“Our football team is a hundred times better than it was this time last year, OK? And our guys are working hard,” Pruitt said Wednesday. We’re stronger, we’re more physical. But when it comes to having success winning a football game, you can’t turn the ball over and you have to create turnovers.”
Yup, you heard that right. Pruitt thinks his football team is “a hundred times better than it was this time last year”. Does anyone in their right mind believe him though? If they do they shouldn’t.
First off, the the Vols have a worse record this year against worse oppenents. This time last year the Vols were 2-3 with losses against WVU, Florida, and Georgia. The 2019 Vols are now 1-3 (with a game in hand) with losses to Georgia State, BYU, and Florida. They’re also on track for their fourth loss to Georgia.
Next up, we’ve got the QB issue. Going into the bye week, Pruitt wasn’t sure who would be starting in week 6. Pruitt has to decide between a mediocre at best red shirt junior with an extremely low ceiling (Guarantano), red shirt freshman (Shrout), or a true freshman (Maurer). If it was my call I’d go with Maurer, but that’s a whole different debate..
It’s hard to tell if they were truly in a better QB situation last year but at least Guarantano wasn’t missing passes like this.
In addition to all that, Pruitt also confirmed that three players had left the team, including LB Will Ignont. He had 16 tackles over the first three weeks of the season. Five players overall have left since the beginning of the year. I don’t see any of those making a huge difference in games but that many players leaving doesn’t make you feel warm and fuzzy about the culture in the Vols locker room.
The Down Side Of Pruitt’s Optimism
I’m all for optimistic coaches but this is too far. It’s clear the “hundred times better” quote is a flat out lie. Not only is it a lie but that kind of mentality is going to continue to ruin Tennessee.
This attitude breeds complacency, the enemy of progress. We see that in the regression of Tennessee’s quarterback position. It also leads to players mistrusting the coach. We’ve seen the negative side of this with players leaving. While the individuals that left may not have made a huge difference on the field, their exit only causes more issues in the locker room for the remaining players.
Jeremy Pruitt needs a wake up call. Tennessee has the building blocks to be a respectable team but with this attitude, rocky top is in for another long season.
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Pull into Ruby Tuesday’s, rap game Oklahoma Sooners