This was fine. This is fine. This will be fine.

Hol-ee Mother of Crapola.

Aaron Murray isn’t a believer in Jeremy Pruitt.

Murray, the former Georgia quarterback who is now an analyst with the CBS Sports Network, offered a blistering critique of Tennessee’s first-year coach during an interview Tuesday on ESPN’s 102.5 The Game.

“I don’t know if his personality is fit to be a head coach. I don’t,” Murray told the radio station. “As a head coach, there’s so many things that go into it. It’s not just going out there and coaching. You have to deal with front office. You’ve got to go talk with the president of the university. You have to deal with boosters. You have to deal with the offense, the defense. It’s not just going in there and dealing with the kids and scheming up. There’s a lot that goes into it.

“I don’t think he’s the right guy to kind of be the CEO of a corporation. He’s really good managing just a defense and being a defensive coordinator. He needs to prove to me that he can handle the whole ship. For right now, I don’t think he can. We’ll see what happens this year. I don’t think it helps that he doesn’t have a lot of talent at Tennessee.”

Not exactly a ringing endorsement there.

Now it’s true that their times didn’t overlap in Athens.  But it’s hard to imagine that Murray didn’t hear from his former teammates and coaches about developments from 2014 and 2015.  (Or, for that matter, read the paper and watch the Belk Bowl presser.)

“When he was at Georgia, the way he acted, the way he treated Coach Richt I thought was poor,” Murray told 102.5 The Game. “He wasn’t as respectful as I thought a defensive coordinator should be to a head coach. That’s my thing, with authority.

“When he’s dealing with the athletic director, when he’s dealing with the president, when he’s dealing with a booster who has given millions of dollars, you can’t go tell him to screw off. You have to take the meeting. You have to sit with them. Yeah, I know you want to be game planning and getting ready for the game, but you’re a head coach now. You have to do these other things.”

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating:  there’s one helluva book to be written about the twilight of the Mark Richt era in Athens.

***************************************************************************

UPDATE:  Jeremy responds.

“Probably” is doing some heavy lifting there.

***************************************************************************

UPDATE #2:  Ooh, it’s lit.

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UPDATE #3:  David Pollack weighed in, too.

“To address Aaron’s (Murray) comment — because I think it needs to be addressed a little bit — the stories that I have heard and some of y’all have heard that came out of Athens – that are true, (from) coaches that were on the staff, some of the things Jeremy Pruitt did to Mark Richt, some coaches would tell you are the most disrespectful, most crazy things they heard,” Pollack said on the set of “SEC Now.”

“So, I’ll be curious to watch Jeremy Pruitt as he evolves with this relationship with Phillip Fulmer because Jeremy Pruitt did a good job when he was with Nick Saban — because he knew where he stood. He did a good job with Jimbo Fisher — they let you know where you stand. The hierarchy was very clear. How does he evolve as a head coach?

“He put on a good show (at the main podium at SEC Media Days), he definitely showed you what he has. I want to see if he continues to treat people in the correct manner, if he respects authority, because to be honest, the stories we’ve heard — we’ve all heard the same stories, it was pretty bad. It was disrespectful, so that’s what I’m interested to see.”

Based on things I’ve heard, I’d disagree a little with his assessment of Pruitt’s time at FSU, but, still…

***************************************************************************

UPDATE #4:  Richt sends regards.

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92 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

92 responses to “This was fine. This is fine. This will be fine.

  1. Dolly Llama

    I posted this in the (hopefully finally dead) thread downstairs, but the VolNation boys are getting up early this morning with it on their minds:

    http://www.volnation.com/forum/tennessee-vols-football/293464-former-bulldog-aaron-murray-jeremy-pruitt.html

    Like

  2. dawgxian

    What happened with the Bell Bowl presser? Murray would strike me as an authority on this matter- Ind Pyc degree, 4 years of leadership. But, I can’t help but recall Pruitt’s defense was the only unit that played well in 2015. Look at the score of the Tech game for example. If it was about respecting Richt, look at how much he paid Grantham and his mediocre defenses vs Bobo and his offenses. Some of that disrespect was deserved

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re a class act all the way.

      Like

    • Anonymous

      I can’t help but recall Pruitt’s defense was the only unit that played well in 2015.

      Hmmmm, during the time that Pruitt was at Georgia, the team lost 6 games. Four of those losses were when Pruitt’s defense gave up 38 points. One of the losses was in overtime in his first game against GT which is understandable. The only game that you can really blame on the offense was the oddity that was the 2015 Florida game.

      It is fine that you like Pruitt because he comes from a similar cultural background as yourself, but that doesn’t mean that the losses were someone else fault.

      Like

      • dubyadee

        Eh, I remember those games, and I don’t think the score really does justice to how his squads overperformed. A defense can only handle so many 3 and outs by the offense before things break down.

        I think Aaron Murray is probably right. Time will tell. But Pruitt could coach some D.

        Like

        • Anonymous

          The 2014 offense was the highest scoring in Georgia program history. You can’t blame our highest scoring offense of all time for hanging the defense out to dry. Pruitt may be a good DC, especially when he has a roster of 5-star talent that had been coached up by Kirby or Mark Stoops, but his “success” with us had more to do with offense in the SEC East being ass in 2014-2015. He had a bad habit of giving up 38 points to offenses that had a pulse.

          Like

  3. Spike

    GATA Aaron!

    Like

  4. Murray is saying what a lot of people have thought about Pruitt. There is no doubt about his ability to coach defense and to recruit players as an assistant. I would think most people think the other stuff that goes into the job is going to be hard for him. There’s a reason he coached high school for 8 years and never even got a high school head coaching shot. He showed a little of his problem after the 10rc spring game when he called out the fans.

    I wonder if Greg McGarity dipped into the reserve fund a little to encourage Aaron to make that comment. I keed, I keed … I think.

    Final thought … with Murray on CBSSN, does anyone think the Eye is training the SEC’s passing record holder to become Gary Danielson’s successor?

    Like

    • ChiliDawg

      Final thought … with Murray on CBSSN, does anyone think the Eye is training the SEC’s passing record holder to become Gary Danielson’s successor?

      No.

      Like

      • He’s young, and he’s clearly not ready. If Andre Ware can be a CBS analyst (Damian Gray, anyone?), Murray certainly could.

        Like

        • ChiliDawg

          Could he be a CBS analyst? Sure. Could he be the marquee analyst for the highest profile games on the CBS network? That’s a different question, and I’m much more skeptical of that.

          Like

        • dubyadee

          I made a Damian Gray reference last week and didn’t think anyone caught it. The North Remembers.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Derek

    It shouldn’t be but is all about winning. Its just that’s if you’re an asshole you’d better win a bunch.

    I don’t think being a jerk kept guys like Knight and woody hayes from being successful. Lots of not nice people are coaches.

    Being nice will give you a little rope and not being nice will give you less, but if UT starts winning I don’t think anyone who matters to Jeremy will care about how he acts. They loved Lane until he left and he want exactly finishing school material.

    This is a guy who, in the locker room after a loss, told his dad and HC that his play calling sucked.

    He hasn’t changed and it hasn’t slowed his career trajectory down a bit.

    It’s a bottom line business.

    As Bear Bryant said: if I’m winning my enemies can’t hurt me. If I’m losing my friends can’t help me.

    Like

    • 81Dog

      Proof of your concept: Bobby Petrino has a job. Jackie Sherill had jobs.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mad Mike

      In the past I’d say you’re absolutely correct, but now can he survive acting like that in times where, no matter what you do, you’re going to offend someone? It takes very little to crank up the outrage machine these days.

      Like

      • Derek

        Example in coaching?

        I’ll assume he’ll avoid racial epitaphs.

        Leach is the only example I can think of and that had a lot to do with the hooker serial killer.

        Knight went decades before anyone stood up to him. Hayes had to punch a kid in the mouth on national tv.

        Like

        • Mad Mike

          I’m not saying it’s definitely happened yet, I’m just asking is the potential is there? I guess it could be argued that Schiano fell prey to it if you believe he didn’t know about Sandusky. I suppose my main point is that the ease with which people get offended and demand someone lose their job, an establishment be shut down, etc. has increased exponentially since even the Leach incident.

          Like

    • Biggus Rickus

      It hasn’t slowed his career trajectory a bit? He was canned arguably prematurely at USC, and he’s coaching FAU as a career rehabilitation project.

      Like

  6. 3rdandGrantham

    The key here is exactly how much has Pruitt matured over the past 3-4 years. I’m venturing to guess not all that much from an EQ and maturity standpoint, but again that remains to be seen. Calling out the fans after the UT spring game certainly offered a glimpse of where he is and what probably is to come – imagine what he might say after they lose their third straight game this year.

    Either way I don’t see his tenure ending well there, as predicted the day he was hired.

    Like

  7. MDDawg

    I heard an interview with Murray recently where the subject of player safety and hard hits came up, and that lead him to mention Nick Fairley in the 2010 Auburn game. Now I’m sure most of us think Murray would’ve been justified in saying “he’s a dirty player” or “he’s a cheap-shot artist”, but he didn’t. All he said was about Fairley something to the effect of “that guy hits like a truck” or “that guy hits hard”. So for Murray to go easy on a guy like that and then to come out this hard against Pruitt makes these comments even more scathing in my mind. It’ll be interesting to see if Murray calls any of the Tennessee games this season.

    Like

    • WF Dawg

      Don’t worry, Aaron; I’m holding a grudge against Fairley for the both of us.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Macallanlover

        Would be on that list as well WFD. And the way AU fans defended it dropped them to the bottom for me, no possible excuse for the behavior of their fans that season. And they wondered why, nationally, CFB fans turned away in disgust that year as they went all-in for all the wrong reasons.

        Like

    • Uglydawg

      Farley’s crime was against AM during the game..it was a cheap and dirty way to behave but Aaron was man enough to handle it. It’s harder to accept seeing (or hearing of) a man you love and respect being mistreated. I think AM is mostly offended by the treatment JP gave CMR.
      CMR is a kind and gentle man that is known for being strong enough to turn the other cheek, a strength that asshats like Penn Wagers and Pruitt see as a weakness they can exploit. CMR could have acted like Boom would have, or Woody Hayes, or SOS, or several other coaches we could think of…but then he wouldn’t be true to his own values.
      It was time for the change but I hope he’s ranked #2 at the end of a lot of years..right behind the #1 Dawgs.

      Like

  8. Bulldog Joe

    Fulmer is there to handle all the non-coaching stuff. All is well.

    Like

    • Biggen

      This is what Vol fans say when people are fearful that Pruitt can’t handle the workload of being a HC. However, the AD won’t have time to babysit and clean up every mess that Pruitt may make. That shit will get old fast…

      Like

      • AthensRules

        Based on reading some comments on Vols247 from guys who say they are in the know this is exactly what they say is happening. Fulmer is dealing with the president & boosters and has given Pruitt the directive to just coach the team. That can work but it is pretty limited. Hard to shield a guy with he is making $3M plus forever. Interestingly there was one poster that said he has heard on good authority that Pruitt has already had two non positive interactions with boosters and that he believes Aaron’s comments have merit. Of course he was jumped all over after making that comment.

        Like

  9. Brandon

    Everything is proceeding as Fulmer has foreseen. I think they might be in the need of an emergency interim coach in the near future. I wonder who that’ll be?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Derek

      If Phat Phil’s pick fails, Phat Phil fails.

      Phat Phil would rather be the last successful HC at UT than it’s most recent failure.

      He wants to be the savior. The guy who was unceremoniously fired before his time but came back to resurrect the program out of loyalty.

      That’s the script.

      Like

      • Brandon

        See, now more than any of that, I think FP wants to be the HC at UT again. I think he believes Pruitt is a good coach (I do too) and will come in and do some heavy lifting and then at the opportune time, knife Pruitt in the back and take his job. Pruitt provides the perfect personality for this plan, he’s a meathead who will inevitably give Fulmer his pre-text and then Fulmer will step in “aw shucks” style and make the “sacrifice” of assuming the head coach role mid season. As Tennessee’s schedule is usually front end loaded he will finish with a bang and his Napoleonic return and triumph over the House of Harlem will be complete.

        Like

        • Brandon

          Haslem NOT Harlem (auto correct strikes again).

          Like

        • Uglydawg

          Nay, Brandon. FP know his time as HC has passed. But what could very well happen is something like this…
          FP sees the offense struggling. FP , if he isn’t already in the box, goes to the box and takes someone else’s headset and give JP advice. This pisses JP off, but he takes FP’s advice. The play FP called either works nicely, thus encouraging more interference, or the play fails, which pisses JP off even further. This goes on several times. The OC bitches to CPJ after the game about it. Word gets out to the players that FP is calling the plays and the OC and JP are pissed. FP shows up at work on Monday and can tell JP is in an ill mood. FP tries to smooth things over, and even comes to practice on Tuesday. There is some scrimmage during practice. One of the players hollers out, “Hey, Coach Fulmer, what should play should we run?” Some of the kids want FP to coach the offense during scrimmage. The OC gets pissed and walks off the field…FP follows him trying to explain he meant no harm…CJP tells the DC to take over the practice and follows the OC and FP into the field house…
          GTP? There’s a lot of potential for a hillbilly civil war.
          It could be a beautiful thing!

          Like

    • Mayor

      It does seem like that is the master plan, doesn’t it?

      Like

    • Tim B

      Johnny Majors knows how that works.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. steve

    When the tarp is pulled back, UT is still an orange clown car. They are just rotating the clowns to the music and holding the gear in ‘R’ because they think it means ‘race speed’.
    Jeremy has several non remedial problems that suddenly appear like IEDs.
    1. Fulmer. Reading the UT fan posts it is absolutely remarkable how much they trust that Fulmer ‘has CJP’s back’, will keep him out of trouble’, will ‘handle the tough noncoaching things’ and can be trusted. This is an AD not a DJ. Oldies but goodies work in music.
    2. Fans that, for the most part, are abused pets that can’t leave home. Blowing cigarette smoke at a caged parakeet type abuse. They want relief and CJP won’t have long.
    3. His personality which appears to be a self-destructive passive aggressive type, heavy on the aggressive. Also, Jeremy’s grammar and thought reflect either Chaucer’s middle English or an autistic beagle.
    At least the cheese you put on asparagus is orange. I’m pretty sure he knows what cheese is even if he has never heard of asparagus.

    Like

  11. Macallanlover

    Aaron Murray is spot on his assessment from everything I know, and have heard, about Pruitt, based on my experience in similar situations with personality types like Pruitt. If he really has grown substantially in the past 2 years, it might possibly work, but the odds are long against this working out for the Viles.

    Even though Murray seemed to speak what many think, not so sure how wise it was to phrase it that bluntly given his new vocation. He could have gotten the point across without blasting so hard…as much as all love to see TN get laid bare. He had time to work on how to position that skepticism, surprised he took such a direct shot. Always demonstrated moxie on the field though.

    Like

    • Over the years, I have worked for and with Pruitt types. I have yet to see one change behavior, even when not changing meant be out of a job. I think Murray was just pissed and decided to show it.

      Like

  12. Otto

    I have been saying the same about Boom for years.

    Like

  13. Go Dawgs!

    I think Pruitt’s chances of being a success at Tennessee would be a lot higher with any other athletic director in the world. I think Pruitt wants to be in charge, and being in charge would eliminate most of the problems he apparently had at Georgia. But Phil Fulmer isn’t going to be the CEO of the department, he’s going to want to be fully involved in the football program. And I think that’s going to go about as well as it did in Athens when the going gets tough, and I think it’s going to get tough fairly soon with the roster they’ve got.

    I’m hoping it’ll be a lot of fun to watch from afar.

    Like

  14. ASEF

    I completely understand Murray’s loyalty to Richt, I also watched Richt find a way to lose to Pitt last year – for reference, Pitt lost to UNC, UNC’s only win against a FBS team after suffering 17 season-ending injuries. And then rolled that L into a no-show in the ACC championship game. And then rolled that into an L to Wisconsin. Rise to #2, followed by 3 game losing streak. Sorry, that’s Essential Richt to me.

    Richt is maddening. So is McGarity. Maybe Pruitt lacks the communication skills to succeed as an organizational leader, and he definitely is operating with Fulmer’s knife hovering an inch from his back at UT. But he was dealing with 2 dudes who didn’t have a clue, to echo a post above.

    Like

    • Brandon

      I hear you, I think Richt was ahead of schedule with Miami last year though, when they rose to #2, I don’t think anybody really believed they were that good. That said, that’s the first time Miami’s been in the conversation in quite a while.

      Like

    • What does the Miami coach’s performance last year have to do with the fitness of Jeremy Pruitt to be a head coach at a P5 program? Just curious.

      Like

    • Biggus Rickus

      I’m by no means a defender of Richt, but his shortcomings are hardly an excuse for the level of Pruitt’s rumored assholery.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Otto

        Pruitt is a solid DC, someone that is HC material finds a better way to deal with it. I do like a DC that has the fire to be pissed at Richt’s complacency.

        Like

      • ASEF

        I had a boss once who, in his stubborn refusal to admit his own errors in the amount of $10,000, sent two $5 million client relationships down the tubes. Those relationships were years in the making, and those revenues were the difference in bonuses and 401K matches versus salary cuts for 50 employees.

        I tried to talk to him in private about it numerous times. I tried intermediaries. Nothing.

        And in a meeting where he was grousing about sales numbers and wanting solutions, I let him have it. Was I disrespectful? Damn right. As disrespectful as he had been to the hard work of all the people in his organization that he had no respect for.

        I knew I would land on my feet. At that point, I was saying things other people in the organization had no power to say. And that confrontation was the domino that ultimately got the man moved into a position where he couldn’t hurt client relationships anymore.

        So, I guess, given that we’re all speculating here, that I see some possible parallels.

        Like

    • Uglydawg

      Hoo boy. And who does PF think gives a crap about what HE thinks of AM? Sombich just had to get in on it.

      Like

  15. Argondawg

    Pruitt responding speaks volumes. That is some thin skin. Kirby would not address something like that. To Kirby that would be background noise and not worth his time. Pruitt will address every slight and take everything very personal. Where else in P5 does the fan base have to use the AD as cover for the inadequacies of the HC.

    Like

    • Brandon

      Agree completely, maybe he’ll try to fight Murray come 9/29, and some feisty former teammate will be on hand.

      Liked by 1 person

    • california_dawg

      Exactly my thinking. A mature coach just smiles and says he has respect for Aaron Murray and leaves it at that.

      Like

      • Uglydawg

        Both are Saban disciples. One learned the art of “I don’t have time for that shit”, the other didn’t.
        Of course, Fulmer handling all of the administrative stuff for him (according to Volnation thread on this) gives CJP time for this shit.

        Like

  16. doubledawg09

    As long as Pruitt ensures that Helton properly schemes up the offense to consistently get the ball to the tight ends, UT will be fine… and so will Pruitt.

    Like

  17. ChiliDawg

    I guess it never dawned on me… I always just assumed some of the locals here were always pushing the sunniest version of Jeremy Pruitt because he was a Georgia coach in spite of the fact that he’s a trashy redneck. I hadn’t realized they like him because he’s a trashy redneck. Silly me. I should have learned by now.

    Like

    • Mike Cooley

      Said the little Atlanta hipster who thinks anybody who doesn’t shop at Whole Foods is a “trashy redneck”. You are such a little bitch, chili.

      Like

  18. W Cobb Dawg

    Pruitt’s got a handful of national championship rings and a multi-million dollar gig. AM has 2 degrees, but now spends his time on talk radio. On top of that he spent $40k on a ring for some floozy.

    If AM thinks he can match up, he should ditch the analyst job and pursue coaching. I for one, think he’d do okay. Otherwise, he’d be wise to tone down the criticism of others who are far, far more successful in their careers.

    Like

    • “I don’t know if his personality is fit to be a head coach. I don’t…”

      At the moment, neither Murray nor Pruitt have led a football program for an entire season as a head coach. I’d say that means they match up on that front, at least.

      Like

    • PTC DAWG

      Pretty much my thoughts…I don’t see how this helps AM.

      Like

    • Argondawg

      Also Murray is like 17 years younger worth a couple of million, in his 20s and not teaching Kindergarten. I would say he is ahead of the game and Pruitt when he was that age. Murray will be successful at whatever he decides to do. That kid is smart and understands commitment.

      Liked by 1 person

    • He’s doing color analyst work. He may not be making $3m, but I don’t think he’s trying to figure out where the next meal is coming from either.

      Like

    • ETDF

      I think Murray, as his age, has been more successful than Pruitt at the same age.

      Like

      • TXBaller

        Dude, no offense but Murray is a washed up clip board holding NFL’er that will never make more than $200-$300k/yr at CBS Radio. Jimmy Sexton just got Pruitt a GUARANTEED $20MM contract. Pruitt has been pulling down $1mm/yr the past 4-5 years and .5mm/yr the previous 4-5 years prior to that. Dont be delusional Phile.

        Like

    • ChiliDawg

      I think we just found the guy who egged Aaron Murray’s house.

      Like

      • HiAltDawg

        Hilarious!

        Like

      • W Cobb Dawg

        You mean Pruitt did the egging, right? My hands are clean.

        What nobody is saying is that AM’s criticism actually helps Pruitt right now. Regardless of ‘the stories’, I think we’d all agree the players under Pruitt at UGA liked the guy – a lot. Assuming that’s also the case at utk and having lost 2 of the last 3, we don’t need AM giving utk players extra incentive to rally around their HC for the September game. I doubt Kirby wants AM going off half cocked.

        Like

  19. MDDawg

    Hey Senator, apparently David Pollack just joined in on the action. Not sure if it’s cool to post the link here but the article is on SDS.

    Like

  20. vectordawg

    “15 years ago, I was a kindergarten teacher. Now, I’m the head coach at Tennessee”

    He’s proud of that? It’s not a big leap.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. MDDawg

    Just listened to the podcast. Gotta say I disagree with Butler’s sentiment that Pruitt had no impact on getting the indoor practice facility. Even if you don’t think him calling out the athletic department publicly had any impact, you’ve gotta believe he was pushing for it.

    Like

  22. TMC DAWG

    So there was a fight ,Right?.

    Like

    • Argondawg

      If Pruitt had fought Ekeler or Thomas Brown we would have had the Jeremy Pruitt Memorial Indoor Practice Facility for real.

      Like

  23. Derek

    Why won’t anyone say what this guy did? It’s not a state secret after all.

    No one sent an email or drafted a memo that a open records request can’t catch?

    Aaron can’t rumor monger to defend himself? It’s not like Pruitt could sue.

    What has he heard???? I’m tired of wondering!!!

    Like