Will We Ever Have Fun Again?
After 11 brutal years, we have to ask ourselves, “will Josh Heupel make football fun again?”
En route to answering that question, let’s endure some self-punishment by breaking down how “fun” our last three coaches were. Make sure your jockstrap is secure.
Here we go.
Derek Dooley failed miserably, we all know this. But, ask yourself: “was he fun?”
At least Dooley had a personality (think Rommel and orange britches). And, if nothing else, he scored points. Points are fun.
We all know a bad defensive coordinator hire, poor recruiting, and staff turnover doomed Dooley. However, no one can deny how fun it was watching Tyler Bray sling it or listening to Dooley ramble to the press.
Basically, for all its flaws, the Dooley era had a clear identity. I am definitely not clamoring for more of that disaster, but at times, Dooley and his teams were fun.
Pruitt and Butch… Anti-fun.
What little personality they let rise to the surface was passive-aggressive, condescending, and boring. The brand of football they subjected us to for eight years had no identity or energy.
We weren’t physical, our defense wasn’t feared, our offense didn’t turn heads or blow teams out.
At their core, Pruitt and Butch’s versions of our program were not fun.
Josh Heupel… Fun!
So, will Heupel put a product on the field that makes Saturdays enjoyable again?
History says yes.
In his first three years as a head coach, Heupel’s teams averaged over 42 points per game. The average for our beloved Vols during that stretch? 22.8. The difference is drastic, but how long will it take for his potent offense to hit its stride at UT?
Heupel inherits some exciting playmakers that could make this a reality sooner than most expect. Guys like Jalin Hyatt, Velus Jones, and Harrison Bailey will certainly have the opportunity to thrive immediately.
It’s my belief he has the talent on board to give the Vols a dangerous offensive identity in short order. Questions remain about whether Heupel will avoid the mistakes that plagued Dooley’s tenure.
Will he make good hires, put an emphasis on defense, and treat his staff with respect? If so, the ceiling is very high for Vol football under Heupel.
That sounds fun.