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Jeremy Pruitt on Tennessee’s first day in pads: ‘Lots of good, lots of bad’

Pruitt describes his first full look at his team in pads.

NCAA Football: Tennesee Practice Caitie McMekin-USA TODAY Sports

After cancelling his Wednesday night press conference, Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt was back at the podium on Thursday afternoon. Pruitt was fresh off of seeing his team’s first padded practice and gave his thoughts on where they are at currently.

“We had our first day in pads yesterday — lots of good lots of bad,” Pruitt began. “Really inconsistent, lots of lessons to be learned. You know we’ve got some guys that play with toughness, but they don’t do it all the time. So they show that they can do it, but if you’re gonna be a great player and have a great team, you better have a tough football team. We got some guys that can do it, not all of them are doing it all the time.”

Inconsistencies are to be expected at this point. It’s a new system for both sides of the ball and new leadership and coaching everywhere. To make things a little more challenging, Tennessee has plenty of youth in important places. That youth is already flashing some talent early on, according to Pruitt.

“We’ve got some young players that flash some ability, Pruitt said. “Like I told them last night, okay you’ve shown me you can do it one time, now you’re in trouble because we know that you can do it, now our expectations is for you to do it all the time.”

On the overall demenor and attitude of camp so far, Pruitt seems pleased with his team. “There was a lot of juice, which is a good thing,” Pruitt said. “I think our guys are really working hard to be the best that they can possibly be.”

“This is what happens when it comes to fall camp. You get to day five, six, seven — you’re either going to get better or get worse. We’ve got to continue to focus to improve our fundamentals, we’ve got to improve ball security, we’ve got to sustain blocks, we’ve got to get off blockers, we’ve got to throw the ball to the right places and on time.”

Tennessee has three weeks and some change to get those fundamentals ironed out. The Vols will take on West Virginia in Charlotte on September 1st.