Fulmer: "We tackled well"

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August 11, 2008

UT CAMPUS (WVLT) -- The Vols spent the first half of Monday's practice correcting mistakes from Saturday's season-opening scrimmage, which favored the defense, as early scrimmages usually do. Phillip Fulmer said he was especially encouraged by the tackling of the first team defense Saturday, mentioning that he wanted to pick up where the team left off at the end of the 2007 season, when the Vols tackled effectively.

"We tackled for the first scrimmage about as well as we've tackled here in a first scrimmage," Fulmer said. "That was a big goal of ours going into the scrimmage, to pick up where we left off at the end of last season."

Jonathan Crompton didn't have an ideal first scrimmage, but he wasn't a total flop. The first-year starter was 12-of-16 for 114 yards and an interception (a tipped pass over the middle snagged by Demetrice Morley). Crompton said he felt pretty good about how he played and was looking forward to continued improvement on the practice field.

"We have to eliminate a few minor mistakes, get better and learn from them," Crompton said. "We're going to try to make everything better going into next Saturday and try to make the fewest mistakes we can so we can go out and win ball games."

The head ball coach knows Crompton won't be perfect.

"Along the way there are gonna be interceptions," Fulmer said. "A bad route, tipped ball, or when you've got to make a play somewhere. There's not a quarterback in history who's never thrown an interception."

While Crompton figures to take the vast majority of snaps this season, wide receiver Gerald Jones is ready to unveil the sophomore edition of the "G-Gun." Both Jones and standout safety Eric Berry took snaps at quarterback Monday, and Jones says he thinks Tennessee fans might see the G-Gun early and often if the Vols can perfect it.

"If we can make it effective in practice, I think we'll use it in a game effectively," Jones told me. "I never thought I'd be going back [to the quarterback position] coming out of high school, but it's a privilege."

Running back Arian Foster missed practice with a sore knee. He's not sure how long he'll be out, but said if the UCLA game were tomorrow, he'd have no problem playing. When asked how he injured his knee, he said he hurt it "playing football."

Fulmer said the Vols escaped Saturday's scrimmage with only minor cuts and bruises, good news for a team that lost backup defensive tackle Chase Nelson for the season last week.

The Vols will spend the rest of the week preparing for another scrimmage this Saturday. Fulmer said the team spent the second half of Monday's practice beginning those preparations.

Another UCLA quarterback will miss the UT game Sept. 1 -- projected starter Ben Olson. Olson, a fifth-year senior, broke his foot in practice and will miss at least two months. That leaves junior college transfer Kevin Craft and redshirt freshman Chris Forcier to compete for the start against the Vols.

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