Monday Practice Report

KNOXVILLE- The Tennessee football team hit the practice field for the first time since their 42-17 win over Louisiana Tech on Monday afternoon. The Auburn Tigers, this week's opponent, may present the biggest challenge the team has faced this year.

"As young as we are it'll be interesting to see how we handle the week of preparation," head coach Phillip Fulmer said. "I'm excited to see the improvement of this football team."

Fulmer believes that the Vols and Tigers are somewhat similar.

"They're a lot like us in that they play a lot of people," Fulmer said. "There's some carry-over there."

Despite the fact the Vols play a number of players all over the field, Fulmer is still trying to develop more depth.

"One of my challenges to the team is that we need more second teamer's and freshmen to do more," Fulmer said.

The offensive line can add one more player to its roster. After playing a limited role last week, Albert Toeaina is back and ready to go. Fulmer said he will work exclusively at offensive tackle. Another lineman making quite a name for himself in Arron Sears.

"He's one of the best right now," Fulmer said. "He's got to get healthy. He's one of the better players we've had here at that position."

The team has plenty of weapons at wide receiver, too. Fulmer discussed Bret Smith's rocky road to get where he is.

"Bret‚s fought through a foot injury and a toe injury," Fulmer said. "He had a pretty significant groin injury. He's made some big plays for us. He's got a pretty good ratio going for touchdowns."

The two-quarterback system continues to work for the Vols as well. Despite the fact Erik Ainge has seen more time on the field as of late, Fulmer thinks Brent Schaeffer's talents go a long way in keeping opposing defenses honest and hard at work on the practice field.

"I hope we can put some pressure on the other side of the ball, at least in their preparation," Fulmer said.

On the injury front, Derrick Tinsley and Brad Cottam had green no-contact jerseys on at practice. Neither Karlton Neal nor Jason Hall practiced with pads. Kevin Burnett did not practice.

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