Spring a time for rehab for some Vols

Tennessee has had a few months to recover.

The linebackers that went under the knife last season are progressing. The cornerback who had surgery has been out running around. The banged-up defensive linemen have received some extra attention from the training staff.

But even with some time off and more than a few changes around the Vols defense over the last couple months, one thing remained the same during the first practice of spring on Thursday. With at least seven regulars still limited physically, UT is getting plenty of use out of its red, no-contact jerseys on that side of the ball.

"(I'm) feeling all right, it's just a thing I'm going to have to go through, you know, same old stuff," defensive end Chris Walker said. "Our trainers are going to do a great job and get me back. I should be out here soon. Definitely I'm going to be out here. I don't want to miss the spring, because that's the most important time for me.

"It'll be fine. It's a little frustrating, but it's come to be a thing for me. College football isn't for everybody, and it kind of beats you up a little bit. You have to be ready, you have to manage your body, and that's what the training staff is doing for me."

Walker certainly isn't the only one getting some attention from the trainers, who aren't done dealing with the effects of UT's freakish run of injuries on defense last year.

New coach Derek Dooley indicated there haven't been any suffered since the end of the season, and though nobody was hurt during offseason conditioning, he compared that program to a MASH unit earlier in the week. Once practice officially started it wasn't difficult to see why.

Like he was at times last year, Walker was limited with some accumulated soreness, and he was joined by fellow end Ben Martin. Defensive back Art Evans is still on the mend from shoulder surgery and the Vols will be cautious with him. And perhaps most important, linebackers Herman Lathers, Nick Reveiz, Greg King and Savion Frazier are all still dealing with health concerns of some sort.

That provides plenty of company for the injured players on the sideline during practice, and also provides an early look at Dooley's policy for dealing with them.

"We look at it, they kind of have four objectives when they're banged up or injured," Dooley said. "First is rehabilitation - we want to get them back. Secondly, there's got to be a conditioning component because when they come back they need to be in good physical condition. Third thing is some kind of positional development that they can do. If they're limited in the arm, they can use their legs. If they're limited with a knee, they can do some things with their hands. We're going to keep working that.

"The fourth thing is we're going to keep getting good mental reps. So we have a plan for all our injured players, and it all depends on what the extent of what their injury is."

None of them figure to last into the fall or keep the Vols shorthanded on defense for long.

But after already spending more than two months off the field, any extra time spent with the trainers during practice might be too much at this point.

"(The trainers) aren't really doing things that I'd say they haven't done with me yet, but it's just stuff to manage (injuries)," Walker said. "There's going to be some pain, but I just have to manage the pain as well as I can.

"But I'll be out here sooner than everybody thinks."

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Comments » 20

GoodOleRockyTop writes:

Get well VOLS!

DarthWilson writes:

I love Walkers attitude. Godd luck young man may you and your team be rewarded for your hard work. VFF (Vol Fan Forever)! Go Vols!

VolAlum2003 (Inactive) writes:

Does anyone know how the athletic department covers the multiple sports related surgeries that are required to maintain the football team?

Is it all done through UT Med or is it some kind of huge insurance program? Just curious.

VolAlum2003 (Inactive) writes:

Anyone else notice how Dooley likes to explain things using lists? "First is rehabilitation..." "Secondly, there's got to be..." and on and on.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Vols fans are in rehab, too.

We bear the scars of recent campaigns and outings and are ready to see this team get competitve.

Looking forward to hard-hitting winning football.

Get it done, Corch Dooley.

volsfannsc writes:

in response to naffy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Cockiness and bravado do not equal substance. If it were true we would not have lost to UCLA and Auburn, and we would have found a way to score needed points at Bama. CDD is emphasizing character development which will bring on a mindset to find ways to win games. The former staff emphasized talking the talk but unable to walk the walk. I'd rather have my vols going in the direction they're headed under the new staff.

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to naffy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Dont u mean bring back Neyland. They say he was outstanding.

jobrando#216494 writes:

We've had Bill Battle and he reminds me so much of Coach Dooley. We will see in 3 years if Bill is back. The situation is reversed. Coach Battle inherited a sound team but in 4 years it was at the bottom. Coach Dooley gets a team at the bottom and must go up. Going to be interesting. If it goes south Hamilton goes out and I hope before a new search begins. As usual I'll be supporting our VOLS.

Ringside writes:

KNS...I believe it's about time you can refer to Coach Dooley as Coach Dooley instead of NEW head Coach Dooley.

crimsonviper writes:

in response to naffy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well naffo,at 5:21 a.m. you have the stupid post of the day award locked up....well done,idiot.

99gator writes:

i said the same thing for kiffin that i will now for dooley.

give him time.

i know the few who seem to question everything he does (in march, by the way) are in the minority.

but, this is not a quick fix. tennessee will continue to take a few lumps. the foundation for a championship team isn't there yet.

hopefully, you found a qb in this recruiting class. but, remember he's a freshman. but, the line play and the depth needed just to run competitive practices and have position battles just isn't there.

don't know if dooley will get it done. but, it may get worse (short term) before it gets better (long term).

beat ohio

dfreeman writes:

Glad to see everyone put on their happy faces today!! I'll just say Go Vols and whatever happens this year happens! Beat Ohio boys!

jack_2222#231746 writes:

in response to FreeTDTN:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Very interested to see Toney Williams this spring. He was cooking last spring before his injury. Given UT's offensive line, a big power back is what they really need.

VolinCalif writes:

in response to volsfannsc:

Cockiness and bravado do not equal substance. If it were true we would not have lost to UCLA and Auburn, and we would have found a way to score needed points at Bama. CDD is emphasizing character development which will bring on a mindset to find ways to win games. The former staff emphasized talking the talk but unable to walk the walk. I'd rather have my vols going in the direction they're headed under the new staff.

To be very honest naffy. It doesn't matter who the coach or his staff is, The Vols are always going to be your worst nightmare. So snuggle up until Fall. You're going to lose a lot of sleep.

VolinCalif writes:

Sorry Volsfan. Meant this post for naffy.

vol75 writes:

in response to naffy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Not even funny. Those jerks are gone. Good riddance...

pdhuff#552644 writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I only counted 18, need to go back and look again, I guess.

CadmiumOchre (Inactive) writes:

in response to Ringside:

KNS...I believe it's about time you can refer to Coach Dooley as Coach Dooley instead of NEW head Coach Dooley.

How about Dooley (Dudely) Do-right.
Just kidding!

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

Ward, you have given us some good articles on the football team this spring!
Keep it up!

eve.mitchell6#1374325 writes:

well I was told, that practice is going well, insmite of injuries! there are guys out there on the secondary that is ready, stop focusng on the injured just to have news, lets talk about who is ready, u all talk about the same people all the time, "change your chanel" it's more to it!!? Vols is made up of over 5 players team, team meaning more than those few

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