This FanPost comes to us from a brand new, freshman journalism and electronic media major at UT. With most of us regulars outside of Knoxville, we appreciate his enthusiastic burst out of the gate. -- Joel
The attendance. I heard someone say that the estimated attendance for the practice was 39,000 (or the attendance of a sold-out Vanderbilt game.) Let me phrase that again: Almost as many people came out for an open practice as attended the Troy game last season. (Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but there was certainly more energy here than at the Troy game.) Oh, and it was raining, too.
Butch Jones. You knew this was going to be included in the good, but here is why. During one of the series of the open practice, the defense strolled onto the field, and Jones interrupted practice to calmly inform the defense to get off the field because that was not how Tennessee defenses were supposed to enter the field in Neyland Stadium. The defense then left the field and re-entered the field at a full sprint. That was awesome.
Dan McCullers. The big defensive lineman forced Justin Worley out of the pocket numerous times and was a force on the defensive side of the ball. Let's hope he can do that against SEC teams.
Not being able to block McCullers. If the offensive line struggled pass blocking against McCullers, then it's safe to assume that they are going to also struggle against SEC schools in pass blocking because I am pretty confident that big Dan is not the best lineman in the SEC. Unless he is, which would be awesome.
The dropped passes. I lost count of the dropped passes today, and that has to be corrected by game day. If not, then it is going to be another long season. Dropped passes can potentially determine the outcome of the game, especially the games against the non-top 10 teams we play. Well, Tennessee wasted many big play opportunities today and Jones echoed my opinion by letting the fans in Neyland know via his mic that those dropped passes were unacceptable.
The QB battle. No quarterback stood out to me tonight. All four of them had good passes and bad passes, and none of them looked like they were going to take charge of the on-going QB battle. Even the fans have no clue who they want to be their starting quarterback. I asked multiple fans, and each one gave different answers to who he wanted to be the starter. Could we potentially see four QBs play against Austin Peay?
The rain. "I love watching football games in the pouring rain," said no one ever.
Palardy's kicking. So practice ended with a Palardy 50-yard field goal attempt and what was the result? Just don't expect another 2004 Florida game this year, and that is putting it nicely.
Well, those are my thoughts on the practice. If you have any thoughts or comment, leave them below.