Lane Kiffin and the Tennessee Volunteers returned to the practice field here Monday afternoon to a large crowd of fans.
Kiffin, who spoke to the incoming freshmen class earlier this summer at a BBQ, made good on his promise inviting the entire class to stop by a practice and watch their team when they returned to school.
Kiffin is already earning the reputation as a player's coach, especially after he let his team off from Friday night's second practice, taking the team bowling instead. Now he is becoming a fan's coach as well.
"Wow, what a great opportunity," said one Tennessee freshman. "To get to go out on the field and rally around our team was incredible; we even got to break down with the team."
In the big news from Monday's practice, was the absence of true freshman Bryce Brown, who left early in the practice with what Kiffin described as a hip injury. The extent of the injury was uncertain, but didn't appear as a serious injury.
"Bryce started, and then his hip, something bothered him," Kiffin explained. "So they took him inside halfway through individual to get checked out."
After taking Sunday off after Saturday's scrimmage, Kiffin returned with a brighter outlook of the offense's performance. Things aren't always as bad as they seem.
"I thought afterwards offensively we really got beat physically and mentally," Kiffin said. "After watching the film it was not really a physical issue. Guys were playing with very good effort. It was really mental errors. It was the first time we'd gone out, had that many penalties and missed assignments."
Junior Nick Stephens appeared to have a better practice Monday and it appears that Kiffin agrees with that assessment.
"The quarterback competition is really close in regards to numbers and how they are grading out," Kiffin said. "It's good to see. I know you guys probably all want it to be easy, and you think I would. But if it was easy that would mean one guy wasn't playing well, and if that was the case, we wouldn't be very good because you never know when you're going to need your number two, so I'm excited that they're both playing well."
A DAY OF RETURNS
KICKING WITH CONFIDENCEDaniel Lincoln is having a great fall camp. Something that Kiffin thinks will give the kicker needed confidence for the season.