April 9, 2007

Summer big for many

Obviously exiting spring practice the Tennessee football team has multiple questions to answer and for many this off-season is big at a lot of positions. For some it's big off-season too just simply get healthy and for others it is a big off-season to get the team ready in a different way. I am by no means going to say that the summer off-season work is most important for one guy, but I do feel that there is a core group of guys that the off-season is extremely important for them.

J.T. Mapu - Mapu is now the leader for the defensive front along with Xavier Mitchell and for Mapu this off-season is huge for him to get back to the level of play that he wants and that the coaches expect. John Chavis and Dan Brooks have said repeatedly that what they got out of Mapu last fall was a miracle. Mapu said he was just trying to survive. This spring Mapu was limited a good bit with hamstring strain and get not get done as much as he would like. For the first time now since Mapu has been back from his mission he can concentrate solely on getting himself into better shape. He can get the work he needs in the weight room and he can get lighter. If this defense is going to be able to hold up and be effective against the run it must start with Mapu inside at tackle which is why Mapu makes my list of guys who need a really big summer.


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