Mocs Open Spring Practice
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team opened its 2011 spring practice at the Murphy-Haugerud Practice Complex at Scrappy Moore Field on Saturday.  The Mocs were out in shorts and helmets for a 26-period workout that lasted just over two hours. 

A full contingent of local media covered the opening day, and links to the local stories are available below.  Also check out the transcript of head coach Russ Huesman's comments to the media following practice. 

The Mocs are back on the field on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. (E.S.T.).  For a full spring practice schedule, check the link at the top of the page.

Mocs begin spring practice - Chattanooga Times Free Press

UTC's Huesman Preaches Enthusiasm - Chattanoogan.com

Head Coach Russ Huesman's comments following the Mocs' first spring practice.
Are the guys enthusiastic about being out here today?
"You hope to have enthusiasm.  You hope that they know how important these 15 practices are and that they just don't come out here to get by and to get through it.  We only get 15 and we have to take advantage of everyone one of them." 

What is the most important thing you are looking to get out of these 15 practices?
"The biggest thing is to get the young guys - those that either redshirted last year or the guys that saw very limited action - we have to get those guys better and to a point we are comfortable with them playing for us.  Some of those guys are going to play a lot next year.  Spring is really good for that."

With this being your third spring, are things easier because the players know what to expect?
"Most of the players have been through it but having the continuity on the coaching staff is huge.  We have all of them back and everybody knows what to do and what to expect." 

How have things been since the end of the regular season?
"Leading up to spring practice, we had a few weeks that we probably weren't doing things the way a championship team does them.  We had to talk to them about that and hopefully wake them jump a little bit.  They might have been a little overconfident and they might think that championships are easy to come by.  We had to come let them know that they are hard to come by.  It is our job as coaches to make sure these guys stay on track and stay grounded."

How was the focus of the team on the first day?
"Focus is important, but I think our team is pretty focused when we are out here on the practice field.  I am more concerned about how we handle ourselves in every aspect of our lives.  We have to be focused in all aspects from how we walk down here to how we treat people.  I think that is what makes good football players and eventually good people." 

What is the biggest difference between this team and your first spring practice?
"I can tell a difference.  I think our players are better.  We can bend our knees, we run better right now.  In that aspect yes, we are better.  But from day one, I have to give those guys credit.  The Blue Coopers and all of those guys - when my first year was their last year - they gave us everything they had and I was awful proud of them.  Hopefully this group is going to continue to do that.  I think that we are more athletic and we are better."

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