Tag Archives: Jeremy Pruitt

It’s a good thing Tennessee already has an IPF.

Jeremy Pruitt, we know, has no problem calling people out.  Fresh off Tennessee’s spring game, he chose an interesting target:  the fan base.

The Vols did have a somewhat generously announced attendance of 65,098 — the fifth-largest crowd to take in a UT spring game — but Pruitt would have liked to have seen more.

“I thought the Vol Walk was spectacular,” he said. “I don’t know how many fans we had. What was it? You guys probably know. To me, it’s kind of like our football team for the fans. The ones that were here, I’m proud they were here. They’re fired up, they’re ready to get going, OK? And then there were some people that wasn’t here that had legitimate reasons they couldn’t be here, aight. Then there was some people that wasn’t here that, why wasn’t they here? It’s kind of like our football team. So, I think we all need to look in the mirror and see who we want to be.”

Nice use of “aight” there, by the way.  But I digress.

Look, I’m more than happy to jab at Volnation when the opportunity arises, but when your team is coming off a 4-8 season that didn’t include a single win over an SEC opponent, and tens of thousands still show up for a meaningless scrimmage, perhaps a little more generosity would be in order.

You know, something like this.

Ordinarily I’d say there’s some terrific fodder for a dose of negative recruiting (“man, do you really want to go to a school where the head coach says the fans suck?”), but if Pruitt can’t do a better job of packaging his message, I’m not sure he’s gonna need any extra sales help.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football

“Rocky Top”? Never heard of it.

Jeremy Pruitt has discontinued playing music during Tennessee practices, which, of course, is his business.  This is some explanation as to why, though.

Why?

“I don’t think they play music during football games,” Pruitt said after Tuesday’s practice. “I’ve never heard it.”

He’s wrong about the first, but, somehow, I don’t doubt him on the second.  That’s being dialed in to your job.

There are times I wish I could learn that trick.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Alex, I’ll take SEC coaching analogies for $200.

Is this year’s “Georgia hired Kirby Smart to be the next Nick Saban” going to be “Tennessee hired Jeremy Pruitt to be the next Kirby Smart”?  Barrett Sallee takes off down that path.

But Pruitt is still a first-time coach who’s going to make rookie coach mistakes. He’ll forget to call for the punt team, mismanage the clock, unnecessarily use timeouts and do all of the other things that first-timers might plan for, but struggle with when it comes down to execution.

It even happened with Kirby Smart at Georgia in his first year in 2016, and he was with Nick Saban at Alabama and the NFL‘s Miami Dolphins for a full decade. One year later, those two were squaring off for all the marbles.

Easy peasy.  Although he goes on to qualify, “That’s not to say that Pruitt will follow in Smart’s footsteps.”

Sallee sees a rockier (topped?) road for Pruitt than Smart had because the talent base he inherits in Knoxville is at a lower level than what Smart started with — amazing how Georgia’s incredible disappearing class of 2013 is already a faded memory — and because UT’s S&C program needs a complete rebuild.  I’m skeptical on both fronts about the comparisons, but I do think starting out Pruitt has a harder row to hoe than Smart did in one important aspect:  the SEC East in 2018 is a tougher neighborhood than the one Smart moved into a couple of seasons ago.

That being said, if the Vols aren’t playing in the 2019 SECCG, expect the Smart comparisons to crop up in Knoxville.  And not in a good way.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

The most interesting SEC coaching story of the offseason

… may be unfolding at Mississippi State, which has reportedly offered its head coaching job to Jeremy Pruitt.

I have no idea if he’s ready to become a head coach, but it’ll sure be fascinating to watch and find out.

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Filed under SEC Football

It’s all relative.

Honestly, having watched Alabama and Georgia football for a while, this strikes me as kind of a strange perspective:

Pruitt inherited a talented bunch to work with, but it’s his personality that has earned him the most respect from the players.

“I think he’s just brought us all more together,” Alabama defensive back Marlon Humphrey said. “I feel like he cares more about us that previous coordinators we’ve had. I think that’s always a good thing when you feel you can go up to your defensive coordinator and talk with him about whatever, other than just football.”

Humphrey’s words are strong considering Smart was Alabama’s defensive coordinator for nearly a decade.

It’s only one kid, so take that for what it’s worth.  I would bet that Maurice Smith has a different opinion on Smart’s level of care.

Then again, maybe it’s about being around Nick Saban longer.

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Filed under Alabama, Georgia Football

“Coach Pruitt has simplified a lot of stuff and it allows you to go play fast.”

Here’s an interesting piece on what Georgia’s former defensive coordinator has done as Alabama’s defensive coordinator since replacing Georgia’s current head coach.  Per the Sabanator,

“Well, I think that we’re playing the same system,” Saban said. “I think the one thing that we’ve done is we’ve repped the things that we’re going to play in the games, sort of pared it down a little bit. I think our players are a little bit more confident in what they’re supposed to do, the adjustments they need to make. I think they’ve played well because of that. It’s interesting to hear that the players think that, as well. It’s good to know.”

A little comparing, too:

Since taking over for Kirby Smart this year, Pruitt has created controlled chaos. After all, he hasn’t sacrificed aggressive tactics by condensing the playbook. The Tide is blitzing at a much higher rate than last year. During a three-game stretch earlier this season against Kent State, Kentucky and Arkansas, Alabama sent an extra rusher 49.5 percent of the time.

“Coach Pruitt, he does a great job at simplifying things for us to make sure that when we go out there on Saturday there’s not much confusion on the field and making sure everybody’s on the same page,” linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton said.

Maybe Georgia’s defense could have used some simplifying in the fourth quarter last Saturday.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Nick Saban and “immediate self-gratification”

You may have heard that another highly-rated defensive back just left the Alabama program.

Redshirt freshman cornerback Kendall Sheffield is transferring from Alabama.

Sheffield, a five-star prospect in the class of 2015, became a topic of conversation early in the week after he did not attend Crimson Tide practices Monday and Tuesday.

A Sheffield family member told ESPN that Sheffield was informed on Wednesday by Alabama football coach Nick Saban that he would receive his release from the school. The release has the stipulation that Sheffield cannot transfer to another SEC school.

Sheffield, the nation’s No. 3-ranked cornerback in 2015, has returned to his family home in the Houston area. He was running second team at cornerback prior to his decision to transfer.

Naturally, this has generated a great deal of introspection amongst the Tide faithful about what Saban might have done to lead to the rash of departures… okay, I keed, I keed.  Over at Roll Bama Roll, the lede is “Another CB prospect from Texas sulks over the depth chart.”

Meanwhile, Michael Casagrande has a piece that claims to make sense about the kids leaving the program.  And surprise — it’s not you, Nick, it’s those damned youngsters.

What’s behind that? Each transfer is unique while still fitting into a shifting culture among athletes one year after leaving high school. Barton Simmons, the director of scouting at 247Sports, said the proliferation of transfers among players while in high school is a factor.

“It becomes much more less taboo, much more of a standard operating procedure,” Simmons said. “I think that’s been a steady evolution towards this. But I think that’s just a challenge that a school like Alabama has to face on an annual basis due to the fact that they recruit at such a high level.”

Yeah, cry me a river… except Saban’s been recruiting at the same high level for years, but it’s 2016 that’s off the chart in the departures department, as even Casagrande acknowledges:

A total of 26 Alabama signees from the classes of 2010-16 have transferred before exhausting their eligibility. The 2015 class’s five departures already equals the 2013 group’s total three years later.[Emphasis added.]

The funny thing here is the dog that’s not barking.  Nobody’s mentioned the change at defensive coordinator.  Think Jeremy Pruitt might have had an effect here?  If you’re not sure, you might want to check out Georgia’s 2013 recruiting class, peeps.  The man has a way with kids he didn’t recruit.  He’ll also do just fine with the kids he does pull in.  It was, um… gratifying to watch him work the recruiting trail hard while he was in Athens.

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Filed under Nick Saban Rules