Vols QB Coach Likes Seeing Hendon Hooker Have Fun Leading Offense

Has to be a fun time to be the quarterbacks coach at Tennessee. Joey Halzle has quarterback Hendon Hooker back for another season.
Hooker is one of the top returning QB’s in the SEC.
And if Hooker improves on what he accomplished last season, then it could be a banner season on Rocky Top.

Playing quarterback for Tennessee is obviously serious business.
Maybe a bit too serious for Hendon Hooker.
Said Halzle:”He was exclusively business minded when he got here. Everything about him was tight. This was an extremely talented athlete. That’s not showcasing any of his athleticism. I noticed that being serious every single moment of his life didn’t work for him. I watched him messing around playing basketball. He’d get a big smile on his face and nobody could guard him. I told him last year in the summer. I said I want you to play football like you play basketball. Because when he plays basketball he knows he’s the best player on the court. Football. This is fun. You’ve got to be serious, but you’ve got to do it in a fun way.”
A fun and gun if you will.
Not even Steve Spurrier could ignore Hooker’s stats from last year.
Nearly 3-thousand yards passing. a 68 percent completion rate with 31 touchdowns and just three picks.
Said Halzle:”I don’t want a guy to come out and plays careful. If you are going to play in this offense for us, you are going to rip the football every single time you get an opportunity. Not stupidly. Not recklessly. But extremely aggressive, and Hendon does a beautiful job of walking the aggressive to recklessly line, but always with intelligence on it.”
Said head coach Josh Heupel:”We want him to be decisive. We want him to take care of the football. When the opportunity presents itself use his feet and continue to move the ball forward.”
Hendon also rushed for over 600 yards last year.
Think the coaches are happy he’s back.
Said Halzle:”And then to have Hendon completely bought in to what we are doing. Both football wise and how we’ve dealt with his mind. It’s just all like you said. Now we can work on the fun part like we talked about earlier. This is how we are going to manipulate guys. This is how we are going to play games with the defense, and we can start growing what we’re doing as well. That he can now handle it all, and he takes it all in with a smile on his face I should say, and he goes and competes at a high level. It’s been a huge difference for him.”

Categories: Sports – Local Sports News, Sports – UT Vols