Tennessee returned to the indoor practice field today, as inclement weather forced the Vols inside for the day. Day two of the fifteen-set practice concluded with Alex Golesh at the podium taking questions from the media and discussing his quarterbacks. The positive picture Josh Heupel painted in the middle of the week about the group was reiterated by Golesh.
"We used the code word attack," Heupel said following the conclusion of Tennessee's first spring. "That's a big part of who we are inside of our building. At the quarterback position in particular, I thought they handled the tempo portion of some of our team sets extremely well and handled the communication piece of it. They played within themselves. They made some mistakes out there, but they did a lot of really positive things too. The thing that we've challenged our guys on is 'Don't make the same mistake twice. Be coachable. Accept the coaching in a positive way."
Day two of the install took place today, and the Tennessee quarterback room responded well, according to Golesh.
"As with any system, (it's) just the overall big-picture with those guys, getting the play-call in, communicating it all, getting us into the right things as they see different looks, playing really fast, playing decisive," Golesh said during his post-practice session. "I think that's kind of what's separating those guys as we keep moving forward is who can operate within the system at a really high rate. It's all about decision-making there in terms of being able to get us in the right play and execute it at a high clip."
"I think all three of those guys are doing a really good job of learning it and then being able to translate onto the field," he added about the quarterback trio. "I think that's the one position that you feel like you're probably the hardest on because it all starts there, but all three of those guys, they're such different skill sets, they're so interesting in what they're good at, and I think as we evolve through spring and as we evolve into fall camp, I think we'll evolve offensively based on what those guys can really do in terms of who ends up being the one and the two and three and how we move forward."
He has been impressed through two practices, as he reiterated even more during the media session.
"What they've done so far to this point has been really impressive. I think the jump from day one to day two has been really impressive, just in an operational standpoint. There's still a ton of work there in terms of being able to operate fast and within the system, but they have really made a huge jump from day one to day two, it's been really impressive."
It's probably too early to truly pinpoint that," Golesh said about one guy separating from the pack. "Obviously, all of those guys have played in games, which I think is really interesting. Harrison has some knack to him in terms of he's played; he finished off the year playing. Still young, still just a sophomore, and you can see that at times. There's confidence there. I think the guys really rally around him. He's trying to be a really good leader. Coach Heupel's done a really good job of pushing really all three of those guys to be really good leaders."
"Hendon, you could tell, has played a bunch, really athletic, really good with decision-making. Maurer is a really, really good athlete and has a really good arm. For him, it's just continuing to grow within the system and continue to learn and grow. I keep saying 'learn and grow,' I think those guys are continuing to take steps; I think obviously way too early—really unique skill sets. You're trying to find the best guy that can operate within the system and be super-efficient in what you do.
"I think all three of those guys have the ability to do that, so I think it'll just be interesting to see over these next 13 days what it actually looks like, but I've been really, really happy with where they are."
Tennessee has not released its schedule for next week's spring practice at this time, but they are expected to practice 2-3 times before the Easter break.