Cutting the cord

Derek Dooley and the Tennessee football team hit the field today with a new sense of separation. Tuesday's practice marked the first time that the coaches stepped off the field and let the players play. Go "Inside" for all the news and notes from Tuesday's practice.

The Tennessee football team took to the practice field Tuesday afternoon with a few less coaches by their side.

Tuesday marked the first time that Derek Dooley and his staff took to the sidelines and let the players play the game alone.

"This was the first day that we got a little more situational where the coaches were off the field," Dooley said. "At some point you have to cut the cord."

The head coach said it might be the hardest day for his players when they don't have their coaches right next to them.

"We installed two-minute and this is always a tough day on the players, because all spring you have had your coach in your ear in between every play," Dooley said.

Dooley said at some point a coach just has to let players go at the game unattended on the field, a process he said was very similar to parenting.

"At some point you have to let them fall down and when he falls it hurts. You got to let him touch the hot thing, because he learns," Dooley said.

"He has to do it on his own. If you don't practice it when you get out there for the game it's the first time they are in the huddle and they don't know what to do."

Dooley believes that the two-minute offense could be one of the most critical aspects to a football team in the clutch moments.

"The situation of two-minute to win the game is so critical, so many games come down to the last drive and you have to put a lot of work in to where your team doesn't panic," Dooley said.

"Your team needs to understand what to do no matter what the situation and have the confidence to make the play."

The head coach said that the two-minute situations also are a great way for him to get to know his coaching staff, including offensive coordinator Jim Chaney.

"These two-minute situations are great because there are so many things that come up, when do we use a timeout, what do we expect here," Dooley said.

Dooley and his coaching staff will continue to get to know each other and their team throughout the rest of spring practice, which resumes on Thursday afternoon.


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