Fulmer says he's getting advice on future

John Chavis: Eric Berry is the best DB in the country

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Eric Berry says the Vanderbilt and Kentucky games will be a tribute to head coach, Phillip Fulmer, with players giving 110% on the field.

Eric Berry says the Vanderbilt and Kentucky games will be a tribute to head coach, Phillip Fulmer, with players giving 110% on the field. Watch »

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Coach Chavis talks about the Vanderbilt coaching staff, specifically head coach, Bobby Johnson.

Coach Chavis talks about the Vanderbilt coaching staff, specifically head coach, Bobby Johnson. Watch »

Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer maintains he's only thinking about the short-term future, even though he keeps getting asked about his long-term plans.

"That right now is not my concern," Fulmer said Tuesday when asked about what he'll do after stepping down following this season. "My concerns are these two ball games, this football team and getting this team ready to play our best and win these last two games."

Still, the question persisted from during his weekly press conference: Will he coach again?

"If a great opportunity came about that I really felt good about, certainly I would look at that," Fulmer said.

Fulmer declined to describe exactly what a "great opportunity" might mean.

He said he's sought consultation from other former coaches, including UT's Doug Dickey and Bill Battle and Michigan's Lloyd Carr.

"They all encourage you 'Don't do anything too fast,' " Fulmer said.

Or out of anger.

"I'm not bitter; I'm not going to do that," Fulmer said.

Then Fulmer seemed genuinely conflicted.

"The fire still burns real deep to coach," he said. "But at the same time, my family has paid a dear price for a long time.

"I've used the phrase 'Coaching is what I do. It's not who I am.' I think there are a lot of things I can do. I'm going to take some time and reflect and try to figure that out."

That could come long after UT's 2008 season has concluded - and quite possibly in a secluded locale.

"Then," Fulmer said, "you're going to have to really look for me."

Arian's Ailment: Fulmer said once again he's surprised by the time it has taken tailback Arian Foster to return from a bruised quadriceps.

"I'm really surprised that his leg hasn't responded better," Fulmer said.

Foster was extremely limited in practice the week before the Wyoming game, did not play against the Cowboys, then did not practice last week during UT's off week - essentially giving the senior two weeks off.

Fulmer seemed doubtful that Foster would play Saturday against Vanderbilt.

"It's still really ugly and bruised," Fulmer said. "I would have thought it (the leg) would have been past that. Maybe he will be better at the end of the week."

Foster's flexibility and pain tolerance will determine whether or not he can play.

"I don't think there's any risk of further injury," Fulmer said. "The stiffness hasn't gone away."

The injury and UT's disappointing season have taken their toll on Foster's legacy. By not starting against Wyoming, Foster's bid to set the Fulmer-era record for most consecutive starts by a tailback was dashed.

With just two games left, Foster is also 226 yards shy of becoming UT's all-time leading rusher.

Needing only 684 yards before the season, Foster was considered a lock to reach that milestone. Averaging only 68 yards per game this season, it seems unlikely he'll break Travis Henry's record of 3,078 yards.

Injury Report: Defensive coordinator John Chavis said middle linebacker Ellix Wilson shouldn't have played in the loss to Wyoming. Wilson has been battling various injuries for weeks.

"Watching him on film in the last game, we probably did him an injustice," Chavis said of the senior. "We probably should not have played him. There was nothing in the tank but he was still going."

Chavis said the week off has helped Wilson.

"His legs are a lot better right now," Chavis said. "He'll be a lot better."

Chavis said he's looking forward to sophomore Chris Walker returning from a back injury because he can bring more speed to the defensive end position.

The week off won't be as beneficial for junior defensive end Wes Brown, who has been dealing with a sore knee all season.

"It did help him some but the knee is going to continue to bother him," defensive ends coach Steve Caldwell. "He's fresh but I don't think there's a whole lot of difference in the knee."

Caldwell said Brown can usually return to a game in which he tweaks the knee, whereas Walker is usually out for the remainder of the game if he aggravates his sore back.

UT is expecting defensive tackles Dan Williams (ankle) and Walter Fisher (toe) to be much healthier.

"We were in a situation where either myself or coach (Dan) Brooks were going to have to take a couple of snaps at defensive tackle," Chavis joked. "I didn't want to get the school in trouble because both of us have used our eligibility."

Getaway: Fulmer said it seemed UT’s players and coaches heeded his advice to get away from football during the off-week and come back refreshed. Fulmer and several others commented on how spirited Sunday’s practice was.

That, however, doesn’t mean his team is emotionally healed from a trying season.

“I don’t think you just get over in a weekend all that we’ve been through,” Fulmer said. “It’s been a great challenge for everybody, particularly the timing of everything.”

Fulmer said he spent the weekend in the mountains with family.

“That was good to do that, but I ended up watching football – a lot of it,” Fulmer said.

Chief Chat: Chavis was hesitant to share more of his thoughts of Fulmer’s forced resignation on Tuesday, but eventually relented when queried by an out of town reporter.

“I really don’t want to revisit that but to say that things haven’t changed would not be the truth,” Chavis said. “It’s changed dramatically.

“You look at what our young people went through trying to prepare for a game two weeks ago and what they’re still going through, that’s just part of it.”

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Comments » 92

tnbigg writes:

Right...

tnbigg writes:

Big opportunity...if that's true it has NOTHING to do with football...but likely something with his "friend" and idolized Thunder Thornton...

tnbigg writes:

Coach Phulmer...I am sorry...it says, "no go"...

http://www.oldmilltoronto.com/Pics/Fo...

tnbigg writes:

Whoah! He's being offered a BIG tv contract! To be the new and updated host of the old Andy Devine show! Pluck your magic twanger froggie!

http://images.search.yahoo.com/images...amp;oid=137df27cfa3da6aa&no=1&tt=38&sigr=11ajhvk3c&sigi=116jgpsij&sigb=12sec1hon

Triton1 writes:

Pleeeaaase beat Candy!

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Wish him the best in the future. "Have to look for me" could be Wyoming.

cnalumni writes:

Funny how the same people who criticized coach fulmer are now acting concerned about this future. Wow.

waterskier3#226480 writes:

just go away... its a better solution... coach cut and chavis has been the real coaches behind the run during the 90's so move on retire.... you should have been fired after 2005 but you hired coach cut and he saved you.....

i'm not bitter but tn football has always been bigger than one person and still is and fulmer should have never been put above whats best for UT..........

you will be remembered for being the only coach in vols history to lose 8 games............

jobrando#216494 writes:

I'd say Maryville High after the current coach moves up. That would be perfect for a man thats already made his millions.

ncvol17 writes:

I know coaching is a different animal..but he can afford to take as much time off as he wishes... 6 million + all of his past salaries allows for that lifestyle..Few on this site could lose a job and disappear for months or years b4 deciding what they want to do next..

No tears for his unemployment status

Greer_Vol_22 writes:

I can give you five or six million reasons why we should not shive a git....

tnbigg writes:

Here's your advice:

Magic 8 Ball...should Phulmer leave tomorrow and never come back?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/revengin...

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to waterskier3#226480:

just go away... its a better solution... coach cut and chavis has been the real coaches behind the run during the 90's so move on retire.... you should have been fired after 2005 but you hired coach cut and he saved you.....

i'm not bitter but tn football has always been bigger than one person and still is and fulmer should have never been put above whats best for UT..........

you will be remembered for being the only coach in vols history to lose 8 games............

I think you are bitter waterskier---show some fairness, why dont you---hell be remembered more for being the coach of a National Championship--10 years from now an 8 loss season will be forgotten while the NC will long be remembered

xvolx writes:

coaching is what I do. Thats debatable.

dirtywhiteboy writes:

hopefully nobody is advising him to stay in coaching!!!!

Colliervol writes:

I do wish Foster could break the rushing record. Travis Henry doesn't deserve to hold it after the antics he's pulled.

banman360 writes:

in response to waterskier3#226480:

just go away... its a better solution... coach cut and chavis has been the real coaches behind the run during the 90's so move on retire.... you should have been fired after 2005 but you hired coach cut and he saved you.....

i'm not bitter but tn football has always been bigger than one person and still is and fulmer should have never been put above whats best for UT..........

you will be remembered for being the only coach in vols history to lose 8 games............

yes 8 losses will not be what he is remembered for. college football is so competitive and the schedule has been extended to help that cause. instead he will be remembered for dominating the SEC and winning a Natl Champ without Peyton Manning

spencer1989#206886 writes:

in response to General_Watermelon:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Actually if he goes to a rival SEC school (and doesn't change his style), we will know his plays....Pound the rock three times and punt. Try like heck next time.

BobbyGraham writes:

in response to DCflorida:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That would be awesome

ctownvol writes:

"It's still really ugly and bruised," Fulmer said.
Is he talking about his own pride, Tennessee's current reputation, or Foster's leg? I'm confused.

ctownvol writes:

Ah. Hiresanders is back to his old bag of tricks. You can always count on the ol' T is for terrible line. You sir are, if nothing else, dependable. Just like good ol Naf and the wasted jersey. Classy indeed.

surfmaster writes:

I still think he should take the UT-Chattanooga coaching job. That's about as low key as it gets from an expectations standpoint, he can still be a head football coach, can still compete for championships, still be part of the UT system, still be close to home.

burntorangeVOLffle writes:

in response to banman360:

yes 8 losses will not be what he is remembered for. college football is so competitive and the schedule has been extended to help that cause. instead he will be remembered for dominating the SEC and winning a Natl Champ without Peyton Manning

that's up there with some of the most asinine posts I've ever read on this site. He will always be remembered for the only NC in the modern era. Only whiney spoiled fans will carry on about the only two bad seasons under Coach Fulmer.

It's sad the level of class some of you so-called fans show to the winningest coach of UT in your life time. **coughtnbiggcough**

voloffaith writes:

in response to Greer_Vol_22:

I can give you five or six million reasons why we should not shive a git....

nice and classy as some of your previous work has been. Change that letter there and this one there and we spoke dirty but not really.......let the man go. You got what you wanted ,but can't/won't give it a rest.

burpee_von_rotweiler_IV writes:

in response to pdhuff#552644:

Wish him the best in the future. "Have to look for me" could be Wyoming.

Fly fishing at big donor's ranch in Jackson Hole.

JBruce writes:

I think he will end up as an AD at a mid-major school. I think he would do a good job selling a program/university.

Ralph_Crampton writes:

The school sould offer Fulmer a position within the sports dept as public relations man. Or he could could get a sports talk show. That's what Denny Crum, the Louisville former basketball coach is doing in Louisville after he got eased out for Rick Pitino. Crum and forme Kentucky coach Joe Hall have had the program for about four years. Crum and Joe Hall talk about fishing and all other sports. They are very popular....Crum is still associated with Louisville in fund raising when needed. Fulmer could do the same if he wished with Vol program.

VOLS10 writes:

in response to waterskier3#226480:

just go away... its a better solution... coach cut and chavis has been the real coaches behind the run during the 90's so move on retire.... you should have been fired after 2005 but you hired coach cut and he saved you.....

i'm not bitter but tn football has always been bigger than one person and still is and fulmer should have never been put above whats best for UT..........

you will be remembered for being the only coach in vols history to lose 8 games............

Sounds like you have all the answers. We'll see if it's better, right now no one wants the job, that should tell you something!!

eefor10c writes:

Who has the money and who can do no better than jokes about the weight of Tennessee's national championship coach?

Vol23304 writes:

Coach Phil may be the only coach that even wanted the UT job.
It seems no one any good wants it.

leedsvol2007 writes:

In paying out his contract I assume that Coach Fulmer will still be under contract to the university.

If I were him after I decompress from years of running the football program I would look to tour High Schools and try and give direction to our youth.

Coach Fulmer has had a favorable influence on many of our lettermen over the years and might best use those skills talking to young athletes and students across Tennessee and the country.

He is also a skilled fund raiser and in the troubled days ahead UT might find those skills highly desireable.

If you look at his body of work at Tennessee Coach Fulmer is sure to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach.

I was in Arkansas last year about the time Houston Nutt was run out there. Most of the things said about Fulmer were said about Nutt. Based on what he has done at Ole Miss this year I would say he's proved he is a pretty good coach.

If coach Fulmer wants to continue to coach there are a lot of schools who could do a lot worse.

stevefrommemphis writes:

A Tennessee coach with a lifetime record of 11-5 versus Alabama deserves much better than what a lot of you posters are saying about him. What is the average age of these negative posters? I'd guess about 22. I'll admit I was the same way when I was that age, but time changes things.

utmdm writes:

Can't believe we still cannot let it go. Johnny had good points and bad. Phil had good and bad. Each of them reached a point that time dictated they move on. Let him ride off into the sunset and let's get on with the rebuilding. Let's not heat the pot of tempest (like happened with Majors) with the negative undertones that rot underneath the program's foundation for years.

utmdm writes:

in response to bama987:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Bwa Ha Ha. A bammer, who has nothing better to do but come on our site and spew negatives, talks about someone else's lack of class. Haw Haw Haw

newtonrail writes:

in response to dvolfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Naffy, the Great White Hater. Shame on you. I could hardly put up with Fulmer for his first 4 or 5 years, but he did accomplish a lot. He doesn't at this point nor do the seniors need to be ridiculed. Six million or $.06, they gave their all for UT. Was it always good enough? Obviously not, but now should be a time of healing as with our national political parties. Too many nuts in either place for that to happen.

brauhuff#295403 (Inactive) writes:

Let it go everybody. He is gone after 11/29/08 and hopefully they can win out but I doubt it. He might resurface at Mississippi State if they fire Croom. Indiana or a CUSA job would be a good fit for Phil.

RomanRoomRegular writes:

he's a legend...in his own mind.

WeLoveTennesseeVols writes:

in response to cnalumni:

Funny how the same people who criticized coach fulmer are now acting concerned about this future. Wow.

That's because they feel like they defeated him. I hope he comes back and makes fools out of all of them. Look at the revenge of Johny Majors. Does anyone think that affected our football team? Will anyone think that Fulmer handled this better than Coach Majors did? And why didn't Johnny coach anywhere anymore? I couldn't be prouder to be a Phil Fulmer fan and prouder to be a Tennessee Volunteer. As for the mercenary sports writers and the know it alls, the has beens and the never beens, they are not my friends nor will ever be, unless they change their minds about what they have said about our coach and about his team. I resent their foolish comments and bad jokes at his expense. The people who post these things are not funny and I for one am here to tell them that they are not funny and that I for one do not appreciate it. It only divides our Vol nation and allows people , like John Adams to make fun of us, and to berate us in front of other people who have little or no opinion about us. These are the things which ruin our reputation. Coach Fulmer was always about having a good reputation. I'd put him and his life up to the rest of the people and sportswriters any day, any time. The sad thing, is that John Adams put his job on the line to derail our coach, and he still has his job, but our coach does not. Where is the justice at?

Madkels writes:

Grow up. Quit kicking a man on his way out the door.

stevefrommemphis writes:

in response to bama987:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Could be that bama987 is mad about Fulmer's 11-5 record against his beloved Crimson Tide. Or maybe he believes the stupid conspiracy theory saying that Alabama's probation (which would have been the death penalty for any other school) was all Fulmer's fault.

blitzshoot writes:

You and this squad PF got away from football a long time ago.

ozoney#235138 writes:

in response to VOLS10:

Sounds like you have all the answers. We'll see if it's better, right now no one wants the job, that should tell you something!!

A couple NFL coaches say they aren't interested and "noone wants the job"?..that's just ignorant. UT is a high profile job, and we'll get a good coach. bottom line. why don't you follow fulmer wherever he goes. honestly some of the fans on here like fulmer more than UT.

ozoney#235138 writes:

in response to WeLoveTennesseeVols:

That's because they feel like they defeated him. I hope he comes back and makes fools out of all of them. Look at the revenge of Johny Majors. Does anyone think that affected our football team? Will anyone think that Fulmer handled this better than Coach Majors did? And why didn't Johnny coach anywhere anymore? I couldn't be prouder to be a Phil Fulmer fan and prouder to be a Tennessee Volunteer. As for the mercenary sports writers and the know it alls, the has beens and the never beens, they are not my friends nor will ever be, unless they change their minds about what they have said about our coach and about his team. I resent their foolish comments and bad jokes at his expense. The people who post these things are not funny and I for one am here to tell them that they are not funny and that I for one do not appreciate it. It only divides our Vol nation and allows people , like John Adams to make fun of us, and to berate us in front of other people who have little or no opinion about us. These are the things which ruin our reputation. Coach Fulmer was always about having a good reputation. I'd put him and his life up to the rest of the people and sportswriters any day, any time. The sad thing, is that John Adams put his job on the line to derail our coach, and he still has his job, but our coach does not. Where is the justice at?

Look, you need to learn to laugh a little. When people joke about phillip fulmer on here, do you think he cares?..no...so why do you get all upset..UT paid fulmer a LOT of money over the years, plus around six million at the end of the year, so why feel sorry for him. I don't feel a bit sorry for him. Why? because we're going to have the worst record in UT history this year. who's ultimate responsibility is that? the head coaches. to reiterate a point i made earlier, it's sad when (some) fans worry about a coaches future before the programs future. so why don't you have a good cry, right now...go ahead..it's ok..get it out of your system, hope for a good future for UT and quit whining about coach fulmer, he's a big boy..no pun, he'll be fine. i seriously wonder if you sit in front of your monitor and cry while reading posts on this site.

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to General_Watermelon:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yeah, we would have to figure out how to not run the score up on him too badly

dwolfcreek#397971 writes:

in response to Colliervol:

I do wish Foster could break the rushing record. Travis Henry doesn't deserve to hold it after the antics he's pulled.

neither of them deserve nothing , at least henry wanted to play . foster is chicken chit , he's pulling a jamar lewis staying on sideline hoping for fat contract . i hope he gets what he deserves [ nothing ].

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to stevefrommemphis:

A Tennessee coach with a lifetime record of 11-5 versus Alabama deserves much better than what a lot of you posters are saying about him. What is the average age of these negative posters? I'd guess about 22. I'll admit I was the same way when I was that age, but time changes things.

Yes but keep in mind that about 9 of those wins were because of Bama's probation, which fat boy helped a lot in. Had Bama been full strength, his record against them would be like his record against Florida

pdhuff#552644 writes:

in response to country410:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Lose the facts. They are not pertinent on here.

Study the granite charts harder and run East-West behind the non-blocking line.

GoVol writes:

Advice: Switch places with Bobby Johnson on Saturday and watch him kick your ars with your own team. Fulmer is a joke of a coach. It's hard to really believe he could be so stupid!

mattlock writes:

Foster would rather let his bruise heal than try to help his team win games and possibly break a school record. . .that's the kind of players we've recruited here. Good luck in the CFL, Adrian. . .

mattlock writes:

in response to country410:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Sarcasm. . .funny to people who get it and just as funny when people don't.

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