1. SECOND-TEAM SENSE OF URGENCY Fulmer has made several references to a great divide between his first and second-team units. That’s a typical spring practice problem for many teams, because most players don’t understand the consistent level of consistent effort needed for sustained success at the college level. At some places, though — particularly on both lines — Fulmer and his staff will sleep more soundly at night when the second-teamers start to understand.
2. BETTER PLAY UP FRONT Young linemen on both sides of the ball have been consistently criticized by Fulmer throughout this spring, as the Vols simply need more depth along each front line. Fulmer was more complimentary of the second-team offensive line this week, but he’s still clearly frustrated by both units at times.
3. BETTER CLOCK MANAGEMENT Tennessee’s offense is back in the huddle under first-year coordinator Dave Clawson, and the Vols could have been whistled a handful of times for delay of game in last Saturday’s first major scrimmage. Clawson said he doesn’t expect those “growing pains” to disappear today, but he hopes that another week of intense installation will make the Vols more efficient today.
4. CONSISTENCY FROM CUNNINGHAM Chad Cunningham is clearly a talented punter. The rising sophomore doesn’t have a Britton Colquitt-like leg — who does? — but when he hits it well, he looks like a college punter. He still doesn’t do it with nearly enough consistency to fill his coaches with confidence. Fulmer and his staff won’t completely exhale until Cunningham performs well on a fall Saturday, but they’ll breathe easier if he has a strong finish this spring.
5. SOLID EFFORT FROM KEVIN COOPER With senior David Holbert probably done for the season after last Saturday’s serious knee injury, and Ben Bartholomew not enrolling until this summer, rising sophomore Kevin Cooper from Baylor School is UT’s only healthy scholarship fullback this spring. Clawson’s offense features more of a true fullback position that David Cutcliffe’s H-back-heavy system, and Cooper feels like his new role better suits his skills. It’s time for him to show that.