UT Football – Select Assistant Coach Quotes | Aug. 15, 2019

Quarterbacks Coach Chris Weinke

On Jarret Guarantano’s improvement:
“I think the more comfortable you get in this offense, obviously you want to see that continue to develop and grow. I’m pleased with the progress he’s made. He’s bought into our system. Obviously, with the addition of coach (Jim) Chaney and bringing this new offense in, does a great job of detailing it up for all our guys. Obviously, our position coaches take the next step and really we are just an extension of Coach Chaney. This is a QB friendly offense, but it also puts a lot of responsibility on the quarterback. He’s done an outstanding job of grasping this and continuing to make progress.”

On the biggest emphasis so far Jarret Guarantano:
“I think its consistency. Right? That’s the biggest thing. As we go through camp, there’s always little things that you want to continue to work on. I talk about consistency of your footwork, anticipation, decision making, all of those things. We track every throw that these quarterbacks make in practice every single day. So, there’s always a one; decision, did you go to the right place with the ball, two; was it on target, and three; what was the result. We can’t control the result all the time, but we can control where we decide to throw the ball and whether or not it is on target. They know that they’re being challenged every day, and I point out those little things. When we’re not on target, there’s probably a reason that we are not. That’s the consistency we are looking for in footwork, base, anticipation, decision making, starting point with your eyes. All of those things go into being an elite quarterback and all of those things he has done throughout camp.”

On keeping Jarrett Guarantano on edge:
“You spend a lot of time talking to him. I think the most important thing is you have to have a relationship with your players. Each and every guy plays a little bit different, they’re all wired a little bit different, they all learn a little bit different. I think in a situation like this where you have a veteran quarterback who has taken a lot of snaps and two young kids who have not taken a snap, the challenge is always this; you have to find a way to create competition. Knowing and understanding that he’s a veteran guy and is going to be our starting quarterback, just having that relationship, talking to him about ‘hey listen, you have to approach every day like Tom Brady is in the room and you are competing against him. Elevate your game on a regular basis.’ I think he’s done an outstanding job. The leadership that he has shown this fall is leaps and bounds to what I saw last year. He’s taking a step in the right direction and we need him to do that at this position. You’ll see a more vocal guy. He is very cerebral, smart guy who can understand a lot of different things. Can compartmentalize when he needs to. He is a functional thinker. I think what happens at the quarterback position because you have so many responsibilities and there are so many variables within the offense, sometimes you get caught in your own little box. I think he’s expanded his vision and his vocal leadership. You see him encouraging guys, you see him communicating better. There is a huge, huge emphasis on verbal and nonverbal communication, and I think he he’s done a great job with that.”

On the meshing of ideas with the coaching staff:
“Well it starts with coach (Jim) Chaney. This is his offense and we are an extension of him. It is our job as coaches to reiterate and continue to teach the things that coach Chaney wants us to teach. We meet as a staff and we know what is expected out of our players, he demands it. Like I said, we are an extension of him. We spend our time if there is any difference which there hasn’t been in terms of how we want to coach a certain player, those decisions would never take place in front of a player. We are all on the same page and I really have enjoyed working with Coach Chaney. He has laid the foundation and he has an idea of exactly what he wants to do and that helps us as coaches to be able to deliver that message to the players.”

Defensive Line Coach Tracy Rocker

On the state of the defensive line:
“Well, it depends on what day. Some days it’s good, some days it’s bad, but the thing is, it’s part of football and a part of growing up. We have good days and bad days. You do see potential. It’s like a roller coaster. You start and you’re like ‘oh we’re going to have a good one’ and then it’ll come down and then it goes back up. The biggest thing we’re working on is trying to be consistent and that’s the most important thing. I feel good that we are, but it’s part of camp, it’s part of growing up. We’ve got some young guys over there.”

On what he learned from Vol great Reggie White:
“One thing I learned that Reggie White said a long time ago when I met him. I met him when I was coaching at the University of Arkansas. Reggie White came and spoke with us and the first thing I said is, ‘How you get these guys to play a little bit older?’ He said, ‘You got to tell them they’re older. You got to tell them to act like you’re older, think like you’re older and not play like you’re a freshman.’ So that’s one thing I’ve never forgot. That’s part of it. Getting them to think older, play older, and mature and grow up faster.”

On the talent level of the defensive line:
“I love the talent level. What we got is what we got and it’s up to me and the defensive coaches to keep pulling the best out of them and keep working. Hopefully, while we’re in camp, we keep putting them in different situations so that they will be ready for the season. You’ve got to know when to push and pull, but also be demanding and also know, hey, it’s part of the process of growing up. The next day, they’ll come back and they’ll fight and then all of a sudden, the wheel will come off. Then we put the wheel on, let’s go again. That’s excitement and that’s part of coaching. It’s no different than you guys. You’re raising a family, you know what’s going on. Some days, that car is going right and another day the wheel is getting wiggly. Hey, we got to straighten it up and tighten up the lug nuts and let’s go.”

On junior DL Latrell Bumphus:
“The guy that has probably stood out, that we think has the potential is (Latrell) Bumphus. Bumphus has really improved. He’s improved run and pass and getting better as a football player… One, his body has changed. Bump was a tight end and he’s kind of been all over this team. For now, he’s at the defensive line. He’s playing defensive end and it’s been really good to have him there and he seems to enjoy it. He enjoys practice. He enjoys getting better. So that’s been a plus for me. He’s embraced it. I love him in the room. He’s a great personality, does well in school and he’s caught on. He wants to be good, so that’s really good.”

On Darel Middleton and the versatility of the defensive line.
“The biggest thing is up front, we train them all in multiple positions. Darel Middleton has been playing defensive end, but he’s also played three technique tackle. We’ve worked with him there also. Everybody plays everything. The thing about Darel Middleton is he cares. He wants to be good. He’s working to be good. The biggest thing is, we play multiple defenses here. There are a lot of words to it, a lot of concepts to it. Every day he gets a little bit better and a little bit more comfortable learning. Yesterday he had a really good day. Now it’s a matter of can we have a back-to-back day. That’s the biggest thing. We have a good day here, but let’s have it back-to-back, back-to-back. The more and more we can get that, the better we’re going to be.”

Running Backs Coach David Johnson

On how camp has gone for the running backs:
“It’s been really good. Our key has been really fighting going through camp or trying to practice hard every day, just trying to come up with a mindset of no matter what’s going on, what the weather is, we’re going to continue to practice hard, be strong and practice and secure the ball. They’ve been doing a good job.”

David Johnson – Vols RB Coach / Credit: UT Athletics

On the running backs taking advantage of their reps:
“I think that’s the most important thing, for our guys to continue to get reps. Although we have the two older guys in the room with Ty (Chandler) and Tim (Jordan), but those younger guys like Eric (Gray) getting reps, Jeremy Banks getting reps. That’s what you want. That’s the only way you can get better is being on the field.”

On Ty Chandler becoming more of a pass catching threat:
“He’s been working on it during the offseason. He’s been on the indoor, on the jugs machine, daily, all through spring, but that’s one of the things that he has to improve on. If we can get the ball in his hands in space, he’s really explosive.”

On the addition of Eric Gray:
“Yeah, I think Eric’s been doing a good job, he’s still a freshman. He has a lot to learn but his work ethic is second to none. He comes in like a professional with meetings and everything, but he’s been doing a good job in camp and Ty and Tim, you know, have really been holding that room together.”

On the running back group finding a role on special teams:
“Well, if they want to play at the next level they have to play on special teams, so that’s what we’re doing, you know, offense, defense and special teams. All those guys in there. Tim, he’s really been doing an excellent job on special teams, so you want your guys to come in and be a part of special teams and understand how important it is for us to be successful.”


UT Athletics


  • Forecast
  • Currents
  • Planner

What's happening

Knoxville Ice Bears

Knoxville Ice Bears

Join us at the rink this year to cheer on the Knoxville Ice Bears as they compete in the 2019 – 2020 season! Listen to win Ice Bears tickets!

Pinnacle Business Awards

Pinnacle Business Awards

Knoxville Chamber’s 2020 Pinnacle Business Awards take place February 7, 2020. Tickets are on sale now.

Real Men Wear Pink

Real Men Wear Pink

Bob Yarbrough is raising money for Real Men Wear Pink! Find out how you can donate to his campaign!

Shoney’s Super Kid

Shoney’s Super Kid

NewsTalk 98.7 and Shoney’s Restaurants have teamed up to present Shoney’s Super Kid!