While freshman safety Janzen Jackson encountered some tough off-the-field issues during his opening campaign, secondary coach Terry Joseph is now in the corner of the young Vol corner.
"Lucky thing for me is that I knew Janzen before I got here being from Louisiana," Joseph said. "I just told him I am here to help him in any way he needs."
Jackson and his coach have spoken on multiple occasions and are moving forward in a more positive light, but are still taking it day by day.
"We are taking it one day at a time," Joseph said. "I think that was a mistake that Janzen made and he understands that. He knows he can't hit rewind on those, but I think he can win a lot of battles here in the future and that's what he has been doing."
Wilcox Draws Praise
Justin Wilcox may be the young gun on Tennessee's staff, but he is already drawing praise from one of the staff's most seasoned members.
"I think through experience, I have been in coaching now for 34 years, 35 coming up, my experience tells me that when you do see a guy move that fast there is a reason for it," said Charlie Baggett, assistant head coach and wide receivers coach.
Baggett says Wilcox, the defensive coordinator, fits the mold of some of the most intelligent coaches in the business.
"A lot of times not only are they an excellent football coach, but they are very smart and Justin fits right into that category," Baggett said.
Coach Derek Dooley said that the advantages are nearly immeasurable for midterm enrollees during their first year on campus, although that benefit may not begin showing up just yet.
"You see flashes of ability, but then you see flashes where they look really bad, because they get so much on them and they are thinking about so many things that they can't perform to their capacity," said Dooley.
Despite early struggles for the newest Volunteers, Dooley said by the time they get to fall camp they will feel like sophomores.
"Spring practice there isn't a lot of pressure … by the time they get to the summer they have a real comfort level," Dooley said. "Then when they get to training camp its almost like they are sophomores.
Teague Not Going Anywhere
There may have been talk brewing in the off-season of a position change for dual threat Marsalis Teague, but his coach, Charlie Baggett, said Teague isn't going anywhere.
"I never heard that," Baggett said. "Maybe that came up, I don't know where that came from, but ever since I have been here his name has been on the receiver board."
Thus far, Teague has gotten the attention of both his wide receivers coach and his offensive coordinator.
"I was very impressed with Marsalis," Baggett said. "Right now he is the third receiver for us with Denarius (Moore) and Gerald (Jones). He is athletic, smart and he is young, his future is ahead of him. I think Coach (Jim) Chaney was very high on him from what he did a year ago."
Tennessee linebacker Greg King left last Thursday's practice on crutches following an apparent tweak of a previous knee injury.
"He tweaked his knee again, and I am not sure that Greg was ready to really get back out there," Derek Dooley said. "I don't think that mentally he was confident when he was out there. Hopefully we can get him back some time later in the spring."
Despite King's injury, the head coach says the Volunteers are relatively healthy throughout the team.
"I think we are staying pretty healthy, knock on wood. It seems to be a normal progression," Dooley said.
Tune in Thursday for the next edition of the Practice Notebook.