Fulmer tired of pinky questions

You get the feeling Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer is tired of talking about Erik Ainge’s pinky.

“Erik’s fine,” Fulmer said after an hour-and-a-half long practice at the Neyland-Thompson Indoor Practice Facility on Thursday.

“He’s ready to go play football.”

Ainge broke the pinky finger on his right (throwing hand) at practice on Monday, but was back on the practice field throwing, at least in a limited capacity as early as Wednesday.

Fulmer has said all week he felt his senior quarterback would be ready to go when the No. 15-ranked Vols play at No. 12-ranked California at 8 p.m. Saturday (TV: ABC).

After watching Ainge on Thursday, nothing happened to change Fulmer’s opinion.

He seemed almost upbeat about the progress.

“Erik did fine,” Fulmer said. “He took every snap of practice and threw the ball well. I don’t see any issues with that.

“I just appreciate his toughness. We gave it a couple of days to settle down and it worked out well. We’re excited about it.”

During the early portion of practice open to the media Ainge appeared to throw the ball well and with some velocity despite having his pinky and right ring finger taped together.

The passes were of the 10- to 15-yard variety, but Ainge was on the money and seemed comfortable.

Fulmer also reiterated his confidence in backup quarterback Jonathan Crompton.

“I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and I told him I think we have the best backup quarterback in the Southeastern Conference,” he said. “I don’t know all of them, but I think we do.

“I would be comfortable with Jonathan. Don’t get me wrong. I want our starter to play and he’s a starter for a reason, but these couple of days have been good for (Jonathan).”

© 2007 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 50

Sheepscape writes:

Man, he ain't the only one sick of pinky questions.

ElizabethtonvolnNC writes:

I'm with you Coach...can we just kick the #*$& BALL!!!

tigervol9802 writes:


I heard Foster also got a paper cut yesterday, any truth to the rumor? *rolls eyes*

sjt - I think State plays them close than what most think. I think the Cajuns are going to miss JimBo nore than anyone realizes.

buxavol writes:

Tee it up!!! Let's GO!!!!!!!!!!

gbrbossman#228379 writes:

I'm more worried about the kicking game than the pinky.

FloridaVol writes:

I am tired of all the speculation. Saturday night at 8 oclock cannot get here fast enough. One good long touchdown drive will shut everyone up and have the teddy bears back on their heels again. I am ready to fire up the grill, put a 12 pack on ice, and nestle into the leather couch and watch my 52 inch HD TV with surround sound and hear Rocky Top blasting in my ears as TN jumps out to a quick 21-0 lead at halftime!

FatherVol writes:

OK, guys. I have CPF figured our because I lived across the hall from him, but who is "Fisher"? No reference to him in the above article or any of the previous posts. Call me dumb, but....

LSU 42 MSU 19

CoverOrange writes:

Agree with sjt and ilove. Thought that Miles made strategic and tactical errors in the Rick Clausen bowl a coupla years ago and definitely made tactical mistakes last year in the Auburn game. Les is/will be Larry Coker part deux.

FatherVol writes:

Thanks, guys. Guess I'm spending too much time in the pew praying for a victory on Saturday night.

Volchaz writes:

If we lose the game, there will be no pinky-gate. No excuses, he's a senior, put up or shut up. This is SEC vs. Pac 10, and they'll take a win any way they can get it. GBO

ZacharyUTK writes:

Very funny FatherVol, MSU won't get close to 19.

tigervol9802 writes:

A Cal quote regarding last year's game on cnnsi.com -

"It's not like they beat us up physically, or ran circles around us," says wide out LaVelle Hawkins. "They just got us on certain plays. It wasn't pretty, but it was fixable."

Really? Apparently that's the reason it was 35-0 at one point! This guy and the real Cal Bears were at another game if the thinks we didn't physically whip them!

orangebloodgmc writes:

Here in BR, I don't like Miles either. I think he is all posing, image and coach-speak. Picture in local paper the other day with head cocked back, exaggerated jutting chin and arms folded ... looked like vintage Mussolini! He and Fisher clashed; think Jimbo did well to leave. But trying to be fair, I would say LSU slightly outcoached us last year when they pulled off the fake punt and we seemed to be totally surprised by it. Geaux Vawls! Cut that damn pinky off and the other one too for symmetry!

bigorangebluegrass writes:

FloridaVol; right on the $$.

TigerVol; nailed it. No one eats, sleeps, dreams, & craps football the way we do in the SEC...and then there's us Vol fans...Cal can't hang. From showing up to camp with blue hair to tree-dwelling protesters to the same ESPN/national media predictions as last year..it's obvious. Vols roll in Berkley. Oh, and Les Miles is almost as arrogant as Deshawn Jackson....the fake punt worked, Miles called it because that night @ Neyland he was coaching for his job. Can't stand the guy. Go Vols.

kevinlimbo#326134 writes:

As long as Phil doesn't start saying, "I don't know which QB is going to start, but it's going to be a good one!", I'm feeling good for Saturday.

FatherVol writes:

Zach, I'm allowing points against the Tiger reserves in the 4th quater.

rockytoptilidie#236348 writes:

I had my appetizer yesterday - 1998 National Championship Game, watching Peerless scorch FSU and an unincarcerated Dwayne Goodrych locking down the unstoppable Peter Warrick.

Vols 31
Cal 17

FatherVol writes:

Tennessee 33
California 24

andy112382#209793 writes:

Lou Holtz does not need to be on the air, period. This guy is insane, he said just now on ESPN that the game will not be close, Cal wins, and he wished the show was longer than an hour long so he could even get into all of the problems Tennessee is having(?!?!?)

Uh, guys, did I read the wrong site for the offseason, I know Ainge has a slight boo-boo, but I am pretty sure this has been one of the smoothest offseasons in a few years with very few instances of guys getting in trouble or injured and this team appears very focused and more talented than recent seasons.

I can't wait, I am loving this, they are talking like they did going into last years Cal game, or even worse like the FSU fiesta bowl where we stood no chance at all. The guy next to Lou said 'well it will be closer than you think, but Cal defintely will win'.......Can't wait to shock the world, again! GO VOLS!!!

andy112382#209793 writes:

Well, might as well throw my prediction out there while I'm at it!

Tennessee 38
Cal 20

FatherVol writes:

17 minutes until kick-off in Cowtown. My blood's beginin' to simmer waiting for Saturday. I watched the Sugar Bowl vs. Miami this afternoon and will watch the 98 BCS game tomorrow. Sure wish I hadn't had suregry on my vocal cords last Friday so I culd rattle the neighborhood. Y'all yell twice as loud to cover me.

bigorangebluegrass writes:

Lou Holtz, er, Daffy Duck, what an idiot. ESPN's Token old guy who knows as much about critiquing football as he did about coaching @ S.C. The only thing thicker than his head are his glasses.

AllVol writes:

Make the Vols the underdogs and bet your ass on 'em to win--BIG. I love it. I really don't understand the national bias against us, except that maybe we're uppity hillbillies, but damn, they can kiss my Big Orange Ass. Don't mean to be uncultured, but man, I've had enough of this phooey. Kick it off and eat our dust.

andy112382#209793 writes:

Well I sure hope this is a GREAT weekend. Got a call about a job interview tommorow, funny thing is it is right next door to where I use to work and it pays more and has benefits unlike my last job! Wish me luck! Get a new job and watch the Vols the next day destroy Cal. I know some say they would be happy with a one-point win, and while yes that is better than losing, I want us to do what we did last year to them! I am so fired up right now, especially after listening to the ESPN guys trash us all day and give us as much of a chance as we had down in Miami in.... 2003 was it? When we snapped their longggg home winning streak. GO VOLS!!!

bigorangebluegrass writes:

allvol, you dog. i'm pretty sure you and i got the same mom, brothers in orange baby.

Vol43 writes:

The Cal fans plan to show up with megaphones..how sweet. After the game maybe they can recoup money and sell 'em on ebay!

Calbears40 writes:

Come on! You crushed us last year, lets make it a good game this time out. Cal 28- Vols 17! There, doesnt that sound good?

Vol43 writes:

Define 'good'.

volgrog#210164 writes:

My predictions:
1. The TN crowd will be louder than the Cal crowd, megaphones or no megaphones,
2. IF...we don't allow points on special teams, we will be up by 14 at half time and win by 21, 38-17.
3. The ESPN crew will once again be surprised by TN's strong start.
4. They may forget the score of the game in No-Cal, but they won't forget the orange-cladded, Rocky Top singing, buck dancing, drunken hillbillies that invade this weekend.

GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Calbears40 writes:

1. thats fine, no one has the illusion that cals crowd will come close to the tennessee crowd but they will be very enthusiastic. However, they can be dead quiet, just so long as longshore can make calls at the line of scrimmage.
2. If you do that, then that will be more impressive than last year.
3. maybe, dont know about this. If so, they shouldnt be.
4. The score will not be forgotten in norcal, and they definately wont forget yall. Hope those of you that travel enjoy yourselves. Enjoy the sites, i apologize about the traffic before hand.

And I as a cal fan would define GOOD as a Bear win of course!

threehundredbowler writes:

Andy,good luck on your job interview.I would like to see everyone working.That will keep my social security checks coming.Seriously,good luck.

AllVol writes:

Good luck in helping feed your family and Seven Pin, Andy. :) I'll holler for ya' FatherVol. And yes, we are brothers in Orange, Bluegerass. I believe it was the Lonesome MOuntain banfd that did "Ten Mile Tennessee". Always brings a tear to my eye.

It's time the Vols got back in the national picture. Let's rock and roll . . . .

andy112382#209793 writes:

haha, hey any way I can contribute to those checks, seven_pin. Thanks though! GO VOLS!!! And Calbears40, I was going to trash talk just a bit and ask how you got lost and ended up on our site and all, but you are at least courteous and not an abnoxious fan coming on here and ruining the party, so I must thank you for that! It'll be a fun game. GO VOLS!!!

Calbears40 writes:

Thanks guys. I found your website from a bears website. There was a post about your safety, Johnathon Hefney, talking about how he had never seen a team wilt before like the bears did last year. I clicked on it and it led me here. Its a neat little website if ya'll are interested. It posts articles about the bears and their opponent from around the country. If ya'll are interested its http://calgoldenbearfootball.blogspot... after the articles you can make comments if you want.

Hunter writes:

Maybe Calbears40 can go to Tuscaloosa and hand out some flyers about being a classy opposing fan. Oh, but pictures only, please - we all know they can't read....

Sorry, guys, just hating Alabama a little early this year!

Tennessee - 31
California - 28

FatherVol writes:

Thanks, AllVol. It is not natural to be silent during a Vol game of any kind let alone the first football game of the season.

Good luck, Andy, I will say a prayer for you when I attend Mass in the morning.

Calbear, Iw as at your site the other day. Sure wish players would learn to keep their mouths shut instead of providing locker room inspiration. And, from my perspective, may the bears wilt again this year. Go Vols!

FatherVol writes:

Hunter, why apologize? I hate Alabama every day of the year! God, forgive me.

volgrog#210164 writes:

Calbear, if you are going to the game, have a good time, but not too good. As you can see, I think most of us would suit up if we could and get one shot in on the opening kickoff. Probably not a good idea; the point is I'm ready to go.

Good posts, and no disrespect to Cal. I do think we will win if we can contain the Bears on special teams. Our special teams has been suspect in almost all of our losses over the last couple of years. If Cal gets a big return, it could get ugly the other way. You don't want to give up big special teams plays on the road--it gives tons of momentum to the home team.

I think our team speed is better than last year overall and we have more depth. Plus, it seems like you are replacing a large part of your defense. This is why I'm picking the Vols big.

Hunter writes:

FatherVol, you know that God forgives you. He loves everyone (I think He may not prefer Bama fans when given the option, though).

mikeinknoxville writes:

Amputate the pinky and move on. Only God loves an alabamy fan.

AllVol writes:

I'll bet Cal will be real focused. Like my Daddy always told me, California is a land full of fruits and nuts . . . .

By Mark Purdy

Jeff Tedford, the Cal football coach, wants his team's followers to be psyched for Saturday's big season opener against Tennessee. "I'd like to challenge our fans to step up," he said the other day. He must not have looked out his office window. There, right next to Memorial Stadium, some enthusiastic Berkeley folks haven't just stepped up. They have climbed up. Into the trees, that is. Maybe you've heard. Since December, protesters have occupied the grove of oaks and redwoods outside Memorial Stadium. They live on improvised platforms amid the branches as they try to stop the university's plans for a sports performance center on the site, the first step of a stadium expansion and renovation.

The tree occupation has created some interesting interaction. Cal's weight room is on the stadium's mezzanine level, so when players are pumping iron in the morning, they find themselves roughly at eye level with the Tree People, maybe 30 feet away through open windows. "There's some smack talk," confirmed Thomas DeCoud, a Cal defensive back. "You know, we might yell, `Get out of the trees!' And they might sarcastically yell back, `Go football team, go!' Nothing real vicious. It's kind of annoying, having them up there. But what can you do?" Uh, get out the leaf blowers? "I don't talk to them," Cal tackle Mike Teppe (sic) said. "But I can tell you one thing: they do smell. You don't want to be downwind of them. . . . I'm kind of excited to see what the people from Tennessee do with the Tree People."

rockytoptilidie#236348 writes:

Funny story about last year's game:

I was on the edge of the Cal section near the 20 yard line and some Cal fans were sitting down offset to my right in front of me. The fans that were there remember that the crowd was on fire like they hadn't been in a long time. I had just returned from 2 years in Baghdad as a government contractor at the time, so I was definitely fired up to be at home with my family. I had been down with the flu for a week leading up to the game, but traveled from San Antone to K-town nonetheless, and was yelling typical crowd cheers (DEEE-FENSE! GO BIG Orange!) Anyway, up 35-0 and I'm exhausted. They get a first down and the guy in front of me turns around and says "Where's that defense now?" I told him to look at the scoreboard. He said "I'm getting sick of your yelling - you won't bring that poop to Berkley!" Bwaahahahahahhahahaa I seriously almost fell out of the stands with that comment. I'll never forget that. Well, I'm heading to SF in 90 minutes, so I'm taking that poop to Berkley... GBO!

AllVol writes:

Very funny, indeed. Bon Voyagee . . . . :)

pastor_VOLSfan writes:

Have really enjoyed the posts leading up to the season opener. I have wore so much orange to the office this week that it made one of the other staff members ask if that is the only color I own. To which I replied - is there any other color to own. Seriously I think this game will hang on the play of of OL and the health of Colquit's leg and his ability to handle all the kicking duties. I say we win but not as easily as last year

TN - 34
Cal - 31

and FatherVol - from one minister to another I pray for your speedy return to health so until your voice is back to full strength, I will raise my cheering a few decibles in your honor. (formerly pastor_govols on the paysite)

Calbears40 writes:

Well one day at last! Last night i must admit i stopped watching at halftime. Miss St. better get good quick or croom is history. I actually thought their defense played well in the first half. Their offense...oh well. I really dont see you guys as being as strong as last year but we shall see. Last year before the game i looked and you had lost 6 out of 7 players in your defensive front. I thought we might exploit it. Then it was like running into a damn brick wall! We shall see, i do see Bears 28-vols 17 though. You guys talk of the conflicts you have with opposing fans. I think i will have to stop by from time to time and witness it. Especially the bama game. I have been searching the net looking at various blogs and the arky fans are also giving vols fans a bit of grief. Anyone gonna watch wash-Syracuse tonight?

pastor_VOLSfan writes:

correction - it is Colquitt (spelled wrong in previous post) and I now see that Lincoln will be doing the place kicking after reading the coach is fired up article. just wanted to clear this up before I got to much grief. Still worried about Colquitt's leg more than Ainge's finger.

cwisenhower#637741 writes:

TouchdownTN - Maybe they think UT is gonna roll over Cal and they're not interested in seeing a blowout like last year.

orangebloodgmc writes:

Calbears, you do raise a good point about your 2nd and 3rd receivers. Hope our team doesn't get TOO preoccupied with Jackson. Yeah it'll probably get ugly around here closer to Bama time and FL before that, Spurrier after, and even Vandy ... the fun never stops!

invisiblekid writes:

Andy, good luck with the job and write the following on the chalkboard 10 times: " I will turn the channel any time Lou Holtz appears on ESPN". Nothing good comes from watching him, only the need to squeegy(sp.) your television and a temporary drop in IQ. He is proof positive that Alzheimer's disease is not a pretty thing to watch.

cwisenhower#637741 writes:

Honestly, I'm watching the Washington/Syracuse game right now, and they just reported, during the middle of the third quarter, that Ainge had his pinky and ring finger taped together on his throwing hand (obviously, right?). The kicker, however, is that it was reported to the ESPN reporter on hand, that during their walk through, Ainge complained that the finger was very painful and it is expected that his finger will be even more painful tomorrow. It's time for Crompton to man up and make things happen for us.

So....I don't know if we win anymore.

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