Tennessee Drill Eve(Monday night practice report)

Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer was very eager on Monday afternoon to see his 2002 team of Volunteers in full pads beginning tomorrow. The Vols will hold their one-on-one, full pad matchup called the Tennessee Drill and Fulmer is anticipating a big day out of a number of people.

"I am very excited to see our offensive and defensive guys tomorrow," Fulmer said Monday afternoon. "When you lose the kind of caliber guys we did to the NFL, you are always anxious to see how the players that are still around will react."

Fulmer has been openly pleased with the progress of his defensive line up to this point, but admits that the next two weeks and ultimately the season will be the major test for them. "We hope we are underestimated. We want teams to say 'Oh we are going to play Tennessee's weak D-line' that is exactly what we are hoping that they think RIGHT now," said tackle Rashad Moore.

Michael Munoz is a very inspiring story who made his mark on Tennessee coaches' during the Tennessee Drill his freshman year. During spring drills he was still recovering from his knee surgery but Fulmer said he was able to slide into full contact drills without being noticed quick enough. Munoz, now almost back to 100 percent, should be a player to watch in tomorrow's edition of the Tennessee Drill.

There were some very good signs in practice today that would led me to believe that the Vols have waited for 2002 long enough. Here are a few highlights from practice on Monday;

-When the team went into 11-on-11 drills, the coaches had to make the players remove their shoulder pads for fear of injury due to the great amount of aggression the team was showing in practice.
-True freshman Jason Allen got a look in the Bronco and Mustang packages at the left corner position and shut down Kelley Washington on a deep fly pattern by slapping the ball out the arms of the potential all-American. That prompted Allen's position teammates to rib Washington and call him a "has-been."
-Eddie Moore made a nice interception of a tipped pass from Casey Clausen that would have, in an actual game situation, been returned for a touchdown.
-Sophmore Derrick Tinsley worked at wide receiver on Monday. Tinsley looks a bit rusty to the position. He did make some nice plays despite still getting the feel of practicing receiver and tailback.
-True freshman linebackers Marvin Mitchell and Omar Gaither continue to be very impressive in their limited time against the top two teams on the depth chart

Injury Notes:

-Fullback William Revill is having some back problems, but his situation is going to depend on how it heels the next few days.
-Coach Fulmer said there were a few guys with bumps and bruises, but that is fully expected at this point in the practice schedule. Kelley Washington and Tinsley were two that were spotted walking soft and stretching a lot although both never skipped a drill because of injury problems.

The Vols will suit up in full pads tomorrow at 7:30am EST and will begin the day with the Tennessee Drill. IT will provide full coverage of the real beginning of football season tomorrow morning.


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