By Steve Williams
Jeremy Pruitt set the tone his first day on the job. And I liked what I heard.
“Your expectations aren’t near what mine are,” he said to me and you at his introductory press conference after being named Tennessee’s head football coach in December. “My expectation is to win every game.”
You still hear that advertisement spot for the Vols’ football program from time to time on local sports radio.
So what was the big deal about Pruitt’s comments after the recent Orange and White game?
“Our fans today were like our football team,” said Coach Pruitt. “Some were here and doing great, some weren’t here for legitimate reasons, and some should have been here and weren’t. That sounds just like our team.”
It seemed to me Pruitt was simply making an analogy between the players and fans.
We have one of the greatest fan bases in the country, but a few need thicker skin.
Unfortunately, it only takes a few to stir up some members of the media.
Pruitt is trying to clean up a 10-year mess. He’s Head Coach No. 4 since UT made the biggest mistake in its athletic history – forcing Phillip Fulmer to resign.
Lane Kiffin walked out on UT for HIS dream job. Derek Dooley was disliked by many and unbelievably brought in one recruiting class without a single offensive lineman in it. And Butch Jones often was too stubborn to change what wasn’t working and the program slipped to an all-time low last season.
Pruitt was handpicked by Fulmer, now the AD. That should be enough to give Tennessee fans’ hope.
Pruitt wants to coach here and has no other dreamy destination.
Pruitt knows you have to have big, strong offensive linemen to win.
Pruitt is not into gimmicks and stacking bricks.
Pruitt doesn’t want to be like Nick Saban. He wants to beat him.
I went to the Orange and White game and left at halftime because I had seen enough.
Pruitt has a long way to go to get Tennessee football back to where it was 10 years ago. But I haven’t seen or heard anything that tells me he’s not the man for the job.