Vols respond to first day in shoulder pads

Three days into fall camp and it was time for the Volunteers to roll out the shoulder pads. Derek Dooley addressed the media following practice to give the full scoop on his team. Go Inside to hear what the coach had to say.

Three days into fall camp marked the first day of shoulder pads for Derek Dooley's Volunteers.

The new element meant new challenges for the Tennessee players.

"It was the first day in shoulder pads," Dooley said. "Every time there is something new it's always an adjustment period and it was today.

"Put on the pads, things are a little heavier, the body isn't used to carrying the load, so it's tough and it should be tough."

The new coaching staff also began to install more of its offensive and defensive systems during Friday's workout.

"We put in third down today," Dooley said. "Installing down and distance, and we are starting to get some awareness, working our third down packages on offense and defense."

Dooley also had to address the reported injury to defensive end Ben Martin, who was injured during Thursday's practice and left the field on crutches.

"Ben Martin is not good news," Dooley said. "It looks like he is going to be out for quite some time. It looks like an Achilles issue. I don't know the exact medicine term."

While Martin's ailment appeared to be a rupture of the Achilles heel, Dooley was not ready to say Martin will miss the entire year. With the depth at defensive end Dooley acknowledged it may be easier to manage than a loss at another position.

"I wish we were deep at every position, but I guess if it's going to happen at one position we can manage it a little better," Dooley said. "Anytime you lose a good player it hurts your team."

It also appeared that the hard work from the quarterbacks is being to pay off for Tennessee. Dooley has noticed considerable improvement from both Tyler Bray and Matt Simms, but they still aren't where they need to be.

"They are doing some good things," Dooley said. "A lot of improvement from the spring, no question a lot better understanding of the offense.

"We still have to minimize some mistakes. We are turning the ball over too much. Some of it is decision and some of it is throws."

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