KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s growing pains have been painfully evident across the board this transition season, particularly at the quarterback position.
Vols offensive coordinator Larry Scott praised Jarrett Guarantano on Monday night for how he has responded since his sideline demeanor during the Georgia Tech game was called out and questioned by ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit.
Herbstreit felt Guarantano should have been more in tune to the game. While coach Butch Jones defended his player’s positioning on the sideline and level of involvement, all agreed that his body language could’ve been better.
“He’s done a really good job mentally learning how to focus, how to be a great teammate, how to learn the steps to be a quarterback,” Scott said. “So for him to have that experience the way that it happened, is was as real as it gets … With the help of parents and coaches and teammates, we’re going to help him through it.
“So you see what it’s supposed to look like, and it can’t be like that, and you’ve got to go in a different direction.”
There’s been speculation that Tennessee could go in a different direction at quarterback when the Vols (3-2, 0-2 SEC) play host to South Carolina (4-2, 2-2) at noon Saturday at Neyland Stadium (ESPN).
Junior Quinten Dormady started the first five games, directing a fourth-quarterback comeback in the 42-41 double-overtime win against Georgia Tech to open the season.
But Dormady, who is more of a pocket passer than the dual-threat Guarantano, has 8 turnovers in the last four games and was pulled in the last two contests.
Jones said at his press conference Monday that the quarterback competition was ongoing, and Scott indicated that’s how he sees it, too.
“For me, it’s open,” Scott said. “You’ve got to have a guy that can demonstrate a certain level of consistency, and it has to be continuous consistency. It can’t be this drive here, that drive there, and off here and off there.
“I talk to them all the time about, ‘Don’t go play quarterback, be the quarterback.’ With that is a process, and what we need is somebody to take the next step in that process and really start to be a quarterback.”
Jarrett Guarantano arrival press conference 2016
2016 Tennessee football QB signee Jarrett Guarantano arrives in Knoxville!
Posted by Tennessee Volunteers Insiders on Sunday, May 29, 2016