Butch Jones, courtesy UT Sports
Today the Vols held their final routine practice of the spring at the Neyland Stadium. Saturday's spring game is free to the fans and will be televised this year So what can the fans expect to see? Both offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian and defensive coordinator John Jancek weighed in.
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR MIKE BAJAKIAN
»(On the players having their ability to teach themselves during the summer)
"They will get out of the summer what they put into it. Obviously, as coaches we aren't allowed to be around them at all. So it is a good time to develop leaders. It is a good time for leaders to step up and take control of the team and of the position groups and stuff like that. Install the offense on their own, meet on their own, work on specific routes or team drills on their own."
»(On the lack of depth a receiver)
"I don't know if it is as much an issue as the depth as much as it is the spring game being on television. Any team that goes into their spring game with the whole package available, we will limit it, especially with us being a new staff, it is not like we want to go in there and show every little ripple that we have. The key for us is really the same key that we have had since the first day of spring ball. We are going to come in with a package that we want to execute, play hard, play with great tempo, play fast, we are about effort, tempo, and finishing. That is what we are looking for on Saturday. As much as it is how much they have mastered specific plays or skill sets, that is not as important as playing with great tempo and playing with great effort."
»(On what he has seen from the quarterbacks)
"Number 1 it starts with leadership and I like the way both of them have stepped up. I have seen drastic improvement over the course of the spring in their command presence at the line of scrimmage, their presence at the sideline, their presence in the meeting room. I am very happy with the steps they have taken to take a leadership role. That is first and foremost. With the other part of the game, we have ironed out some wrinkles in techniques. They have always demonstrated with day 1 a good ability to learn the offense quickly. I am happy where they are."
»(On play calling for players)
"As a play caller I am always thinking players, more than plays. There are different ways that we will try to get different guys the ball. When you are in a spring setting like this and you are shuffling so many guys in and out sometimes it is hard to get a grasp on exactly who is in the game and how we accentuate their skill sets. The purpose of Saturday will be to execute the offense, play fast, play hard, and see what guys can step up and make plays."
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR JOHN JANCEK
»(On what he expects to learn about his defense during the Orange and White game)
"We just want to see who can compete and take what they've done in practice situations, obviously there's more adrenalin. It's going to to be the closest thing to a game before our first game. We'll see who can carry over from practice and drill work into a competitive situation."
»(On what he was looking for from the coaches)
"You're looking for communication. You're looking for the guys in the box to communicate with us on the field. See the problem, see the personnel. It's a dry run. See what happened on that play, what did the corner do, what did the lineman do, what did the linebacker do. Those are conversations that will take place."
»(On if the defense met his goals going into spring practice)
"You know, I didn't have a goal. I was just kind of feeling the players out. When we put something in, how did they execute? How do they learn? Is it board work, film work, walkthroughs? You're just trying to see how they learn things and how they grasp concepts. The biggest thing is teaching them offensive football. We talk about our install all the time but as a defensive coach we're still affected by the split of a receiver or the depth of a back. Really we're teaching them a lot of offensive football."
»(On what they need to work on)
"We need to work on tackling and those things. We need to work on offensive recognition. Why is the received lined up in that location?1 That's where we've got to go. That's where these guys have to do a great job over the summer and not lose that."
»(On if the install has gone at the pace he expected)
"Yes, i think it's pretty tight. The guys seem to have the system. We did a lot of things with some bigger personnel groups the last couple practices to have it on film for them. Go over the sets and alignments and all that."
The University of Tennessee