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Butch Jones Transcript (8/5/14)
Aug. 5, 2014

(Opening Statement)
"I apologize, I don't have a much of a voice so I will be brief. But I thought a very, very productive day relative to situational football, we had third-and-short going on today, third-and-one, third-and-two, we put in our red zone packages. So we had installation in the red zone. First day of pads, obviously, was also competition Tuesday, we scored every single drill. So in our Tennessee Tough periods our defensive won, 102 to 92. Everything again is about competing in practice and simulating game speed repitions. But really the challenge is really to create a game energy. A game atmosphere, a game mindset and for younger players that is a hard thing to do on a consistent basis. That is why we have been challenging them. It was great to finally practice in some heat, but I thought our kids fought through practice. It was a very physical day today. We will take the day off tomorrow, tomorrow will be more lifting and more mental, get caught up on our film study and work on our mental preparations.

(On the team's soreness)
"Well that is the rigors of training camp. We talk about football being a lifestyle and football is a lifestyle. As a football player you are never 100 percent healthy and that is kind of what you go through in training camp and we understand that, we monitor. We monitored the amount of reps that our wide receivers take across the board, we have pitch counts for our quarterbacks. We really watch that closely."

(On the team's energy today)
"I thought that game mentality, that game energy, that passion that we talk about, I thought they came out, now it became challenging at the end, towards the end of practice. It is part of learning how to fight through the fatigue. Great conditioned players are rewarded in football, football rewards those in great condition, both mentally and physically. We have great teaching opportunities tonight and tomorrow with a lot of film. Again, with this being the first day of tackling, and being in full pads."

(On the team's mentality today)
"I saw it at 7:30 this morning in our team meeting. I liked their approach, they were focus. Our team meetings are interactive. We call on players, they have to talk about the previous team meeting, it kind of lets me know where their mindset is walking in the door. So I did like their overall approach today. They are being challenged, not only on the field, again, this being the final week of classes, so they have papers due, they have final examinations coming up, so I think it is just a combination of a lot of things. I was very pleased int he way they fought through it today. But not fighting through it, it is more how you attack the day. I thought they attacked the day exceptionally well."

(On Emmanuel Moseley's weight gain)
"The great thing about Emmanuel [Moseley] putting on 33 pounds, they are the right pounds. Allison [Maurer] does a great job in our fueling station and works very closely with Jason [McVeigh] and Dave Lawson and they have done great job. And also a lot of credit goes to him, it is the sacrifices, it is getting up at 2 o'clock in the morning and making himself a triple-decker peanut butter and jelly sandwich, it is maybe eating a little bit more, it is getting the rest, it is working exceptionally hard in the weight room. And he has done that."

(On Emmanuel Moseley)
"His style of play has never changed in terms of his swagger, his competitive nature, his instincts, but obviously he is playing a lot more physical just because of the added strength. Now he needs to continue to go. He can't play at this level at that weight, he knows that and he has continued to work through it. But Emmanuel Moseley has been one of those individuals that has been great to see in training came. He has been extremely consistent each and every day. You know what you are getting with Emmanuel Moseley every day. There are no bad days for Emmanuel Moseley, that is a credit to his mother and his father and the way he has been raised and his competitive nature. That gets back to recruiting, here is a young man who wasn't highly recruited, but we had him in our camp, he was extremely competitive but we didn't offer him a scholarship, we waited for the first couple games of his senior year. He was their starting quarterback, comes from a great high school football program, won a state championship, led his team to a state championship as a quarterback. He has all the intangibles."

(On Devaun Swafford)
"Well, Devaun is one of those individuals too, just like Emmanuel, who has put a lot of weight on and he has really don't exceptionally well in the strength and conditioning area and we have challenged him. He is playing safety now. Swafford brings it everyday, we are going to need him on special teams and he is continuing to evolve in terms of his football intelligence. We have asked a lot of him. Here is a young man that really didn't play much defense in high school and here he is, your starting nickel in games, going in and playing in `The Swamp' at Florida and having a big interception. He has done a great job and we really need him to step up, especially in our special teams game."

(On Josh Smith)
"Josh is playing with a very high level of confidence right now. He is blocking, he is playing physical and he is making catches and he is making plays for his. So I have been exceptionally pleased with him. Josh is one of those individuals, he doesn't say to much, he just comes to work each and every day. So far I have been very, very proud of him and I know Coach Z [Azzanni] is excited about him."

(On Vic Wharton starting in June)
"It is a great challenge but I think it is a tribute to him on how he is performing right now. He didn't get here until June, he didn't have the luxury of spring football, he is extremely competitive. When you have that great competitive character, that is all you need, that will drive you, your competitiveness. He has done well in the classroom, mentally, in terms of the football knowledge, he understands the offense and he has made plays for us. Again, he has been a great addition to our football team, he is going to make us better."

(On the consistency of coaching staff from year one to year two)
"It has helped immensely, you can't put a price tag on it, it has been invaluable. Again, I have said it, you win with consistent messaging, you can't waiver. There is a plan to win here and sometimes that plan to win takes time but if you follow the plan it will happen. These coaches know it because we have been through it together. Now being through it a year here at Tennessee, they understand. But everything is about relationships and you earn trust every single day. We have the relationships with our players but also as a staff. Our wives are best friends, when we have free time I find myself spending time with each other, I think we do a great job of feeding off of each other. Playing off of each others strengths, and knowing each other, We can laugh about it, but you can see us, our coaching staff is as competitive as anyone, we get into competitive situations, those competitive juices, that competitive fire starts to burn a little bit. I am proud of our staff so far, they have really done a great job of mentoring and teaching."

(On A.J. Johnson embracing his leadership role)
"I do, not just at the linebacker position and that is really where we challenged our team. We talk about power of the position but really it is power of the team. A.J. Johnson needs to get around the offensive players, he needs to get around the secondary, he needs to get around the quarterbacks. And we have challenged our entire team, particularly our older players to be able to do that. The great addition that we have now is Smokey's, it is a tribute to the vision here with Dave Hart and the administration because to me those are the little things that people don't see. That is where your team bonds, that is where they come together, you go downstairs, you eat together, you have a first-class facility now we great food. Our players stay there and they hang out with each other. I always watch where they sit and A.J. is one of those individuals, he never sits at the same spot all the time. It is about building those relationships."

(On Cody Blanc)
"Yeah, he is out for the year. We got the results back, it is Achilles, it is torn. He will miss this year."

(On if anyone stood out hitting and tackling today)
"I am going to wait and see when I watch the video. We did one live one-on-one tackling, A.J. got a few reps but not a lot of reps, same thing with Curt Maggitt, we really wanted to see our young players, their physicality, see how they played instinctively when the pads came on. So I will know a a little more when I watch the video."

(On if they plan to scrimmage Saturday)
"Yes."

 

 

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