Fulmer 'thrilled with the effort'

The Tennessee football team is nearing the end of its toughest week of fall camp after completing Thursday's two-a-day session at Haslam Field.

The Vols worked out in full pads during the morning session and focused on short yardage and goal line situations during a brief scrimmage at the end of practice. The afternoon gathering in shorts and shoulder pads gave the offense a chance to work on the passing game and its specialty packages.

Head coach Phillip Fulmer said neither workout was flawless from an execution standpoint, but the team's attitude improved substantially from Wednesday's workout.

"I need to go and evaluate the offense, the defense, the techniques and the fundamentals, but I was thrilled with the effort we gave today," Fulmer said. "For a Thursday 10 or 12 days into it, I liked their attitude. That doesn't guarantee us a thing but an opportunity to get better.

"I think they followed the coaches' leads. We were determined to go out there with energy ourselves in our leadership, and our team followed."

Fulmer does want to see his second and third-string players do a better job of pushing the starters every day.

"I know how I had to be as a player, how John Chavis had to be as a player. For us, every day was a battle to get on the field. We have some guys who are thinking they have to wait their turn, but that's not the way you play the game. You fight to get on the field, to get on special teams. You're a better football team if you play more guys."

After six practices this week, the Vols now have only four workouts and a scrimmage between them and the start of classes Wednesday. Game week preparations begin just five days later on August 25. The second scrimmage of the preseason is scheduled for 8 p.m. Saturday at Neyland Stadium. UT students are invited to attend and can enter through gates 1-3.

Pride of the Southland Band Visits: Less than an hour into the afternoon workout, the Vols were provided some musical assistance in improving their morale. The Pride of the Southland Band made its annual visit to Haslam Field for two renditions of "Rocky Top" sandwiched around the band's own version of "Apache" and the theme from Excalibur, "O Fortuna."

The players enjoyed the musical interlude as many took the opportunity to showcase their dance moves. Afterwards, Fulmer and the players thanked the band for coming and returned to the task of preparing for the season opener Sept. 1 at UCLA.

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