Tennessee Vols head coach Josh Heupel completely dodged a question about play-calling responsibilities this week.
On Tuesday, after Tennessee’s second fall scrimmage, Heupel was specifically asked by a reporter if he calls the plays for the Vols’ offense and how much of an influence the assistants have on that process.
Heupel, for whatever reason, gave a lengthy non-answer.
Here’s his full response to the question:
“The voices inside the room, it’s a growth just of, like you find out who your personnel is, right, and you have a way that you want to play. Then you find out your personnel. Then you try to put those guys in situations to be successful. We’ve got a lot of guys that have a ton of experience, guys that have been with me for a long time. Coach (Alex) Golesh came with me from the previous stop. (Wide receivers coach) Kodi Burns has a ton of experience in this league, having played in this league and then coached in it for a long time.”
“You try to find out your personnel and put them in a position of success. Yeah, there’s a base of who we are and core fundamentals, how we play, and certainly inside of our playbook. But then you constantly evolve, and some of that happens during the course of training camp. But then also some of that happens as you go through the season, as you continue to find more out about your players and how you want to attack defenses. So it’s a constant evolution of who and what we’re going to be.”
Shortly after taking the Tennessee job, Heupel told WNML that he would be calling the plays this season (as he did at UCF).
Tennessee coach Josh Heupel on SportsTalk @SportsRadioWNML said today he will hire an offensive coordinator but he will call plays. He said you must treat players differently when taking over an undefeated team (Central Florida) v. a 3-7 team like Tennessee.
— Jimmy Hyams (@JimmyHyams) January 27, 2021
It’s possible that Heupel sidestepping the question means absolutely nothing. But you have to wonder if perhaps Heupel is open to letting offensive coordinator Alex Golesh take on a bigger role in the play-calling process. I don’t think that would be a bad move if that’s the case.
Being a head coach at Tennessee isn’t like being a head coach at UCF. There are a lot more off-the-field responsibilities. Delegating is a good thing. Failing to delegate is one of the reasons Jeremy Pruitt struggled in his final season as the Vols’ head coach.
Heupel would be wise to not stretch himself too thin.
Featured image via Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics