Phil Steele Sees Talent That Can Help Tennessee This Year

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Tennessee is trying to rebound from last year’s 4-8 record, the worst in school history.

First-year head coach Jeremy Pruitt has a difficult task trying to turn things around, even with the Vols experiencing success in 2015 and 2016 with back-to-back top 25 finishes.

There’s also the implementation of a new culture and scheme for the players to understand. That will likely take time.

Tennessee’s schedule, which opens with West Virginia on Sept. 1 and includes games against Alabama, Auburn, Florida and Georgia, won’t make things easier for Tennessee’s new coaching staff. That’s why getting to a bowl game this year would be a solid accomplishment, according to college football writer Phil Steele.

“But there’s talent that Tennessee has this year,” Steele said.

Four of Tennessee’s position groups rank in Steele’s position categories, which he said is rare for a team coming off a four-win season. That indicates Tennessee has players that can help the Vols win this season – if they make the right kind of progress this summer and come back healthy to start the season.

Steele joined Sports 180 on Monday and talked more about the Vols, their competition in the SEC East and the top challenger to Alabama for the SEC title. Listen below.