What to take away from Tennessee’s spring QB battle without Keller Chryst
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Tennessee likely won’t name a starting quarterback this spring. There’s plenty that can be learned about Jarrett Guarantano and Will McBride, though. They’ll just be more nuanced takeaways.
The coaches clearly want an experienced player in the competition, which is why they brought in grad transfer Keller Chryst from Stanford. Johnathan is correct when he points out that Chryst is finishing up classes at Stanford and won’t join the Vols until the summer.
What will be important to learn from spring practice is how Guarantano and McBride are picking up the new offensive concepts. In the Orange and White game on April 21, which signal caller will identify coverages and blitzes and not turn over the football?
Offensive coordinator Tyson Helton is switching from the spread to a pro-style offense. Both returning quarterbacks are spread oriented and don’t have much experience running a pro-style system.
Remember, former Vols coach Butch Jones said after the Florida loss that he didn’t want to run a quarterback sneak on the goal line because Guarantano hadn’t practiced taking snaps from center.
Jones was unhappy UT didn't run ball with first and goal at 1. Said 2nd play was to be QB sneak but didn't want to run it with backup QB
— Jimmy Hyams (@JimmyHyams) September 18, 2017
The coaching staff likely won’t spend a lot of time putting in detailed plays this spring. Instead, it’ll likely be a time of evaluating and getting a feel for the team.
Guarantano and McBride can show how comfortable they are commanding a huddle. Each snap this spring gives the pair a valuable advantage over the more-experienced Chryst.
A starting quarterback won’t be named this spring, but it will be important for Guarantano and McBride.
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