Tennessee Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt, along with every other football coach in the country, is facing the difficult task of coaching a team that can’t gather together at the moment.
The coronavirus outbreak, which ended Tennessee’s spring practice after just two sessions, has changed the way coaches interact with players — at least for the time being.
We’re now two weeks into this new world, which means the reality of the situation has set in for most. And it also means that folks are probably starting to miss sports (which, for a lot of people, are an escape from the worries of the world).
Pruitt is one of the folks who certainly misses football. But football isn’t the main thing on his mind these days. He’s more worried about the safety of his players.
Here’s what Pruitt had to say about the situation during Vol Calls on Wednesday evening.
Right now, to me, football is an afterthought. We are not concerned about that, we are worried about our young men’s safety, their family’s safety and helping them manage to get through this.
Pruitt’s entire life is dedicated to football. It’s who he is nearly every hour of the day. But right now, all he cares about is his players.
Shutdown’s negative impact on UT
This was going to be an important spring for Tennessee.
The Vols finished the 2019 season on a six game winning streak. And after the first two practices, it appeared the momentum from the end of the season carried over into spring practice.
But now, the quarterback battle the Vols were suppose to have this spring? Not happening.
Players getting adjusted to new position coaches? Also not happening.
It’s possible this shutdown sets Tennessee football back a couple of months.
But at the moment, Pruitt couldn’t care less if it does. He just wants to be there for the players on his team, in any way he can be.
This side of Pruitt is why players, and their families, trust him. His talk about taking care of players isn’t just lip service. And he’s proving that with his actions.
Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports