Two-a-day report: Giving Nu-Gun a try

The media quickly dubbed it the Nu-Gun. Head coach Lane Kiffin called it one of a million things Tennessee is testing in preseason camp.

“That’s what camp is for, to tinker with a bunch of stuff,” the first-year Tennessee coach said. “See how it looks. Some of it you keep and some of it you throw out.”

Either way, Nu’Keese Richardson’s debut at quarterback certainly raised some eyebrows on Monday. The speedy Richardson has already been one of UT’s standout freshmen, consistently turning in impressive plays at two receiver positions.

“Putting a lot on the kid,” Kiffin said. “He’s just a pup.”

Receiver Gerald Jones and safety Eric Berry played a similar role for UT last season. Jones, however, has a cast on his left wrist after off-season surgery and Kiffin wants both players to focus on their normal positions as they learn new playbooks.

Kiffin said he has no plans to try out any other athletic players at quarterback.

“If we’re going to do it, instead of splitting those reps, I’d rather concentrate on one guy,” he said.

That one guy is Richardson, who was a dual threat as a senior at Pahokee (Fla.) High School in 2008.

Playing quarterback, Richardson threw for 1,020 yards and 14 touchdowns. As a receiver, he caught 22 passes for 373 yards and three touchdowns. Richardson, who is listed at a generous 5-foot-10 and 165 pounds, also ran for 234 yards and three touchdowns.

There was nothing spectacular in Monday’s premier. Richardson threw a couple of incomplete passes and handed off to tailbacks in the new formation, once fumbling the exchange to Tauren Poole.

Injury Report: Defensive end Chris Walker (knee) didn’t finish practice in the Monday morning session then tried to go in the evening session but was pulled. The injury isn’t thought to be serious as Walker was often jumping around cheering on his teammates.

Center Josh McNeil and backup middle linebacker Herman Lathers missed practice time with head issues. Kiffin said Lathers might have as much ability as any UT linebacker.

“If he puts it all together, I think he has a chance to be really special,” Kiffin said.

Cornerback Brent Vinson (shoulder) and linebacker Rico McCoy (knee) were also held out.

“I think Brent is closer (to returning) than Rico,” Kiffin said.

McCoy said Sunday that he expects to return in about a week.

Kiffin said junior LaMarcus Thompson has played “really well” in McCoy’s absence and freshman Mike Edwards has played well in place of Vinson.

Cornerback Art Evans is day-to-day after suffering a knee injury on Saturday and did not practice on Monday. Denarius Moore said Sunday he should return from a foot injury the week of the Florida game (Sept. 19, the third game).

Kiffin was so hoarse following Monday’s evening session that he could hardly speak.

“I’m going to regroup tonight,” he said with a smile.

P.M. Practice Report: UT’s first two-a-day practice session left the Vols a bit gassed, especially in the early stages of the evening practice. However, UT’s players fought through the fatigue to finish strong, Kiffin said.

UT ended practice with a 10-play goal line series, which ended in a tie between the offense and defense. Kiffin said he was pleased that no penalties were committed during the drill.

Quarterback Nick Stephens ran for a score twice. UT’s defense registered stops on two running plays, a sack and a batted ball.

The Vols ran the drill amidst rap music and returned to the field for extra plays after practice had reached its scheduled stopping point.

“It was good to see our guys respond and come back out,” Kiffin said.

Doghouse: Freshman defensive back Mike Edwards and freshman defensive back Janzen Jackson clearly were in the doghouse Monday morning, and they paid for it. Neither took part in practice, but spent the entire three hours running, pushing blocking sleds, pulling dummies, carrying medicine balls, and doing crawls across the field. Both appeared exhausted at the end.

A.M. Highlights: Freshman running back Bryce Brown, who suffered a slight concussion Thursday, made a nice run during 11-on-11 drills, almost going down but steadying himself with a hand on the ground and turning a minus-yardage run into a gain. … Senior running back Montario Hardesty started the 11-on-11 drills by running through a hole for a big gain, and later broke two long runs. … Stephens threw a TD pass to Quentin Hancock across the middle during 11-on-11 drills, and in seven-on-seven drills another pass to fullback Austin Johnson for a TD, and a third TD pass to wide receiver Gerald Jones.

Freelance correspondent Dave Link contributed to this report.

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Comments » 85

bUTchVFL writes:

It's good to see Kiffin play the best athletes not just the ones that have been their the longest. Go Vols!

bUTchVFL writes:

there(sp)

coxo921 (Inactive) writes:

The Heat needs to be a training table for the thrid week in Sept. Sounds as if we're failing thus far. Hope it stays hot personally, and I like the sound of the nuke gun...but maybe Teague would be better at it...? Who knows just glad to see the staff adjusting on the run, just so refreshing.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Sounds as if the o-line is actually doing some run-blocking.

abnerPeabody writes:

sounding good.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to coxo921:

The Heat needs to be a training table for the thrid week in Sept. Sounds as if we're failing thus far. Hope it stays hot personally, and I like the sound of the nuke gun...but maybe Teague would be better at it...? Who knows just glad to see the staff adjusting on the run, just so refreshing.

If it is anything like the G Gun,forget it.

kjneel#238751 writes:

Pain now, glory later. Work and you will reap.

tnbanker_govols writes:

Let's hope the Nu-Gun is a little more innovative than the G-Run.......I mean the G-Gun from last year.

sampears writes:

yea, why are they in the dog house?

longtimefan writes:

What is he doing handing off and passing in the tennessee gun formation? Everybody knows you just tuck it and run. Tricky play, that one.

ColeTrickle writes:

One thing you can say about Crompton, he's definetly getting better and he truly bleeds orange. He really cares about the team doing much better this fall. Shame on the Crompton bashers, he will play like he should have all along under Kiffin/Chaney. The failed systems would have made any QB look terrible. I'm pulling for Crompton the most of any player this fall. Our success this year rests on his performance. Go Vols!

ColeTrickle writes:

in response to sampears:

yea, why are they in the dog house?

late for practice maybe???

StroVol writes:

in response to sampears:

yea, why are they in the dog house?

Not sure, but I get the feeling Kiff doesn't screw around. Or since this is 2 dbacks, maybe coach O was pissed.

MidTennVol writes:

in response to abnerPeabody:

If it is anything like the G Gun,forget it.

I would have to violently agree with you, hall. Those were wasted snaps last year. Everybody in the house knew what was going to happen, starting with the other 11. Did Jones ever even attempt a pass out of that formation?

Maybe if they used Nuke totally as as decoy for something else creative and unexpected...

cmoore7 writes:

in response to sampears:

yea, why are they in the dog house?

Anyone know if they are roommates? I bet someone else will be in charge of setting the alarm clock if so.

cmoore7 writes:

Nuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuke!

ThaiVolFan writes:

It is clear to many of us that this staff is really going to have our boys prepared for this season. About all the optimism, many others have also said that the same "blind optimism" was buzzing around the chat boards this time last year and the year before that. I would understand their cynicism more if things were the same upon the Hill, but for those who still haven't noticed, the Tennessee program is stepping at a different pace and marching to a very different beat. I must say, I like the way it looks and I like the way it sounds. I suspect that most of the nation will take notice after the UCLA game and before our trip to Gainesville. What is better is that the confidence that our boys will bring into Neyland stadium this year, because of Kiffins new staff and new attitude, will rub off in a very beautiful way onto over 109,000 poised fans. We thought Neyland was special before, listen, that place is going to be absolutely electric. You can bet that we are going to take back our homefield and Neyald will become a nightmare for oppssing teams instead of an annoyance. Here's to the taking back of the Hill. The Kool-Aid sure is nice this time of year, go on and have a drink.
GBO!

johnlg00 writes:

Glad the staff isn't afraid to experiment, but I would be surprised if much came of it. Just giving the opposition something else to think about and prepare for, IMHO.

voloffaith writes:

in response to BadNewsCafego:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Didn't you hear that an explanation was not forthcoming for your benefit. If coach wants us to know why johnny had to sit in the corner he'll let us know...ok? I know inquiring minds want to know.

On topic,it is encouraging to hear of progress at practice. "I mean man we're talking practice man. Practice man we're talking practice." thnx Allen for reminding us this is game preparation preseason.

Cldvols1 writes:

in response to ColeTrickle:

One thing you can say about Crompton, he's definetly getting better and he truly bleeds orange. He really cares about the team doing much better this fall. Shame on the Crompton bashers, he will play like he should have all along under Kiffin/Chaney. The failed systems would have made any QB look terrible. I'm pulling for Crompton the most of any player this fall. Our success this year rests on his performance. Go Vols!

I don't think anyone is questioning his passion for UT. We all hope he achieves this fall! However, shame on the Crompton bashers? We're you able to watch some of the games last year bc I guarantee you there were 99.99% Vol fans who were frustrated with some of his performances. I admit I was one and almost bet anything you were too. With that said, Go Vols!!!

arlvol writes:

The BB Gun (great name!), OKU Gun or Nu Gun works for me as long as it puts points on the board. Anything is better than the clawfense gun.

AceVentura writes:

The Nuke-Gun sounds way better than Nu-Gun

QB_10 (Inactive) writes:

Please stop playing the Crompton card...lets see what happens when the real game happens, i have played enough football and watched enough- JC scares me more than Nick does at the helm--but that is CLK's deal

99PairsOfJortsOnTheWall writes:

Use the Schwartz Nuke!

LiveFaith writes:

in response to ThaiVolFan:

It is clear to many of us that this staff is really going to have our boys prepared for this season. About all the optimism, many others have also said that the same "blind optimism" was buzzing around the chat boards this time last year and the year before that. I would understand their cynicism more if things were the same upon the Hill, but for those who still haven't noticed, the Tennessee program is stepping at a different pace and marching to a very different beat. I must say, I like the way it looks and I like the way it sounds. I suspect that most of the nation will take notice after the UCLA game and before our trip to Gainesville. What is better is that the confidence that our boys will bring into Neyland stadium this year, because of Kiffins new staff and new attitude, will rub off in a very beautiful way onto over 109,000 poised fans. We thought Neyland was special before, listen, that place is going to be absolutely electric. You can bet that we are going to take back our homefield and Neyald will become a nightmare for oppssing teams instead of an annoyance. Here's to the taking back of the Hill. The Kool-Aid sure is nice this time of year, go on and have a drink.
GBO!

"I suspect that most of the nation will take notice after the UCLA game and before our trip to Gainesville."

Yep, that's exactly what happened after last years Clawfense hype too. They definitely took notice of that train wreck.
But hey, I'll take a quart or two of the Kool-Aid. Afterall , were still undefeated baby!!!

DennisVols writes:

(D)Doing more
(I)Improving
(S)Strength
(C)Character
(I)Intergity
(P)Positive changes
(L)Learning to win
(I)Intangables
(N)New start
(E)Energy
Keeping it Real
Go Vols!!!

gbeejr#1354500 writes:

Wow, did I read that Stephens threw 3 td's in this mornings practice? If Stephens is gaining ground (missed most of spring practice) then it might be very close to opening game before a starter is announced. Great, competition will make both qb better.

memphis_vol_fan writes:

in response to BadNewsCafego:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

probably for acting like freshmen

seventysevenvol writes:

in response to ThaiVolFan:

It is clear to many of us that this staff is really going to have our boys prepared for this season. About all the optimism, many others have also said that the same "blind optimism" was buzzing around the chat boards this time last year and the year before that. I would understand their cynicism more if things were the same upon the Hill, but for those who still haven't noticed, the Tennessee program is stepping at a different pace and marching to a very different beat. I must say, I like the way it looks and I like the way it sounds. I suspect that most of the nation will take notice after the UCLA game and before our trip to Gainesville. What is better is that the confidence that our boys will bring into Neyland stadium this year, because of Kiffins new staff and new attitude, will rub off in a very beautiful way onto over 109,000 poised fans. We thought Neyland was special before, listen, that place is going to be absolutely electric. You can bet that we are going to take back our homefield and Neyald will become a nightmare for oppssing teams instead of an annoyance. Here's to the taking back of the Hill. The Kool-Aid sure is nice this time of year, go on and have a drink.
GBO!

102,037 is the seating capacity, not 109,000. Every year it grows in the mind of our overzealous fans. And before anyone posts, no, there aren't 7000 additional people when you count media,concessions, medical, etc.-these don't count in official attendance regardless. I do agree the new look and sound from practice is better...but the kool ade is very orange this time of year.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to tnbanker_govols:

Let's hope the Nu-Gun is a little more innovative than the G-Run.......I mean the G-Gun from last year.

I agree; Iam not sure how you make that formation predictable and slow but Clawson found a way.The right way is to pass or pitch on the first play!!Last year at a crucial time Jones ran right on back to back plays for less than 3 yards total gain and NO first down.

DennisVols writes:

in response to ThaiVolFan:

It is clear to many of us that this staff is really going to have our boys prepared for this season. About all the optimism, many others have also said that the same "blind optimism" was buzzing around the chat boards this time last year and the year before that. I would understand their cynicism more if things were the same upon the Hill, but for those who still haven't noticed, the Tennessee program is stepping at a different pace and marching to a very different beat. I must say, I like the way it looks and I like the way it sounds. I suspect that most of the nation will take notice after the UCLA game and before our trip to Gainesville. What is better is that the confidence that our boys will bring into Neyland stadium this year, because of Kiffins new staff and new attitude, will rub off in a very beautiful way onto over 109,000 poised fans. We thought Neyland was special before, listen, that place is going to be absolutely electric. You can bet that we are going to take back our homefield and Neyald will become a nightmare for oppssing teams instead of an annoyance. Here's to the taking back of the Hill. The Kool-Aid sure is nice this time of year, go on and have a drink.
GBO!

I agree totally. I understand the "Once bitten twice shy" that many feel following the fallout from last year. Yes many, including myself, expected more last year. Maybe we put the cart in front of the horse because we where hungery for a change. Too many close but no cigar opportunties followed the NC in '98. Predictable was the word used most often concerning our offense.
This year is different already, and in a good way. Kiffin's no BS approach has shown dividens already with the 0 arreasts, improved GPA and as was mentioned today discipline being handed out hard and heavy.
There won't be a NC in Knoxville this year and a shot at a SEC title is probably slim at best. There will however be a positive change and it will siginal more good changes to come. Kiffin will need a couple of good to great recruiting classes to rebuild the areas that have little depth.
I believe what we will see though will be more competitive, more physical, and better perpared(coached) football team that will win considerably more games this year.
Keeping it Real
Go Vols!!!

SFOrange writes:

UT 38 WKU 10
UT 24 UCLA 21

orangetothebone writes:

Go Vols!!!!!

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

Nu'Keese played quarterback AND wide receiver in high school? Man, he must really be fast.

deadheadvol writes:

in response to coxo921:

The Heat needs to be a training table for the thrid week in Sept. Sounds as if we're failing thus far. Hope it stays hot personally, and I like the sound of the nuke gun...but maybe Teague would be better at it...? Who knows just glad to see the staff adjusting on the run, just so refreshing.

You hit the nail on the head, key word being "adjusting", we havent seen that on the hill for a long time, Go Vols

99gator writes:

in response to DennisVols:

I agree totally. I understand the "Once bitten twice shy" that many feel following the fallout from last year. Yes many, including myself, expected more last year. Maybe we put the cart in front of the horse because we where hungery for a change. Too many close but no cigar opportunties followed the NC in '98. Predictable was the word used most often concerning our offense.
This year is different already, and in a good way. Kiffin's no BS approach has shown dividens already with the 0 arreasts, improved GPA and as was mentioned today discipline being handed out hard and heavy.
There won't be a NC in Knoxville this year and a shot at a SEC title is probably slim at best. There will however be a positive change and it will siginal more good changes to come. Kiffin will need a couple of good to great recruiting classes to rebuild the areas that have little depth.
I believe what we will see though will be more competitive, more physical, and better perpared(coached) football team that will win considerably more games this year.
Keeping it Real
Go Vols!!!

agreed.

ship is heading in the right direction

NoMoreWooAfterGoodOleRockyTop writes:

Wow...Hancock's name mentioned outside of April??? Something isn't right...

Huttdawg100 writes:

in response to ThaiVolFan:

It is clear to many of us that this staff is really going to have our boys prepared for this season. About all the optimism, many others have also said that the same "blind optimism" was buzzing around the chat boards this time last year and the year before that. I would understand their cynicism more if things were the same upon the Hill, but for those who still haven't noticed, the Tennessee program is stepping at a different pace and marching to a very different beat. I must say, I like the way it looks and I like the way it sounds. I suspect that most of the nation will take notice after the UCLA game and before our trip to Gainesville. What is better is that the confidence that our boys will bring into Neyland stadium this year, because of Kiffins new staff and new attitude, will rub off in a very beautiful way onto over 109,000 poised fans. We thought Neyland was special before, listen, that place is going to be absolutely electric. You can bet that we are going to take back our homefield and Neyald will become a nightmare for oppssing teams instead of an annoyance. Here's to the taking back of the Hill. The Kool-Aid sure is nice this time of year, go on and have a drink.
GBO!

Excellent post. Building on what you said, this is not Phillip Fulmer and company; this is a new regime. There was a lot of the same "blind optimism" last year and the year before that. However, Fulmer is no longer here. This team is practicing differently, the coaches are coaching differentlty, and I expect different results.

Furthermore, Tennessee coaches and fans aren't the only people thinking positively about Tennessee Football. On the Scott Van Pelt show last Thursday, Takeo Spikes came on talking about the 49ers and Mike Singletary. At the end of the segment, SVP asked Spikes, a former Linebacker at Auburn, what he thought about Auburn's 2009 outlook. Spikes said he hoped that Auburn would do well, but then he confidently exclaimed that he expected Tennessee to make a lot of noise and to win a lot of games in the next few years. This guy has no affiliation with Lane Kiffin or Tennessee, and he's backing us. That raised my eyebrows.

heisthelord367 writes:

in response to Rok_Etop:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

hey man, 'preciate you are excited about a layup by your daughter...but don't piggy back vol football talk for your own agenda,, it's getting old...btw, i hope she does great and does play for the vols one day...

MemphoVol writes:

in response to seventysevenvol:

102,037 is the seating capacity, not 109,000. Every year it grows in the mind of our overzealous fans. And before anyone posts, no, there aren't 7000 additional people when you count media,concessions, medical, etc.-these don't count in official attendance regardless. I do agree the new look and sound from practice is better...but the kool ade is very orange this time of year.

Per the 2009 Media Guide, "official capacity" is 100,011 (recent renovations don't forget). Attendance Record: 109,061 - Sept 18, 2004, TN 30 Fl 28.
Let's see if we can squeeze in 109,062 for the Auburn and Georgia games this year!

Slimjim_Vols writes:

Crompton already has a practice and scrimmage against our 1st team D without a pick....... I know we get down when we see that our O has ints in these "games" but remember that they are going against a top 5 D in these practices and Crompton is getting better about ball control and accuracy.

I also like how losing is not an option with these coaches and I bet we will be playing to win, instead of playing not to lose in the past.

GO VOLS!

kman29 writes:

in response to ThaiVolFan:

It is clear to many of us that this staff is really going to have our boys prepared for this season. About all the optimism, many others have also said that the same "blind optimism" was buzzing around the chat boards this time last year and the year before that. I would understand their cynicism more if things were the same upon the Hill, but for those who still haven't noticed, the Tennessee program is stepping at a different pace and marching to a very different beat. I must say, I like the way it looks and I like the way it sounds. I suspect that most of the nation will take notice after the UCLA game and before our trip to Gainesville. What is better is that the confidence that our boys will bring into Neyland stadium this year, because of Kiffins new staff and new attitude, will rub off in a very beautiful way onto over 109,000 poised fans. We thought Neyland was special before, listen, that place is going to be absolutely electric. You can bet that we are going to take back our homefield and Neyald will become a nightmare for oppssing teams instead of an annoyance. Here's to the taking back of the Hill. The Kool-Aid sure is nice this time of year, go on and have a drink.
GBO!

All they have right now if false confidence. Things change when the games start. Its when the team faces adversity in a live game and how the coaches help the players respond to that, that will determine true confidence in how they play. Because we all know if Tennessee finds itself in a situation in a tough game where they are close to scoring and Crompton ends up throwing an INT in the endzone or fumbles...You know there will be players who start doubting and start thinking, "oh no, here we go again". Defense gets mad at the offense and offense looses confidence in their QB. Hopefully though for UTs sake when situations like that do occur the coaching staff will be able to coach them up the way an 18-20 year old needs to be coached up to get that confidence in himself and the team back and not the way a 26 year old NFL player who is a professional would be. Two different types of mentalities, one more sensative and easier to lose than the other.

give_him_6 writes:

in response to VOLstuckINky:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We can't really afford to be choosy right now. We just don't have that many options. If Crompton is the winner of the very (small) QB battle, so be it. Better days are a comin!!!

Go Vols

QB_10 (Inactive) writes:

Politics 101: Kiffin will play Crompton until he puts the team in jepoardy, which will be after game 3. Then he can clearly go to JC, that Fulmer, i mean Heath Shuler, i mean Phil and CLK have all given you a chance to fail- now go and take your parents with you..then Stephens comes in and runs the Offense for the next 23 games

Has anyone asked themselves this question: If Crompton got all the reps in Spring and Stephens got 5% and they both are equal now, Stephens puts on 15 lbs of muscle...Who is working harder? Nick Stephens...

ethanfrome writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

Nu'Keese played quarterback AND wide receiver in high school? Man, he must really be fast.

I never thought about it that way! He must be amazing!!!

PoochPuntOn3rdDown writes:

Why call it the "Nu-Gun"? That harkens to last year and the G-Gun. As much as possible should be done to totally differentiate this team from the under-achievement that was 2008. And that includes the G-Gun.

Why not just say they're running the "Nuke" set or even just the "Nuke"? Sounds a lot more explosive than the "Nu-Gun", if you know what I mean...

tdtnsee writes:

in response to Rok_Etop:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Quit posting this u F@#$ing idiot! We don't give a shnit!!!!!

VolNWA writes:

2001 UT-Florida game on CBS Sports right now. Just the sweet memory of beating Florida in that big game put a huge smile on my face.

ethanfrome writes:

in response to The_Four_Horsemen:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That is true. However, I do think that UCLA has a coach that has them on the up.

GerryOP writes:

Shortly after being hired, Lane Kiffin clearly stated that we have two pretty good QBs that we can win with. I think I will trust his judgement over some of you guys on here. Kiffin hasn't been wrong yet.

26 -- Fear The Kiffin...

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