KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The key to Tennessee’s linebacking corps this season could be in the training room.
Middle linebackers Daniel Bituli and Darrin Kirkland Jr. both sat out the Vols’ Orange and White Game this spring and figure to be key to the Tennessee defense this season.
A look at others who are candidates to play include Quart’e Sapp and Austin Smith, two other linebackers who have been unable to stay healthy.
At some point, it becomes a matter of dishing out more hits than one takes, and prior to the last two seasons, there have been questions about the strength and conditioning staff.
The Vols’ switch to a 3-4 alignment has included a change in terminology and angles for players. Tennessee’s linebackers appeared tentative in the spring game, perhaps a case of paralysis by analysis.
New defensive coordinator Kevin Sherrer also coaches this position group.
Mike Griffith and WNML’s Josh Ward discuss the key position group in our Monday podcast.
Tennessee football podcast
Tennessee 2018 football previews
- Vols linebackers must become dominant force once more
- Podcast: Tennessee wideouts have lacked the YAC
- Vols receivers looking to catch on with new football staff
- Defensive line podcast, talk of Jeremy Pruitt challenging defensive line
- Vols defensive line needs to add power, toughness
- Podcast: Tennessee offensive line dealing with weighty issues
- Vols offensive line preview: Will Friend triggers big improvements
- Tennessee tailbacks: Can Ty Chandler play big enough to win starting job?
- Vols running backs podcast: Who will Jeremy Pruitt turn to for a yard?
- Tennessee quarterbacks podcast: Discussing Vols’ issues at QB
- Vols quarterbacks: Don’t call it a controversy, but it is a competition