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.