Despite having more speed than his predecessors, Tennessee quarterback Jonathan Crompton is a pocket passer.
But when the Vols face UAB in their home opener Saturday (TV: WVLT, 12:30 p.m.), expect to see Crompton - and the pocket - on the move a little more often.
UT coach Phillip Fulmer said the Vols will look to move the pocket by rolling Crompton out more often than they did in a 27-24 overtime loss at UCLA.
"It's part of our package, and we want to use it a bit more," Fulmer said. "Jon has the ability to throw it on the run. He's a good runner with the ball if he gets a chance to. It's just part of our package that after coming back and critiquing ourselves, we would have liked to have done it a little bit more."
By rolling the quarterback out, Fulmer said, an offense is able to slow down an opponent's pass rush as well as put increased pressure on certain parts of the field.
"That just helps because it gives me the run-pass option," said Crompton, whose longest rush went for 10 yards against UCLA. "If nothing's there I can run and get a few yards and keep the down and distance at a normal state, if not better than normal."
Normal is key, Fulmer said.
"I'd like Jonathan to be Jonathan," Fulmer said. "He's very capable as a runner. We're not going to run the option or a whole lot of quarterback draws or those kinds of things, although we do have the quarterback draw in.
"Some of the zone-read stuff, I'd just as soon have Gerald Jones running as I had Jonathan. If he (Crompton) can move out of the pocket and make a play running or make a play by scrambling and throwing it before he crosses the line of scrimmage, that's just a plus for us. And he is capable of doing that."
First, though, Crompton says he's a pocket quarterback.
"I am a pocket quarterback, but I can escape the pocket if I have to," he said. "I'm pass first, run second. That's how it is. If the pass isn't there, then I'll run. But I'm going to try to emphasize it being there and run at the last second."
Donald Progressing: Despite the fact redshirt freshman Chris Donald did not play against UCLA, Fulmer said the linebacker has progressed to the point where he can help on special teams.
"Chris is doing real well actually," Fulmer said. "We didn't get him a chance to get in the other day, but he's really worked hard and started to mature like we would like for him to. (If) he continues to work hard, he's got a good future here at Tennessee."
Injury Update: Tennessee enters this week relatively healthy. Cornerback Dennis Rogan (strained abdominal muscle) practiced Sunday, as did Crompton (ankle, concussion).
Aside from safety Demetrice Morley (finger), who was wearing a cast last week, the Vols escaped UCLA without any major injuries.
Tickets Available: In addition to single game tickets remaining for UAB, Northern Illinois, Mississippi State, Wyoming and Kentucky, Tennessee has a very limited number of single-seat, non-renewable season tickets available this season.
Those season tickets are available for $315 and must be purchased by telephone (800-332-VOLS) or in person at the Thompson-Boling Arena ticket office.
Single-game tickets are also available for purchase online at UTsports.com.
Drew Edwards covers University of Tennessee football. He may be reached at 865-342-6274.