Ainge: 'I won't be outworked'

Just call it "Extreme Makeover: Vol Edition."

Quarterback Erik Ainge spent Tennessee's recent spring practice being remodeled like one of those old homes on the hit TV show.

First, he had to adjust to the coaching style of new offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe.

Secondly, he had to pick up his pace in line with Cutcliffe's faster practice tempo.

Next Ainge had to alter the lower-body mechanics of his throwing motion.

After that he had to adjust to taking snaps from three different centers.

Then he had to adapt to some changes in the offensive scheme.

Finally, Ainge had to get used to being the No. 1 quarterback instead of sharing the job.

In spite of all these changes, Ainge says he ended spring practice feeling very comfortable.

"I think the thing that makes me the most comfortable is knowing I'm going to go out every day and work the hardest every single day," he said recently. "I won't be outworked."

After splitting reps with Brent Schaeffer in 2004 and splitting reps with Rick Clausen in 2005, Ainge has had the first-team reps all to himself in 2006. He's taking nothing for granted, though. He knows the other quarterbacks are eager to wrest the top job from him.

"Obviously, Bo (Hardegree) and Jonathan (Crompton) can play," Ainge said. "And (February signee) Nick Stephens coming in has a gun, too.

"You can't sleep. But if I go out there and work I'll be fine."

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