McCoy's eager for season

One of Tennessee's most talented young linebackers missed the 2005 season and part of 2006 spring practice due to injuries. He's finally landing a few licks this preseason but now that's getting old.

Basically, Rico McCoy is antsy. Belting his fellow Vols just isn't as much fun as belting someone in a rival uniform.

"I'm tired of hitting my teammates," McCoy says. "I want to take this anger out on some other teams."

McCoy, a 6-1, 215-pounder from Washington D.C., will get that chance Sept. 2, when Tennessee hosts California in the season opener. He probably won't start but he should see considerable action as a backup.

After starring in spring scrimmages, McCoy was relatively quiet in last Saturday night's dress rehearsal. Perhaps that was because Tennessee did more passing than running, limiting his opportunities to make the bone-jarring tackles he is known for.

Or maybe Tennessee's offensive players were running away from him. McCoy says the Vols have "a lot of speed" on offense, adding: "They were busting their butts. They knew we're getting closer to the season and everybody was giving their all."

After being dominated by Tennessee's defense in scrimmage No. 1, the attack unit was more competitive in scrimmage No. 2.

"The offense made a couple of plays," McCoy grudgingly conceded, "but the defense came on later."

McCoy loves the fact Tennessee's quarterback is no longer wearing a green jersey to prevent him from being tackled. That took some getting used to, though.

"They said he was full-go last scrimmage but the defense still didn't get to pitch," McCoy noted. "It was a teammate, and we wanted to ease up a little This time we were popping pads with the quarterback also."

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