Phillip Fulmer says Tennessee coach Butch Jones has 'lots of challenges'

ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL
Tennessee coach Butch Jones talks to offensive lineman Antonio Richardson at the end of Tennessee’s victory over South Alabama on Saturday at Neyland Stadium.

Photo by Adam Lau

ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee coach Butch Jones talks to offensive lineman Antonio Richardson at the end of Tennessee’s victory over South Alabama on Saturday at Neyland Stadium.

CHATTANOOGA — Former Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer, who attended a Vols practice last week at the request of current coach Butch Jones, believes the program's brick-by-brick building process will require a lot of patience and bricks.

"It's going to take time," Fulmer said Monday. "When you go through three coaches in four or five years -- Butch has got lots of challenges."

Fulmer gave two chapel addresses at Baylor, which is gearing for Friday night's rivalry game with visiting McCallie. Baylor basketball coach Austin Clark introduced Fulmer and said he had not seen the chapel so packed since Billy Graham spoke at its dedication in 1994.

Between talks to the upper and lower schools, Fulmer said each of the last three Tennessee football coaches has invited him back to practice but that he felt this time was right.

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Comments » 18

TommyJack writes:

Paywall blues.

ArmyDad writes:

The man who is responsible for creating the downward spiral that is UT football right now speaks again. Why does the media insist on continuing to regurgitate the same tired Fulmer stories?

wigmeister writes:

Fulmer started the fall, Kiffin exacerbated it, Dooley made it into a landslide, and now CBJ is charged with the task of rebuilding. You fall a lot faster than you can rebuild. I hope our fan base is patient enough to allow him to do his job.

MikeNPS writes:

in response to wigmeister:

Fulmer started the fall, Kiffin exacerbated it, Dooley made it into a landslide, and now CBJ is charged with the task of rebuilding. You fall a lot faster than you can rebuild. I hope our fan base is patient enough to allow him to do his job.

I agree that patience is required. Rebuilding is especially difficult when the schedule includes so many strong conference teams.

jandjhome#228397 writes:

We are playing a large amount of Freshmen, with the 2014 Class coming in, we will be feeling somewhat better this time next year. I am convince we have the coach to take us back to where we want to be.

Orange_Power_T writes:

The fact that so many freshmen are playing this year bodes well for our future. Butch is going to need the latitude of three more years before we start seeing the results we were accustomed to seeing in the 90's and early 2000's.

fannotsheep writes:

Hopefully Tennessee and its fans will start looking to the future and stop re-living the past. We made fun of Alabama fans when we were beating them that all they ever talked about were the good old days. Seems like all some Tennessee fans want to dwell on are the bad times.

Let's stop doing that, and focus on the better days ahead.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Orange_Power_T:

The fact that so many freshmen are playing this year bodes well for our future. Butch is going to need the latitude of three more years before we start seeing the results we were accustomed to seeing in the 90's and early 2000's.

It certainly can't hurt that so many freshmen are getting meaningful snaps at receiver and in the defensive backfield. It is, however, somewhat troubling that just about the only freshmen getting significant time in the lines are Vereen on the D-line and Crowder and Kerbyson on the O-line. Maybe I've missed a few, but the lines will both be as green as grass next year, not a recipe for a significant improvement in the Vols' fortunes any time soon.

cltvol writes:

what did tiny richardson got so upset about after game, see photo

OrangePride writes:

Well, like the Coach or not, he's in a position to know just what kind of challenges confront Coach Jones. And if any of us think this year is tough, next year will be even tougher. We will lose LOTS of players and experience and there are not a lot of replacements on hand. So let's us all continue to be a little patient. Hopefully we turn the corner with CBJ and staff.

underthehill writes:

Austin Clark..an ole Kingston boy who played basketball on the same team with Bernard King..Austin always said he knew his job when he got on the floor and it was to get the ball to Bernard..Austin did it very well..good to see Fulmer active wish him all the best..I thought it was time to replace Fulmer..and I now think it is time for UT fans and Fulmer to put it in the past..Fulmer seems to be doing it..

asleep#212036 writes:

I agree Fulmer might have started the fall but not responsible in the same way as Kiffin and Dooley. Fulmer just got satisfied and our other SEC brethren got real busy figuring out how to beat UT and Florida, the two gorillas at the time. Spurrier saw the winds changing and got out, Fulmer just rode the storm and it eventually caught up with him. Nobody bleeds more orange than Phil, he just waited too long to leave. Now Kiffin? Let's see: he recruited a bunch of thugs and criminals, most of whom with 4 or more stars were gone by the next year. He childishly taunted and goaded all our opponents' coaching staffs before he ever won a game. He made lame excuse after lame excuse for losses, including at Bama. Then he left a month before the recruiting deadline and as a final gesture, recruited some of our players to USC. Then there's Dooley who, although I didn't think it possible, was worse for the program than Kiffin. He had never won anywhere, his only claims to fame being that his dad was a famous SEC coach and Saban liked him. He couldn't recruit, constantly harping that his staff had evaluated a player and that those 2 stars were waaaay too low..... He almost never got a recruit that had offers from any other upper tier SEC or BCS conference school. He whined when we lost, blaming the players, the weather, the stock market, whatever.... And first and foremost, he never embraced what it meant to be the head coach at UT.

The incredible negative inertia that Butch must overcome will take at least two MORE years before we can even remotely consider ourselves competition for the best teams in our conference. He will need this recruiting class and two more just about as good. He will need a break in the schedule. He will need to re-establish a culture of winning in Knoxville and it's been a long time gone. All this in light of his generous contract and impatient fans - yes Phil, he's got a lot of "challenges". He seems up for it and I like him, I just hope he gets enough time to finish the job.

GoVols!!!

murrayvol writes:

in response to ArmyDad:

The man who is responsible for creating the downward spiral that is UT football right now speaks again. Why does the media insist on continuing to regurgitate the same tired Fulmer stories?

We could open with the fact that he has the second best record of any coach in Tennessee football history.

I'm delighted that Phil Fulmer wants to be a part of the future of Tennessee football.

murrayvol writes:

in response to cltvol:

what did tiny richardson got so upset about after game, see photo

Dunno, but I'll wager he got either a cheap shot or an earfull from a USA lineman.

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to OrangePride:

Well, like the Coach or not, he's in a position to know just what kind of challenges confront Coach Jones. And if any of us think this year is tough, next year will be even tougher. We will lose LOTS of players and experience and there are not a lot of replacements on hand. So let's us all continue to be a little patient. Hopefully we turn the corner with CBJ and staff.

Fortunately, one of the few areas that Dooley successfully recruited was the O-line. Granted, they will all be young and new starters but they come highly touted. The skill players should be much improved. The D-line however.... Yikes..... Go Vols!!!

gobigorange5090 writes:

in response to ArmyDad:

The man who is responsible for creating the downward spiral that is UT football right now speaks again. Why does the media insist on continuing to regurgitate the same tired Fulmer stories?

Get over your hate and move on!

gobigorange5090 writes:

in response to murrayvol:

We could open with the fact that he has the second best record of any coach in Tennessee football history.

I'm delighted that Phil Fulmer wants to be a part of the future of Tennessee football.

It amazes me how many so called UT fans loathe Fulmer.

Moesart writes:

Fulmer and his pals destroyed the program while they cashed in. Yeah, those years of pumping up his record on second tier SEC teams (which TN now is) and a weak OOC schedule while losing the games that matter were good times.

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