Gameday Today: Pruitt solves a mystery, stiff-arms gimmicks, and knows the best PR

Vols Football News

Mystery Solved. Pruitt has already diagnosed Tennessee’s injury problems of the past two seasons: We’re too small. He also doesn’t like players on the ground in practice and thinks you can teach a guy how to tackle well by learning how to “thud.”

The pendulum swings again. Number one, Pruitt ain’t gone do no gimmick uniforms:

“Well, I’m going to tell you this: When I grew up, when I associated Tennessee, I associated orange and white,” Pruitt said during the post-National Signing Day event at the Country Music Hall of Fame.
“I’m not trying to be disrespectful at all. But, to me, when you go play a football game, what color your uniforms (are) don’t really matter. So, when I think of Tennessee, I think of orange and white. I don’t think you need no gimmicks.”

And number two, he’s figured out something rather important:

“But, you know, probably the best PR we got is winning football games in the fall. I can come here, and these folks can like me, and we can talk and all that, but if we ain’t winning this fall or next fall, it don’t matter how many times I come over here. So I probably need to spend most of my time on the things that’s gonna help us win football games.”


We’re Bad, We’re Nationwide. Jeremy Pruitt says that recruiting locally (defined not only as the State of Tennessee but also as a five- to six-hour radius from Knoxville) is important, but that they also need to capitalize on the national recognition of the Tennessee brand.

Obi Wan San. Pruitt makes a great point in stating that it’s not about how much a coaching staff knows, it’s how much they can teach the players:

“The thing is,” Pruitt added, “it’s not about what we know about the opponent, it’s what they players know. To me, whether it’s 11-personnel runs or a defensive back having to give a wide receiver report, or what’s the opponent running in their stacks and bunches, you’re trying to figure it out.
“It’s good to hear the guys communicate it back. I think the great ones take pride in it.”
Wait, what? New strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald is the only guy on Pruitt’s staff with whom Pruitt “had no prior relations.” This is where you make your own jokes, because I’ve already deleted three.
Nobody’s perfect, but for some there’s proof. Pruitt says the whole Jauan Jennings thing is “one day at a time.” He seems to understand both that kids make mistakes and that there are consequences for those mistakes:
“One of the first things when I got to Tennessee, Coach Fulmer, he filled me in on the situation,” Pruitt answered. “The way I look at it is this: There ain’t no perfect folks in this room. There ain’t no perfect coaches. There ain’t no perfect players. And if they had Instagram and all that stuff back when we were all growing up, some of us might not be in this room.
“I’ll say this: Jauan knows he made a mistake. He’s embarrassed by it, and I think we’re going to give him an opportunity in-house to find his way back on the team. But — and there’s always a but with it, right? — he’s got to do that. There ain’t going to be nothing given to him and he knows that. It’s a long ways to go and we’ll see. Hopefully he can do that.”

Football Coaching Staff

Tennessee finally and officially announced its football coaching staff yesterday and boasted of their collective achievements:

They also released the staff’s salaries, if you’re interested.


DylanVol takes a closer look at the linebackers in the Class of 2018.

Tennessee secured the commitment of 4-star offensive tackle Jackson Lampley of Montgomery Bell Academy.


More rat poison, saying that Tennessee basketball is the best team in the conference:

Mmm. I love the taste of rat poison in the morning.

Lamonte Turner, who carried the Vols in the first half win over Kentucky, got a little winded and so prodded Jordan Bowden to take the torch for a little while. Bowden scored 11 points in the second half.

Admiral Schofield is a man with his head screwed on right:

“One of the biggest things we talked about, Kentucky was 17-6 and people were questioning their team — and we’re 17-5 and people are saying that’s the best they’ve seen here in a while,” Schofield said. “Why is that OK? We want more. We have to keep playing like men.”

Right on.

Other fun stuff

The No. 11 Lady Vols beat Arkansas 90-85 on the strength of a career-high 33 points and 14 rebounds from Rennia Davis. Highlights:

And the Lady Vols softball team, which is ranked No. 11, beat No. 19 Arizona State, 7-4.

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Farewell Smokey Greys, you will not be missed. Please take the checkerboard rat-tail with you.