Aside from Jeremy Pruitt, only one coach on the Tennessee Vols’ staff will have the same role in 2020 that they had in 2018.
Offensive line coach Will Friend.
Everyone else on staff has either left or moved to another position.
Of the coaches that were on Pruitt’s inaugural staff:
- Brian Niedermeyer moved from tight ends to inside linebackers.
- Chris Weinke moved from running backs to quarterbacks.
And that’s it. Only three coaches from Pruitt’s first on-the-field staff remain.
That’s just how it goes in college football these days. Staff continuity isn’t really a thing anymore. So head coaches always have to be ready to make a change. That’s why Pruitt moved quickly (like in a matter of hours quickly) when Tracy Rocker and Chris Rumph left earlier this week. Tennessee reportedly had replacements lined up not long after the news broke that Rocker and Rumph were leaving.
With that in mind, I think Pruitt needs to have a name ready to replace quarterbacks coach Chris Weinke, just in case a move needs to be made.
Quarterbacks coach is an extremely important role on any football staff. For now, it appears that Weinke will be back in 2020.
But the coaching carousel is still in motion, so it wouldn’t be a shock if Weinke gets an offer as an offensive coordinator somewhere (or maybe he gets another shot in the NFL).
Whether it happens or not, Pruitt needs to be prepared.
And there’s a specific name that I think should be on his list.
Indiana offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Nick Sheridan.
This seems like a no-brainer.
Sheridan, a former Michigan quarterback, was a graduate assistant at Tennessee under Butch Jones. He was essentially the Vols’ quarterbacks coach when Mike DeBord was the Vols’ offensive coordinator.
Former UT quarterback Josh Dobbs recently had a tremendous amount of praise for Sheridan, telling 247Sports “I owe a lot of my success to him (Sheridan) and the relationship that we had”.
Dobbs added that Sheridan “just has that presence when he steps in the room and gets in front of the players”.
Sheridan is undoubtedly a rising star in the football world. But if the Vols need a quarterbacks coach in the next couple of years, he should absolutely be the first call.
Featured image via Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports