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Young Tennessee Defense Starting To Make Strides

Young Tennessee Defense Starting To Make Strides

CREATED Apr 5, 2014

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee's inexperienced defense is starting to show signs of progress.

After getting outplayed by the offense in a scrimmage a week earlier, Tennessee's defense performed better Saturday as the Volunteers practiced in front of hundreds of students and faculty members. Tennessee coach Butch Jones praised the defense's improved energy level and effort.

This is a particularly important spring for Tennessee's defense because it lacks proven performers. Senior linebacker A.J. Johnson is the only returning starter from last year's front seven.

On offense, Justin Worley and Riley Ferguson appeared to get more work than Joshua Dobbs and Nathan Peterman, though Jones didn't indicate whether anyone had separated himself in the four-man quarterback competition. Jones did say he saw "too many ups and downs" from his quarterbacks throughout the day.

(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)