UT vs. BYU
Coach Pruitt yells instructions during the BYU game on September 7, 2019 in Neyland Stadium.

Tennessee football continues to work hard in fall camp in preparation for the 2020 season. Today’s practice was the eighth practice for the Vols and afterwards head coach Jeremy Pruitt spoke to members of the media. Coach Pruitt spoke on a variety of topics and the highlights are below.

Opening statement:

“You know, this is the third week of preseason practice, eighth practice, we had a little bit of heat out there, which is good. We hadn’t got a lot this fall camp. I thought our guys pushed really pretty well.”

On the main focus of today’s practice:

“We continued to get to work on special teams, which has been a priority because we had several days where we had to go inside, just the ball-handling aspect. Snappers, holders, kickers, just having the ability to continue to work that in live situations … we feel like we have some guys who have really good ability in the return game.”

On the offense and defense:

“I still feel like, offensively, our offensive line continues to improve every day, get more and more guys that are playing at kind of right pad level, eliminating mental errors. So, one thing we have to do is we’ve got to be more aggressive up front defensively. Not creating enough negative plays; got to continue to improve on that. We’ve got to be able to get the ball out on defensive.”

On the VFlight program:

“One thing we did do this week was launch our VFlight program headed up by Ashley Smith. Ashley does a fantastic job. It’s a great initiative to launch our players’ careers beyond football. It is one of the things when I first got here, it was something that we didn’t have that we wanted to be able to start. We really, for a couple years, we really studied a lot of people across the country and tried to steal some ideas … we’re fired up about it …”

On a contingency plan if a coach must miss a game:

“Well, we have not put a plan together, but starting offensively, if something happened to Jim (Chaney), we’ve got Tee (Martin), Will (Friend) and Chris (Weinke), Joel (Osovet), Jay (Graham), all those guys could call plays so it’s not an issue there. And same thing defensively, we’ve got guys who are familiar with what we do so we’ll be fine.”

On an overarching thing for the team to work on:

“It’s one thing that we have got to really do as a football program is work on consistency. I think our guys understand what the standard is but playing to that standard every single day and everything that we do. We’re not there yet, but we got a few players that do that on a consistent basis but not near enough for where we want to be.”

On whether this year’s national championship is legitimate with conferences opting out:

“Yeah, absolutely. We can’t control how many teams play, obviously, so we’re gonna work hard to be at our best every single day.”

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