One of the best qualities of the Tennessee Vols coaching staff under head coach Josh Heupel is the continuity it provides.
Several of the coaches on Heupel’s staff have coached together at some point in their careers. They know each other’s tendencies, they understand how to work together, and they’re unified in their message.
Not everyone on Heupel’s staff, however, has worked together before.
Wide receivers coach Kodi Burns is a fresh face when it comes to the offensive staff (Burns did work with Vols defensive line coach Rodney Garner at Auburn).
But his message of unity is still the same.
Burns was asked by reporters on Tuesday about how he prepares his wide receivers to play for different quarterbacks.
His initial response was pretty standard.
“I don’t care who’s playing at quarterback, whether it was Joe (Milton) or Hendon (Hooker), it doesn’t matter — we’ve got to be on point,” said Burns. “We’ve got to run the right depths, we’ve got to run the correct reads, we’ve got to run the correct routes and we’ve got to make plays for those quarterbacks to take the pressure off of them.”
That’s what you expect to hear from a wide receivers coach.
It’s what Burns added after that struck me as important.
“I tell my guys in the meeting, you don’t ever question or worry about what’s going on at quarterback,” said Burns.
I absolutely love that from Burns. That’s the exact message that should be sent to the entire team. Don’t worry about who’s at quarterback — just make plays. Let the coaches handle who decides to start at quarterback and don’t question it.
Because once the questioning starts, it’s just going to cause division in the locker room.
Culture is an important aspect of a championship team.
So far, Heupel and his staff have the Vols’ culture exactly where it needs to be.
Featured image via Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel via Imagn Content Services