March 10 Football Spring Practice
Tennessee quarterbacks, running backs and centers go through drills during spring practice. March 10, 2020.

Today, Tennessee football assistant coaches Tee Martin, Chris Weinke and Shelton Felton spoke to the media on a variety of issues, and below are the highlights.

Martin:

On his impressions of the new wide receivers:

“We wanted to replace the size that we lost with Jauan [Jennings] and then Quez [Marquez Callaway] as the starters, but also upgrade in the speed department. We want to push the ball downfield vertically and we want to create matchup mismatches on offense, and you can’t do it without speed. So, the addition of Velus Jones, a transfer from USC who is someone I’m familiar with, who’s a 4.3 [40-yard dash] waking up in the morning, Jalin Hyatt, having the addition of Jimmy Holiday, Jimmy Calloway – those guys can absolutely run. So, we’re moving guys around. The one thing that I’ve been noticing about them, if you just had to sum it up in a few words, is that they can run.”

On transfer receiver Velus Jones:

“Definitely will be a threat in the kick return game, both as a kickoff returner and a punt returner. The one thing that you can’t replace when guys transfer, what you can’t underestimate, is experience. Even though he’s new to our system, he’s played college football at a major level and he’s played in some big moments and been called on in some big moments. He’s new, just like the true freshmen are, but the one thing that he has a leg up is that he’s been in college football for a few years, he’s a veteran, so he’s able to plug and play at different positions without panicking because he’s been there before.”

Weinke:

On Jarrett Guarantano’s growth going into the 2020 season:

“You look back and in any situation you run into, the struggles we had early in the season, you can’t allow those to snowball. It was constant communication with him, regardless of what happened, if he was pulled or had an opportunity to start or came into a game. There was communication with him every day that he had to stay the course and believe in himself. As we all know, whoever’s played this position, there are times that you’re playing with a whole lot of confidence and there are other times that you’re not playing with any confidence. I think that was probably the case early on with him when we lost early. But, credit to him, he stayed the course. I feel like he started to gain more confidence and finished the season off right.”

On freshman Harrison Bailey:

“He did miss a little bit of time and that always hurts for a guy that was able to come in early and not be able to go through spring ball hurts you a little bit in terms of your growth and development. I think the biggest thing for him is he’s learning a new language. We always say that, ‘Hey, when you’re not sure, you’re going to probably play a little bit slower.’ I think the biggest thing for him is to continue to progress, continue to learn the system. He can make all of the throws. There’s no doubt about it.”

Felton:

On whom will feature as outside linebacker:

“We lost a great player in Darrell Taylor. We are playing a lot of guys, we haven’t really dialed in on a No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 guy, we are just playing rotational. Deandre Johnson is doing a great job, Kivon Bennett is also doing a great job. Roman Harris is a force to be reckoned with. We are getting a lot of work out of John Mincey. Moving J.J. Peterson over there to get some reps over there at times. The young guys: Tyler Baron and Morven Joseph are some guys. Right now, we are doing everything by committee and focusing on the details and doing everything right. As Coach Pruitt said, we are going to play the best man and the best person. As of right now, we are a committee.”

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