UT wide receiver, Gerald Jones, talks to the media following Tuesday's practice. According to Jones, there's no need for him to play quarterback for the Vols this season. Watch »
Tennessee receiver Gerald Jones likes playing quarterback; he just doesn't like having to play quarterback.
"It's great, me not having to go at quarterback and make something happen or some crazy thing like that," Jones said after practice Tuesday.
Jones said he felt a more athletic quarterback was a necessity last season in order to help UT's struggling offense.
"I thought, personally, putting me and (safety) Eric (Berry) back at quarterback would help us with our quarterback situation because our quarterbacks were new to the system," Jones said. "It was their first year really starting."
With those concerns alleviated, Jones has a different mindset toward the G-Gun.
"It doesn't concern me if I play quarterback or not," he said. "I came here to play receiver so if I don't ever play quarterback again, so be it."
UT coach Lane Kiffin has said he has no intention to play Jones at quarterback this spring but could do so in fall practice. Jones understands, especially after seeing UT's passers perform in a new offense.
"They've been playing so well during spring ball that there's no need for me to go back there," Jones said. "They're taking care of business."
So does that mean Jones is completely done playing quarterback? Not quite.
"I would like to do it every now and then," Jones said with a smile.
Full Go: It's apparent that the Vols will be reliant on a more traditional fullback than in the recent past. Kevin Cooper and Austin Johnson have played key roles so far this spring.
"Kevin has really been a highlight of camp as far as how physical he's been and he's picking up the system really well," Kiffin said. "The fullback's extremely critical in this system. We play a lot with the fullback when we can, and so both the guys are doing well.
"We threw them some balls today and they made some plays. Unfortunately, we turned one of them over, but they're doing really well."
Johnson was guilty of the fumble following a short reception. That's been a rare mistake for the sophomore who has shown he has the hands to be a pass-receiving threat.
"I want to be a playmaker," Johnson said, "and I want to be able to block for this team."
Quarterback Jonathan Crompton has already noticed just how versatile UT's fullbacks can be.
"They're athletic enough that if we want to put them out wide, we can put them out wide," he said.
No Pushovers: UT's effective rushing attack - especially on short yardage - had even the receivers talking on Tuesday.
"The difference between this year and last year is they've got somebody on their back to push them to the limit to make sure they're going to do it," Jones said. "They've got the mindset that they won't be denied. They won't be stopped.
"It's one yard. We have a great back in the backfield that can pick it up. All they have to do is get a push and they do it."
Practice Performer: Quinton Hancock continues to be a standout performer in spring practice. Kiffin said the senior receiver had two consecutive great practices.
Hancock had two touchdown catches on Saturday and a key reception that kept a drive alive on Tuesday.
The practice performances from Hancock are hardly new. He has regularly stood out in practices only to go largely unnoticed in games.
"I'm not worried about that," Kiffin said. "Whatever happened before was a different time. I know what he's done since we've been here, and we're really excited. We expect nothing except for him to continue to get better."
Tyler Take: Kiffin said he has been impressed with former Maryville High School standout Tyler Maples.
"Really has improved," Kiffin said of the sophomore receiver. "When we were out without a ball, the first few days, I was a little nervous about him moving around and stuff. He's really taken the offense and improved.
"He's gotten a few shots here and there and continues to get more."
Drew Edwards contributed to this report.