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Opposing coaches speak anonymously on Tennessee, Jeremy Pruitt

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Always interesting.

NCAA Football: Kentucky at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

In what has become an annual offseason tradition, opposing coaches got the chance to speak to Lindy’s college football magazine anonymously about their opponents. There wasn’t too much to say about Tennessee last season, outside of the obvious Butch Jones slander. But following the first year of Jeremy Pruitt’s Tennessee rebuild, opposing coaches had plenty to say on the state of the program.

The first wondered why Tennessee finished so poorly in the final two games — a fair question after upset wins over Auburn and Kentucky.

“The question is, why did they finish so poorly last year? They played like crap down the stretch against Missouri and Vanderbilt. They’ve lost three in a row to Vanderbilt — that’s unacceptable.”

Another had a take on what Tennessee should have done a long time ago.

“Tennessee should have hired Ed Orgeron after Lane Kiffin left. He’d have done a helluva lot better than Derek Dooley or Butch Jones. If Ed had stayed at Tennessee, Tennessee would probably be the best program in the East right now.”

The next pointed out the obvious, saying Tennessee simply needed more talent. He also put a timeline on the rebuild, which is due to the fact that rivals Georgia and Alabama are already rolling.

“Tennessee needs a talent upgrade. It’s going to take five years to get it done. I think Jeremy Pruitt will get it done because he’s a good enough coach and recruiter to get it done. But it will take that long. The reason is, there’s other people in the league already getting it done. And they have no margin for error because they play Alabama, Georgia and Florida every year.”

The last one offered some positive thoughts on new offensive coordinator Jim Chaney, who will replace Tyson Helton. This coach said that Jeremy Pruitt “lucked out” with the swap.

“Jeremy lucked out getting rid of Tyson Helton and hiring Jim Chaney. I think he’s the best, most proven offensive coordinator in the league. I think Jim is outstanding. If Jeremy will leave him alone, Jim will be fine.”

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