and has him doubtful for this weekend's game at Alabama.

After the Big Four, Washington says the only other wideouts seeing playing time are a couple of freshmen.

"Josh Briscoe played eight snaps at receiver against Georgia," Washington said. "Austin Rogers played the very last series. Lucas Taylor played zero snaps at receiver.

"The rest of the snaps were taken by four guys (Meachem, Hannon, Swain, Smith). Really, four guys are getting the bulk of the snaps, and two more are resting the other four if we're using a lot of spread sets."

Briscoe, Rogers and Taylor are making great strides for true freshmen. Briscoe has two catches for 32 yards. Rogers has one catch for 18 yards. Taylor has yet to make his first catch but has taken over UT's punt and kickoff return duties. Washington is very pleased with all three.

"They're coming along well," the Vol aide said. "They're really exciting kids. They have really good attitudes. They're coachable. They're quick. They just need to get in the weight room and get a little stronger."


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