No-huddle is not new

A lot of Tennessee fans are wondering if Erik Ainge will thrive in the Vols' new no-huddle attack. The fact is, he already has.

Tennessee used the no-huddle during Ainge's freshman year, when he threw a school freshman record 17 touchdown passes and guided the Vols to wins over Florida, Georgia and Alabama en route to a 9-2 regular season.

Head coach Phillip Fulmer offered a little history lesson recently when asked about the potential impact of the no-huddle attack.

"We did it when Erik was a freshman," he said. "We just did it a little bit different way … where we called plays from the sideline."

Ainge is much more poised and knowledgeable than he was in 2004, so the coaching staff will let him read the defense and call some of his own plays in 2007.

"Erik has matured and understands now to the point of how to do that," Fulmer said. "He's basically like a coach on the field. He gives us a chance to go from a run to one side to perhaps the same run to the other side. He gives us a chance to go from a run to a pass or a pass to a run, depending on what we're getting from the defense."

Although the no-huddle attack will give Tennessee a chance to adjust to the defensive alignment, Fulmer cautioned that opposing defenders are "not going to sit there like wooden Indians." They'll be shifting and disguising their alignments.

"They're going to try to give you the same kind of problems," Fulmer said. "It's a bit of a game."

Still, Tennessee's offense could have the last laugh. If an opponent is doing a lot of shifting once the Vols come to the line of scrimmage, a quick count becomes a potentially devastating option.

"We'll have to use our cadence – the first sound and all of those things that keep a defense off balance," Fulmer noted. "It's basically to gain an advantage on the defense."


Inside Tennessee Top Stories