KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee football legend Phillip Fulmer said he likes it that coach Jeremy Pruitt is a “one-step-at-a-time kind of coach.
Fulmer, who went 152-52 as the Vols’ coach and won the 1998 national title, knows what Tennessee football needs more than anyone. Pruitt, Fulmer announced on Dec. 7, was the man to lead the program because of his coaching background and attention to detail.
Hence, Pruitt started with the basics on the first day on the field with his new football team, likely in an effort to minimize the injury issues that have derailed Tennessee football the past two seasons.
The Vols have led the country in starts missed due to injuries the last two seasons.
“When I say learn how to practice, I’m talking about contact,” Pruitt said. “Football is a collision game, you have to learn how to use your face and hands and strike and that’s all three levels on defense, and it happens with the offense line, tight ends, running backs, wide receivers and everybody that plays special teams.”
So there was Pruitt, demonstrating the proper “thud” technique which ends plays in non-contact practices, as opposed to taking a runner to the ground in scrimmage in games.
“It’s learning how to strike, playing with the proper body angles, so you have balance and body control so you can stay on your feet,” Pruitt said. “We want to be able to practice and learn how to thud runners, and to do that you have to be able to stay on your feet.”
SEC Country beat writer Mike Griffith and WNML’s Josh Ward discuss the takeaways from Tennessee’s opening spring football practice in today’s podcast.
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