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Vols football practice notes 9/15

The Vols looked upbeat during practice despite the heart-breaking loss on Saturday, and there was plenty of energy in the air.

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Volunteers took the practice field Tuesday afternoon, and the media got their first look at the team since the 31-24 loss in double overtime to Oklahoma on Saturday. Instead of being morose after the dispiriting loss, the players and coaches all appeared to have plenty of energy and a clear focus during practice. The tone was undeniably upbeat, and there was no head hanging on Haslam Field on Tuesday.

Butch Jones had the team start practice off in a Circle of Life drill, and several intriguing match-ups came out of it. Here are the most notable pairings in the Circle of Life that started practice:

  • Jack Jones and Quay Picou
  • Jakob Johnson and Austin Smith
  • Elliot Berry and Neiko Creamer
  • Jauan Jennings and Stephen Griffin
  • Preston Williams and Micah Abernathy (twice)

The most notable match-up was another round of Charles Mosley and Kahlil McKenzie sprinkled in the middle of the drill. Once again, no clear winner was decided from the pairing, but it's always a marvel seeing the two biggest players on the team go at it.

All three quarterbacks worked on their intermediate and deeper throws today with receivers, and there were mixed results. Joshua Dobbs looked crisp on his intermediate throws but missed a couple deep balls. Still, the throws weren't bad or thrown wildly. Sheriron Jones doesn't get talked about much, but his release on passes is quick and adds good velocity to every ball he throws. Jones isn't getting much coverage now, but Dormady's spot as the No. 2 quarterback is by no means locked up.

Offensive coordinator Mike DeBord spent a lot of time with the offensive line during practice, as he and Don Mahoney tag-teamed the unit during individual drills. DeBord has spent a lot of time with both the quarterbacks and the offensive line since being hired as Tennessee's offensive coordinator, and he is likely to continue to split his time between the two positions and especially at offensive line since that is where his area of expertise lies.

Of note: A Detroit Lions scout observed practice along with the media today. Several NFL scouts were at Saturday's game to watch the Vols and Sooners, and there will likely be more to come as the season goes on.