March 1, 2006

Fulmer upbeat about 2006

In the first of a series of sit-down interviews between and some of the nation's most prominent college football coaches this spring, Managing Editor Bob McClellan met with Tennessee's Phillip Fulmer inside the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center.

The topics ranged from Fulmer's first losing season on "The Hill" to his handling of quarterbacks Erik Ainge and Rick Clausen to his expectations for the upcoming season.

"I found Coach Fulmer to be very engaging and very fair," McClellan said. "It's not our goal to be 60 Minutes in these interviews and ambush anybody, but you have to ask some tough questions of a coach whose team was picked No. 3 in the preseason and wound up 5-6.

"He handled everything I asked well, and I believe he was honest and insightful. And he certainly is upbeat about the Vols' chances to bounce back. It was a great start to what wants to bring its readers this spring."

Check out Part I of our exclusive interview with Fulmer and see more of our interview tomorrow on

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