Vols using extra time to heal

The leading receiver has been wearing a walking boot and requires a special mouth guard to play.

The top rusher has continued to nurse soreness and aches all over his body.

The most productive defensive player was held out of practice with a sore back.

The injuries obviously start at the top of the depth chart for Tennessee at the midway point of the season, and the Vols have tried everything from compression sleeves to new ankle braces to help deal with them during a trying 3-3 start to coach Lane Kiffin’s career. But with an open date before heading to No. 2 Alabama, UT is more than happy to handle them the old-fashioned way — with a little bit of rest.

“I’m going to head back home and just enjoy mom and family, enjoy some of that home-cooking that I need,” defensive end Chris Walker said. “I think it’s something that’s good for us.

“We came off a real big win and we just need time to sit back and enjoy it and come back to work. We need some time to enjoy where we’re at as a team right now ... then just get the rest in this week and come back to work.”

A weekend away from football figures to do more for UT’s best pass-rusher and its leader in interceptions than a few meals at home, but either way Walker should be better prepared for the stretch run thanks to the off days.

The same applies for Montario Hardesty, who has had his workload lightened in practice to lessen some of the wear and tear for a running back taking a pounding by averaging more than 20 carries per game.

It also goes for receiver Quintin Hancock, recovering from a broken jaw and a newer injury to his leg. Regular starters Vladimir Richard at left guard and defensive tackle Wes Brown are banged up too, along with a handful of other contributors at nearly every position.

That left more than a few reps for the backups during a short week of practice that was cut even further when Kiffin cancelled a workout scheduled for Thursday, but that could have a lasting positive effect for the reenergized Vols.

“This was good,” Kiffin said. “It’s good to have this week of practice over, it’s good to let our guys get off a little bit and we’ll be able to start a day earlier. We’ll start our preparation just like we did for Western Kentucky one day early, so Monday is a Tuesday and we’ll be ahead of schedule and get two Thursdays at the end of the week to have our legs ready to go.

“We had to have physical practices (this week). It’s about the whole team, so if we limited it and made it soft practices we would have a lot of guys suffering from not getting better and not keeping that competition going. That’s why we pulled a couple guys that were banged up once we got to the physical part of practice.”

That list was longer than Kiffin might have liked, but he wasn’t taking any chances with extra time to prepare for the Crimson Tide.

Richard was perhaps the only starter that would have been a major question mark if UT had a game this weekend, but nobody had to push themselves back — which might help some other Vols push them in the second half.

“You know, we still worked on a lot of things like quarterback-wide receiver timing and just overall team chemistry — you can work on that regardless of whenever you practice, however you practice,” freshman Marsalis Teague said. “So we had real good days out here, and the main thing is just trying to get those guys that are banged up, getting a lot of younger guys — that would be me — a lot of extra reps and stuff like that.

“It was very beneficial for us.”

The time away should be an even bigger benefit -- top to bottom.

Crompton Honored: Tennessee quarterback Jonathan Crompton was voted AT&T All-America Player of the Week in fans voting for his performance against Georgia on Saturday.

Crompton completed 20 of 27 passing attempted for a career-high 310 yards and four touchdowns in the Vols’ win over Georgia. Ohio State University safety Kurt Coleman placed second, with University of South Carolina wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and University of Kansas wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe placing third and fourth, respectively. Each of the players was nominated by ESPN based on their outstanding performances last week.

Fans can register to vote for the AT&T All-America Player of the Week by text messaging VOTE to 345345 on their wireless phones any time during the season. They have until 11:59 p.m. ET each Wednesday to participate in that week’s voting.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2009, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2009 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 33

Weatherman writes:

Lock and Load.

Cldvols1 writes:

Rest up and get ready to head to Tuscaloosa and get a win! Go Vols!!!

steelersman42 writes:

GO VOLS!!! BEAT BAMA!!!

SmokeyHound writes:

i really, really want to beat alabama

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

Gonna need all the healthy O lineman we can get against bama.Hardesty has been nothing short of amazing..Right now saban is working on a scheme to blow up our new revised roll out passing package; proably will have his DE's rushing wide up field to put a guy in crompton's face..Better work on a plan "B" becuse Saban still remembers how to play great defense.

AVolVoice writes:

Hope the players get plenty of rest this weekend for the Bama game because it's gonna be a tough, physical battle.

beaus27 writes:

If our boys play like they did against Florida & and Georgia, then I smell a Tennessee upset.
GO VOLS!!! UT 24 AL 19

TDTN writes:

*

TDTN writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

Gonna need all the healthy O lineman we can get against bama.Hardesty has been nothing short of amazing..Right now saban is working on a scheme to blow up our new revised roll out passing package; proably will have his DE's rushing wide up field to put a guy in crompton's face..Better work on a plan "B" becuse Saban still remembers how to play great defense.

I was thinking the same think about bama working on a way to stop the rollout. Crompton could get killed on the naked bootleg rollout if bama sent an end or DB after him. Maybe drifting a tailback out in position for a 'shovel pass' in the area outside the tackle would either slow down a pass rusher or allow some decent yards on the pass. Usually that type pass goes right up the middle but could work on the outside as well. But if my ideas would work I would be getting paid for this.

elbtenn#502977 writes:

I hope El Monte has some good defensive tricks up his sleeve for them bammers!

elbtenn#502977 writes:

in response to SmokeyHound:

i really, really want to beat alabama

Boy,that's an understatement.

mbible1utk#324980 writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

Gonna need all the healthy O lineman we can get against bama.Hardesty has been nothing short of amazing..Right now saban is working on a scheme to blow up our new revised roll out passing package; proably will have his DE's rushing wide up field to put a guy in crompton's face..Better work on a plan "B" becuse Saban still remembers how to play great defense.

And we can solve that.... run off tackle with a fullback leading the way... mix that in with some play action... that will freeze the DE's, and will give us opportunities to roll out off of play action

BigVolinCarolina writes:

'Bama has broken our heart several times in years past when we've had an undefeated record heading into this game. It's been a long time since we've returned the favor and been their "first loss" of the season.

This would be a dream come true if we could beat them this year!

VolinCalif writes:

in response to TDTN:

*

+1

2407westTN_VOLSfan writes:

My old friend Buck Fama says "Beat Bama"!
Roll Tide, around the bowl then down the hole!
I wonder if Julio has a fishing trip lined up for this W/E?

wayoutwill writes:

I don't think I've ever watched a more athletic jump to go across the goal-line, than the one made by Moore, in his leap after the catch,against Ga.I swear that Mike Jordan never had that much hang time,it made have hung longer than a Colquitt punt,who knows,possibly hung longer than mine?Nah,not that much;still great to see that kind of talent get to show it off for once,all because they finally realized what so many great fans have been pointing out for nearly two years,Crompton rolls out forty times better than he sits in the pocket,"Kiff" must have come on here to learn something about how to play his goofy 5th year Q.B.!GO VOLS!BEAT "BAMA!-Oh,BTW;witchdoctor is goofiest bozo since the great pumpkin began coaching and that's no lie!

wayoutwill writes:

Sitting here watching the Vols play the Wildcats(2004) on Fox College Flash Classics and it was showing a clip of Randy Sanders giving excuses about why Kentucky gave us fits in that game,instead of just telling it like it was,(that Kentucky always plays us hard)-ANYWAY,a thought suddenly occurred to me,that one of the biggest miracles of all time may have been the Vols actually winning the National Championship with Randy Sanders as the O.C.-We had to have a great collection of talent and a wee bit of divine intervention to pull that off!Sanders and witch doctor are probably twins!<LOL!

rdgshackelford writes:

in response to SmokeyHound:

i really, really want to beat alabama

you arent even a vols fan, go away

98vols writes:

Anybody see the game on ESPN last night they nominated JC as player of the week or something like that. i caught the tale end of it.

kentuckyorange writes:

The offensive that worked against Georgia may not be as successful at Alabama. I don't like Alabama one bit but they're tough on defense and their offensive is physical and they're going to run right at us. Their DT Terrence Cody is 6'5 and 350+ pounds and they are tough to run on and if we can't run the ball then play action won't be effective. I think we have a chance but we can't get behind early, can't have the turnovers, the offense will need to convert a good number of 3rd downs to rest the defense, we need touchdowns instead of field goals and we could use some points from the defense and a good game from special teams. If these things happen the outcome may be a surprise.

WytheVol writes:

in response to mbible1utk#324980:

And we can solve that.... run off tackle with a fullback leading the way... mix that in with some play action... that will freeze the DE's, and will give us opportunities to roll out off of play action

That as well as mix in some short screens in there. Saban will back those DE's off as they start to over run a few plays. Hopefully Kiffin can add enough wrinkles to the Bootleg to ensure the Bama DE's have to overthink everything. Plus this is a prime opportunity for Hardesty and Brown to show what they are made of as receivers out of the backfield... Cause you know Saban is going to try and rattle Crompton, early and often.

mbible1utk#324980 writes:

in response to fittobetide:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

He'll be contained just like A.J. Green was. I have a great trust in Monte Kiffin's ability to figure out how to stop your offense. The offense may finally be finding itself, and while Alabama is good on defense, with the proper mix of play action, run, and deep balls, Alabama will spend the whole game acting tentatively because they don't know what is coming next. As is, I'm thinking this game is going to be one of those 10-7 final scores

rockytopatl writes:

in response to wayoutwill:

Sitting here watching the Vols play the Wildcats(2004) on Fox College Flash Classics and it was showing a clip of Randy Sanders giving excuses about why Kentucky gave us fits in that game,instead of just telling it like it was,(that Kentucky always plays us hard)-ANYWAY,a thought suddenly occurred to me,that one of the biggest miracles of all time may have been the Vols actually winning the National Championship with Randy Sanders as the O.C.-We had to have a great collection of talent and a wee bit of divine intervention to pull that off!Sanders and witch doctor are probably twins!<LOL!

I seem to recall that Cutcliffe had already worked on the Florida State game plan before he left and Sanders only instituted it. You can see how far Randy has advanced in the years since.... he's still Kentucky's quarterback coach.

paul5170 writes:

in response to wayoutwill:

I don't think I've ever watched a more athletic jump to go across the goal-line, than the one made by Moore, in his leap after the catch,against Ga.I swear that Mike Jordan never had that much hang time,it made have hung longer than a Colquitt punt,who knows,possibly hung longer than mine?Nah,not that much;still great to see that kind of talent get to show it off for once,all because they finally realized what so many great fans have been pointing out for nearly two years,Crompton rolls out forty times better than he sits in the pocket,"Kiff" must have come on here to learn something about how to play his goofy 5th year Q.B.!GO VOLS!BEAT "BAMA!-Oh,BTW;witchdoctor is goofiest bozo since the great pumpkin began coaching and that's no lie!

WHATS THIS,IS THAT YOUR moMA LIE-ING BE SIDE YOU.........JERK!!!!!!!!!!!!

dadofisaac writes:

"It really doesnt matter what Julio does befor or after the game because he will be there & Bama will win. Tennessee needs to practice hard because they are about to go up against the toughest Football team in the nation. Florida just does not have it this year. Bama will be National Champions!!!"

I thought this last year, until Florida beat them in the SEC Championship, and then there Utah......

If Tennessee plays mistake (turnover) free ball, then they may have a chance next weekend. If the passing game goes like it did against Georgia, then the chance increases. Admittedly, the Georgia defense is inferior to Alabama's defense.

gnm53108 writes:

in response to SmokeyHound:

i really, really want to beat alabama

You are really,really not alone.

I dont care how or by how much...just beat bama!

VolGraduate writes:

in response to wayoutwill:

I don't think I've ever watched a more athletic jump to go across the goal-line, than the one made by Moore, in his leap after the catch,against Ga.I swear that Mike Jordan never had that much hang time,it made have hung longer than a Colquitt punt,who knows,possibly hung longer than mine?Nah,not that much;still great to see that kind of talent get to show it off for once,all because they finally realized what so many great fans have been pointing out for nearly two years,Crompton rolls out forty times better than he sits in the pocket,"Kiff" must have come on here to learn something about how to play his goofy 5th year Q.B.!GO VOLS!BEAT "BAMA!-Oh,BTW;witchdoctor is goofiest bozo since the great pumpkin began coaching and that's no lie!

most sporting events all come down to hangtime. it's all about the hangtime...think about...let what i just dropped on you marinate

Down_The_Field writes:

the week off was needed. i feel better about going to tuskaloosa after this weekend.

3-3 isn't what i wanted but the bright side is the 3 losses are by a total of 18 points from a banged up team that lacks depth.

i'm proud of this team.

tennesseebee writes:

in response to BigVolinCarolina:

'Bama has broken our heart several times in years past when we've had an undefeated record heading into this game. It's been a long time since we've returned the favor and been their "first loss" of the season.

This would be a dream come true if we could beat them this year!

Not only payback and a dream come true but most likely blast us into the polls, if they can forget the losses and recognize that this team is beginning to gel. (like orange jell-o).

northernvavol writes:

nice going crompton...do it against the crimson tide and i'll throw a vote your way too.

gohawks1 writes:

Hancock has a broken jaw? I didn't know that JC pass hit him in the head that hard.

carlsusanellis#574472 writes:

I hope somebody on the coaching staff remembers to do something about our kicking game.

wayoutwill writes:

Paul1570 and Volgraduate as well as witchdoctor are prime examples of why posting boards get ruined!Please stop the personal attacks!If you have a comment to make and it is different than an opinion someone else expressed,that's cool,but the post that you make just to call someone names are childish and I was wrong to allow you guys to drag me down to your level for a couple of recent post,but could you grow up and stop making childish post of a personal nature?I think that Moore's leap across the goal line was a really spectacular leap;If you disagree then fine,but why would you choose to make a comment about my Mom in disagreeing with me?You might think about how you would feel if someone made a comment about your own mother before you do that again.Grow up and try to be like the majority of Vols fans who show class and maturity on these boards!

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features