Let the battles begin.
Everyone will be battling and competing for a starting position when the University of Tennessee football team takes to the practice field for the first day of fall camp here today.
First year head coach Lane Kiffin has said from day one that all positions are open for competition and there are no declared starters. He restated that during SEC Media Days saying that 21 out of the 22 positions are open.
"Eric Berry is the only that has a starting spot nailed down," Kiffin said two weeks ago. "Our depth start is made in sand, it will be moving a lot during fall camp."
Kiffin is looking for some young men to step up and to earn and take the remaining starting role.
"Everything we do is about competing," Kiffin said. "From basic drills to one on one competition we always want to compete at the highest level."
While the first seven months of the Kiffin era at Rocky Top has been very busy and eventful, this is the time of year that the new head coach and his coaching staff enjoy the most.
"This is what it's all about, coaching some ball," Kiffin said in an earlier interview. "We love to coach, It's time to get in gear and get ready for the fall season."
Kiffin feels that he has assembled the best group of coaches to prepare these young men for their season opener against Western Kentucky.
"I feel like I have the best coaching staff in the country," Kiffin said. "Each one of these men are great coaches, and great recruiters. What they have accomplish so far just goes to prove this."
The Volunteers appear to have bought into what the coaching staff is selling.
"We can't wait to get camp started," Nick Stephens said earlier. "The entire team's attitude is the best I have seen it since I have been here. Exciting times are ahead for this football team, it's time to get things rolling."
The first four practices will be in shorts, and begin at 2:45 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Saturday's practice will mark the team's first day in pads.
InsideTennessee.com and Rocky Top News will have complete practice coverage of the Tennessee Volunteers, including stories, photo galleries, and notebooks on each day's action.