Vols continue scrimmage preparations

KNOXVILLE (UTSports.com) -- Tennessee practiced Thursday for the third time in as many days as the Vols prepared for their second scrimmage of the spring period, set for Saturday at Neyland Stadium.

“The biggest thing is first, individually, can everybody elevate their game,” head coach Derek Dooley said. “We always evaluate from a couple of different ways. One is the intangibles, the toughness, the effort and the discipline that they play with. Two is what kind of execution to finish the plays off.

“We’re certainly looking for some individual improvement and we’re also looking for some good schematic improvement as a unit in all three phases.”

While looking from improvement across the board, the Vols are also focused on matching up certain individuals against different personnel to see how they perform.

“Some guys we mix it up with,” Dooley said. “We always have a meeting on how we want to play the players, how many snaps we want the guys to get and who they go against. We’re trying to get a good, fair evaluation of all the guys on the team.”

HUNTER AND ROGERS PREPARING FOR LARGER ROLES
Sophomore wide receivers Justin Hunter and Da’Rick Rogers, who each showed flashes of what they could do last season, will both take on increased roles in 2011.

Dooley says Hunter, who earned freshman All-SEC accolades, is focusing in on a couple of different areas to improve.

“One, it’s learning the craft of running routes, and two, it’s learning how to play with a little more physicality when defensive backs are putting their hands on him, what to do. He’s showing a lot of improvement. We have to keep figuring out what he does well and try to get him the football because he’s a talented guy.”

One area where Hunter is developing, Rogers also excels at, thanks to his 6-foot-3, 215-pound frame.

“Da’Rick is a little better playing the more physical football game on the perimeter,” Dooley said. “It’s harder for Da’Rick on some things that Justin can do a little bit better.

“Every receiver has some things that they do well. Every receiver has some things that they need to work on. The thing about Justin is, he can really pull away from a defender because he has the long stride and is really fast.”

GOINS THANKFUL FOR OPPORTUNITY
Melvin Goins, a point guard for the men’s basketball team the past two seasons, joined the football team last week to pursue the possibility of playing with the Vols in 2011. Goins, who hasn’t played football since his freshman year of high school, is thankful for the opportunity.

“I’m just blessed to have the chance and the opportunity,” Goins said. “I never really had it going through the season with basketball. I figured it would be a good deal for me to go out here and give it a try and see if I still had the ability to do it. Overall, I feel like it will be a good thing for me. Everybody has been very welcoming.”

QUICK HITS
-Tennessee scrimmages for the final time Saturday prior to the Orange and White game on April 16.
-To purchase tickets for the Orange and White game or 2011 season tickets, visit uttix.com or call 865-656-1200.
-The 2011 Tennessee Football Coaching Clinic began Thursday and runs through Saturday. Friday’s guest speakers are Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray, CBS analyst and former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach and Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Greg Olson.

MEDIA ADVISORY
Saturday’s practice, which includes a scrimmage, will begin at 1 p.m. at Neyland Stadium and is open to the media during the individual periods.

Head coach Derek Dooley and selected players will be available in the south end zone following Saturday’s scrimmage.


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