By the numbers

By the numbers

New Tennessee receivers coach Latrell Scott didn't get a look at the Vols' most productive receiver last spring but that's OK. All he needed was a look at the stat sheet.

Because senior Lucas Taylor missed spring practice following shoulder surgery, you'd figure Scott would've watched some film of him over the summer to get an idea of Taylor's talent level.

There was no need, however. Scott already knew plenty about Taylor's talent level.

"Lucas can play," the new Vol aide says. "You don't catch 73 balls for 1,000 yards in the SEC unless you can play. Lucas is going to jump right back in there from where he left off, and we'll go from there."

Taylor wasn't the only Vol wideout missing in action during spring practice. Austin Rogers sat out the last couple of weeks with an injury and Josh Briscoe missed considerable work due to a class conflict. None of this seems to concern Scott.

"The only guy we didn't have an extended time was Lucas," the receivers coach said. "We had Josh for the whole spring (except for class conflicts), then we lost Austin down the stretch."

If anything, Scott thinks the practice reps lost by Lucas, Rogers and Briscoe were better spent on their backups anyway.

"It was a great opportunity for the young guys to get the work," Scott said. "Gerald Jones got a bunch of reps. Ahmad Paige got a bunch of reps. Denarius Moore had a great spring, along with Quintin Hancock."

Still, the new Vol aide will be an interested observer when he finally gets to see all of his troops in game-type action when the Vols hold their first preseason scrimmage this Saturday.

"It'll be great to have those top seven guys back," Scott said, "and see who ends up where."

With no seniors on the receiver depth chart, Taylor, Rogers, Briscoe played an amazing number of snaps. True freshmen Moore and Jones saw considerable action last fall, as well. That kind of experience should pay dividends this season.

"It's invaluable," Scott said. "You can't just come out in this conference and expect to have instant success."

The new coach wants Tennessee's wideouts to be a cohesive and disciplined group. If they are, they should be productive, assuming the staff does its job effectively.

As Scott explains: "It's just a matter of the group meshing together, then us putting the right people in the right places and getting the ball in the right guys' hands.

Because new offensive coordinator Dave Clawson is scrapping the David Cutcliffe offense and installing a West Coast system, Tennessee's wideouts spent most of spring practice learning their new terminology and assignments. They should become more productive as they become more comfortable with the changes.

"The biggest thing we did in the spring – and will continue a little bit this summer – is teaching the guys the offense ... making the transition from Coach Cutcliffe's system to our system," Scott said. "We want the guys to feel comfortable, so they can let their talent take over."

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