Tennessee football bounces back with best effort of spring, Butch Jones says

Defensive back Eric Gordon away from team due to personal issues

University of Tennessee quarterback Nathan Peterman during the practice and first scrimmage at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, March 16, 2013. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

University of Tennessee quarterback Nathan Peterman during the practice and first scrimmage at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, March 16, 2013. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Three days after a lengthy scrimmage that Butch Jones deemed subpar, Tennessee returned to the practice fields Tuesday morning for what Jones said was the crispest performance of the spring season.

“This was the best overall effort of the spring,” Jones said after the fifth practice wrapped up. "Our players have responded exceptionally well to the tempo. This is where you have to grind it and this is where your team is born.”

(Check out a full list of post-practice notes and observations on the blog.)

Jones confirmed that senior defensive back Eric Gordon was away from the team dealing with personal issues. Gordon is still enrolled at UT and attending classes, Jones said, but his return is uncertain.

Jones made the quarterbacks “live” -- that is, allowed to be tackled like any other player -- during a portion of Tuesday’s practice. Jones said he’s not averse to letting the quarterbacks take hits from time to time.

“We’ve got to find out who our quarterback is,” he said. “And I wanted to see how our offense would respond.”

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him on Twitter for up-to-the-second spring football updates.

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Comments » 25

SummittsCourt writes:

Letting the QB's take hits... I LIKE it!

pcorange writes:

What's up with Gordon?

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to pcorange:

What's up with Gordon?

This sounds eerily similar to the Jenzen Jackson saga..

MidTNVolFan writes:

I certainly hope we don't lose Gordon. Would hurt to lose a veteran from the secondary. I sure hope everything is ok with him.

I like that CBJ is in a hurry to find out who the starting QB is. Can't leave questions at that position for too long. Especially once the Summer training starts. GBO!

vollaw writes:

"Who 'are' quarterback is." Come on Woodberry. You are supposed to be a professional writer. I am sure Coach said "our."

bUTch_please writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

This sounds eerily similar to the Jenzen Jackson saga..

Nip it..nip it in the bud.
Pardon the pun.

A talented Senior playing in overexposed area of need. We'll find out a lot about Coach Jones in how this is handled. My money says Gordon doesn't need to test the level of patience.

Go VOLS! Go Team #117!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Okay, deputy Fife..

bUTch_please writes:

hahahaha

PUL4VOLS writes:

Glad to see a good report from practice and that they are making progress. There is a long way to go to be ready for the fall and it is wonderful to see not only the coaches expecting it but also the players stepping up with upped expectations. Keep it going guys.

smokeygrowl writes:

Take off the green jerseys.

UTvols33 writes:

Sounds like Gordon is having second thoughts, failed a drug test, or someone he knows died. "Dealing with personal issues" usually means one of those three in the world of college football.

ReeseHallRelic writes:

in response to smokeygrowl:

Take off the green jerseys.

A doctor or medical trainer says "no contact" for any player, and you want to override that order? What, for them to prove to you that they're a "man"?

Toughness is one thing; stupidity is another.

gc_scvol writes:

in response to ReeseHallRelic:

A doctor or medical trainer says "no contact" for any player, and you want to override that order? What, for them to prove to you that they're a "man"?

Toughness is one thing; stupidity is another.

You a real ARSE STFU

AllforTenn writes:

in response to ReeseHallRelic:

A doctor or medical trainer says "no contact" for any player, and you want to override that order? What, for them to prove to you that they're a "man"?

Toughness is one thing; stupidity is another.

Name this doctor or medical trainer who made this "order" and state which he or she is, doctor or medical trainer.
Are you inferring Butch Jones is stupid? Who says you aren't?

6972 writes:

Is it just me or does it seem like this spring sounds different from recent spring practices?
I maybe wrong but I'm getting different vibs from this group. Let' hope the best for Gordon.

pingkr62 writes:

in response to ReeseHallRelic:

A doctor or medical trainer says "no contact" for any player, and you want to override that order? What, for them to prove to you that they're a "man"?

Toughness is one thing; stupidity is another.

What the hell are you talking about????

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to 6972:

Is it just me or does it seem like this spring sounds different from recent spring practices?
I maybe wrong but I'm getting different vibs from this group. Let' hope the best for Gordon.

Agreed, there is a lot more energy this year..I think as much energy/excitement since the Spring of 99'..

6972 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Agreed, there is a lot more energy this year..I think as much energy/excitement since the Spring of 99'..

Guess this means two great minds are thinking alike.....I am working on my humility...hope you are also.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to 6972:

Guess this means two great minds are thinking alike.....I am working on my humility...hope you are also.

Oh, I'm humbled alright, especially the closer we get to resurrection day..

givehim6 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

This sounds eerily similar to the Jenzen Jackson saga..

Is not Eric from Louisiana to?

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to givehim6:

Is not Eric from Louisiana to?

Nashville..

allvol8 writes:

Future Vol?(Kid playing Defense)
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=4...

SCVFL writes:

in response to ReeseHallRelic:

A doctor or medical trainer says "no contact" for any player, and you want to override that order? What, for them to prove to you that they're a "man"?

Toughness is one thing; stupidity is another.

What the HECK are you talking about????
Where in this article was there any mention of a doctor?
Anyway, I know you do not want to kill your QBs in practice, but the coaches need to know who will take a hit and who will get "happy feet". Have seen lots of QBs that could practice great(no fear of contact)but were terrible in action.
GO BIG RNG...VFL(VOL FAN for LIFE)

FanNotSheep writes:

Beginning to think Jones has a plan here. Like the competitive atmosphere, sense of urgency. Don't want our QBs getting hurt but keep them on their toes!

Good news on the football recruiting trail is softening the sting of yet another disappointing SEC tournament for the basketball Vols. Hope they represent us well in the NIT, but 2013-14 is the make or break year for Martin. If he can keep the team intact, get Maymon healthy and if Hubbs is as good as advertised … Sky's the limit next year!

Back to football: One thing I really don't understand is why UT doesn't do more to protect players from too-close brick wall in the end zone. I've been on the field a few times and don't know why they have it so close to the playing area. If they can't move anything, more padding seems like the least they could do. Hate to see a tragedy result from negligence there.

VFL_Troll_Patrol writes:

I am SUPER excited to see Jabo Lee in action! He reminds me of CP. Finally! I have been waiting for this news to come out. Butch said it was the best so far and thats exactly what I've been waiting for him to say!! Good Job Butcher! GBO

"A new leader" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4xteY...
*Im always watching*

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