Pruitt made an appearance before the Knoxville Quarterback Club today and this is my take on what he said.
He said we had 10 of the missing guys back for the most recent scrimmage. He said they were making the best of the circumstances but having a significant number of guys out had forced them out of their normal development routine. Normally they’re running with 4 units on both sides of the ball, basically having 2 practices going on simultaneously. He said that normally would require 88 guys but they had broken off from doing that with a high number of guys out. We have 130 guys on our roster right now.
He said the forced change in the practice routine had hurt guys like Harrison Bailey because he hadn’t been able to get the amount of reps he normally would in their normal practice routine. On the other hand it had helped guys like Javontez Spraggins who seized the opportunity when it became available at guard to assert himself as a ready to contribute right now guy on the offensive line.
He said all of the guys were positive and motivated. They’ve all been working really hard. (It’s important to note that when guys are out due to quarantine they are still participating in zoom meetings and working out separately with the strength and conditioning staff). He singled out James Robinson as someone who has put in a tremendous amount of work since arriving on campus. Pruitt said Robinson weighed 360 lbs when he reported on June 8th and was now down to 321. (If you figure the first 10 or so lbs one loses when they go into training is typically excess water weight then the rate of weight loss is close to the 2 lbs per week that you’d expect from someone in serious training).
He also confirmed (again) that RJ Perry while working with the defensive line the first 4 practices of camp has spent the last 10 practices working with the offensive line. This sounded like a permanent move both for Perry’s future and ours.
I think generally Pruitt was positive. Obviously he’s not dealing with ideal circumstances but they’re approaching it with a positive attitude. He said Jay Graham was making an impact with the running backs and as our new special teams coordinator. He said we still have some work to do to get our special teams up to our typical standard and that effort has been impacted by guys being out. He said we typically have an edge with special teams and we need that this year as well. The issue, aside from some of our specialists missing time, is that the guys who would normally be manning our special teams, our best athletes, were typically returners in high school. We need a lot of those guys to learn the blocking and coverage schemes for the special teams units, something they may not have had a lot of experience at previously.
From a recruiting aspect he said they anticipated a lot of what would happen with respect to the virus when it first started dominating the news out of China in January. Figuring it was just a matter of time until it got here they developed a recruiting plan to plow through what they expected would be the imposed circumstances once the virus did get to the US. He praised the recruiting department, the coaching staff, and the current players on our roster for executing that plan and the success we have has so far this year in that department.
I may have misunderstood this but I think he said he could see us possibly playing 12 games this year. If my math is right that suggests we have to win the SEC and then I guess we get beat in the first round of the college football playoff. Or we lose in the SEC championship game and go to a bowl game. I’m not sure how else we could get to 12 games. I don’t guess it really matters just as long as that’s what he’s thinking about I’m sure it’ll sort itself out in due course. Of course, he could be sandbagging and actually plans to win it all. He just always strikes me as someone who holds back just a little bit and then finishes strong in a way that has everyone talking about who won the day, which of course would be him. jmo.
I'd like to thank every one of you on this dot Com. In my life I've dealt with death both unexpected and expected, from close to home to distant. I've had the regrets that I think we all suffer from immediately following a passing. I've learned alot from yall. I've had the opportunity to apply it to life and the relationships I am surrounded with.
My wife's grandmother has been her only cheerleader, supporter both mentally and emotionally, she's been her rock. Her constant. Friday we learned she is in stage 4 of pancreatic cancer with an estimated 4 weeks left. We left Jacksonville to come up to Atlanta in 30 mins, got the kids from school and have been here since. It's not looking good but she's a strong woman and wants to fight. We are pulling as many strings as we can to get her to Mayo but it may not be in time. She's adament on starting chemo and will go in on Tuesday but I'm not sure she will have that opportunity. We have cherished our time with her and we are still blessed to have some more time. I've learned about loving and living in the TODAY from the people on here. There are no regrets, no missed opportunities but my wife and our family need prayers for strength, courage and warmth in a time the world may be losing an angel to her call home.