Tennessee QB Nathan Peterman looking forward to 'open competition' for starting job

University of Tennessee quarterback Nathan Peterman throws a pass during spring NCAA college practice at Haslam Field on Saturday, March 9, 2013 in Knoxville, Tenn.  (AP Photo/The Knoxville News Sentinel, Amy Smotherman Burgess)

University of Tennessee quarterback Nathan Peterman throws a pass during spring NCAA college practice at Haslam Field on Saturday, March 9, 2013 in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/The Knoxville News Sentinel, Amy Smotherman Burgess)

Butch Jones on the Vols first spring practice

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At Tennessee, first-year players don’t typically talk to the media (although new coach Butch Jones could choose to relax that long-standing rule), so when redshirt freshman quarterback Nathan Peterman spoke to reporters Saturday after the Vols’ first spring practice, it was a crash course on the responsibilities of being quarterback.

He faced a lot of questions, but he passed the test. If only a blitz could be handled so easily.

Peterman said he was focused on “speaking the same language” as offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian and paying attention to the details that he harps on.

“They’ve made it clear it’s going to be an open competition,” Peterman said of UT’s coaches.

A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Peterman is competing against junior Justin Worley for UT’s starting job.

Worley has the edge in experience, but Peterman was aggressively recruited by Jones and Bajakian when they were at Cincinnati.

“Nathan demonstrated a very strong character,” Bajakian said. “Then you watch his performance on the field and you’re able to see a guy that processes information, gets the different reads in his progressions and can make all the plays on the field.”

Bajakian hastened to add that evaluation was based on “high school video.”

Saturday’s first practice, although very limited, offered the first real-life evaluation. How did Peterman do?

“I had an interception on the first play of team (period),” he said. “We have a fast-paced offense; I just need to calm down.”

***

Senior Brent Brewer, who has spent most of his career at safety, said his move to linebacker is “permanent” and he hopes the new position will better use his speed and aggressiveness.

Jones called him a “work in progress” at the new spot, but praised his leadership.

Unlike other players who have been told to shed weight, Brewer must add a few pounds at his new spot. He said he’s up to 223 pounds now; his goal is 225 or 230.

***

Junior Devrin Young also was spending Saturday at a new position, moving from running back to slot receiver.

Young said he sees the move as a path to more playing time, but he no longer thinks the transition will be a breeze.

“I’m not going to lie, I thought it was going to be easy at first. But there’s a lot of technique that goes into playing wide receiver,” he said.

***

Senior defensive Jacques Smith said he and his teammates were embarrassed by last year’s defensive performance.

“Statistically, you can’t speak about those numbers,” Smith said. “The numbers didn’t show how much effort we actually put into the preparation for that season. What happened, happened.”

Butch Jones and new defensive coordinator John Jancek have scrapped the 3-4 defense installed last year by Sal Sunseri and returned to a 4-3 front — four linemen and three linebackers.

“That was an NFL defense and we tried to put it in six months,” Smith said. “It didn’t work.”

***

Tennessee will practice next on Tuesday at 8:20 a.m. The first day of full-pad work is Thursday morning. If all goes as planned, the Vols could have a situational scrimmage on Saturday. Practices are closed to the general public.

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.

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Comments » 28

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Last Spring before Peterman got injured he was pushing Worley hard for the 2nd string qb spot. With both athletes starting with a clean slate Peterman may have a slight edge over Worley this time..

rb4346 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Last Spring before Peterman got injured he was pushing Worley hard for the 2nd string qb spot. With both athletes starting with a clean slate Peterman may have a slight edge over Worley this time..

I had my doubts about Peterson but from what I have heard and read, Peterman seems to be the man. With the new quarterbacks coming in the fall do you think maybe one or two new quarterbacks will be redshirted. I have a good feeling about Dobbs but do you think he has the speed and skill to push Gurley and Peterman to be better players. Just asking.

iowavol writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Last Spring before Peterman got injured he was pushing Worley hard for the 2nd string qb spot. With both athletes starting with a clean slate Peterman may have a slight edge over Worley this time..

It's really hard to make that comparison. Peterman was working with what against what. Same for Worley - he actually outplayed Bray in spring just looking at the numbers. The good news it should be competitive. I like the looks of both these guys and they certainly seem to have their priorities in order. That alone is a welcomed improvement.

WetumpkaThumpa writes:

Should be interesting! Not a single story on here about Lady Vols taking 2 of 3 from Gumps in softball?

stovepipedrinker writes:

I don't like to refer to Al Davis, but JUST WIN BABY!

cyclonevol87 writes:

in response to WetumpkaThumpa:

Should be interesting! Not a single story on here about Lady Vols taking 2 of 3 from Gumps in softball?

I looked all over this site for a story and couldnt find one either,Hard to believe.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to rb4346:

I had my doubts about Peterson but from what I have heard and read, Peterman seems to be the man. With the new quarterbacks coming in the fall do you think maybe one or two new quarterbacks will be redshirted. I have a good feeling about Dobbs but do you think he has the speed and skill to push Gurley and Peterman to be better players. Just asking.

Definitely (IMO) we will lose one of our incoming freshmen to a transfer. Probably Ferguson due to the fact he is invested primarily in playing qb in the NFL..Dobbs who will most likely be an Academic All-American would be my choice to red-shirt because you know he'll be around at least as long as it takes to graduate and perhaps throughout his graduate school as a graduate assistant. I hope they both stay and red-shirt this year giving UT great competition for several more seasons. Charlie High and some of the walk-on's are no joke either..QB is definitely a position of depth right now.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to iowavol:

It's really hard to make that comparison. Peterman was working with what against what. Same for Worley - he actually outplayed Bray in spring just looking at the numbers. The good news it should be competitive. I like the looks of both these guys and they certainly seem to have their priorities in order. That alone is a welcomed improvement.

Hey, I'm from the old school CFB..I always pull for the upperclassman to win the job, it's just a quirk I have with loyalty to the university and waiting your turn etc. But, I found myself really wanting Peterman to outshine Bray (and he did) last Spring. The young man can play and he or Worley are ready to put the team first and lead. That's something Bray never did IMO..

volsmanll writes:

Hopefully one will turn out great

SevenT writes:

Worley was benched so UT could start Tyler Bray the last two years? It is embarassing to be benched for a beer bottle throwing, jet ski riding idiot like Bray. Perhaps Worley should consider transferring to Sewanee, he might get to play at a school on that level.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to SevenT:

Worley was benched so UT could start Tyler Bray the last two years? It is embarassing to be benched for a beer bottle throwing, jet ski riding idiot like Bray. Perhaps Worley should consider transferring to Sewanee, he might get to play at a school on that level.

Whichever QB gets the nod they will certainly beat tucky as usual.

pingkr62 writes:

in response to volsmanll:

Hopefully one will turn out great

Who ever wins the job should do well this season due to having a solid, experienced offensive line. That, along with depth and experience at running back will allow the quarterbacks time to learn the new system and gain confidence. I'm not too concerned about the receiving corps. With the receivers we have returning from last year, and the incoming freshmen, I'm confident some will rise to the top and become very productive. One thing that can work in our favor is the fact other coaches will have a difficult time preparing for our passing game, since they don't know what to expect. Just a thought. G.B.O.!!!

Rockytopfan96 writes:

I already miss Bray!

gillblog writes:

Interesting...moving Young to slot reciever. First impression is the coaches are being creative and observant. They may see something in him the previous administrations missed. Looking back on his HS work, there is an indication he at least has good hands to catch the ball.
We'll see. This could be a good move.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to gillblog:

Interesting...moving Young to slot reciever. First impression is the coaches are being creative and observant. They may see something in him the previous administrations missed. Looking back on his HS work, there is an indication he at least has good hands to catch the ball.
We'll see. This could be a good move.

Agreed, I believe this staff will place athletes in the best position as far as need and benefit to the individual.

BigBadVol writes:

Devrin can't believe how hard it is to learn the wr position. That's because he is actually being coached. I swear CDD and staff didn't do squat.

voloffaith writes:

in response to WetumpkaThumpa:

Should be interesting! Not a single story on here about Lady Vols taking 2 of 3 from Gumps in softball?

Always under the Other Sports heading then click on softball. Story on win one and two are there.

On topic, dust will settle after fall camp and we will know the starters at each position. Til then this is just the fun of speculating like our lil kitten fan 7T.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

http://rivals.yahoo.com/tennessee/foo...

Todd Kelly Jr. Committed to Tennessee.

voloffaith writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

http://rivals.yahoo.com/tennessee/foo...

Todd Kelly Jr. Committed to Tennessee.

Will the USC glamour boy back off or step up ?

Welcome Mister Kelly jr!!

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

YES!! Welcome, Kelly Jr!

pingkr62 writes:

in response to usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it:

YES!! Welcome, Kelly Jr!

Awesome news. Now we need to get the Bates kid. G.B.O.!!!

8ball writes:

in response to SevenT:

Worley was benched so UT could start Tyler Bray the last two years? It is embarassing to be benched for a beer bottle throwing, jet ski riding idiot like Bray. Perhaps Worley should consider transferring to Sewanee, he might get to play at a school on that level.

Sevens does ky have a fan web site I would like to go to it so I can make an A== of myself just like you. PLEASE

tenuscvol writes:

I see Young being fearless crossing the middle so just get him the ball......

GoVols!

SummerfieldVol writes:

I just hope the best player get to play. Be he a senior or a freshman.

UTvols33 writes:

Good move for Young. Don't get your hopes up on Kelly Jr. until NSD '14.

Lizardgrad89 writes:

in response to pingkr62:

Who ever wins the job should do well this season due to having a solid, experienced offensive line. That, along with depth and experience at running back will allow the quarterbacks time to learn the new system and gain confidence. I'm not too concerned about the receiving corps. With the receivers we have returning from last year, and the incoming freshmen, I'm confident some will rise to the top and become very productive. One thing that can work in our favor is the fact other coaches will have a difficult time preparing for our passing game, since they don't know what to expect. Just a thought. G.B.O.!!!

Wow.

Um, your O-line could barely run block when you had a prolific passing attack. With a new QB and new WR's, DC's are going to crowd the line, stuff the run, and jailhouse blitz when you are in passing situations.

You aren't worried about your WR's? Your top 8 pass catchers all left. Your recruiting has been awful. You will have WR's who can't catch trying to get the ball from QB's who can't throw in an offense nobody on your team understands yet. If you score double digits in any SEC game other than Kentucky, I will be shocked.

You need to set proper expectations for this year. Things like "good effort", "improvement from game to game" and "hung tough for the first 20 minutes". If you expect actual wins, you are only going to be disappointed.

NYCApple writes:

in response to Lizardgrad89:

Wow.

Um, your O-line could barely run block when you had a prolific passing attack. With a new QB and new WR's, DC's are going to crowd the line, stuff the run, and jailhouse blitz when you are in passing situations.

You aren't worried about your WR's? Your top 8 pass catchers all left. Your recruiting has been awful. You will have WR's who can't catch trying to get the ball from QB's who can't throw in an offense nobody on your team understands yet. If you score double digits in any SEC game other than Kentucky, I will be shocked.

You need to set proper expectations for this year. Things like "good effort", "improvement from game to game" and "hung tough for the first 20 minutes". If you expect actual wins, you are only going to be disappointed.

Wow. Seems like you got really excited talking about crowds of guys, getting stuffed, jailhouses, catchers, double digits, and all. I think most psychologists would call that "projecting."

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Lizardgrad89:

Wow.

Um, your O-line could barely run block when you had a prolific passing attack. With a new QB and new WR's, DC's are going to crowd the line, stuff the run, and jailhouse blitz when you are in passing situations.

You aren't worried about your WR's? Your top 8 pass catchers all left. Your recruiting has been awful. You will have WR's who can't catch trying to get the ball from QB's who can't throw in an offense nobody on your team understands yet. If you score double digits in any SEC game other than Kentucky, I will be shocked.

You need to set proper expectations for this year. Things like "good effort", "improvement from game to game" and "hung tough for the first 20 minutes". If you expect actual wins, you are only going to be disappointed.

Don't your guys have a bowl loss to Louisville to get over, not to mention finding a QB and rebuilding the defense? Oh, well, never mind. What are all those concerns compared to going on a Vols fan site and putting down the Vols?

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