There are a lot of reasons why head coaches fail and there are a lot of reasons why the succeed.
One of the biggest reasons coaches fail — especially when they have talented players — is because their coaching style robs players of their passion for the game.
Likewise, when coaches succeed, it has a lot to do with their ability to create an atmosphere where players crave the game.
The latter is what Tennessee Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt appears to be doing in Knoxville.
Senior defensive back Nigel Warrior is playing the best football of his career right now. He’s tied for ninth in the nation in interceptions (4) and he’s second on the team in total tackles (58).
The reason for his improved play in 2019?
Warrior told reporters that his passion for the game has increased this season.
“The biggest difference, I would say, is finding a passion for the game and actually loving what I’m doing”, said Warrior on Tuesday afternoon.
The former four-star recruit added “I’m not saying I didn’t love it, but I just have more for love for what I’m doing it for and who I’m playing with”.
Warrior’s attitude toward football obviously starts with himself. But I think it’s abundantly clear that Tennessee’s coaching staff has created a culture where players, for the most part, just love playing football.
And when you love doing something, you’re going to have a lot more fun doing it. You’re probably going to be better at it, too.
If Pruitt and his staff are making this kind of impact on the entire roster, then it will be infectious when new recruits arrive to Rocky Top.
Pruitt is doing his best to create something special at Tennessee. He isn’t there yet, but he’s making all the right moves so far.
Featured image via Randy Sartin/USA Today