KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee football is 60 percent of the way through the spring session, and Vols coach Jeremy Pruitt has made it clear there’s plenty of work left to do.
Pruitt said after Saturday’s scrimmage that no players or position groups stood out in a positive way, and the thing he was most encouraged by was that the weather allowed the team to work outside.
Pruitt was critical of the team’s lack of “pop,” along with a leadership vacuum and lack of poise from one play to another.
SEC Network analyst Marcus Spears visited Knoxville on Monday, talking with athletic director Phillip Fulmer and Jeremy Pruitt and said he came away impressed and thinking Tennessee could win 8 games.
It’s not clear what Pruitt told Spears, but if it was anything similar to his post-practice press conference on Saturday, it’s hard to understand why the SEC Network analyst would be brimming with so much optimism.
Here are three keys for the Vols to finish spring drills strong:
1. Culture change
Pruitt said when he took over he wanted to create a championship culture, and that means players will need to step up their practice focus and intensity.
2. Quarterback order
Sophomores Jarrett Guarantano and Will McBride are competing this spring to determine a pecking order. Stanford graduate transfer Keller Chryst arrives in June, along with high school signee JT Shrout.
3. Scheme limits
The Vols have a complete schematic overhaul, from spread to pro-style on offense and 4-3 to 3-4 on defense. Pruitt said he’s thrown a lot at the defense, and he’ll pull back as necessary. The offense has not had as many issues, from what Pruitt has told the media.
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