With practice on hiatus and spring break starting this weekend, Tennessee coaches left players with a stern admonition before saying goodbye.
“This is going to be a test of the maturity of our football team,” said defensive coordinator John Jancek after Thursday’s final practice.
While the 10-day interruption in the spring practice calendar isn’t ideal, coaches said they hope to see little regression when the Vols next practice on April 2.
“We’re trying to teach them how to be big-time football players,” said receivers coach Zach Azzanni. “If you’re on the beach, you need to get up and run on the beach. You need to eat all your meals. On (April 2), we’ll be able to tell who was on spring break, and who was on spring break.”
Butch Jones set the tone for a physical final practice by calling out players -- playfully and sometimes not so playfully -- during the early stretching period.
(Check out Evan’s Eleven blog for complete post-practice observations from today).
While Azzanni said he thought his group “hit a wall” on Thursday, offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian said he was encouraged by the slow but steady progress.
“We always show them the good and the bad (video),” he said. “Now we’re getting to the point where we can show them as much good as bad.”
Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him on Twitter.