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Happy Birthday - June 26: Bily, Clifton, Stephens

On June 26, we send Happy Birthday wishes to recent baseball graduate Pierce Bily


 We also celebrate the birthdays of two former standouts on the gridiron: Chad Clifton and Travis Stephens. An offensive lineman, Clifton was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 2000 and went on to win two Super Bowls during his 12 seasons with the organization. Stephens posted the greatest single season in Tennessee running backs history when he carried 291 times for 1,464 yards in 2001. Both marks still stand as program records.


Happy Birthday - June 26: Chad Clifton, Travis Stephens

On June 26, we celebrate the birthdays of two former standouts on the gridiron: Chad Clifton and Travis Stephens. An offensive lineman, Clifton was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 2000 and went on to win two Super Bowls during his 12 seasons with the organization. Stephens posted the greatest single season in Tennessee running backs history when he carried 291 times for 1,464 yards in 2001. Both marks still stand as program records.


Vols In NFL Thursday Night Football (8/9) UPDATE

UPDATED 11:48 p.m.

Tonight 17 former Vols will be in action for eight different teams taking part in their first (or in some cases second) preseason game of 2012. (Click on the pictures for the game center links).

Washington Redskins 7, Buffalo Bills 6

Jonathan Crompton and the Washington Redskins will start off the night at 7 p.m. against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Baltimore Ravens 31, Atlanta Falcons 17

Morgan Cox and the Ravens will kick their game off at 7:30 in the Georgia Dome (also the site of UT's first game of the Year vs. NC State on 8/31). Cox is going into his third year as a long snapper with Baltimore.

New England Patriots 7, New Orleans Saints 6

Jabari Greer, Turk McBride and the Saints will partake in their second preseason game after earning the 17-10 victory over Arizona on Sunday night in the Hall of Fame game. The duo will meet up with Shaun Ellis, Jerod Mayo and Donte' Stallworth, all currently with the Patriots for the 7:30 kickoff. The two teams participated in joint practices the past two days in Foxborough in front of record crowd of 14,830.

Philadelphia Eagles 24, Pittsburgh Steelers 23

Ramon Foster and Chris Scott will be in action for the Steelers tonight also starting at 7:30 p.m. when they take on cross-state rivals the Philadelphia Eagles.

San Diego Chargers 21, Green Bay Packers 13

Chad Clifton and the Packers will take on three new Vols on the San Diego Chargers (Aubrayo Franklin, Robert Meachem and Nick Guess) in the nationally televised Thursday night game to be featured on ESPN starting at 8 p.m. Franklin and Meachem recently joined the Chargers after playing for the Saints last season, Guess is in  his rookie season with the Bolts.

Denver Broncos 31, Chicago Bears 3

8:30 p.m. marks the return on Peyton Manning to the gridiron. The 15 year veteran of the NFL will put his pads back on and step on the first for the first time since the 2010 Playoffs when the Denver Broncos take on the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field beginning at 8:30. Joining Manning on the Broncos are former Vols Robert Ayers, Britton Colquitt and Malik Jackson.

Happy Birthday - June 26: Chad Clifton, Travis Stephens

On June 26, we celebrate birthdays of two former standouts on the gridiron: Chad Clifton and Travis Stephens.

Chad Clifton, left, and his offensive line mates have regrouped as the season developed into a potent blocking force that helped Green Bay set a team postseason record for rushing yards in the defeat of Seattle. 


Final Vol Calls Tonight At Texas Roadhouse At 8 p.m.

The last "Vol Calls" of the 2011-12 season will feature former Vol Chad Clifton (1996-99) of the NFL's Green Bay Packers as a special guest. As a lead in to this weekend's DISH Orange and White Spring Football Game, Bob Kesling will also have interviews with Tennessee Head Football Coach Derek Dooley. Tennessee head swimming and diving coach Matt Kredich, baseball outfielder Chris Fritts and former Vol offensive lineman Phil Stuart with "Camp 76" will also be on the show. "Vol Calls" originates from the Texas Roadhouse at Turkey Creek in West Knoxville at 8 p.m. Eastern / 7 p.m. Central. 

The show can be heard across the state on the Vol Radio Network and online at Fans may ask questions by calling 1-800-688-8657 or Verizon customers may dial #TENN. Fans may also submit questions through the Vol Network-IMG Facebook page.

Vols In The NFL Playoffs Update (1/16)

The final four of the NFL Playoffs are set and two more former Vols punched their tickets for a chance to play in Super Bowl XLVI.

The Ravens held off the Texans, 20-13 despite a huge day from former Vol Arian Foster. The running back gained 154 total yards (27-132 rushing and 5-22 receiving) but it wasn't enough for Houston. Foster also scored a TD on a 1-yard rush (WATCH HIGHLIGHT). On defense Jason Allen had a pass defended for the Texans. With the Ravens, Morgan Cox snapped 14 times on kicks and punts for Baltimore as they will face New England in the AFC Championship.

Deon Grant and the New York Giants pulled off the 37-20 upset win at Green Bay. Grant had the game-sealing interception (VIDEO: Grant's pick seals victory) along with six tackles. With the Packers, former Vols Scott Wells started at center and Chad Clifton draw the nod at left tackle. New York will play San Francisco next Sunday. 

Vols In NFL Update (1/2)

Here's a look at former Vols who were in action on the final day of the NFL regular-season. 

Miami downed the New York Jets, 19-17 as two former Vols had huge games. Kevin Burnett had a game-best 14 tackles while Marvin Mitchell had the game-clinching interception with a 55-yard return for Miami. Mitchell also made five tackles. Tony McDaniel had two stops for the Dolphins.

Green Bay won a shootout with Detroit, 45-41 as Chad Clifton (hamstring/back) returned to action as the Packers starting left tackle. Scott Wells also continued to start at center for Green Bay as the Packers piled up 550 yards of offense. 

New Orleans thumped Carolina, 45-17 as three former Vols played for the Saints. Robert Meachem had two catches for 30 yards. Jabari Greer made three tackles in a start while Aubrayo Franklin started at nose tackle, but had no tackles. With the Panthers, Omar Gaither  was inactive. 

New England rallied to blow out Buffalo, 49-21 as Jerod Mayo made seven tackles and had a pass defended. Shaun Ellis started on the defensive line at left end, but had no tackles. 

Philadelphia handled Washington, 34-10 as Donte' Stallworth had a catch for eight yards with the Redskins. 

Tennessee edged Houston, 23-22 as Arian Foster was inactive for the Texans as he sit to gain rest before the playoffs. Jason Allen had two tackles for Houston. 

Chicago beat Minnesota, 17-13. Anthony Herrera continued to start for the Vikings at right guard. 

San Francisco topped St. Louis, 34-27 as Parys Haralson started at outside linebacker and made a tackle along with a quarterback hurry. 

San Diego got by Oakland, 38-26 despite a 101-yard game from Denarius Moore of the Raiders. It was Moore's third 100-yard game of the season, this time on three catches. John Henderson was inactive with the knee injury. 

Arizona beat Seattle, 23-20 as Dan Williams was sidelined with an elbow injury for the Cardinals. 

Atlanta crushed Tampa Bay, 45-24. Albert Haynesworth had three tackles and a pass defended for the Buccaneers. Luke Stocker played as a reserve for the Bucs.

Pittsburgh edged Cleveland, 13-9 as Ramon Foster started at right guard with the Steelers. With the Browns, Montario Hardesty had two rushes for minus-2 yards. 

- In punting showcase, Kansas City battled Denver to a 7-3 win. Britton Colquitt of the Chiefs had eight punts for a 47.1 average with four punts inside the 20-yard line. With the Broncos, Dustin Colquitt had nine punts for a 44.7 average with five inside the 20. Robert Ayers had three tackles including a 5-yard sack and a quarterback hurry. 

Baltimore won at Cincinnati, 24-16 as Morgan Cox snapped 11 times on kicks and punts for the Ravens. Gibril WIlson played on defense with the Bengals, but had no tackles. 

- In the Sunday night game, the Giants beat the Cowboys, 31-14 to win the NFC East.  Deon Grant made five tackles with the Giants. Jason Witten had seven catches for 69 yards for Dallas in the finale. 

Vols In NFL Update (9/26)

It was another busy weekend for former Vols in the NFL. Here's a look around the league at some top performances by former UT players. Once again we lead off with rookie sensation Denarius Moore, who stole the show with the Raiders yet again.

- Moore scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 23-yard end-around run in the fourth quarter as Oakland beat the Jets, 34-24VIDEO: Watch Moore's tremendous extension. Moore also had four catches for 34 yards and three punt returns for five yards for the Raiders. John Henderson had three tackles, all in the second half as Oakland moved to 2-1. 

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Denarius Moore(notes) (17) jumps into the stands following his touchdown on a 23-yard run against the New York Jets during the third quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif. Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011.

Cleveland edged Miami, 17-16  as Montario Hardesty had 14 carries for 67 yards and three catches for 19 yards as Cleveland's primary back Check out VIDEO: Hardesty gains 19 yards. On defense for Miami, Kevin Burnett made two tackles.

Browns running back Montario Hardesty (31) stiff arms Dolphins cornerback Jimmy Wilson after a pass reception in the fourth quarter Sunday in Cleveland.

Browns running back Montario Hardesty (31) stiff arms Dolphins cornerback Jimmy Wilson after a pass reception in the fourth quarter Sunday in Cleveland. ASSOCIATED PRESS

- Big day for several former Vols as the Saints won a shootout over Houston, 40-33. Robert Meachem scored another TD as he had five catches for 51 yards. VIDEO: Meachem 2-yard sliding TD catch. On defense, Jabari Greer had three tackles and an interception (VIDEO: Greer Interception) and Turk McBride had another sack (VIDEO: McBride sack( for the Saints. Jason Allen made three tackles for the Texans. Arian Foster didn't play for Houston due to injury. 

Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson (80) jumps over New Orleans Saints cornerback Jabari Greer (33) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)  

- Starting OLB Parys Haralson had a tackle as the 49ers topped the Bengals, 13-8. Gibril Wilson played for the Bengals, but didn't make a tackle. 

-The Titans scored late to beat the Broncos 17-14 as Robert Ayers had four tackles and recovered a fumble for Denver (VIDEO: Ayers fumble recovery) . Punted Britton Colquitt booted five balls for 45.0 average with four inside the 20-yard line with a long of 62. 

- Deon Grant had seven tackles for New York as the Giants handled the Eagles, 29-16

- The Bills rallied again, to beat New England, 34-31. David Martin saw action for the Bills, but had no stats. With the Pats, Jerod Mayo had five tackles 

Lions moved to 3-0, beating Minnesota, 26-23. Jacques McClendon was inactive for Detroit, but Anthony Herrera started at right guard for the Vikings. 

Carolina topped Jacksonville, 16-10 as Omar Gaither played as a reserve linebacker for the Panthers. 

Ravens pummeled the Rams, 37-7 as Morgan Cox snapped 12 times on kicks and punts for Baltimore. 

- The Chargers beat the Chiefs, 20-17 as Dustin Colquitt punted four times for Kansas City for a 45.5 average.

Green Bay topped Chicago, 27-17 as mainstays left tackle Chad Clifton and center Scott Wells started again for the Packers. 

- Rookie Luke Stocker had two second-quarter catches for 33 yards as the Bucs stopped the Falcons, 16-13.

Seattle held off Arizona, 13-10 as Dan Williams started at nose tackle for the Cardinals, but had no tackles. 

- The Steelers rallied to beat Indy, 23-20 as Chris Scott started at left guard and Ramon Foster played as a reserve lineman for Pittsburgh.

- On Monday night, Jason Witten and the Cowboys host Washington and Donte' Stallworth on ESPN. 

Big Nights For Former Vols In Packers' 42-34 Win

In the opening game of the NFL season, the Packers topped the Saints, 42-34, in a thriller. Several former Vols played key roles in the game. 

With the Packers, both Chad Clifton and Scott Wells started on the offensive line and helped Aaron Rogers and Green Bay rack up 399 yards of offense.

By playing in his 160th career game tonight, Clifton became only the fourth offensive lineman in franchise history to hit that mark (Forrest Gregg, Larry McCarren, Ron Hallstrom).

For New Orleans, Robert Meachem scored the Saint's first TD of the season on a 31-yard pass from Drew Brees. >> WATCH HIGHLIGHT. Meachem finished with five catches for 70 yards and that score. On defense, Jabari Greer had seven solo tackles for New Orleans while Aubrayo Franklin and Turk McBride each had a stop. 

Here are a few stories with quotes from the UT products:

Saints' Jabari Greer tackles Packers' Jordy Nelson after a catch.

Packers' Aaron Rodgers is sacked by Saints' Jonathan Casillas and Turk McBride.

Six Former Vols In Action As NFL Debuts Thursday

In a rematch of the last two Super Bowl Champions, six former Vols will be in action as the Green Bay Packers host the New Orleans Saints at 8:30 p.m.

With the defending champions, linemen Scott Wells and Chad Clifton are expected to start for the Packers. Check out a 2011 Packers Preview team preview from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The Super Bowl XLIV champion Saints feature four former Vols, the most of any team in the NFL: Aubrayo Franklin, Jabari Greer, Robert Meachem and Turk McBride. 

Here's a feature including Franklin in the Shreveport Times: Marching to New Orleans
Franklin is also mentioned prominently in this story on Saints have deepest roster in team history. McBride is featured in this story: Former Lion Turk McBride To Start For New Orleans Saints

Former Vols In The NFL (8/20)

The second week of NFL preseason action was in full swing with six games on Friday. Here's a look at former Vols in action 

- Four Vols saw action as the Dolphins beat the Panthers, 20-10. Miami's Kevin Burnett made a team-high four tackles while Marvin Mitchell made his Phins debut after being signed and had two tackles including a TFL. Tony McDaniel also played, but had not stats. Omar Gaither played his second game as a member of the Panthers and had a tackle.

- The Ravens downed the Chiefs, 31-13. Chiefs' DB Eric Berry had two tackles and a pass defended. Punter Dustin Colquitt booted eight balls for a 46.5 average with a tremendous 45.1 net and five punts inside the 20-yard line. Morgan Cox snapped four times for the Ravens on kicks.

- The Redskins beat the Colts, 16-3. Donte' Stallworth had a nice catch over the middle for 23 yards for Washington. Peyton Manning was still sidelined, but lineman Jacques McClendon suited up for Indy.

- The Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers beat the Cardinals, 28-20. Linemen Chad Clifton and Scott Wells played for the Packers while second-year defensive lineman Dan Williams had a 4-yard sack for the Cardinals.

- LaMarcus Thompson had a tackle for the Falcons, who lost to the Jaguars, 15-13

Cleveland lost to Detroit, 30-28. Both rookie Jarrod Shaw and running back Montario Hardesty did not play for the Browns.  

Vols In NFL Update (8/14)

Here's a look at former Vols who were in action on Saturday night in NFL preseason games.

- The Browns beat the Super Champion Packers 27-17. Scott Wells started at center and Chad Clifton drew the nod at left guard for Green Bay. Rookie Jarrod Shaw played late minutes on the O-Line for Cleveland. Montario Hardesty didn't see action for the Browns.

- In Nashville, the Titans topped the Vikings 14-3. Neither former Vol in the game saw action. Guard Anthony Herrera for the Vikings or punter Chad Cunningham with the Titans.

- The Panthers and former Vol Omar Gaither beat the Giants 20-10. Gaither made two tackles.

- The Bears downed the Bills and UT's David Martin, 10-3. Martin didn't have any stats.

- St. Louis handled Indianapolis 33-10. Of course Peyton Manning is still sidelined for the Colts, but Jacques McClendon did play some on the offensive line for Indy.