Tennessee Vols linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary made it pretty clear this week that beating the Florida Gators isn’t going to be enough to satisfy this UT team in 2022.

The Vols have bigger goals.

And while those goals include beating Florida, Tennessee has its sights set higher — much higher.

The Vols want to win the SEC East and get to Atlanta.

“We’re 3-0, I think we all thought we would be at that point when we first started the schedule,” said Jean-Mary this week. “And now that we’re going into SEC play, we would hope the whole team has that mindset. We’ve proven a lot, we’re 3-0, but our number one goal is to try to win the SEC. You can’t do that without going through the SEC schedule.”

“You know, we have our first opportunity now, so I would think the whole team has got that same fire in their belly,” added Jean-Mary. “We started the way we thought we were going to, but now we have to make sure we’re even hungrier to go into this SEC slate, to go out there and try to get victories every week.”

That’s obviously a lofty goal. And it might not be realistic with the way Georgia is playing these days (they once again look like the best team in the nation).

But I think it’s the right mindset for this team — coaches and players — to have.

If you don’t set the bar high, you’ll never achieve greatness.

Vols head coach Josh Heupel has said several times over the last year that he’s never put limits on what Tennessee can accomplish — even early during his tenure.

The Vols winning the SEC (or even the SEC East) would be a shocker. But there’s a locker room full of players and coaches in Knoxville that believe it’s possible.

And that belief can be a powerful thing.

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