Tennessee fans, you wanted a culture change on Rocky Top. New coach Jeremy Pruitt proved over the weekend that he is the right guy to provide it.
Instead of former coach Butch Jones spouting off tired cliches about individuals striving for consistency in performance, life championships and leadership reps, you're going to get something that might take some getting used to -- brutal honesty.
"I thought it was great. I thought the Vol Walk was spectacular," Pruitt said after the spring game on Saturday. "To me, it's kind of like our football team for the fans. The ones that were here, I'm proud they're here. They're fired up, ready to get going. And then there were some people that weren't here, they had legitimate reasons they couldn't be here. Then there were some people that weren't here, why weren't they here? It's kind of like our football team. I think we all need to look in the mirror and see who we want to be."
The first-year coach of the Vols joined ESPN's Chris Low and Austin Price of Volquest.com on WNML in Knoxville on Sunday night, and doubled down on his comments.
"To me, if we're going to do it, our goal is to be the best at whatever we do, and that's the way we're going to look at it as a football program," he said (via GoVols247.com).
Isn't this what you wanted, Vol fans? Don't you want the best? Don't you expect the best? Don't you want a coach who strives for perfection in every aspect of the program?
That's what Nick Saban does at Alabama, and that's what Kirby Smart has implemented at Georgia. Not coincidentally, those are the two teams that played in the College Football Playoff National Championship in January.
Pruitt might not be as successful as either of his two mentors, and certainly has a steeper hill to climb than they do considering the tradition at Alabama and the fertile recruiting ground that exists in Smart's backyard. But at least he's following a tried-and-true blueprint that has proven to be successful.
Could he work on his delivery? Maybe. After all, talking down -- or even giving off the appearance of talking down -- to your own fan base prior to ever coaching a real game is a bold move. But it's not like he wasn't impressed. Most of the quotes that got spread all around social media on Saturday afternoon didn't include the compliment to the fans that showed up at Vol Walk or the excitement that he clearly noticed at the spring game.
But he didn't get 93,000 fans like Smart did in his first spring game at Georgia, and he's disappointed that his defense -- the unit that he is most familiar with -- got lit up by an offense that's full of question marks. What do you expect, Pruitt to do cartwheels? That sounds like a total Butch Jones move.
Jones isn't on Rocky Top anymore, Pruitt is. He's demanding every aspect of the program to run to perfection.
While he might be brash at times, don't forget -- that's why he was hired.