Kiffin defends physical practices

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT/AP) -- First-year University of Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin on Friday evening defended his team' physical practices without full pads, saying just two of the 104 players who reported healthy to camp have left the lineup through four days.

"That's pretty good," Kiffin said moments after Friday's three-hour practice.

Prominent players have gotten nicked, though. All-Southeastern Conference senior linebacker Rico McCoy (knee) and junior cornerback Brent Vinson (hamstring) sat out Friday's practice, and highly-touted freshman tailback Bryce Brown was held from contact after sustaining what Kiffin called a "slight concussion."

Tennessee running back Tauren Poole was carted off the field during Friday's practice after hurting his right leg during a passing drill, according to Kiffin is hopeful that the tailback was just cramping up.

The sophomore ran for 87 yards on 22 carries last season.

Even though the first week of workouts had a its physical moments, head coach Lane Kiffin says Saturday's live drills will be where players start to separate themselves.

On Saturday, the Vols will practice inside Neyland Stadium and don pads for the first time this camp.

"We're going to scrimmage; see who can tackle, see who can play off of cut blocks and play real football. We're going to go in the stadium for the atmosphere. That's where you play, so we're going to go in there for our scrimmages even though we don't have the crowd."

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