Tuesday afternoon the football team threw on the pads for the first time since the Chik-fil-A bowl in Atlanta and my how the times have changed.
Defensive tackle Marlon Walls is now working with a new defensive line coach and is thus far is enjoying the change of pace.
"One thing I can say its so much easier to relate to him," said Walls about working with defensive line coach Chuck Smith.
"He is a younger coach, he might get mad at me for that, but he is kind of a younger coach and its less of a dictatorship."
Walls certainly isn't understating the difference between a quiet and less brash Chuck Smith in comparison to former defensive line coach Ed Orgeron.
"Last season Coach O taught us some pretty good some pretty good things, but at the same time it was his way or no way at all," said Walls.
While youth is a factor in the relationship that the players have developed with Chuck Smith the defensive tackle Walls also said that the fact that Smith is an alumnus helps as well.
"We are loving the fact that we have a younger coach that is very experienced and played here," said Walls.
Walls added that so far spring practice has been all about the basics.
"It is very basic, but at the same time its what we need," said the Memphis native.
"We need to go back to the fundamentals and just work on form tackling. We need to learn how to tackle again and knock the rust off a little bit."
Walls said it was like turning back the clock to middle school football.
"Its just back to the basics like I am in middle school or something," said Walls.
The first day in pads was just that, the first day. The defense tackle said that him and his teammates are looking forward to Thursday's practice in order to increase the intensity.
"It was an okay day for the D-line, but we expect a lot more," said Walls.
"We are looking forward to having an up-tempo Thursday. We are going to turn it up on Thursday."
Thursday's practice will mark the fourth day of Tennessee's 15 days spring schedule.