KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s quarterbacks situation isn’t prompting any locker room drama nor concerns on the Vols’ coaching staff.
Tennessee coach Butch Jones has managed junior Quinten Dormady and redshirt freshman Jarrett Guarantano well, doing both the justice of providing an open competition throughout the spring, summer and fall in the interest of promoting great improvement.
Tennessee offensive coordinator Larry Scott said the quarterbacks have indeed grown and matured working under first-year QB coach Mike Canales.
“They’ve done very well with [the competition], they are constantly being challenged on everything from scheme to the fundamentals of their leadership to the way they handle themselves and their body language and everything,” Scott said. “They are constantly being challenged in every way for our overall quarterback development. Kind of happy with where those guys are right now. Happy with where we are, but we know where we need to get to before we’re ready to go.”
Scott said once one of the quarterbacks shows consistency and the ability to make all the players around him better, “that’s when we’ll know we’ll have our quarterback.”
As for the rest of the offense, Scott said he has been impressed with the maturation and development of the receiving group.
Over the next week, Tennessee will start paring down the receiver rotations, and Scott said he expects better execution and continuity to grow from there.
“All the receivers, all the tight ends, what you’re really doing is installing the offense and the concepts and getting everyone involved and giving everyone the opportunity,” Scott said. “As you begin to narrow the scope, and bring that back to the core guys and the guys that are going to be in there playing, you’ll start to see less drops and less balls on the ground, more continuity, more timing as they get in sync with each other.
“We’ve had some days where there’s been too many drops and balls on the ground, and then we’ve had some days where there haven’t many on the ground, so we’re looking for that level of consistency, which I think we’ll gain as we begin to close the scope a little bit.”
Jones indicated that is happening now, as the team has checked into a local hotel, where it will stay for six days while continuing fall drills on the Tennessee campus as required by NCAA rules.
“The next few days,” Jones said, “are going to tell us about the makeup of our football team.”