Things aren’t going well for the Tennessee Vols right now.
The Vols started the season with wins against South Carolina and Missouri, but they’ve dropped their last three games (which includes a disastrous home loss to Kentucky). As a result, a portion of the fan base is growing restless.
Tennessee fans want results. And I get it. It’s year three of the Jeremy Pruitt era. A loss to Kentucky is always unacceptable, but it’s even tougher to swallow when the Vols were supposed to take a big step forward this season.
When things aren’t going well, everything gets overanalyzed. Every quote gets dissected. Right or wrong, that’s just how it goes.
And that’s what’s currently happening with Pruitt.
On Wednesday, Pruitt made a remark that I didn’t think was a big deal. But it didn’t take long for folks on social media to circle the wagons.
Pruitt was asked during Vol Calls on Wednesday evening about the work his players are putting in during the bye week.
The third-year head coach commented that UT hasn’t focused much on Arkansas this week (the Vols’ next opponent), instead opting to “work on Tennessee”.
Here’s the full quote.
“We’ve got to go back and practice like it’s fall camp. Somebody asked me earlier, how much have we worked on Arkansas? We’ve worked very little on Arkansas, if any. We’re working on Tennessee. We’ve got to fix us before we start worrying about somebody else.”
When I opened Twitter on Wednesday night, I saw a lot of folks retweeting this quote with some not-so-flattering comments about Pruitt.
I get the frustration, but I don’t see the issue with what Pruitt said.
He’s absolutely right — Tennessee needs to fix Tennessee before worrying about Arkansas.
Offensive line blocking, tackling, quarterback play, defensive line play, linebacker coverage, secondary play. It all needs to be fixed before the Vols can worry about beating the Razorbacks.
The fact that Tennessee is in this position is another debate entirely. The Vols should be further along than this. But this is Tennessee’s reality right now. And for things to get better, this is the approach that Pruitt and his staff have to take.
Fans better hope it gets turned around under Pruitt. Because another coaching search is only going to set the program back further. There is no magic solution to getting Tennesse back to respectability. It’s going to continue to be a grind until Pruitt figures it out.
Featured image via Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports