Coordinators collide

Vol defensive coordinator John Chavis and offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe have a mutual respect that dates to their days as position coaches in the early 1990s. When their troops are going head-to-head, though, things can get pretty intense.

That figures to be the case today, when the Vols hold their second full-scale scrimmage of the spring. Cutcliffe's offensive players appeared to win the first scrimmage as quarterbacks Erik Ainge, Jonathan Crompton and Bo Hardegree combined to complete 37 of 58 passes for 371 yards and five touchdowns.

Chavis' defenders reportedly have dominated Cutcliffe's guys since that time and will be looking to redeem themselves a bit in today's full-scale rematch. You get the idea Chavis and Cutcliffe are just as competitive toward one another as they are toward Tennessee's foes.

"They're ALWAYS competitive," head coach Phillip Fulmer said recently. "That's a good thing, a healthy thing. Both staffs are competitive."

It appears that the competitive nature of the two coordinators filters down to their troops. Many of UT's offensive players get really pumped up about facing their defensive counterparts, and vise-versa.

"Yeah, that's who we're playing today," Fulmer said. "Now some guys aren't tough enough to look at it that way … yet."

Although some Vols seem less than enthused about facing teammates in practice, that certainly isn't the case for redshirt freshman linebackers Rico McCoy and Adam Myers-White. They go all out all the time, even in practice drills.

"Rico's done extremely well," Fulmer noted. "Adam (a converted safety) is learning fast at a new position. Those are two guys you don't have to worry about. You don't have to say "Sic ‘em' to them."


Inside Tennessee Top Stories