Tuesday Practice Report

As the Tennessee football team returned to the practice field for the first time since spring break, Head Coach Phillip Fulmer seemed upbeat following the two-hour workout.

"Our goal is to get better," Fulmer said. "We've got a big separation between guys that have played in games and know what they're doing. There's too much of a drop off to the next level of guys. They've got to close that ground so we can count on them. The problem is they've never been there. They don't know how to push themselves. Nobody's going to feel sorry for us in the fourth quarter."

The two key positions Fulmer has his eye on right now are center and safety. Players with the potential to play center to this point in the spring have been riddled with injuries. Richie Gandy tore his ACL playing intramural basketball. David Ligon suffered a concussion in one of the first practices of the spring. Cameron Mayo has been out with a knee injury of his own. In an attempt to fill the void, Fulmer is looking to Cody Douglas, a converted guard.

"It's a little hairy," Fulmer said of the center spot. "There's no consistency or continuity at the center position and that's a problem. Cody worked with the first team and Ligon worked with the second team. That may be how we end up or maybe Ligon at center and Cody at guard to get the best guys on the field."

As for safety, Fulmer believes Roshaun Fellows and Jonathan Hefney are making good progress.

"We are doing more things well at safety than at anytime during the season last year which is encouraging," Fulmer said. "Neither one of them are afraid and they're pretty athletic. If he (Antwan Stewart) gets released than he'll work at safety full time and one of those other guys will go back to corner."

Stewart wasn't released 100-percent for everything today according to Fulmer. In the backfield, Fulmer seemed to be unimpressed with the opportunities Arian Foster and Ja'Kouri Williams have gotten to this point.

"We haven't run the football worth a flip yet," Fulmer said. "Gerald (Riggs) has done some good things with the ball in his hands," Fulmer said. "Those other two really haven't done anything to distinguish themselves yet. They've run hard which is good to see. I'm anxious to see what they can do when they get a chance."

For the most part, this spring has been dominated by the defense. This proposition would leave some coaches scrambling for answers. However, Fulmer is taking it all in stride.

"Our defense is setting the tempo right now and I like that," said Fulmer. "If you can play defense and kick it, you've got a good chance to win. I hope we can score some points and I think we will."


Inside Tennessee Top Stories