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Jeremy Pruitt talks practice structure, injuries as Tennessee opens spring football

Coach Pruitt is changing things up.

NCAA Football: Tennesee Practice Caitie McMekin-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee opened spring practice up on Tuesday, meaning we got our first look at the new staff in a football setting for the first time. Jeremy Pruitt spoke with the media about his first practice and how he plans on running his sessions in order to maximize his player development.

“We’re gonna do group periods. We’re gonna have 3-4 different type drills going so nobody is standing around,” Pruitt said. “If you stand over there and watch, you’re not going to develop.”

Feel free to insert your Butch Jones leadership rep jokes here.

“You might have the ones on one end, twos and threes on the other end. Then they’ll take four plays and rotate. There’s constant movement. When we do team periods and seven on seven, everybody takes the same amount of reps. So you’re going to get developed as a player. All the places that I’ve coached in 11 years of college football have used the same practice plan. And it works.”

One of Butch Jones’ shortcomings during his time at Tennessee was the lack of development from his top recruits. While we don’t exactly know why those players failed to develop with Jones, it’s really nice to hear a direct plan come from Pruitt.

“We’ve gonna be demanding. We’re gonna confront them if they’re not doing (a drill) like we expect. I think as practice went today, the players responded more to that — the expectations of how we want it done. There were some good things in that regard and there were some bad.”

Tennessee opened camp with a number of injuries, mainly on the offensive line. But Jeremy Pruitt wasn’t too concerned with those issues.

“Numbers wise, we’re as good as anybody. It’s just as certain positions. We’re short on healthy people. It makes things tougher, but our coaches are finding a way. (Injuries) happen everywhere. It is what it is. We’ve got to find a way to get it done.”

Tennessee will be back on the practice field on Thursday.