Tennessee coach Derek Dooley has challenged each of his players to pick two goals for the off-week, trying to avoid waning focus with no game to prepare for on Saturday.
“It’s important that players have a defined purpose for every day,” Dooley said this morning after practice.
Linebacker Herman Lathers said players shared the goals with their position coach and were expected to work on them during practice.
Lathers picked improved alignment and better recognition of offensive formations to help stem the big plays that have plagued the Vols’ defense.
“In the SEC, teams are going to try to run on you -- especially now after the Georgia game,” Lathers said.
The off-week could be particularly helpful to Curt Maggitt, a linebacker battling turf toe. Dooley said the injury has limited Maggitt a little, but the biggest culprit
in Maggitt’s struggles is lack of experience in the defense.
“Early in the game, he’ll screw something up and then later in the game, he’ll see the same play and make the play,” Dooley said. “That’s what good players do. They
learn how to survive.”
Dooley said the kicking competition will go on, although it looks like Michael Palardy’s job to lose after Brodus missed an extra point and a short field goal against
Georgia. Dooley noted that Tennessee is still 8-for-10 in field goals, which would satisfy most coaches. The extra points, however, have proved more difficult.