Drastic issues on the offensive line that limited the entire offense combined with Tyson Helton’s emphasis on timing and speed limited what Tennessee football could do with tight ends. And that is one area where they have an advantage.
More from All for Tennessee
- How to Win a GUARANTEED $200 Bonus Betting Just $5 on the Vols vs. Florida!
- Tennessee Football at Florida: Five Keys to a Vols Victory
- Week 3 SEC Power Rankings: Did Tennessee Football’s Win Help At All?
- Week 3 AP Polls: Why Did Tennessee Football Drop in the Polls?
- Tennessee Football: Top Five Performers in 30-13 Win vs. Austin Peay
The Vols have an elite receiving tight end in Dominick Wood-Anderson, and Austin Pope and Andrew Craig give them solid blockers. They also have depth with Princeton Fant and the three freshmen. Two of those four guys are bound to become valuable players.
As a result, the personnel on Rocky Top is in great shape at tight end. Wood-Anderson, though, is the key. He is the only proven elite receiver, and given his size, he could become an elite tight end if he develops as a blocker.
Jim Chaney is clearly going to love Wood-Anderson given his track record, so if he does not break out into a superstar and become a top target for Jarrett Guarantano among those top receivers, things will be problematic. However, again, he has to be able to block better so UT can use him in more plays.
Otherwise, the Vols come predictable when they run Pope or Craig and Wood-Anderson. To be fair, Pope could help this by becoming a bigger receiving threat. If he does that, the Vols can run both on the field at the time, fulfilling Jeremy Pruitt’s wish and Chaney’s schematic preferences at the same time.
Simply put, Tennessee football has the bodies at tight end. The Vols have enough for production and depth. But there are a few weaknesses for the main guys at the top, and improving on those will be a huge deal for UT this fall.