Tennessee abruptly canceled Jeremy Pruitt’s media availability following Wednesday’s indoor practice with basically no reason given. While that had some wondering what could be going on in Knoxville, it was business as usual on Thursday for Pruitt’s program as he made up for the late cancelation with a Thursday presser.
While he didn’t provide many urgent updates and gave few specifics, Tennessee’s coach continues to express his pleasure with his team overall as they work through their first training camp under Pruitt.
Here are the highlights from Pruitt’s Thursday meeting availability, which included a few thoughts on some notable Tennessee players:
- Opening comments: “I really think our guys are working as hard as they can to be the best team they can be but his is what happens when you get into camp, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7 — you are either going to get better or you are going to get worse. We’ve got to continue to progress to improve our fundamentals.”
- On the team overall: “Anybody can do it for one day. The great teams learn how to do it in October and November.”
- on Brandon Kennedy: “Brandon is a really good competitor. He strains, knows how to strain and he knows how to do it every play. A guy like him, I think he’s earned the respect of his teammates by the way he practices every day. I think everyone in our program is excited to have him here.”
- on Darrin Kirkland: “First of all, he’s a smart guy. He has a really good understanding of the defense, that says a lot about him because he didn’t take many reps in the spring. So he picks things up fast. He’s instinctive, I think he shows toughness, he’s got quickness. Every day that he’s out there, I see him improving and gaining confidence.”
- on Chance Hall and Jauan Jennings: “Well, I think we are going to just stick to the plan… both guys are doing really well, they are smart guys. They can learn from the meeting room, they can learn from somebody else’s mistakes but both guys have not played football in a long time so whether it’s running routes, catching the ball, ball security, pass setting, or the offensive line that’s a daily grind, they’ve got to get back used to doing it and that’s part of bringing them along slowly.
- on Alontae Taylor: “He’s learning how to play defensive back, he’s got a long way to go. He does have some abilities. He’s got length, he’s got good ball skills, I think he wants to be good but you know, there are other guys that are out there competing with him every day. He knows he’s got to continue to learn and do the little things, the details to give him a chance to have success.”