Is this the year Jarrett Guarantano puts it all together? Chris Weinke praises the offseason progression of the QB
Jarrett Guarantano has had a career unlike many others as Tennessee’s projected quarterback has been left for dead on several different occasions only to bounce back, unlike so many other college signal-callers.
Just when he appeared to put it all together late during Tennessee’s five-game winning streak to close out the regular season, Guarantano nearly cost the Vols a win in the Gator Bowl due to his lackluster performance.
Entering his second season in Jim Chaney’s offense, it’s not just the offensive coordinator that’s been busy praising Tennessee’s QB, his position coach offered up much of the same praise on Wednesday.
Before discussing the progression Guarantano has made this offseason, Tennessee QB coach Chris Weinke shared how he helps all his signal-callers get through time times experienced on the field.
“In those situations, fortunately or unfortunately, I’ve been in them. So fortunately for our guys, they’ve got a guy that’s coaching them that understands it and has been through it – so I’m not talking about something that I don’t understand,” Weinke said. “So I think it was my job not only to continue to coach them and teach them exactly what we want them to do, but more importantly, in those times of need and those tough times, to be able to talk through those things and be able to be there as support right? And still challenge them to continue to rise above those things.”
So, what is it about Guarantano’s game that has been so improved heading into the season?
According to Weinke, the QB’s decision-making and anticipation have been much improved based on what the coaches have seen in training camp.
“Well one I think he, as I alluded to earlier, he focused on his body, making sure he’s big, strong and fast,” Weinke shared. “He focused on those physical sides of it, but more importantly, when I say operating at a high level, that’s becoming a functional thinker. Taking the information and being able to process it and then execute the play.
“You just see him so much faster with his feet, with his decisions, his anticipation, in my opinion, is probably been the brightest spot since I’ve seen from a year ago. Now that he understands the big picture, he can see it and anticipate things much better now because he’s more comfortable. So, it’s collectively really known and understanding and then physically being able to put it together and he’s operating as good as I’ve seen him since I’ve been here.”
Tennessee fans could be forgiven if they don’t buy into the hype right away. They’ve heard this all before but Guarantano has managed to show he can get it done on the field many times for the Vols.
This fall, he’ll have one final opportunity to show Vol Nation he has what it takes to lead the Volunteer program back to the glory he promised he would lift the program to when he signed with Tennessee out of high school.
Photo credit: Tennessee Athletics