Pruitt updates fall camp following first scrimmage

Pruitt updates fall camp following first scrimmage

Football

Pruitt updates fall camp following first scrimmage

KNOXVILLE — Jeremy Pruitt met with the media following Tennessee’s first scrimmage of fall training camp, the Vols’ ninth practice of camp.

Here are Pruitt’s comments following the scrimmage that went 116 plays and without a starting quarterback being named following it.

Head Coach Jeremy Pruitt Post-Practice Quotes

On the team being mentally tougher compared to the spring:

“It’s human nature that when you have success, everyone gets fired up and walks around with their chest stuck out. We have to get to where, when things don’t go our way, we are like a yo-yo. We have to put the fire out. That is one of the things that comes with consistency. You create the right habits. Our scrimmage was like that today. There was a lot of good with a lot of different guys, but we will be looking at the consistency. I will know more once I watch the practice.”

On what he saw from the quarterbacks during the scrimmage and through fall camp:

“I would have to watch the tape. From a quarterback standpoint, Jarrett Guarantano and Keller Chryst have done really good things. Will McBride played with our twos a lot today. He’s had a solid camp. J.T. Shrout may have the best arm out of all of them, but he has to learn what is going on. He can spin it but he has to figure some things out. If you look over the practices, no one has really separated themselves yet.”

On if he adds more to the scrimmages than to practices:

“Every day, every practice and every opportunity says a lot about who you are. If you don’t love this game, you probably won’t be very good at it. It’s too tough. If you want to be great, you have to go to work every day. The best players that I have been around were the best practicers. I have been around very few guys that were the best players who weren’t great practicers. I think it goes hand in hand. I wouldn’t say any day is more important.”

On ending possessions with a kick and how the defense tackled:

“When you look at the tackling aspect, it’s no different than being out on the practice field. When you tackle someone, you want to use the same fundamentals and habits. As far as kicking the ball, we created a lot of opportunities for our guys to kick, whether it was punts, field goals or kickoffs. We spent a lot of time on special teams today.”

On the timeline of starters and quarterbacks:

“With every position I hope I have players – whether they play quarterback, defensive tackle, punter or long snapper – I hope their number one goal is to not be the starter at Tennessee. I hope that is not their goal. That is not much of a goal in my opinion. I hope their goal is to be the best player in their position out there. If you’re goal is to be a starter and you become a starter, then you’re the big fish in this pond here. We are a long ways on naming positions or any starters here. We are going to try to find as many guys as we have play. Hopefully we have a bunch of them that can play. That will create some depth and competition. This is a long season and it is a physical conference. We want to be able to be a team that plays a physical brand of football. You are going to need bodies to do that.”

On Pruitt’s assessment of the offensive line:

“When it comes to the run game or protection, sometimes you can be running into wrong looks. It only takes really one guy on the offense to make a mistake and it can mess up the entire play. You have to have guys that play together. I think our guys are learning to do that. We have guys that are playing multiple positions, which I think is important, so we can find their top six to eight guys and create depth from there. The guys have worked hard in practice. They just have to become more consistent and they need more time together. There are a lot of guys that are here for the first time.”

On the pass rush:

“When it comes to pass rush, if you look at it on both sides of the ball, sometimes they cover them really well in the back end and maybe the receivers aren’t getting open. Maybe the offensive line blocks great, but a running back doesn’t. Maybe the quarterback is supposed to get the ball out. There are a lot of things that go into it. I wouldn’t read too much into it.”

On what Pruitt focused on during the scrimmage:

“Everybody on the offensive line and everybody on the defensive line. Linebackers. With defensive backs, they play corner, safety, star and nickel. With linebackers, they have to be interchangeable, along with the offensive and defensive line. You have to do that to be able to have depth on your team. That is something we have been doing the entire fall camp. Everybody does that. The negative about that is that you don’t play one position the whole time. There is a learning curve, but it usually pays off in the long run.”

On the team going to church on Sunday morning:

“I grew up going to church. I think a lot of these guys did. I know our staff did. It is Sunday. It is fall camp. It’s a habit you can create and it was something we wanted to do. I think our players enjoyed it and had a really good time.”

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