If quarterback Josh Dobbs is right, Tennessee’s passing game this fall will be better than it was last season, when it ranked 92nd nationally.
Improving the passing attack was seen as the top priority for the Vols heading into spring practice, and Dobbs told reporters recently that there has been improvement.
“We have our weapons, you know,” he said. “Alvin (Kamara) does a lot out of the backfield. But (it’s) just getting on the same page with the receivers. Having Preston (Williams) and Jauan (Jennings) step up as they’ve done has been huge for us. They’re making hellacious plays on the edge and that’s what we need this season. They will be a great complement to the already-proven Josh Smith and Josh Malone. … So various guys are stepping up and it will be big to have that consistency when the younger guys get in.”
Staff continuity will help. Offensive coordinator Mike DeBord is back for his second season; Mike Bajakian was Tennessee’s OC in Dobbs’ first two seasons, then left to become the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ quarterback coach in 2015.
“It definitely helps,” Dobbs said. “It feels good. We’re really gelling, especially when you get out in a scrimmage situation and guys are on the same page. You just go out and just play. It definitely feels good to have that continuity.”
Dobbs’ pass efficiency rating was just ninth among SEC quarterbacks last season, and he had just 12 completions that went for 30 yards. In 24 career games, he has thrown for at least 200 yards in just a third of them (two 300-yard games, six others with at least 200).
(You can follow Dan Mathews on Twitter @DanMathewsATL)
(Feature photo by DONALD PAGE/UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE ATHLETICS)
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