Vol football coach Mike Ekeler enlightens Vol Nation

Tennessee assistant coach talks team and life with UT media.
Tennessee Football Linebackers and Special Teams coach
Tennessee Football Linebackers and Special Teams coach(Rick Russo)
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 7:01 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - While sometimes overlooked, special teams often plays a major role in the outcome of winning and losing football games. Due in large part to the efforts of special teams coordinator Mike Ekeler, Tennessee was one of the nation’s best in that facet of the game in 2021.

The Vols look to continue to excel on specials teams this season with the return of their two primary placekickers, starting punter and starting long snapper, while a host of talented playmakers will look to fill the shoes of departed dynamic return man Velus Jones Jr.

Ekeler admitted it would be hard to replace Jones with just one player and that they are looking forward to contributions from a handful of different players. During his Wednesday media availability, the Vol assistant talked about what he’s looking for in a kick returner and what it takes to get to the top.

Along with his duties as special teams coordinator, Ekeler also serves as UT’s outside linebackers coach, working a lot with the team’s pass rushers. With the return of veterans Byron Young, Tyler Baron and Roman Harrison, the Vols have plenty to build around.

Add in some talented freshmen with the likes of Joshua Josephs and James Pearce Jr., and the pass rush has the chance to cause havoc for opposing quarterbacks all year long.

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