April 15, 2010
Tennessee wrapped up the practice portion of spring with a light workout at Neyland Stadium. All that remains is Saturday's Dish Network Orange and White Game.
"We had good energy today, and this really signifies that spring practice is over and the last thing is the spring game," head coach Derek Dooley said. "We had a great draft Wednesday night; the players were into it. I'm looking forward now to just sitting back and watching. Everything's out of my hands."
Tennessee's seniors drafted teams and Saturday's contest will be much more of a game than the scrimmage appearance of recent years. There will be four 10-minute quarters, teams must go into "hurry-up" mode inside the last 2:00 of each half, quarterbacks will not be live and there will be no tackling on kick units.
In addition to celebrity coaches John Adams of the Knoxville News Sentinel and Dr. Bertin Louis of UT's Africana Studies Department, the Orange team will be guided by UT assistants Jim Chaney, Terry Joseph, Lance Thompson, Chino Fontenette, Ben Larson, Blake Rolan and Chandler Tygard.
The White team's celebrity coaches are Jimmy Hyams of WNML Radio "The Sports Animal" and Jeremy Higdon of UT's Mathematics Department. They will be assisted by UT coaches Justin Wilcox, Charlie Baggett, Darin Hinshaw, Harry Hiestand, Chuck Smith, Eric Russell and Peter Sirmon.
Dooley said he has peace of mind as his first spring in Knoxville winds down.
"I really feel good about the 14 days of work we put in. I feel like I have a very good handle on our personnel. I feel like our staff has a good feel for some of the things we can do well, and some of the things we better stay out of. I feel like we have a good understanding of our needs going forward.
"It went about as well as I could ever have hoped for -- from an administrative standpoint, from the players' commitment standpoint -- and I'm looking forward to reevaluating and cleaning up some things this week and getting ready for the fall."
Starting Monday, the Vols shift immediately into their off-season program led by head football strength coach Bennie Wylie. Dooley said he expects a smooth transition.
"I'm not worried about it. One thing I've noticed since I have been here is they want to work. The work ethic has not been an issue. They all want to win; they want to do well.
"The key for us is getting them to understand how to work. It's one thing to work hard, but everybody works hard. But the teams that work smart and work diligently, and are getting feedback on their work and are going out to improve the next day, are the ones that make the strides."
Kickoff Saturday is 2 p.m., with the Vol Network carrying the radio play-by-play. In addition, FOX Sports Tennessee is streaming the game foxsportstennessee.com. SportSouth will televise a two-hour version of the event Sunday at 8 p.m. Eastern time, with additional airings Tuesday at 10 p.m. Eastern and Wednesday at 7 p.m. Eastern.
VOL LEGENDS IN FLAG FOOTBALL GAME DURING SATURDAY'S HALFTIME
Some all-star members of Vol squads past will be donning the Orange and White in Neyland Stadium this Saturday during the Dish Network Orange and White Game.
Fans in attendance Saturday will be treated to a star-studded flag football game during halftime, including Vol and NFL greats Al Wilson, Peerless Price and Terry Fair.
"When we (former players) got together to talk about doing something, we wanted it to be different," Fair said. "At the same time we wanted it to be fun and fan-friendly, so we came up with an Alumni flag football game.
"It was a great way to bring the past, current and future together under the same setting -- Neyland Stadium. Though we are removed from UT, one thing holds true: we still give our all for Tennessee."
Orange Legends Team
28 Ray Austin
13 Terry Fair
20 Chester Ford
30 Corey Gaines
51 Brent Gibson
11 Joey Kent
19 Mark Levine
90 Will Overstreet
34 Travis Stephens
80 Billy Williams
Coach - Dan Carlson
White Legends Team
53 Toby Champion
11 Bobby Graham
18 Deron Jenkins
34 Steve Johnson
30 Andre Lott
19 Mose Phillips
57 Sam Pinner
37 Peerless Price
40 Billy Ratliff
2 Fred White
27 Al Wilson
Coach - Inky Johnson