Wednesday Practice Report

KNOXVILLE ˆ Tennessee continues to look forward to this weekend‚s SEC Championship Game in Atlanta. In doing so, Head Coach Phillip Fulmer is optimistic the team might be getting some key players back from injury.

"We've had three good days of practice," Fulmer said. "It looks like we're going to get a couple of those guys back. Roshaun Fellows and Cody Douglas, that's a big plus. Justin Harrell is making good progress. The hardest thing is to play when you haven't practiced. We're in a position that if those guys can contribute at all that it would be a big plus for us."

Fulmer indicated he would know if Brent Schaeffer would be cleared for contact on Thursday. Fulmer also mentioned that Auburn might not be totally focused on Tennessee. That concept is nothing new to Fulmer as he reminisced about the 2001 SEC Championship Game.

"Auburn is probably concerned about bigger fish than what Tennessee is to them," Fulmer said. "I've been in that position before and it's a dangerous position to be in."

"We're walking into the complex in Atlanta (in 2001) and our fans are handing us roses talking about playing Miami in the Rose Bowl," Fulmer said. "We don't have any Rose Bowl to go to right now. This is a one game tournament for us."

Fulmer also addressed an off the field incident that involved linebacker Daniel Brooks. According to a police report, Brooks struck a man in the face during the early hours of Wednesday morning.

"I've got to look into it further," Fulmer said. "There's a inter-university party that about every athlete and every group on campus was represented in some way. I think there's responsibility to go around in a number of places. I don't think there's been any charges made. We'll deal with that. The important thing is getting to this football game and getting our team ready and our focus not changing."

Finally, Fulmer remarked on David Cutcliffe's firing in Oxford, MS.

"I think it's a travesty," Fulmer said. "I know there is not a better man that I know in college football. You have a ten-win season last year and replacing the first player drafted, that's not an easy thing, especially at a place like Ole Miss. From what I understand they wanted him to fire some coaches and he didn't want to do that. I respect that very much."

"I think it's a process that we've all come to with the amount of exposure everybody gets," Fulmer said. "The instant gratification is out there in the world. Whether it's stopping at the food mart or the movies, everybody wants to be entertained now. It's part of our world. I went back and figured off the cuff since I've been the head coach in 1993 every coach in this conference has turned over at least once. There's a total of 21 different coaches at 11 schools in those years."

"You go to Tyrone Willingham and David Cutcliffe and you talk about doing things right and being a good person, academics being important and all those things," Fulmer said. "Yet, they didn't get it done on the field and that's why they got fired. We shouldn't pretend that we're one thing when we're really another. I accept that and I understand that. I know what the bottom line is. I hope I don't have to experience it."


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