March 24, 2009
Tennessee was scheduled to resume football workouts Tuesday after a 10-day, spring break layoff. Head coach Lane Kiffin said only one side of the ball received that message.
"Coming back after the spring break, I didn't think our execution was very good at all on offense," Kiffin said. "I was very pleased with the defense. I thought they set the tone for the practice, especially the live portion early when there was full tackling. I thought they really came out ready to play.
"The offense fell behind today. We went to the red zone and production was not very good down there. So we will get back to work in the morning and find a way to get better on offense. Hopefully, our defense continues to get better and plays at the level it played today."
Kiffin added that the defensive unit executed quite well Tuesday despite inserting a lot of new material.
"One side was great. One side brought it today. That coaching staff and those players out-played and out-coached the other side of the ball. I thought they prepared better and practiced better today.
"You want to see them come out and execute when you put a lot of plays in, but (the offense) just showed us we weren't ready for it yet. We've got to do a better job of coaching them."
One bright note for the offense was the return to limited duty of junior quarterback Nick Stephens. The Flower Mound, Texas, native suffered a broken wrist on his throwing hand just during the off-season and missed the first three practices.
"He was throwing it around a little bit today and, hopefully, by Saturday he will be ready to go," Kiffin said.
The Vols practice twice more this week, Thursday at Haslam Field and Saturday at both Haslam and Neyland Stadium.