Throwing? QBs given plenty of opportunities

Few limitations with need to find starter

The decision still won't come for months.

But Tennessee is doing everything it can to stockpile information to help make it.

The Vols hardly waste a second in drills with the quarterbacks, firing passes in rapid order and packing in as many reps as they can. And with at least one day off between each practice, UT also isn't really bothering keeping track of how many that might be.

The coaching staff doesn't have a pitch count on anybody trying to take over the Vols offense, which not only provides plenty to evaluate but also gives the quarterbacks a few more shots to present their case side-by-side.

"(Offensive coordinator Jim) Chaney's philosophy is that you're not going to get better (without throwing)," senior Nick Stephens said after Saturday's morning practice. "To get better, you have to throw a lot of balls. It's not more about talking, he said reps are what's going to get us better.

"He's staying on that game plan, and that's what we're doing. We're throwing a lot more every day, and I think that's going to help us out a lot. This is what we like to do."

Spring should be a blast for them then, because Chaney and new coach Derek Dooley could have a tough call to make this fall and they're not going to do it without seeing as many throws as possible.

The volume of attempts was considered fairly standard by Dooley's estimation on Saturday, so he hasn't necessarily gone out of his way to give Stephens, transfer Matt Simms or freshman Tyler Bray extra reps for the sake of accumulating film. But compared to practices last year, the tempo and chances to show off through the air both seemed higher.

"We'll keep modifying it and we'll evaluate it every day and keep modifying the reps, making sure everybody gets good opportunity," Dooley said. "It depends on the periods, but we try not to be out here too long. The only way you do that is to have a lot of reps, because you have to have a certain number of reps to have an effective practice.

"We try to operate at a pretty fast tempo when we can, some periods we slow it down, some we move pretty quickly."

Early in Dooley's second workout with UT, the latter was much more common.

The Vols worked through the roster quickly, taking snaps one after the other without much stopping for instruction. They often worked in tandem, throwing to opposite sides of the field as they checked off routes on the passing tree. At one point they even mirrored each other head-to-head during a session designed to work on the running game.

That portion won't really do much to determine the better passer, but it still helped hammer home the main message for the spring - every snap is being watched, and UT is trying to take the absolute maximum.

"We don't like handing the ball off," Stephens joked. "You know, as much as some people might not like to hear that, to come out here and do what we do, it's a blessing to be able to come out here and be healthy and throw as many balls as we do and not be sore like I thought I would.

"We're having a great time, and I think we're getting better at the same time."

The Vols would hardly want to limit either of those things for the quarterbacks. So for now, there's also no cap on their attempts.

Schedule: UT's first day in pads will be Tuesday. The Vols will practice in pads for the remainder of spring camp with the exception of one practice in shorts to tune up for the Orange and White Game on April 17.

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Comments » 27

TNParker writes:

Go Big Orange! Dooley keeps it quiet but I believe he has Tennessee on the right track.

eduardo writes:

cya in august its basketball time in tennessee!

tnsportsman writes:

Coach them up CCD and just WIN GAMES!

GO VOLS!

BigOrangeSmoker writes:

Go Vols!! Also thank you Mr. Austin for some great reporting

Carlitovol writes:

great article, Austin - thanks for the solid reporting

423tiger18 writes:

Can't wait for the Orange and White game!

Go Vols!!!

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to imnotDC:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

welcome back to earth, no superteabow panties to save your all arse now

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

in response to imnotDC:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey how was that golf this morning??? I saw UF won that baseball game too. Supper? You and the old lady have a nice evening? What did you do then???

OH YEAH......

You came home and read about both Volunteer teams winning again today.

It's Great to be a Tennessee Vol.

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

I thought you "had a little feeling" Kentucky would be the only SEC team left after today.

Down_The_Field writes:

in response to imnotDC:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

i don't think it ever was.

crying after getting beat isn't in our playbook either. i here it's still in the gay-turd playbook.

which reminds me, did you rock timmy to sleep tonight? he may start crying.

UTVOLSRROCKN writes:

in response to OrangeinCarolina:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ditto that! I'm in with all of you! GBO!

crimsonviper writes:

in response to imnotDC:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Is Urb your coach this year?
This week?
Next week?

txvolsfan writes:

in response to imnotDC:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

why don't Lil Urbie hire him a QB coach down in Gator land so the NFL don't have to retrain your gurlz when they come out of your clown college?

jimr07 writes:

in response to orangeblood5:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Then go somewhere else.

GerryOP writes:

in response to imnotDC:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It is! You will see it in Gainesville. Lil' Urbie plans to use it in 3rd-and-Timbow situations.

volsoutwest writes:

in response to GerryOP:

It is! You will see it in Gainesville. Lil' Urbie plans to use it in 3rd-and-Timbow situations.

Hehe; Good one GerryO

crimsonviper writes:

in response to GerryOP:

It is! You will see it in Gainesville. Lil' Urbie plans to use it in 3rd-and-Timbow situations.

Bwahaha! Well played G.

TennesseeTuxedo writes:

This is a nice piece of work that I come to expect from journalist, instead of the whining by some because they don't have the access they once had.

givehim6 writes:

I really hope that this season UT goes with the most qualified QB instead of the most SR. which is what we have did through most of the past decade.

crappieking writes:

in response to givehim6:

I really hope that this season UT goes with the most qualified QB instead of the most SR. which is what we have did through most of the past decade.

Well said. The BEST QB should lead the offense reguardless of class. Phil never got that memo.

Tellicovol writes:

I heard Stephens say that he got saved a couple of weeks ago, Praise God

lilesrt writes:

go big orange.

Smokey_Told_Me writes:

During spring pratices in the past the dialogue was always something like this:

Reporter: "Coach, who is your starting QB going to be?

Head Coach: "Oh, we don't have a starter yet... all starting positions are up for grabs. But I can tell you that we have a good competition going on between our quarterbacks."

Reporter: "Thanks coach." As the reporter walks away he writes on his pad, "Head Coach gave me the old 'wink and nod' coupled with the words 'competition at quarterback'... the truth - THERE IS A CRISIS AT QUARTERBACK."

Today we appear to have something much better going on in spring pratice... the quarterbacks' tallents are being developed with coaching and they are no longer having to prove themselves by "competition" alone.

...Smokey knows where the bones are buried.

tapeworm writes:

Seems like it would be a nice touch if this site would focus its priorities on basketball during the basketball season instead of football, so our BB recruits think UT fans may actually care about basketball. In spite of UT's fourth appearance in the last five years in the Sweet Sixteen, more than half the stories are about football Spring practice and recruiting. Like it or not, basketball is carrying the load right now, so why don't we seize the moment and capitalize on it?

appalachianvol writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Are you old enough to remember Fran Tarkenton from Ga? He was 6' tall weighed 190 lbs. Hell of a qb even if he did play for GA.

VolAlum2003 (Inactive) writes:

in response to tapeworm:

Seems like it would be a nice touch if this site would focus its priorities on basketball during the basketball season instead of football, so our BB recruits think UT fans may actually care about basketball. In spite of UT's fourth appearance in the last five years in the Sweet Sixteen, more than half the stories are about football Spring practice and recruiting. Like it or not, basketball is carrying the load right now, so why don't we seize the moment and capitalize on it?

Dude...I think I speak for most Vols fans when I say that just because GoVolsExtra isn't posting more BBall stories than FB stories...we are 100% behind our Vols in St. Louis this week. The problem is that we're not used to having such great success with the Men's BB program.

Don't worry about the attention though. On a depleted roster, my prediction is that Pearl is going to take us to the Elite 8 and maybe (just maybe) to the Final Four. Even if they bite it against Ohio State (and I don't think they will after watching OSU's sluggist play against Ga Tech), I would still rank this season up as a progress over last season. Pearl lost Negedu and had to dismiss two of his best scorers due to discipline problems and he is STILL in the Sweet 16. Gotta LOVE that guy.

Oh and if you're looking for us to capitalize on this season's success, two words: Tobias Harris.

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