The official site claims something resembling the "traditional spring practice format" will take place tomorrow, but it looks like we're also going to get a heavy dose of what we've seen in the fall open practice: Circle of Life drills, quarterbacks throwing into garbage cans in the corner of the end zone, and whatever else Butch Jones has up his sleeve.
The Orange & White Game is once again free and starts at 2:00 PM Saturday; fan day for autographs takes place from 11:30-12:30 beforehand. If you can't make it to Neyland Stadium on what should be a beautiful day, the SEC Network will have the live telecast and we'll have an open thread here to follow along. Whether you're watching in person or at home, here are a few things to keep an eye on:
Josh Dobbs Throwing Downfield
Tennessee's senior quarterback has found himself in plenty of conversations this week. First Ed Aschoff's piece calling Dobbs the most important player in the SEC quoted a power conference assistant as saying Dobbs "can't throw the ball down the field...that's a guy you want to make throw the ball and make play quarterback." Mike DeBord's response in the piece went the same place I'd go - the Georgia game last year - but as we've discussed this week, the Vols will need to be more explosive if they want to win championships. Then Dobbs was called an "average guy" were he to find himself at Stanford, and our quarterback took exception:
AVERAGE wow! Bold comment on person YOU DON'T know!— Josh Dobbs (@josh_dobbs1) April 14, 2016
Everyday I wake & realize I don't have what it takes to be AVG! https://t.co/iFe5axD1ZQ
I'm not exactly sure Ted Miller intended it as a knock on Dobbs. Either way, I don't dislike our quarterback taking notice.
You can't put too much on anything that happens tomorrow - remember Tyler Bray's 5-of-30 performance? - and I'm sure the coaching staff wants to put him in position to succeed. But if we do get any 1s-vs-1s action, seeing Dobbs consistently throw downfield won't hurt my feelings.
The sophomore receiver can lock up the most exciting story of the spring with a big day on Saturday. He is the most likely receiving component in Tennessee's quest for deep ball success, and could work his way from deep ball specialist to regular starter. To do that he'll need to be productive on something other than a go route; again, it's the spring game, can't read too much into anything that happens, but if Williams has a nice day not just going deep but being involved in other ways in the passing game, we'll be penciling him into our depth charts by Saturday night.
Traditionalists' Blood Pressure
"Let's go to Junior, you're next on Vol Calls, hello!"
"Yeah, Coach Jones?"
"Yeah...I preciate what you're doing over there, but it ain't the Orange & Smokey Grey Game, is it? I'll hangup and listen. Go Vols."
Of course, the best medicine for their blood pressure has always been...
Peyton By God Manning
Is he getting a statue? Will he throw in the quarterback skills challenge? If so, do we want him or Dobbs to win?
(Hang on, I'm trying to figure out the answer.)
...well, whatever the right answer is, it would be good to see him.