KNOXVILLE — New Tennessee assistant coach Larry Scott has his work cut out for him taking over special teams, as his assignment is to somehow make the Vols even better in that area.
That will be difficult to do after a 2015 season in which UT special teams …
• Ranked No. 1 in the nation in kick returns (33.41 yards)
• Ranked No 4 in the nation in punt returns (17.18)
• Ranked No. 14 in kick return defense (18.24)
• Ranked No. 31 in net punting (38.98)
Scott, however, embraces the challenge.
“This world is what have you done for me lately, (and) that stuff (2015) was good, but how do we get it better,” Scott said on Wednesday. “For the most part, there are some technique and fundamental things that needed to be tweaked.”
Punt return would be a good place to start. The Vols ranked No. 101 in the nation in that department (11.26 yards allowed per return).
Scott, who came to Tennessee after a three-year stint at Miami (Fla.) that ultimately saw him serve as interim head coach, said the Vols dedicate more time to special teams than the other programs he has been associated with.
“Here it’s a pretty strong focus; it’s not lip service here,” said Scott, who also coaches UT’s tight ends. “Some places it’s a little bit of lip service, you work at it and those types of things, but it’s not as refined and it’s not as detailed.
“Here it is definitely a third of what we do, and it gets as much attention as our offense or our defense.”
Mike Griffith covers Tennessee for SEC Country and is based in Knoxville.