(WVLT) - Coach Fulmer says the team's playing better, swarming on defense, creating a good balance for themselves.
Coach Fulmer added, our youth still shows-up from time to time, as we're trying to improve fundamentally, as we're trying to prepare for Alabama.
The team is also growing some depth according to coach, which is encouraging as the team makes its way through this year's college football season.
Coach adds, the week has started very well. Practice went well Monday, but Fulmer added, the team certainly needs a great week of preparation as it goes into this Saturday's Alabama game.
Alabama is a very good football team, according to Coach. Kicking wise they're excellent, the kicker, punter, the return game, they certainly have done an outstanding job this year, and it's helped them win some close games.
Coach Fulmer said, Tennessee's kicking game's gotten better through the season too.
Defensively, Coach says Alabama is very good up-front and in their secondary, getting 9-sacks in the past 2-weeks. That alone has gotten Tennessee's attention. Alabama's a really good defensive football team.
Alabama's Quarterback John Parker-Wilson has continued to grow-up and get even better through-out the season. He's got a good arm, and is a good scrambler. He's likely the best quarterback we've played in a couple of weeks, according to Coach.
Alabama will present a big challenge for Tennessee's defensive team...
It'll take an entire team effort for the Vols to emerge victorious this weekend, and Coach added, the team's gonna have to win some of the big plays too.
Coach Fulmer said, the Vols also have got to do a better job at pressuring the quarterback, and get our hands on some balls, some interceptions, and some take-aways.
Erik Ainge for the Vols continues to play really well. And Coach Fulmer said, we really appreciate the job Erik's done through-out the year.
Arian Foster and Montario Hardesty have stepped-up for the Vols too, and Coach Fulmer added, the Tennessee coaching staff is really proud of them as well.
To Coach Fulmer, this game is still one of the greatest rivalries in College Football, a game he always looks forward to each season.
You can hear all of Coach Fulmer's Media Day Comments By Clicking On The Video Link Above.
HEAD COACH PHILLIP FULMER'S TUESDAY MEDIA DAY COMMENTS:
We are obviously pleased with the win last week. I am excited about the progress that our team continues to make. The effort and the attitude have really been good all along, but we're playing better right now. That's a real positive. We are much more fundamentally sound, having fun playing and swarming on defense. Offensively, we found a really good balance for ourselves. That certainly doesn't mean that there's not plenty of work to do.
We have to continue to improve from a fundamental standpoint. There are a couple of areas where our youth still shows up every now and then. Mentally, we need to move forward in that direction. We are obviously still trying to improve as we go through our individual drills and meetings. We are growing some depth, which is really encouraging as we go along. We hope to get more guys an opportunity to play.
The week has started very well for us. The guys yesterday were really into the work that needed to be done. We certainly need a great week of preparation as we go into this Alabama football game.
Regarding Alabama, they are obviously a very good football team. Kicking-wise, they are excellent. Their kicker, punter and return game; they certainly have done an outstanding job, and that has been a big factor in helping them win some close games. We're playing the kicking game pretty well right now, too. I think that's going to be one of those heady battles out there that as a football fan, you will certainly appreciate.
Defensively, they are a very multiple football team. They're really good up front, with their linebackers and their secondary. Getting nine sacks in the last two weeks certainly got our attention. As you look at them, they are a really good Alabama defensive football team.
Offensively, a lot centers on the quarterback. I think John Parker Wilson has continued to grow up and done a great job. He is a really fine football player with a strong arm. He sees the field well and is a capable scrambler. He is a guy we will have to deal with, the best quarterback we have played in several weeks.
Running game-wise, they are very strong runners, fast guys, guys that we'll have to do a good job on. Combine that with the play-action, and it gets to be a concern for us. They've done a good job with their wide receivers when they go to open sets and do those kinds of things. It will be a challenge for our defense.
As I said, we have to do a great job in the kicking game to win the game. We have to win the line-of-scrimmage battles, which we're doing a better job of. We have to limit their big plays, take care of the football and protect our quarterback. The pressures they can put on a quarterback are significant. In return, we have to do a better job of pressuring the quarterback, make some plays and hopefully get our hands on some balls. We've been really close with several tipped balls, but we need to get some interceptions and takeaways.
I think both quarterbacks will be significant in this ball game. Erik (Ainge) continues to play really well for us. Sometimes, quarterbacks get more credit and criticism than they deserve. In Erik's case, we really appreciate the job he has done throughout the year. Arian Foster and Montario Hardesty have also stepped up their game significantly and are playing really well for us.
This game is always special to anybody that has ever played in it, to the Tennessee people and the Alabama people. To me, it is one of the greatest rivalries in college football. We're looking for a good week of preparation and a great football game on Saturday.
VOL NETWORK 'STADIUMCAST' IN TUSCALOOSA SET FOR FM 89.7:
The Vol Network's "StadiumCast" frequency for the Tennessee-Alabama game Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium is 89.7 on the FM dial.
Fans attending the game can tune into the Vol Network broadcast at the stadium by bringing a portable radio. The 'Kickoff Call-In Show' begins Vol Network coverage at 10 a.m. Central time (11 a.m. Eastern).
Story Courtesy: UT Sports Information