When trying to gauge what a new coach is like, speaking with his former players is an easy and effective way of learning what he’s all about. And one of Jeremy Pruitt’s former players has nothing but positive things to say about his former defensive coordinator.
Rashaan Evans played inside linebacker for Alabama from 2014-17 and was just recently drafted in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans. The new Titans linebacker sat down with WSMV News in Nashville to talk about the draft process, his time at Alabama, and his excitement to join the Titans. During the interview, he was asked about his thoughts on Pruitt. And what he said should excited Vol fans.
“He’s the type of guy that does country coaching,” Evans said during the interview. “He’s very patient. I think that’s what makes him a great coach. He’s a coach-player type guy, and 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 because if something isn’t right off the field, it translates over to on the field.”
Pruitt was Evans’ defensive coordinator and position coach in both 2016 and 2017. Pruitt focused on the inside linebackers specifically while also coordinating the defense his two years at Alabama prior to being hired as Tennessee’s head coach. So Evans knows Pruitt well.
“Country coaching” has been something Vol fans have claimed has been missing at Tennessee for quite some time. But fans got a glimpse of that type of coaching once again this spring in a variety of ways.
Not only did several Vol players look physically improved this spring compared to last fall, but Tennessee’s offense got back more to its roots during the Orange & White Game. Tennessee used a fullback/H-back in a number of plays, and they lined up in an I-formation on occasion as well. They even went under center for three consecutive plays at the goal line.
Time will tell if Pruitt’s “country coaching” and player-coach style will have success at Tennessee, but Vol fans are welcoming that change with open arms right now.