Blog: Early Practice Observations

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(The following article is a blog entry by Sports Overtime's Wes Boling -- part of WVLT's newest interactive feature -- the Sports Blog. Click the link at the end of the piece to visit the blog and read more.)

If there's one word I'd use to characterize the Vols' first fall camp under Lane Kiffin, it would be the same word we've used all along to describe this staff.


There have been dropped balls. There have been fumbles. There have been interceptions, false starts and bad reads. That's what fall practice is for.

But above all, there has been intensity and enthusiasm.

Case in point: Thursday was the Vols' first day in shoulder pads. Not full pads, mind you. The players weren't supposed to tackle each other or hit all that hard. But every team drill turned into a pad-popping jam session, so intense that Monte Kiffin scolded his defense.

He chastised them for being TOO aggressive.

Never thought you'd see the day, right? Me neither.

The jury is out on this team, but one thing's certain: these players have bought into the new staff. I've talked with members of every offensive and defensive unit -- quarterbacks, linemen, defensive backs, etc. All of them are excited about the new attitude, the new schemes and the new hope that another season brings.

Then again, what player wouldn't be excited about the season being a month away? It's not about emotion -- it's about how quickly these guys can grasp the system and turn walkthroughs into wins. You won't hear any predictions from me about how many games this team will win -- not yet anyway -- but there are some things they'll have to straighten out if they want to overcome last season's misery. Here are a few things I've observed after three days of camp:

***To read the rest of the blog entry, visit the Sports Blog, linked below.***

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