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Pruitt says Tennessee won’t hire new DL coach until after the season

NCAA Football: Alabama at Tennessee Knoxville News Sentinel-USA TODAY Sports

Following Tennessee’s 34-7 loss to Kentucky, Jeremy Pruitt made a change on his coaching staff — but it wasn’t on the side of the ball that you would have expected. Pruitt fired defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh, just four games into his stay in Knoxville.

Brumbaugh was Pruitt’s pick to replace Tracy Rocker, who left for South Carolina after his contract was not renewed. If you listened to Pruitt though fall camp, he was clear — he wasn’t thrilled with his defensive line’s progress. So from that sense, maybe this wasn’t all that surprising. Still, it’s pretty clear that something has to happen behind the scenes for things to get to that point.

Jeremy Pruitt said that he would be coaching the defensive line in the immediate future. Today, he confirmed that Tennessee would not fill that spot on the staff until after the season.

“It’s something that we’re going to do when the season’s over with,” Pruitt said on the SEC teleconference. “I like where our defensive line is headed right now. Obviously I wasn’t happy with that position and I felt like we improved last week, not that I know that it showed on the field all the time, but we obviously in my opinion probably played against the best offensive line that we’ve played this year. But watching the first two days of practice this week, I continue to see it.

“We’ve got to improve up there. We’ve got guys that have experience and we’ve got to be able to play on the other side of the line of scrimmage. We’ve got to be able to create negative plays and affect the quarterback.” (Via 247Sports)

The Volunteers now rank 54th in the country in total defense, surrendering over 400 yards per game. It’s a group that has been on the decline in 2020, which is bad news considering Tennessee’s lack of offensive progression.

Tennessee is currently in a bye week, something that is much needed with a few obvious issues to iron out. They’ll be back in action against Arkansas on November 7th.