Making Strides Behind Center

Aug. 11, 2013

By: Brian Bruce

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Vols closed their first full week of training camp with a 2-a-day Saturday in true Butch Jones' fashion, full of in-game situations and scenarios. This allowed the first-year leader to see the progression of his players, including the signal callers.

"I thought they managed the offense extremely well," Jones said about his quarterbacks. I'm starting to see a level of consistency. I see them gaining confidence; I see them gaining more command of the offense.

"I saw some great situations in the overtime period tonight. We had a situation where it is third-and-long and we're down by three in the red zone in an overtime situation, and we threw the football away instead of forcing it into coverage. We kicked a field goal to send it into a second overtime. Those are valuable lessons in the development at that position, and the development of our entire football team."

Listed as co-starters, junior Justin Worley and redshirt freshman Nathan Peterman both believe the situational work they've been doing will pay off this season.

"It's great, I love all the scenarios," said Peterman. "We talk about envisioning success and envisioning the situation, so it's great to get these situations. It really puts your mind in there and gets us to work on it. I love that Coach Jones does it and think it really benefits us."

Worley added a few specifics regarding tonight's scrimmage.

"We handled the situations that were presented to us well, coming out in a situation we scored twice, once on a 14-play drive and then we had a 98-yard touchdown run, so that was good to see," Worley said. "In overtime periods, we did well. I think, overall, we had a pretty good day."

The uptempo pace and situational work also allows the gunslingers to see more reps.

"I love the reps that they're giving me and trust the coaches," Peterman said. "It's awesome to get it right in front of me instead of just on film. It's a good learning process."

However, it's not just Worley vs. Peterman; true freshmen Joshua Dobbs and Riley Ferguson have also been sticking their nose in there.

"I've been pleased with all four individuals," said Coach Jones. "They come with a great competitive spirit each and every day. They are coaching each other, which is great to see, and they are taking advantage of the repetitions they are gaining. It's been a great thing because of the strides that all four are making."

Despite competing for the same job, Worley and Peterman have welcomed the two rookies.

"Nate and I have really taken them under our wings and really helped them out a lot," said Worley. "We're always bouncing things off of each other and asking questions of each other and Coach Jake (Mike Bajakian) and Coach Jones. We're playing together and we're all one Tennessee. You can't go in disliking a guy."





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