NCAA rules prohibit football coaches from watching their teams train and work out during the summer. The media has no such restrictions.
The majority of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga squad is already back in town working out five days a week, putting in time in the weight room and at Scrappy Moore Field. The Mocs have throwing sessions at Scrappy on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
More than 40 Mocs were on the turf at Scrappy for last Thursday's session. The offensive line was off to the side doing its thing, defensive ends Josh Williams and Davis Tull -- possibly the best combo in the Southern Conference -- were working together and sophomore quarterback Terrell Robinson was directing the offense in 7-on-7 versus the defense.
"Out here doing the things that we're doing, we're just trying to get everything correct going into fall camp," Robinson said. "We're making sure everyone knows where to line up, knows what to do, so we can get rolling. We don't want to start off slow like we did in the spring."
The defense consistently got the better of the offense in the first half of spring practice, but as the offense grew more comfortable in its new pro-spread system, the balance shifted and the offense started beating up on the defense.
Sophomore wide receiver Tommy Hudson said the workouts have been productive. He's put on seven pounds of muscle and is up to 170 and on the field he's running routes and developing chemistry with quarterbacks Robinson and Jacob Huesman.
Huesman didn't participate in Thursday's session due to illness, which allowed Robinson to handle of the repetitions.
"I actually liked it because I could get rolling instead of [starting and stopping]," Robinson said of being the only quarterback on the field. "Whenever you start getting reps, it's definitely going to feel better and better. But I've still got a long way to go.
"I'm sometimes staring down receivers too long -- and that's why I'm out here. I'm working on the little things so that Coach Satt [offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield] won't be yelling at me when I get there."
Mocs coach Russ Huesman has said numerous times during his three-plus years at UTC that the summer is a crucial time for football players because of all the work that can be done -- in the weight room, film room and on the practice field. The fact that the NCAA won't let coaches anywhere near players during that time doesn't make a lot of sense to Huesman.
"The summer's ridiculous," he said. "For us not to have a chance to see these kids is ridiculous. ... I think for every coach in the country it's the most frustrating time of the year, because it's the most important time of the year."
Rules are rules, Huesman said, and he will abide by them regardless of whether or not he agrees with them. The players, meanwhile, will go about their business for a few more weeks and the coaches will find out during the first practice on Aug. 3, whether or not the Mocs are ready to go.
John Frierson is in his fifth year at the Times Free Press and fifth year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...