Lane Kiffin and the Vols hit the field in what was supposed to be their penultimate practice before heading home for the holidays.
Kiffin decided after a long and physical week of bowl practice that today would conclude their schedule before heading home for the holidays.
"I just (think) that we had really, almost to the point of overworking them with the practices being so long and so physical, that they needed some time off," said Kiffin. "Our injuries were mounting, a lot of concussions happening, so it was good timing. We will get all our meetings in today and an extra lift today."
Kiffin was pleased with Monday's practice and is excited for the players to be able to head home early for the holidays.
"I thought practice was OK, very physical. It will be good for these guys to get a break, go home, spend time with their families and then come back down to Atlanta and go to work," said Kiffin.
Although practice as a whole went well Kiffin was a little unsettled by the kicking competition between Chad Cunningham, Daniel Lincoln, and newcomer Devin Mathis that ended practice with four missed field goals, two of which were blocked.
"It's not the way you want to finish practice, but I wasn't going stay out there and keep getting kicks blocked or missing them, so we'll go for it I guess," said Kiffin.
Kiffin added that the position has been up for grabs throughout bowl practice and that competition will continue in Atlanta.
Kiffin has been happy with the Vols bowl preparations as a whole and thinks it has given both young and old a chance to improve.
"I think we got a lot done, early on we got a chance to work with our young guys and develop them. I thought it was very good, especially with a new coach on our staff as well," said Kiffin.
"Tyler has a stronger arm even than I thought. He really throws the ball deep extremely well, very excited," said Kiffin. "You never know what you are going to get for sure not having him in camp."
Kiffin added that Bray out-threw both Jonathan Crompton and Nick Stephens in deep ball drills. Kiffin also hopes that Matt Milton will live up to his high potential at wide receiver.
"Matt (Milton) looks like he has a lot of potential to be a really good receiver. He has a lot of work to do," said Kiffin.
Aaron Douglas (ankle) didn't practice, could have played.
Wes Brown (concussion) didn't practice.
Bryce Brown (concussion) left practice.