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Tennessee's open practice draws large crowd

Published On: Aug 17 2013 10:14:55 PM CDT
Knoxville, Tenn. -

Butch Jones has been at Tennessee long enough to realize the importance of paying attention when Peyton Manning has something to say.
    
The first-year coach said a conversation with the Denver Broncos quarterback and former Tennessee star gave him the idea to make one training-camp practice open to the public. Tennessee held that open practice Saturday at Neyland Stadium in front of an announced crowd of 39,000 fans. Most of them stayed throughout the 90-minute session amid steady rain.
    
The experiment gave the Volunteers something of a dress rehearsal before the Aug. 31 season opener with Austin Peay. It also continued Jones' efforts to engage with Tennessee's fans. The Volunteers hadn't opened any practices to the public under former coach Derek Dooley.