KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee coach Butch Jones made a decision that’s already paying off for the Vols offense as fall drills began Saturday.
Jones allowed his players to organize and participate in voluntary 7-on-7 drills over the summer, and junior quarterback Quinten Dormady says he could tell an immediate difference.
“It’s good reps to carry out here to camp and throughout the season,” Dormady said Saturday. “Doing 7-on-7 this year definitely helped.”
The chemistry of the Tennessee offense can use all the help it can get with three-year starter Josh Dobbs having moved on to the NFL.
Dormady and redshirt freshman quarterback Jarrett Guarantano used the 7-on-7 drills to sharpen their skills for the upcoming season, which starts on Sept. 4 in Atlanta against Georgia Tech.
“I think that was a good fundamental base, to translating that out here,” Dormady said. “We got some good work in with the receivers. For us to be able to do that, I thought, was a good building block.”
Dormady said he improved his timing with receivers because of the extra practice time.
“Coach Jones talks about getting reps and that’s how you build, is by getting reps,” Dormady said. “The more reps we got this summer, the more it was going to help us out here today. I think that did translate.”
The 7-on-7 drills might not have separated players on the depth chart, but Dormady said they did grow more comfortable with one another and the offense.
“I don’t think any one player flashed,” Dormady said. “We weren’t going out there trying to hurt each other, so it was just good solid work on the fundamentals of our games. As far as route running goes with the backs’ protection and things like that.
“I don’t think any one player stood out. That wasn’t the goal. The goal was to get the timing and improve in the overall playbook and overall process of each of our games.”