Arian earns praise from coach

Tennessee moved past the halfway point of its 2008 spring practice schedule with another 2 1/2-hour workout, this time inside the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center because of Thursday's inclement weather.

Head coach Phillip Fulmer spent the session trying to coerce his younger charges to raise their games in advance of the team's next big scrimmage this weekend.

"We had good work today," Fulmer said. "After looking at Tuesday's scrimmage work, it really wasn't what we wanted. A lot of guys just don't understand the level they've got to reach to play. It's still a battle and it's going to be a battle.

"I'm expecting to see better results come Saturday."

The Vols are allowed 15 total practice dates. After the weekend, only six will remain -- and that includes the Orange and White Game on April 19.

"The offense is getting more in to challenge the defense, which is a plus for both sides," Fulmer said. "We'll take a great look at the kicking game again and hopefully continue improving.

"Tuesday's scrimmage work didn't indicate that. We were coming off a Saturday scrimmage and they may have been sore, but we did not show the kind of intensity you need to show to be a team that is improving."

Fulmer added that individual progress is being made and singled out senior tailback Arian Foster.

"I thought Arian took a real step Tuesday. He was one of the real bright spots in the scrimmage work. He showed why he is 600 yards from being the all-time leading rusher in Tennessee's history. Not only that but he stepped up and took on a couple of blitzing linebackers like a big-time back is supposed to do.

"I want to keep him sharp, keep him healthy and make sure we're getting ready for the fall."

Getting ready for Saturday is Fulmer's immediate concern across the board.

"We're going to play the clock; can we manage it well? Can we not fumble snaps, because we had some of those? Can we not throw it right to the other guy, because we had one of those? Do we play at the intensity level we need to play and like the defense did?

"Those are the questions we have to answer."

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