Tennessee was back in full pads on Monday and Butch Jones addressed the media about practice and other team notes.
Jones mentioned that he was glad that the team had to practice in the heat, which will definitely help prepare for upcoming games since it appears summer is coming a tad late this year. The team needs to make strides this week and build on what was an impressive performance against Austin Peay. Jones said, “I like the way we approached practice today, there is a sense of urgency.”
It appears Curt Maggitt may be close to getting back on the field. After spending spring and fall practice recovering from ACL surgery, Jones said, “We’ll see how he progresses throughout the course of the week to see if he’s game ready by Saturday.” Obviously they aren’t going to rush him back but Jones said, Maggitt is “making plays it’s great to see him back.”
Jones also mentioned that Corey Vereen is way ahead of schedule and UT expects to get back in the near future. If you remember, Vereen made a huge splash during spring practice and the spring game. He won’t play against WKU, but could be ready against Oregon.
As for Jacques Smith, Jones said the pins will be removed this week and there is a chance he will get in the game Saturday against Western Kentucky.
Freshman wide receiver Ryan Jenkins is still out.
Jones mentioned that they are continuing to expand the offense and add new “wrinkles” to it. They have 3 tight end sets they will be using along with packages that will feature a fullback. We did see some two back sets against Austin Peay, but I don’t recall seeing a FB in the game.
It also sounds like the Beast may be back. Butch said they started working AJ Johnson into some offensive sets, so maybe he can add to his touchdown totals from last year. He was great in short yardage situations last year.
Watch the session below: