My inconsequential thoughts on Jeremy Pruitt

#1

zjcvols

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#1
Let me first start by saying that nobody should judge how anybody feels about the absolute soap opera about the Tennessee Volunteers program. There are a lot of feelings right now and I feel that all those thoughts and feelings should be respected because we as a society has stupidly decided that how our sports teams do should control our emotions (I speak as someone who watched his team lose 3-1 in the NLCS and didn't speak an actual word for an hour. I get it).

1. The Quarterback Problem is all on Jeremy Pruitt and Jim Chaney- Look, I respect JG. The absolute toughness he showed last year earned my respect forever. He led us to a bowl game when 95% of the kids in that situation would have bailed. I'm biased. I respect and like the kid so much. And he's not fulfilling the basic obligations that the position requires. He just doesn't have it. But the lack of urgency regarding the position in year 3 is alarming. Derek Dooley in year 3 rode with Tyler Bray. Butch Jones rode with Joshua Dobbs. Yet what is Jeremy Pruitt doing? There doesn't seem to be a plan. There is no urgency. And look COVID sucks. Nobody can plan for a pandemic. But the lack of urgency and respect for the QB position with the coaching staff is inexcusable. Before you spout off on twitter what a loser JG is, just think how terrible the coaching staff has managed this.

2. Why aren't we competitive?- Remember in 2009 when Lane Kiffin took over? It wasn't pretty. We went 7-6 and lost to UCLA and Ole Miss. Not a great year. But the thing that excited me the most was how competitive we were against Florida and Alabama. We got blown out the previous two years and Kiffin had us in those games in the fourth quarter. Yet in year 3 we get blown out by Georgia and are double digit home underdogs against Alabama. Nobody actually thinks we can beat Alabama...that is is a bad indictment on the program. And the situation Jeremy Pruitt took over was bad. But not losing to Kentucky at home by 24 points is not asking for much. How come your team seems to fold anytime they face adversary?

3. Is the recruiting reaping benefits?- Again a huge caveat here. COVID has run amok and truly trying to judge anything in 2020 is difficult. But let's look at the players currently playing. A good portion is Pruitt's guys but the team still rely on a lot of Butch Jones signings. It's not like "Pruitt" guys are dominating the depth chart. And look at the defense. The secondary and line backing corps are basically all Pruitt guys and they can't defend a simple crossing route! At what point do we think everything is just stuck with Jeremy Pruitt?

4. Jeremy Pruitt is getting a fourth year no matter what- As previously stated, trying to judge a football program in 2020 is such a crap shoot it's not even fair. Pruitt is lucky if they can practice, let alone play. And with the loss of money in the AD and Pruitt's buyout he is going to come back in 2021 regardless. Maybe Harrison Bailey plays well and builds up hope for next year. Either way we are stuck with Pruitt for another 13 months at minimum. I love JG the person. But the future is now. It's time find an answer at the QB position long term. And that should be Pruitt's main goal this year. Figure out what young guys work for you and play them. At this point, you have nothing to lose. You are not winning the East. Bowl games are up in the air. Find the underclassmen studs and let them play.

5. What can we lose as Vol fans do?- Yeah I get it. Battered Vol Syndrome. The loss of complete hope. Only dread comes upon you thinking about Tennessee. And I am not here to give a #SupportTheseBoys type speech. College athletes are overly criticized but I'm not here to throw you the fan under the bus. I've been watching Tennessee football since 2002 and all this program does is crap on my hope. So I get it. But this year, there isn't much that can be done. I would just appreciate the live sports we get. But Phillip Fulmer needs to send a mesage to Jeremy Pruitt. This **** better be fixed by 2021. Because if it doesn't everyone's heads will roll (including Fulmer's) and there will be hell to pay. And quite frankly, the clock is now officially ticking.
 
#3

DiderotsGhost

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#3
I agree with some of this, but not all of it.

The QB situation is inexcusable at this point. I'm still taking it all in and trying not to 'rush to judgement.' The further away from the game I get, though, the less mad I am about JG's performance and the more mad I am about the coaches' handling of the QB position. JG looked like dogs#$% out there; no 2 ways about it. But so did Shrout in his 1 play. And Bailey threw into coverage, as well. So while JG's performance was awful, why was no one at the QB position prepared for Kentucky's coverage? Did no one watch film? So, in short, I agree about JG, but it was a uniformaly bad performance from the QBs, who all seemed completely unprepared.

I also really want to know what's going on with Maurer. He hasn't play a single down and he wasn't even in the scrimmage last Sunday. Is he injured still? Is there some other issue? I don't think the guy suddenly forgot how to play football, so wtf is going on there?

Where I disagree is your views on 'Pruitt's guys'. Many of our biggest contributors are Pruitt guys: To'o To'o, Bryce Thompson, Alontae Taylor, Jaylen McCullough, etc. I'm impressed with our young talent. I think people are now 's#$%ing' on the entire team, but we won the line of scrimmage in this game. And the defense, for a 2nd week in a row, played well enough to win, if the offense didn't perform disastrously. And there's a legit case that we have the 2nd best defense in the SEC right now (or at least the 3rd best).

The defense gave up 0 points in the 1st half.
The offense gave up 17 points in the 1st half.
The entire complexion of the game is different without that.

And let's be honest, even Kentucky's 17 points in the 2nd half probably doesn't happen if the offense doesn't go 3 and out and give Kentucky the ball midfield every time. If offense plays halfway competent, our D probably gives up 7-14 points for the entire game. The D has been screwed by the offense 2 weeks in a row.

Even the offense wasn't bad per se. The O-line was dominating. Eric Gray was spectacular. It was 100% a failure of the QB position.

I've never seen a game like this. I thought we dominated the game and still managed to lose 34-7 solely because of turnovers coming from the QB position. And none of those turnovers were really caused by brilliant defense by Kentucky, which is what makes it even worse.

This is why I'm not drawing dramatic conclusions about the coaching staff right now. I think we looked very good out there, other than 1 position. But we looked so awful at the 1 position, that it undermined everything else we did.
 
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#4

ReadCT

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#4
And let's be honest, even Kentucky's 17 points in the 2nd half probably doesn't happen if the offense doesn't go 3 and out and give Kentucky the ball midfield every time.
This. This all day.

There was some weird LBs crashing the line and KY throwing over them for 18 yards to their TEs a couple times. But whatever. They got it fixed. Offense sucking never got fixed and cost the game. I mean really: in the era of the MS State air raid, how can TN not figure out the forward pass?
 
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