If Tennessee is going to improve on their eight win season from last year, they’re going to have to do it against an all SEC schedule. Defensive coordinator Derrick Ansley and offensive coordinator Jim Chaney size up the Vols going into this unique season.
Reporter:”Derrick as you look at this defense what excites you right now, and what concerns you right now?”
Said Ansley:”What excites me is we have a ten game SEC schedule. Every week you’ve got to be ready to go. You’re are going to be judged every week by how you perform. What concerns me? Lack of spring ball. The lack of playing time together, but we do have a lot of guys who played last year and have played most years.”
Lack of spring had to hurt the receiving corps.
The Vols lost Marquez Callaway and Jauan Jennings, so now some freshmen will be called upon to provide big plays.
Said Chaney:”They’ll go fast. They might go the wrong way fast, and that creates some problems. They’re going fast on the football field. I’m very pleased with the kids we brought in here. The young wide receivers. I think we’re going to be just fine.”
Chaney expects to see growth from his senior quarterback Jarrett Guarantano.
Said Chaney:”And so far up to date, you can see that he has demonstrated the importance of the ball and also understanding our concepts. Those numbers continue to rise.”
What about affecting the other team’s quarterback?
Tennessee graduated their best pass rusher in Darrell Taylor.
Said Ansley:”It’s going to be a challenge to replace that kind of production. That kind of talent. It’s going to be kind of by committee. We had a couple of guys that played last year, and we need younger guys to step forward.”
As far as the offensive line goes, it’s a work in progress according to Chaney.
Said Chaney:”It’s just keeping that pressure on them. We have more competition at those positions that inevitably should make you better as we work our way through it, so I’m pleased with that.”