If you needed another sign that Tennessee's players have bought into coach Lane Kiffin's way of doing things, look no further than the passenger seat or a suitcase.
As players left Knoxville for spring break, many brought an extra companion along for the ride.
Whether back home, on the beach or any destination in between, UT's new playbooks hit the road with the players.
"I know a lot of guys on our team are going to have their playbook," quarterback Jonathan Crompton said. "They know what we're capable of doing, and they're going to be ready to go as soon as we get back."
After a high-energy start to spring practice that wrapped up with UT's first practice in full pads before some 2,000 fans in Neyland Stadium more than a week ago, the Vols have hardly blinked in making the transition to new schemes on both sides of the ball.
"We've got some of the best coaches in the country, I believe, as far as preparing us for what we need to do, putting us in the right positions to make plays," safety Eric Berry said. "They're always full of energy so we always come out to practice and come out to work with energy."
The players have also done their homework.
Before practice began March 10, UT's players spent extra time in the film room studying tape of their new systems. They dove into their playbooks and spent time on the weekends to be able to hit the ground running this spring.
"I think our guys have bought in a little faster," Crompton said. "Coming off the losing season, we had that bad taste in our mouth. We've got a new coaching staff. We knew we had to buy in. Guys have bought in quicker than anything. Guys are in their playbooks up in the meeting rooms an hour and a half early, waiting on the coaches because they know what we've got to do."
The heightened focus has done nothing but help, especially on offense.
The Vols have taken to a new system - their third in three years - with much more ease than last year's transition to a new coordinator.
"It's a really great system, in my opinion, that we've really caught up with right now," center Josh McNeil said. "We're just running with it."
So far, returning players have been reluctant to criticize former coordinator Dave Clawson's offense despite UT's well-documented struggles last season.
"I'm not going to say the system held us back," McNeil said. "That system's obviously worked before. It just didn't work out well here."
UT's new offense, run by Kiffin and coordinator Jim Chaney, has been easier to grasp in the early stages.
"It is a little easier," tight end Luke Stocker said. "Last year's was quite complicated with the line flipping (positions) and the terminology was quite different."
The end result, players say, will be a team that looks more comfortable on the field.
"You can always tell on the field when a guy doesn't know what he's doing," McNeil said. "It looks like he's just not trying, but he just doesn't understand sometimes. Whenever you don't have to think, you can play fast."
And when players return to the practice field Tuesday, they're not expecting the tempo to decrease, either.
"It's good that we've had three good days," Crompton said. "But we don't want to have good days. We want to have outstanding days. That's what our goal is."
Drew Edwards covers University of Tennessee football. He may be reached at 865-342-6274.