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Talking Points: people will be hitting each other today, if they can catch them

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Hit a major snafu yesterday, so the plan is already out of whack. Anyway, on to today's talking points:

  • The Dawn of Full Contact. Today marks the first day that the football team can actually play football. Offensive guard Anthony Parker can't wait:
    I play O-line. There's nothing for us to do running around in helmet and shorts. I don't play wide receiver. I don't like running around. I want to hit somebody.

    Coach Fulmer is looking forward to making some real evaluations once everybody gets dressed and starts hitting each other.

  • Its no secret that the passing game is a huge concern for the Vols this year, so much so that Tennessee's tight ends "will play a major role" in the offense. You know, more than blocking and catching an occasional crumb through the air. Brad Cottam can hardly contain his enthusiasm. Still, the actual wide receivers do have a lot of speed. Freshman quarterback B.J.Coleman says it's a race just to get back in his five-step drop and throw the ball before the receiver is finished with his route. "Wooo!" he says. "You've got to get back there!" Woo, indeed. RTT No. 17 Kenny O'Neal is one of those speedy guys Coleman is referring to. O'Neal runs a 4.25 forty and has probably the best chance to become a starter because he's played a year for Florida State and a year for City College of San Francisco.
  • Perhaps even more important for the Vols this season is getting the running game back on track after several years of mediocrity. Good news, then, that fixing it is high on offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe's priority list. LaMarcus Coker promises to be more consistent on and off the field, but Cutcliffe says that the starting job is Arian Foster's to lose.
  • Still, it's hard to run if the offensive line isn't blocking, so that's really where the concern is. The left side appears to be set with Eric Young at left tackle and Anthony Parker at left guard. Josh McNeil will start at center. Currently penciled in on the right side are Chris Scott at right tackle and Ramon Foster at right guard.
  • We've got questions on the defensive line, too. Fortunately, J.T. Mapu appears to be back in shape after spending last year getting reacclimated after a two-year Mormon mission and Demonte Bolden is motivated to prove the naysayers wrong.

All for now.