5. Relaxed mentality
If anything was clear about Tennessee football at SEC Media Days this year, it’s that they have a lot more confidence and are much more relaxed. Last year, everything was about Jeremy Pruitt trying to make a good first impression, especially coming off of Butch Jones’s years of embarrassing press conferences.
This year, the Vols clearly showed no outward worry about the issues facing the program. In his interview with the SEC Now desk, Pruitt helped make that clear by saying the difference between last year and this year is “night and day.”
Meanwhile, the players made it more clear. Jarrett Guarantano touched on the few successes of last year, calling the Auburn Tigers a turning point. He referred to the previous season as one that provided lots of “learning opportunities.”
Daniel Bituli and Darrell Taylor were much more confident. Bituli said when it comes to the pressures of reaching a bowl game, the Vols are not worried. He added that things have been really fun.
"“We know that in order for us to get to a bowl game, we have to go out there and win each and every day. That is what we plan on doing.”"
Meanwhile, Darrell Taylor took it to the next level. He guaranteed that the Vols would reach a bowl game. He pointed to the successes last year as well and then said the collapse down the stretch was just a result of them not doing what they should have been doing.
"“If we just stay the course and work on the things we need to work on, we will be successful for a whole season.”"
What’s clear is there is a bond between these players and the veterans on the team overall, and Bituli said as much about the seniors. That’s a big deal, and this relaxed mentality should serve them well throughout the year.