Kiffin concerned with big city distractions

Lane Kiffin and the Tennessee Volunteers continued their bowl preparation in the Georgia Dome on Tuesday afternoon. Go "Inside" to see Kiffin's reaction to Tuesday's workout and the struggle of big city distractions.

Lane Kiffin and the Volunteers concluded their practice schedule Tuesday morning with their final full session in the Georgia Dome before their walk-through on Wednesday.

Kiffin said the Vols again came out of Tuesday's practice with mediocre results. The big city temptations have been a constant source of worry for the head coach.

"As far as practice I thought it was OK," said Kiffin. "So many distractions obviously with a bowl game in general, but (especially) being in a city like Atlanta. It's time for our players to really understand they have had a lot of fun, it's been very enjoyable, but we need to focus on one thing now and that's winning a big-time bowl game."

Kiffin said he is concerned by the fact that the Volunteers haven't had that breakout practice thus far in Atlanta.

"It worries me a lot. We're doing everything we can to try and keep their focus, but it's different for them," said Kiffin. "As enjoyable as it is they need a constant reminder that the main thing they are here for is to get a win for Tennessee."

Although the head coach has been worried about possible disciplinary problems, Kiffin says the Volunteers have done well in Atlanta. b But the coach said it's a constant grind keeping his players focused.

"We have done well for the most part. Everything is not perfect, but I'm pleased by what they have," said Kiffin. "It kind of takes the fun out of it for you as a coach because you are in constant worry when you have so many kids in a city like this."

Senior tailback Montario Hardesty believes the anticipation of the game is more of a distraction than the temptation of the big city.

"I think the biggest distraction for us is just waiting. I think all the guys are ready to play and are getting kind of restless," said Hardesty. "I don't think that we really have any distractions as far as being in a bigger city."

Kiffin said, if anything, the Volunteers have been thrown out of their practice rhythm that they would normally undergo while in Knoxville.

"In general they are going to be distracted because it's just not normal. Football players are creatures of habit," said Kiffin. "You take them out of their normal environment and put them in something so different, there is going to be distractions and it's going to be hard to keep them focused."

Whether the Vols are focused or not may still be in question, but health is not an issue. Kiffin expects that the Volunteers will be full strength when they enter the Georgia Dome on New Year's Eve.

"We are pretty healthy for the most part," said Kiffin. "We held Wes (Brown), he was limited today. We expect him to play. Bryce (Brown) went through everything today, so we should be at full strength for the game."

Wes Brown has battled an issue with his leg throughout the week, while Bryce Brown has been experiencing side effects of a concussion suffered in Knoxville at the beginning of last week.

Rumors have been circulating that graduate assistant Mitch Browning, who assists James Cregg in coaching the Tennessee offensive line, has been offered the offensive line job at Notre Dame. Kiffin was unable to give any details on the reports, but applauded Browning's efforts thus far at Tennessee.

"I am not sure what's going to happen with that," said Kiffin. "I am sure Mitch is going to get a great job. He has done an unbelievable job."

Kiffin and the Volunteers will partake in a closed walk-through Wednesday morning followed by a joint press conference with both Frank Beamer and Lane Kiffin. The Hokies and Volunteers will square off in the Georgia Dome New Year's Eve at 7:30 p.m.


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