Youth and Injuries Make For Tough Start to Vols Spring Practice

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With injuries and plenty of youth, spring drills have gotten off to a rocky start on Rocky Top.
Head coach Butch Jones likely feels like a spring drills sergeant.
He admits the team needs to show a lot of improvement in a lot of areas.
"We are completely a work in progress right now. We are in no way step or form a finished product. We are nowhere where we need to be. We have to get a lot better in a hurry. Some of it is conditioning. Some of it is mental conditioning. A lot of our younger players are learning how to fight through the fatigue. They have not learned that yet. A lot of time we talk about toughness and technique. And right now, we’re losing our toughness with our technique. They’re letting the mind control everything."
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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at rnyman@wdef.com.