Lane Kiffin has been heard shouting perfect practice.
Kiffin is preparing his troops leaving no detail unaddressed as he prepares the Volunteers for their final full pre-season scrimmage on Saturday during a hour mental walthrough practice Friday afternoon.
Call it a dress rehearsal, a trial performance. Kiffin and his coaches ran the players through every game type situation possible through today’s walkthrough session, leaving nothing to chance.
If one didn’t know better you would have thought that Tennessee was hosting Western Kentucky tomorrow.
“We are doing everything as if it is game week,” senior center Josh McNeil told a group of media. “We are doing everything including the pre-game meal. Football players are creature of habits; every coach does something different on their approach to game day. It’s good for us to see how this coaching staff likes to do things.”
The one hour practice took place in shorts and t-shirts and was more of a mental exercise of each player’s responsibilities in different situations.
Kiffin has said from day one that this fall camp would be each player’s opportunity to prove themselves to the new coaching staff and earn a starting role in the process.
Two seniors McNeil and quarterback Jonathan Crompton finds themselves in similar situations going into Saturday’s scrimmage. Both find themselves in a battle for starting position, something that McNeil has done for three seasons.
“Tomorrow is huge,” McNeil said. “It’s our biggest pre season game of fall camp and it’s very big for me personally in determining a lot of things.”
“We are going to go at it just like it was Game 1,” Crompton said. “I don’t really think about it, (competing for the starting role) I’m just going to go out and have fun and play ball. You have to compete your butt off and everything else will take care of itself.”
Kiffin declined to speak to media after Friday’s practice, but explained Saturday’s scrimmage after yesterday’s practice.
The team will go through the entire pre-game ritual including the pre-game meal at the same time they will go through it for the Western Kentucky game. This coaching staff is leaving no detail unprepared for. The team will also do a practice Vol Walk in the morning, the scrimmage will take place in the stadium at 12:21 p.m. the same time for the kickoff against the Hilltoppers.