KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Before talking about spring practice Monday, University of Tennessee Coach Butch Jones took a few minutes to thank Peyton Manning.
“I’d like to take a brief moment and just congratulate Peyton Manning for a great, great career,” said Jones. “Truly a legend has meant so much to this great institution, the state of Tennessee, Knoxville, everything and you know, I value our friendship and I know today is a really special day for him and I just wanted to let him know we’re thinking about him and he truly is a legend and we’re proud to call him a Vol for Life.”
Manning is expected to announce his retirement Monday at 1:00 p.m.
The Vols will have 15 spring practices which are closed to the general public. “To me this is the most exciting time of the year,” said Jones. “It is all about reinventing yourself, establishing your identity as a football team.”
Jones spoke of five loses the Vols experienced last season. “Those five loses have come from a combined total of 25 points,” said Jones. “So we are searching for those 25 points in everything that we do.”
The public will be able to see the team play at the DISH Orange and White Game on April 16. The game will be at 2 p.m. in Neyland Stadium.
The first practices will be Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. After Spring Break, the practices will continue every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Jones believes the break will show the team’s retention rate when it comes to memory. “That will tell us again about the maturity of our football team,” said Jones.
Eleven players will be out for the spring, according to Jones. The team expects for the players to be back by June.
Practices will be at 4:14 p.m. everyday except for Saturday. The team will get ready for the season on Saturdays at 10:45 a.m.
The team’s NFL Pro Day is expected to be March 30 in the Anderson Training Center.