Alvin Kamara is no long constrained by the worry of playing time at Tennessee, which means he’s free to speak his mind about the state of the football program and the job security of Vols coach Butch Jones.
He was asked to do both on Thursday during the interview process at the NFL combine in Indianapolis. And he obliged.
Kamara was asked if he believe that Jones was in jeopardy of losing his job in Knoxville after back-to-back 9-win seasons.
“I don’t think he’s on the hot seat,” Kamara replied, per SEC Country’s Alec Shirkey. “Butch’ll be alright. He’ll find a way. Always.”
And yet, there was quite a bit of turnover on the Vols coaching staff this offseason after Tennessee again failed to win the SEC East despite wins against Florida and Georgia. Jones replaced offensive coordinator Mike DeBord with Larry Scott as a part of the shakeup. He also brought in former Michigan head coach Brady Hoke as a top assistant and defensive line coach.
But Kamara did not seem shaken in his confidence of the program’s direction when asked.
“I feel like they have some good pieces going into next season,” Kamara said, per Shirkey. “All about putting them together. Got to start from ground (zero) again. It’s a good competition at quarterback. John Kelly at running back will be good. O-line has to answer some questions, come together as a unit.”
Kelly, of course, has the task of replacing Kamara on a full-time basis after flashing glimpses of production as Kamara nursed an injury late last season.
Kamara is at the combine seeking improve his draft stock, which has been climbing in recent weeks. He rates as high as a late first-round pick from some mock drafts, including by ESPN’s Todd McShay.