The Tennessee Titans made Rashaan Evans their latest first round selection in the NFL Draft over the weekend, picking the Alabama linebacker 22nd overall. Evans will likely slide into the Titans’ starting lineup after spending three years playing for the Crimson Tide.
Of course, Evans has a big time Jeremy Pruitt connection. Pruitt served as Evans’ defensive coordinator for his final two seasons in Tuscaloosa. In a sit down interview with Joe Dubin of WSMV Nashville, Evans spoke on Pruitt and how he helped mold him as a person and a player.
Here’s the full quote from Evans on Pruitt.
“He’s the type of guy that does country coaching. He’s very patient — I think that’s what makes him a great coach. He’s a coach-player type guy. What I mean by that is he teaches you about life. He’s always implementing something that he’s been through in his life. He’s always trying to help guys that are going through something off the field. If something isn’t right off the field, it translates over to on the field.” (Via WSMV.com)
These comments line up with just about all of Pruitt’s former players, who do genuinely seem to love the guy. As we’ve seen, Pruitt might not be for everyone. He has a specific, hard working culture that he’s gunning for. Anyone who doesn’t fit that will likely be shown the door.
But the guys that do buy in to what he’s selling seem to come away with a real connection.
“He’s a great leader,” former Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick told SEC Country. “Players love playing for him and listening to him. He knows the game. He played the game, and he’s been coached by some great coaches. He has all the assets to make a great head coach.”
We’re a long way away from knowing if Jeremy Pruitt is the right guy for the Tennessee job, but the impact he’s made on his former players in undeniable.