In today’s Vols link roundup, we’re bracing for an extra dose of Maxim 1 the next 10 days, finding more hope in the secondary, and more.
Turning attention to Georgia Tech
With the Yellow Jackets playing that wicked flexbone triple option thing that focuses most of its energy on the running game, and with the Vols beginning to transition to game-week prep, Butch Jones is harping on the D in DAT stuff:
“Football is very difficult and we have to be a team that doesn’t beat itself and it all starts with the small details and communication when you’re out there,” Jones said. “We have to continue to demand it because we’re building habits. You’re going to rely on your training when we get to Monday night playing against a very talented Georgia Tech football team. We have to continue to demand, our older players need to demand from the younger players and vice versa. They’ve done that, but there’s a whole level of mental intensity and mental effort that comes into preparing for game week as well.”
That all appears to be a non-concise way of yelling, “MAXIM 1, GUYS!” to make sure your team isn’t the one that makes the most mistakes. Any missed opportunity against a team that eats clock like Joey Chestnut eats hot dogs is compounded by the decreased ability to make up for it, so expect Jones to emphasize mistake-free football at every opportunity for the next 10 days.
And that’s not the only detail on which Jones is harping, either. He’s also focused on making sure his players protect their assets:
“Again, them being accountable to each other for getting the sleep, the hydration, the nutrition and then coming to progress after a long day of classes.”
As much as I want to make a joke about everyone needing sleep, water, and food, I won’t. I’m sure Jones means he wants them to sleep enough, keep hydrated enough, and eat the right things instead of the wrong things, and I’m glad he’s focused on it.
Meanwhile, the defense is spending a great deal of time preparing to defeat cut blocks. Man, I’ll be glad when that game is out of the way.
Secondary getting stronger
There’s been some good news in the secondary for the Vols. Even though transfer Shaq Wiggins remains out with an injury, the coaches are optimistic that he’ll be back before the first game. Add to that that Emmanuel Moseley, who wore a limited-contact green jersey all of preseason camp, is finally full-go. And add to both of those things that freshman Shawn Shamburger continues to draw praise from the coaching staff, so much so that he’s at least in the two-deep and possibly even pushing the presumed starters.
It’s probably understating it to say that the secondary had some issues last fall, so if the unit actually improves like it sounds like it is, it could make a dramatic difference.
- The Vols picked up a commitment from 4-star cornerback Jaycee Horn last night. Horn had had it narrowed down to Alabama and South Carolina, but Jones and Co. turned the heat up on him, and at the end of the day, Horn said that he “just knew it was Tennessee.”
- Defensive tackle Shy Tuttle remains questionable for the season-opener, but it is beginning to look like he’s almost game-ready.
- Seniors Todd Kelly Jr., Evan Berry, Trevor Daniel, and Ethan Wolf have all been named to the Senior Bowl Watch List. In case you’re wondering, the watch list committee defers any decision on offensive linemen until they see them in action during the season.
- For some reason, I never really thought much about the complexity of player numbers, but Tennessee has just switched up some of the numbers of its guys so that they are available to play on special teams. With 120 guys on the roster and only two digits available, teams have to double up on numbers, but you obviously can’t have the same number on the field at the same time, so you put one on offense and one on defense. Problem solved, except for special teams, which is often made up of players from both units. So, apparently the Vols needed to change up some numbers so they could use the guys they wanted on special teams.
- The Knoxville News Sentinel continues its Tennessee football 2017 breakdown today with a look at the offensive line. They also note that it’s probably going to take live fire in a game to determine which of Quinten Dormady and Jarrett Guarantano should lead the team.
- The Vols, who opened at 40/1 odds to win the national championship, are now 100/1. It’s a steal! For somebody!
- If you haven’t been noticing our Vols video roundups, they generally go live in the late afternoon sometime. You can find yesterday’s down the video section, and it’s called Team 120 is dead (gasp!), and Chick-fil-A is all hyped up about it. Seriously, that Chick-fil-A video is something you’re going to want to watch.
- The SEC has announced the men’s basketball conference schedule, and the Vols hoops Twitter account has a handy video to relieve you of the burden of reading words: