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Rocky Top Talking Points: It's spring again in Tennessee

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Tennessee got it's earliest spring ever Thursday, and while I think it may be a sign of global warming, Sunday Morning Quarterback says it's a good idea to get spring practice over with as quickly as possible, in part to keep players healthy going into next season. Coach Fulmer says that's one of the main advantages to an early spring:

One of the consequences that come out of starting early, if you did have an injury you would have a chance to get a young man back perhaps before the season started. So some plusses and minuses. It does squeeze us just a little bit coming off of recruiting, but our coaches have done a good job of getting themselves ready for spring practice.

One position to keep an eye on this spring is running back. Not only will Arian Foster need to break out of last year's sophomore slump, but LaMarcus Coker will need to break out of Fulmer's doghouse:

I think he's got a good attitude about things, and I think he's trying to work hard to get himself where he wants to be. But there's a maturing process, and I'm kind of just watching that happen.

LaMarcus could be an exceptional football player. He just has to be more consistent in all that he does.

Like not consistenly ticking off his head coach, right?

Looks like Johnny Ball really is dead. The biggest change this spring might be the new no-huddle offense UT is trying out. Can Erik Ainge run a no-huddle effectively? He thinks he can:

"I love it," Ainge said. "It's going to make me learn and take my game to the next level. From the neck up, it's going to make me know that much more about the game. In order to get it to where me and Coach Cut want to get it to, we're the functional part. I am. The quarterbacks are; so we need to be able to handle everything."

Check out that whole Chris Low article for more of the reasons behind the trial run of the no-huddle.

Fulmer has also said that he wants to involve the tight end more this year (doesn't he say that every year?). Tennessee's not lisiting a fullback on the depth chart this spring, but rather two TEs. Former fullback David Holbert is also listed as a tight end. Could an emphasis on the tight end possibly be foreshadowing for the Brandon Warren era at UT?

That's all for now. Go Vols!