Pruitt calls out Tennessee's O-line, demands summer step-up

#53

XknoxvolsX

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#53
What he is talking about isn't coaching - its motor. And I think he was not happy with the EFFORT that the OL put in for the OW game. What he is calling out (IMO) is the lack of want to by more senior players, not the lack of talent. Could be wrong about that but that was my take.
Put some different ones in. If that doesn't initiate desire, then nothing else will. That is part of coaching them up.
 
#54

lifeisdeep

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#54
This is my biggest concern. There were so many fundamental errors last year. If our guys were playing hard and just being physically beat/stunted/etc than I could attribute the bulk of it to inferior talent. But we weren't lined up correctly, we completely whiffed drive blocks with the guy right in front of our guy, and stood and watched linemen rush by. I'm not saying we have the return of the Tennessee Valley Authority on campus by a long shot, but a LOT of this is simply lousy coaching and development. Meanwhile, this guy gets good ink and a fat paycheck.......is he the answer? I'm not even close to being convinced at this point. But he does seem to be the one guy CJP will not cut when he otherwise cleaned a lot of house over the offseason. Time will tell.

View attachment 202016
Couldn't agree more. Lots of lower-rated OL recruits in this league played better last year than our line did. I wonder how many four- and five-star OL Vandy had? Or Mizzou or Kentucky? It doesn't take five stars by your name to get in front of somebody when the ball is snapped rather than just standing there and watching him go by.
 
#55

BeardedVol

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#55
What he is talking about isn't coaching - its motor. And I think he was not happy with the EFFORT that the OL put in for the OW game. What he is calling out (IMO) is the lack of want to by more senior players, not the lack of talent. Could be wrong about that but that was my take.
Except that he specifically mentioned technique in the article as an area that needs improvement, which is taught, by Will Friend.
 
#58

DiderotsGhost

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#58
This is my biggest concern. There were so many fundamental errors last year. If our guys were playing hard and just being physically beat/stunted/etc than I could attribute the bulk of it to inferior talent. But we weren't lined up correctly, we completely whiffed drive blocks with the guy right in front of our guy, and stood and watched linemen rush by. I'm not saying we have the return of the Tennessee Valley Authority on campus by a long shot, but a LOT of this is simply lousy coaching and development. Meanwhile, this guy gets good ink and a fat paycheck.......is he the answer? I'm not even close to being convinced at this point. But he does seem to be the one guy CJP will not cut when he otherwise cleaned a lot of house over the offseason. Time will tell.
I'd disagree with this assessment somewhat (not completely).

Last season, our biggest issue was that our guys were simply getting overpowered in run blocking. You can see this in the advanced statistical stats where we lead the NCAA in run plays where our guy was tackled for loss behind the line of scrimmage. Ty Chandler and Tim Jordan would get hit 2 yards behind the line the second they got the ball.

We did have issues with technique/ fundamentals / whatnot last season, as well, but I thought we saw improvement on that front as the year went by. However, we also lost our two best OL in Kennedy and Trey Smith, which then forced us to throw more inexperienced players on the line.

I'd be more concerned if we start the season and we're still having the issue of being severely overpowered in the run game. I think it's inevitable that we're going to have some technique / assignment / mental mistakes given that our line is still going to be very young. I hope to see improvement on that front as the season goes on. But if we're getting overpowered at the point-of-attack again, then it's going to be a rough season.

The good news IMO is that almost all of our linemen look bigger and stronger this year (significantly so), so the work in S&C seems to be paying off. Hopefully, this staff can get the O-line in decent shape on fundamentals by the beginning of the season, but with so many young players, it's not an easy task. Probably going to take till 2020 before the O-line has a shot at being good.
 
#60

TennMan101

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#60
Sadly, the O&W game is probably a wake-up call that we're still at least a year away from having a serviceable O-line. Some of the newcomers have great potential, but being a starting O-linemen as a true Freshman in the SEC is very tough. There's a reason most SEC schools starting OL is littered with 3rd, 4th, and 5th year players.

I do think if we get things right in the summer and find the right mix, maybe the starting OL can be better than we expect, but we're still in the position where an injury or two could throw everything to crap very quickly.
If the o-line is going to continue looking like it has, we may as well start Wright, Morris and Lampley. Getting them experience will be key for 20'
 
#61

TennesseeTarheel

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#61
I may be in the minority on this, but I like that he calls out the O-line. To me this just says that he is not afraid to recognize a deficiency and meet it head on. There is nothing worse than a coach that avoids issues that weaken the team and hope that they solve themselves. I like that he is transparent in the way that he sees the team and is not afraid to call it what it is. If he is this blatant about the status of the line he is not shying away from taking on the challenge and making it a priority. The team will respond well to seeing that CJP isn't telling them one thing and saying another to the media. It is about culture and buying into making the team better no matter who's feelings it hurts.
Psychologically, it's probably better for the head coach to be the severe quality control guy. Then the position coaches can come from a more supportive stance in order to accomplish what the HC wants without abrasion. I might be reading too much into it. But, I know from experience that big young men can get their feelings hurt and it can stall progress. -Dad of a 20 year old and a 17 year old.
 
#64
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#64
Publicly calling out the O-line isn't going to solve anything. Recruiting better linemen and coaching them up is! Even coaching up the ones we've got will help more.
Sweet Jesus.

Do you think he "called them out" then went home opened an 18 pak and is watching reruns of Friday night lights waiting for someone to call and tell him they've improved?
 
#68

fifties fan

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#68
Part of the 'call out' was also looking to find players taking ownership of improving themselves and the unit. Who will be the ones knocking on doors and/or texting to get turnout? Who will critique their peers and take criticism from them, too? There has to be ownership and leadership within the units. If it's just the coaches we'll have to strive for mediocrity.
 
#69

BigOrangeTrain

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#69
Trey Smith 5 star
Wanya Morris 5 star
Darnell Wright 5 star
R Johnson 4 star
N Niehulus 4 star
M Tatum highly recruited 3 star
Question; Did the O-line look so bad when Maurer was in??
O-line is not nearly as bad as it seemed the past 2 years. Dlinemnen just pin their ears back on JG because he doesnt scramble and he holds the ball too long. Why is he holding it so long? Because he isn't processing the play fast enough. The opponent knows this and so does our O-line. Understand that anytime JG takes the field, the offense as a whole does not feel like they can score easily. None of them believe in him.
Dude Maurer didnt look that special. Our OL has been garbage for years. It was horrid when Dobbs was here. Also, please offer proof of your last 2 sentences. And yes the OL still looked bad when Maurer was playing against the 2s. At no point in the spring game did we see an OL that even resembles average SEC level. The QB really didnt matter that much.
 
#70

butchna

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#70
Trey Smith 5 star
Wanya Morris 5 star
Darnell Wright 5 star
R Johnson 4 star
N Niehulus 4 star
M Tatum highly recruited 3 star
Question; Did the O-line look so bad when Maurer was in??
O-line is not nearly as bad as it seemed the past 2 years. Dlinemnen just pin their ears back on JG because he doesnt scramble and he holds the ball too long. Why is he holding it so long? Because he isn't processing the play fast enough. The opponent knows this and so does our O-line. Understand that anytime JG takes the field, the offense as a whole does not feel like they can score easily. None of them believe in him.
Niehaus was a 3 star.
 
#71
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#71
Not too impressive a showing but I think part of it was having a black shirt-no contact TE in blocking schemes. I also think that once we get our known starting 5 taking snaps together they will gel together better.

True freshmen Wanya Morris and Akporoghene got burned a couple of times at OT but they are still learning the ropes. They'll be a lot better this fall. Not too worried about interior with Niehaus, Jamir Johnson and perhaps Trey Smith as well as Kennedy at Center (Ryan Johnson some concern at center).

Tatum should be ready at OT. Not sure if Niehaus is ready at OT. Steep learning curve for Wanya, and Darnell Wright but at least one of them should step up this fall.

I'm pretty optimistic on Akporoghene and Carver as backups; perhaps Lampley too.

Of course I'm basing my comments on only seeing the O&W game just once on live tv. I need to revisit it again and see what else I notice.
 
#72

mccrackb

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#72
And how about those same OLs who spearheaded the 114th best rushing attack last year while allowing fully 1/3 of Tennessee rushing plays to lose yardage, a staggering stat that led, by a country mile, the country last season. Was that JG’s fault too? Did he wait too long to hand the ball off or something?

And they killed it on Saturday night, dominating our incredibly thin and inexperienced 1st team DL, a group that every reasonable follower of Tennessee football is greatly concerned about as being a major issue in 2019, to the tune of 2.9 yards per rush.

Meanwhile, JG, they guy you blame for every ailment on the Knoxville, Tennessee campus, comes off a season where he was literally the best QB in the SEC and one of the top 2-3 QBs throwing the ball last year while under pressure, which was essentially every time he dropped back to throw.

No need to respond to this post, because we already know your thoughts.....Jarrett Guarantano absolutely sucks.
That there is funny. The only stat JG is top 2 in over the past two years is losses.
 
#73

grobin4300

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#73
Trey Smith 5 star
Wanya Morris 5 star
Darnell Wright 5 star
R Johnson 4 star
N Niehulus 4 star
M Tatum highly recruited 3 star
Question; Did the O-line look so bad when Maurer was in??
O-line is not nearly as bad as it seemed the past 2 years. Dlinemnen just pin their ears back on JG because he doesnt scramble and he holds the ball too long. Why is he holding it so long? Because he isn't processing the play fast enough. The opponent knows this and so does our O-line. Understand that anytime JG takes the field, the offense as a whole does not feel like they can score easily. None of them believe in him.

JG does not process information quickly and he pre determines where is throwing the ball and he just waits and waits until that WR attempts to get open. Also, JG should be able to determine coverage in his 3rd or 4th year (whatever year it is for him). I've seen enough of him to know he is VERY inaccurate on the scramble and he doesn't know when to throw a touch ball vs a fast ball.
 
#74

butchna

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#74
Not too impressive a showing but I think part of it was having a black shirt-no contact TE in blocking schemes. I also think that once we get our known starting 5 taking snaps together they will gel together better.

True freshmen Wanya Morris and Akporoghene got burned a couple of times at OT but they are still learning the ropes. They'll be a lot better this fall. Not too worried about interior with Niehaus, Jamir Johnson and perhaps Trey Smith as well as Kennedy at Center (Ryan Johnson some concern at center).

Tatum should be ready at OT. Not sure if Niehaus is ready at OT. Steep learning curve for Wanya, and Darnell Wright but at least one of them should step up this fall.

I'm pretty optimistic on Akporoghene and Carver as backups; perhaps Lampley too.

Of course I'm basing my comments on only seeing the O&W game just once on live tv. I need to revisit it again and see what else I notice.
Take note that it’s two hand touch with the QBs. Both JG and Maurer had open lanes that wouldn’t have been sacks in a real situation.
 

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