Jeremy Pruitt has faced a lot of criticism following the firing of Jimmy Brumbaugh on Sunday night. Most of the criticism has been pointed towards Pruitt electing to relieve a coach just four games into his contract, while other coaches have been on staff for a much longer time and have received warranted criticisms.
Pruitt said of his decision to relieve Brumbaugh from his coaching duties, "If it’s not working out, it’s better to just do it right now. Jimmy and I had a really good conversation. Unfortunately, probably because of the COVID-19 circumstances, when you’re a new coach, and you don’t have a chance to be around your players in March, April and May and then a limited amount in June, it puts you at a disadvantage. This is no knock on Jimmy as a coach whatsoever. He is one of the most knowledgeable guys I’ve been around, and he’ll do a good job wherever he goes. It’s just something that I felt like we needed to do, and we did it."
Other coaches on Tennessee staff have received criticism from the Tennessee faithful, and Pruitt was asked about thhe potential for future moves.
He said, “Well, I think that if you look at just this game period, whether it's college or pro or high school, I would say everybody’s job is on the line. It’s about how you perform. I think everybody that gets in this business, we all understand the circumstances surrounding it. It's just part of it.”
Chris Weinke, Tennessee's quarterback coach, along with offensive line coach, Will Friend, have faced their fair share of criticisms following Tennessee's loss to Kentucky. Pruitt's willingness to depart with Brumbaugh after four games shows that he is trying to get things right. While it seems unlikely for a complete staff overhaul at this point in the season, one has to think that several coaches on Tennessee's staff are in "prove it" mode.
The Vols season does not get any easier, as they are scheduled to take on Alabama at 3:30 ET on CBS this Saturday.