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Posted: 9/3/2014 8:06 PM

WEDNESDAY PRACTICE QUOTES: Assistants sound off 

Below are some of the best quotes from the assistant coaches following Tennessee’s Wednesday afternoon practice at Haslam Field:


Offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian on key areas needing improvement from Game 1 to Game 2 : “Timing, sustaining blocks and stepping up.”


Bajakian on the Arkansas State defense Tennessee faces Saturday: “They’re a very experienced group at the second level. They return four starters on the back end at the DB position – two all-conference performers and another Jim Thorpe watch list corner. One of their best DBs might be the guy that’s the new starter. He’s replaced a guy that started last year.”


Bajakian on quarterback Justin Worley, who completed 27 of 38 passes for 273 yards and three TDs in Game 1: “He managed the game very well. He did everything we asked him to do. He managed protections well. I was happy with his performance.”


Bajakian on Worley’s confidence level: “He went in pretty confident and remains pretty confident. If you’re going to be a good quarterback that’s how you have to play the game. He’s done a good job all through training camp and through Week One.”


Bajakian on the Vols averaging just 2.8 yards per carry in Game 1: “We need more explosive runs. We had a bunch of four-and five-yard runs. We were 50 percent efficient. We need to do a better job at the second level of sustaining blocks and making guys miss.”


O-line coach Don Mahoney on the Game 1 performance of Brett Kendrick at left tackle after Jacob Gilliam suffered a torn ACL: “He did some good things. He played a lot faster than I was thinking. Brett is one of those guys that tries to be perfect, and that kind of slows ‘em down a little bit. He played faster, which was good. He’s going to keep improving and making strides. No one looks at the classification but he’s a redshirt freshman. He’s getting better as time goes by and he’s going to be OK.”


Mahoney on the possibility of moving right tackle Kyler Kerbyson to left tackle in the wake of Jacob Gilliam’s ACL tear: “He got some work there today. You’ve always got to have contingency plans for whatever may happen. I told ‘em in the preseason ‘We’re going to need all of you. One way, shape or form we’re going to need you.’ I just wanted to see some things. A year ago I was working (four-year starting guard) Zach Fulton at tackle and at center. You’ve always got to have a cotingency plan in place.”


Mahoney on the possibility of freshman Coleman Thomas reclaiming the right tackle spot he held for most of preseason camp: “Probably. That’s something we’re still needing to talk about. That’s probably where things are going but we don’t know yet. We’ve still got two more days left to look at things.”


Receivers coach Zach Azzanni on the Game 1 passing attack: “I thought Justin (Worley) played a great game. He managed the offense, he put the ball where we needed it. He was outstanding.”


Azzanni on Pig Howard playing well in Game 1 after nearly losing his spot on the team during the summer: “I’m proud of him. I’m in his corner. He’s doing everything I asked him to do and, hopefully, we can keep him there and he can keep himself there.”


Running backs coach Robert Gillespie on his troops’ Game 1 performance: “I thought the guys ran hard. We fit the ball in the creases that were there. We broke some tackles and fought for extra yards. I’m very encouraged by what those guys did. Obviously, we can always get better.”

Gillespie on freshman Jalen Hurd’s college debut: “He’s going to get better in front of 100,000 fans every week in this league. I was proud of the way he took care of the football, made guys miss on some tight inside-zone runs. He had a real good run on the screen (pass) where he made a couple of guys miss and got into the end zone. Every week Jalen’s going to find new things to get better at. He’s very motivated to come out and get better this week.”

Last edited 9/4/2014 11:05 AM by RandyMoore

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