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Talking Points: Monte Kiffin says Eric Berry a quick study

  • The Google of Football says that Eric Berry is picking up the T-2 as well as anyone he's ever coached:

    Every day I am around him I am more amazed. We are not talking about a redshirt, 5th-year senior. He is a third-year player in a new system. Every day it's something new and he picks it up so quickly. He will come into the NFL whenever he goes pro and whoever gets him will be fortunate and they will be shocked about how much football he knows.

    He is right there with anyone. We haven't had many guys come in and start as a rookie. Eric is really, really smart and he has great instincts. You just tell him one time and he gets it. You have to think every time a guy motions or shifts, it's something new for him because it's a new system. This is the stuff everyone probably knew about him before I got here. But he is something special now.

    He's funny, too, as he asked the coaches at one point during the 3 1/2-hour practice if he could take a nap. Why's that funny? Because we know Eric Berry is processing information while everyone else sleeps
  • Kiffin doesn't have time for this shirt:

Kiffin had little time for questions from a Knoxville radio reporter about changes to the Vols' practice jerseys and potential alterations to Tennessee's uniforms during the season. "Not that I know of. I haven't had a discussion about it. We're just trying to line up and make a first down," said Kiffin, who promptly concluded his post-practice comments following the inquiries. "We'll hire somebody to be in charge of our uniform questions."

  • Bringing the sack back to Tennessee. The last three seasons have featured the three worst sack totals of the past 20 years, and defensive ends Chris Walker and Ben Martin plan to race each other to the QB.
  • The QBs improved on Thursday, but are still having lapses here and there. According to, Jonathan Crompton "made a dozen or so exceptional throws," and Nick Stephens "was fairly sharp." Crompton threw a 45-yard TD to a fullback of all things and another to Gerald Jones, but also threw an interception in the end zone to Prentiss Waggner. Stephens threw a 50-yard TD to Jones, but had one picked off by freshman CB Eric Gordon.
  • Nu'Keese Richardson had a better day, picking up a handful of yards on a reverse that the defense didn't even bite on and making an athletic move to catch an out-of-bounds pass. Gerald Jones also played well, but at one point lay on the turf for about a minute before getting up. He returned, though, and later caught two more TDs.