Vols resume spring drills in full pads

March 25, 2008

Knoxville -- Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer saw positive results --for the most part -- from the team’s first spring day in full tackling gear.

“I thought we had a good first day of pads,” he said. “It’s an attitude thing and they have been responsive. There’s a considerable difference between the guys who have played and the guys who are trying to earn a position, although there were some guys today who were trying to push forward. A few guys got knocked on their rears a few times but they got back up and fought, and that is a good sign.

“It’s an attitude thing and they have been responsive.”

The Vols coach pointed out a few of the individuals who could make a difference during the 2008 season.

“There were a good number of running backs that looked good and I thought Jonathan (Crompton) had a good day overall,” he said. “The defensive front took it to them, Robert Ayers in particular and Wes Brown on a number of occasions, and that was good to see.

“You’ve seen guys that maybe you worried about -- were they good enough and were they tough enough. But as they mature and they stay in the program, they become football players. I guess the best example of that would be Josh Briscoe. Josh Briscoe is a football player. He’s not just a soft little receiver. He’ll go block your butt and can make the tough catch.

The Vols are off until a three-day practice slate that begins Thursday and runs in conjunction with the annual coaching clinic.

“I like the way our schedule is spread out enough that tonight and tomorrow we can study the film and, when we come back, we should improve considerably by Thursday.”

Fulmer also announced that Ja’Kouri Williams, who last season announced he was calling it a career, has decided to return to the team.

“Ja’Kouri is a great story and will graduate this summer, and now he’s decided to try to play again. He was good on special teams for us and will play receiver. If it all works out, he will stay with us in the fall.”




Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis headlines the annual Tennessee Football Coaches Clinic, slated for Friday and Saturday at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Lewis just completed his fifth season as Bengals head coach. His best campaign was an 11-5 finish in 2005 that resulted in an AFC North Division championship. When Lewis was named to the position in 2003, he became the eighth African-American head coach in NFL history.

In 2002, the season before he joined the Bengals, Lewis led the Washington Redskins to a No. 5 NFL defensive ranking, serving as assistant head coach as well as defensive coordinator. He came to the Redskins after six seasons (1996-2001) as defensive coordinator with the Baltimore Ravens, a tenure that included a Super Bowl victory in the 2000 season.

In the 2000 regular season, Lewis' Baltimore defense set the NFL record for fewest points allowed in a 16-game campaign (165), clipping 22 points off the previous mark.

Lewis had his first NFL assignment from 1992-95, as linebackers coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The opportunity came after 11 years in college coaching that featured stops at his alma mater, Idaho State, as well as Long Beach State, New Mexico and Pittsburgh.

Lewis played linebacker at Idaho State, earning All-Big Sky Conference honors for three consecutive years (1978-80). He received his bachelor's degree in physical education in 1981 and earned his master's in athletic administration in 1982. He was inducted into Idaho State's Hall of Fame in 2001.

He and his wife, Peggy, have a daughter, Whitney, and a son, Marcus.

This weekend's lineup also includes coaches from six of Tennessee's seven current high school state championship staffs: Phillip Shadowens of Smyrna, David Ellis of Maryville, Glenn McAdams of David Lipscomb, Vic Grider of South Pittsburg, Daniel McGugin of Montgomery Bell Academy and Ken Netherland of St. George's.

UT assistant coaches will provide their usual chalk talks, always a favorite, and head coach Phillip Fulmer is on the docket this year with a Saturday morning opening session on "Faith in Coaching."

For more information, please contact the Tennessee football office at (865) 974-1247.

Note that all parties interested in hearing Marvin Lewis MUST pay for the entire clinic ($50 per person with pre-registration, $60 per person w/o pre-registration) and will receive a clinic shirt, notebook, and be able to attend the clinic.

Story Courtesy: TN Sports Information

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