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Tennessee Football: Vols try to bond, not wilt, in preseason camp

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With week two of Tennessee’s preseason camp nearing completion, the second scrimmage was held on Wednesday.  With the defense dominating the first scrimmage, the offense looked to make some improvements this time around.

“Second scrimmage, you’re able to kind of dial into the details of “What did we mess up in our first live action?’” senior Jacob Warren said.  “What was it… that caused us not to have success and then you’re able to attack those things in the second scrimmage.  Just emphasizing ball security, eliminating the mental errors and mental mistakes.”

Speed and tempo were a focus the second time around for the Vols.  

Said Warren, “There’s always how fast we play. How fast can you get the ball snapped? What are the things limiting us from being able to do that right? Whether it’s a wide receiver alignment or somebody’s not seeing the signal… these are different things that keep us from playing as fast as we want to play.”

Overcoming obstacles whether self-inflicted or out of one’s control were key to the team as a whole according to Warren. “Maybe a lapse in focus or being tired like this is a big thing we’re all dealing with right now, in the middle of camp, towards the end of camp. Once the body hurts, the body starts telling the mind that I can’t do this, I can’t do that. Being able to overcome the heat and the sweat and all those things and not making excuses.”

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Warren said week two and three is where the team bonding really starts to take shape.  That’s where the Vols are now.

“You have to love the process and it makes it a lot easier to love the people,” Warren said. “Relying on each other, building up the trust in each other that we will be where we say we’re going to be and going to do everything that we need to do to take care of each other.  We’re trying to take care of our running backs, our quarterbacks, our wide receivers – you know, ourselves. All those different things definitely kind of built some good relationships along the way.”

Warren has clearly become one of the Vols leaders, in and out of the public eye. It will be partly up to him to help the Vols bond instead of melt in the sweltering August weather that always accompanies preseason camp. Fellow tight end McCallen Castles has begun to call Warren “The Mayor” because it seems as if Warren knows everyone in Knoxville. Warren is one of the more popular Vols in town because he played for Farragut High School in West Knoxville and has appeared in several NIL partnerships, including the Vol Report.

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