Today, Tennessee Defensive Coordinator Derrick Ansley and Offensive Coordinator Jim Chaney spoke to the media on a wide range of topics. Below are some of the highlights.
A brief assessment of the defense after a couple days in pads:
“We’re six days in and it’s to be expected, there’s ups and downs, highs and lows. You know, we’ve been inside and outside. Weather, it’s brought us inside a couple days and the heat really caught up to us yesterday. I see a lot of guys trying to fight, trying to work, trying to do the things we ask them to do. We’ve just got to do it a higher clip.”
On how the lack of spring practice affected them:
“As far as not having spring, it hurt everybody. Everybody got the same situation and you’ve got to make the best of it. I thought we had a really good plan via zoom when we couldn’t have our players, to do installs, meet with those guys everyday as a unit … I think the mental aspect of it was very productive … we’re just trying to catch up everyone as quickly
as we can.”
On where he sees the secondary:
“Nowadays, the secondary is a lot like basketball, you want to create a matchup and put different people in different spots to show off their strengths and put them in situations to make plays. So with that being said, we have a lot of options, a lot of guys that can do different things. We had a couple guys with some nicks and bruises early on, but for the most part, we got a lot of guys back from last year other than Nigel (Warrior) so we should be deeper in the back end …”
Ansley called Alontae Talyor and Bryce Thompson’s experience at corner “a luxury” which will allow them flexibility up front. He said that Henry To’o To’o has “shredded some body fat and built some muscle” as he looks to lead the defense this year.
Next to To’o To’o, Quavarius Crouch and Jeremy Banks are in an open competition for the other insider backer position, with Crouch currently penciled in as the starter.
On whether Jarrett Guarantano’s second year in the Cheney system will mean better understanding and consistency:
“Without any question. That’s exactly the goal of any quarterback, is to get them to execute the offense the way that we want to, obviously. There’s so much subjectivity when it come to evaluations of quarterbacks. You know ‘He did this’ or ‘He did that’, ‘He shouldn’t have done that’. We try to eliminate that and get rid of the subjective and we quantify as much we possibly can.”
On dealing with the ever changing circumstances:
“It is what it is. As a coach you learn real quick what you can control and what you can’t control. You know, we preach it all the time. Unfortunately, we were forced to live what we talk about here for about six months, so we can’t control some of the stuff that we have to. We’ve learned to live with this and coach put schedules together for us to follow and we have to follow protocols like everybody else does … but I feel comfortable in a way of doing things … and so far so good …”
On some of the freshman additions:
“I think they all have a passion for the game. Which you never know when you walk out on the football field, the competitive character of the freshman, until you get them out there. You have an idea, but you really don’t know. But these kids all love the game of football, that’s one quality they all share; they all want to be good.”
The Vols are next on the practice field tomorrow afternoon with the season opener set for Sept. 26.