All but lost in the news of Demetrice Morley's dismissal from the Tennessee football program was the fact that another Vol, Brandon Warren, has worked his way back into head coach Lane Kiffin's good graces.
Kiffin says wearing a single-digit number at UT is “a big deal,” so he recently had the No. 1 peeled off of Warren's practice jersey when the junior receiver suffered a few disciplinary lapses earlier this spring. After practicing in a number-less jersey several times during the past week, Warren was wearing his familiar No. 1 during Tuesday's workout. Basically, he won back his number.
“Yeah, he did,” Kiffin said. “He went a number of weeks here doing things right. It wasn't anything (he did wrong) on the field. It was off the field. He's been doing things right in the classroom and around the campus.”
VOLS GO INSIDE TO PLAY
The Vols held their first nine spring workouts outdoors, routinely battling rain, cold and sloppy field conditions. With melted snow covering Haslam Field on Tuesday, however, they moved indoors and drilled in climate-controlled Neyland-Thompson Sports Complex.
The reason? The Vols fumbled the ball four times in last Saturday's scrimmage, and Kiffin thought a dry ball might help prevent a replay.
“I thought it was important to have a good day of ball security and have a good day with the passing game,” the head man said. “To go out and mud around – to have three days this week on the same wet turf – wasn’t worth it.
“I thought the guys came out with really good energy today. I thought the offense was really crisp. They had some backed-up situations where they won both the drills coming out. I thought the backs did great today. Toney (Williams) looked really good back there and had a number of big runs.”
If Kiffin's decision to practice indoors was aimed at limiting fumbles, he succeeded.
“We didn’t have a turnover all day,” he said. “To go through all the different situations and drills we had today and not have a turnover was huge for us. It was a big emphasis for us coming off the scrimmage, and I’m proud of our offense.”
ON THE INJURY FRONT
Quarterback Nick Stephens was back in action Tuesday after sitting out Saturday's scrimmage. He remains somewhat hampered by the lingering effects of a fractured right wrist suffered shortly before the beginning of spring practice.
Guard Vladimir Richard was back in pads after missing some time with a mild concussion.
Defensive tackle Wes Brown suited up but remains limited by a knee injury. Kiffin described him as “day to day.”
Tight end Luke Stocker missed the practice with what Kiffin referred to as “head issues.”