Friday Afternoon Practice Report

On Friday the Vols prepared for a Saturday scrimmage and the ever-looming matchup with Wyoming in just over two weeks. Coach Fulmer addressed some surprising changes for the offense.

The Vols looked focused on Friday afternoon as their practice was held in the Neyland-Thompson sports complex due to rain in the Knoxville area. As practice concluded Coach Fulmer addressed some position changes that the coaching staff had made over the course of the last day.


The first position change was former offensive lineman Victor McClure being switched to tight end. "We need a good blocker behind Jason Witten," Coach Fulmer commented. "We are moving Sudan Ellington to fullback to also address a small depth need there." Ellington had not seen many quality reps at tight end in the spring and in the short amount of time that the team have been in fall drills. McClure's move probably is a sign of needing blocking at the position more than the receiving aspect, which was evident by Coach Fulmer's remarks. Ellington's size was a contributing factor to his move to fullback.


Sudan is listed at 6-3, 245 which maybe a little over for him. Regardless he should be able to contribute at the fullback position. If nothing else he will lend a hand to a slot that is thin at this time.


Fulmer also made another surprising call on Friday. "When Rashad(Baker)gets back to full speed, we anticipate getting him some reps at wide receiver. Rashad will not miss a beat at safety, this just gives the coaching staff a few options. We were talking about doing this about the same time last year, but I think he was hurt then too," Fulmer said. Baker's injury he is speaking about looks to be a pulled calf muscle. That is purely guessing because of the Health Privacy Act, but he has been stretching his left calf muscle quite a bit.


Fulmer also addressed one other need. True freshman Greg Jones was moved to defensive tackle from defensive end. "Greg is only one snap from being a second teamer at the position. At this time we are shorter at tackle than end, so that is why we decided to do that with Greg. We are really happy at the way these young guys have been so accomadating with the moves we have made regarding their position changes," Fulmer said.


During practice there were a few things that were very noticeable. C.J. Leak looked better on Friday than he has in the last few weeks. C.J. was very decisive throwing the football and looked like the player I was hoping he would be when he decided to transfer to Tennessee. Leak was throwing bullets to many different receivers. He was off target a few times, but looked very sharp on Friday. Gerald Riggs continues to run the ball well, despite a swollen ankle. He is showing himself very well at a position that overruns with talent. The freshman receivers, Chris Hannon and Jon Wade, also have made great moves over the last two weeks to put themselves in position to be in Tennessee's game plan in 2002. Wade looks like Donte Stallworth in about everything he does and Hannon, according to Randy Moore mind you, looks like a "Randy Moss clone." If both guys continue to improve, we should see them early against Wyoming.


The scrimmage tomorrow should be very exciting, but there will be a few impact players that won't see a good deal of playing time. To save time I will give you all I know about those impact players and how much they look to see in the scrimmage on Saturday;


*Casey Clausen-Do you really want to see our heist...Heisman candidate go down in the second scrimmage? Me either. 15-20 snaps at the absolute max and he will give way to Mr.Leake and Mr.Banks.


*Kelley Washington-Kelley will see about as much action as what an NFL player would at this point in the preseason. 5-10 snaps, grab the hat and sample the Gatorade.


*Jason Witten-He has been suffering through some bumps and bruises so he will be "limited" also. Jason is probably looking at 8-12 snaps and he will be tasting away with Kelley.


*Kevin Burnett-Kev will get a little more work than the aforementioned and looks at 20-25 snaps. He will give way to Jason Mitchell and the freshmen.


*Rashad Baker-Rashad may not go at all. If he does, it will not exceed 5-8 snaps.


*Eddie Moore-Mr. Tempo will work with his defense probably 18-20 snaps and coach Kevin Simon and the freshman from the sideline.


*Julian Battle-Will work some at corner and safety for good measure sake. He looks at 22-25 snaps tomorrow.


*Cedric Houston will probably sit for tomorrow, due to the fact that he wasn't expected back until Monday to practice. There are plenty of guys waiting in line for Cedric's snaps.


Well there it is. Purely guessing, but that gives you some idea. Randy will be giving you an update on the scrimmage tomorrow evening. Hope all have a safe and wonderful weekend. Go Vols


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