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Tennessee's offensive linemen practice their blocking assignments during a spring-practice drill earlier this week.

This story was updated March 28, 2018, at 11:59 p.m.

KNOXVILLE — Through four practices as Tennessee's football coach, Jeremy Pruitt is not ready to assess whether the Volunteers may have more playmakers on offense than he originally anticipated.

What he is comfortable expressing publicly is how much it bothers him when the offense gets a chunk of yardage in practice.

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In this Jan. 10, 2018, file photo, Tennessee Volunteers head coach Jeremy Pruitt speaks during a newss conference in Knoxville, Tenn. (Photo: Summer Simmons/University of Tennessee Athletics)
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Tennessee wide receiver Tyler Byrd dances on the field before an NCAA football game against Southern Mississippi at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, in Knoxville, Tenn.
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Tennessee running back Carlin Fils-aime (27) runs with the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Missouri Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

"I just don't like giving up plays," Pruitt said Tuesday after the Vols wrapped up practice.

The Volunteers return to the practice field today for their fifth of 15 workouts during the spring session. Pruitt, who has spent his career as a defensive coach, is still adjusting to a new reality.

It can be a good thing for him as a head coach when the offense plays well in practice.

"Everybody asks me what's the biggest difference in being the head football coach," Pruitt said. "Well I'm always used to just pulling for one side. Now I think I've got to realize that the other side has got to win, too. I'll have a little better understanding when I get in there and watch the tape and see exactly what happened today."

Pruitt's reports from the past two practices have included praise for the offense and its playmaking ability. He has stopped short of identifying which players are standing out offensively, in part because of who those standout plays may have come against.

Defensive backs Tyler Byrd and Carlin Fils-aime played offense last season while a host of other cornerbacks previously buried on the depth chart now find themselves taking meaningful reps in practice.

Pruitt said it might be that a receiver got open because he's up against someone new to defensive back or an inexperienced player who turned the wrong way on a given play.

"Sometimes, to me, you've got to look past some things to learn what exactly is their potential, if that makes sense, and then coach them into being the player they possibly can be," Pruitt said.

When Pruitt mentioned quarterbacks Jarrett Guarantano and Will McBride by name last week, it was to commend them for the way they threw the football away when pressured. That's the extent to which he has praised individual offensive players through the first four practices.

"It's hard to single anybody out, but when everybody is on the same page, good things have happened," Pruitt said Tuesday of his offense.

But those good things that happened left a bad taste in the mouth of the coach who is still teaching himself how to find joy in the success of his offense.

"It was an interesting day out there today for me," Pruitt said. "Coming off of the field, I was ticked off. I don't know if it's because I am mad at the way the whole team practiced or if it's because the offense kicked the defense's tail. I haven't figured it out yet, so I have to watch tape and see."

Contact David Cobb at dcobb@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DavidWCobb and on Facebook at facebook.com/volsupdate.

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