Veteran QBs a luxury

Some football teams can win consistently without experience at quarterback but it doesn't happen often. That's why Tennessee head man Phillip Fulmer was all smiles as discussed the Vol quarterback tandem of senior Rick Clausen and sophomore Erik Ainge following Friday's first practice.

"Just having experienced quarterbacks is a great thing," Fulmer said. "If a coach could have anything every year, he'd want a quarterback coming back with experience. Those two guys have run the show. They know how to play, they know how to win, they know how to lead. I'm real happy with where those two guys are."

The Vol boss also is happy with senior tailback Gerald Riggs Jr. He showed his talent last season with 1,107 rushing yards. Now he's showing some maturity and leadership.

"I was real impressed with what Gerald did today -- trying to lead, being up in front of the (drill) lines, finishing up through the lines," Fulmer said. "He tried to show some real good leadership today."

Riggs needs to show some leadership because the Vols are incredibly inexperienced behind him. Former walk-on David Yancey has performed some mop-up duty, while the other tailbacks – redshirt freshmen Arian Foster and Ja'Kouri Williams, true freshmen LaMarcus Coker and Montario Hardesty – have never taken the field in a college game.

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