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Butch Jones Transcript (8/7/14)
Aug. 7, 2014



(Opening Statement)
"To start it off, you will have players, you will have them today, they are just in the midst of stretching right now and going through recovery so I wanted to respect your time. I thought a very, very productive day, again some challenging elements, we need to practice in the heat. Again, it has been a grind, especially when we are finishing out summer school, which it has really been very challenging to really get into true training camp mode especially when you have a young football team. Their minds are everywhere. We have to get much more physical as a football team, our young players, our freshman, have to learn how to fight through the fatigue. Our work capacity as a football team needs to improve overall. But I started to see some leadership today from some of our older players. Expectations continue to grow. A great illustration, we are keeping score, we broke at halftime under the tent and it is 85 to 66, defense is losing and defense comes back and wins the overall day 116 to 112. A great illustration of keep playing on every single play but also a great illustration to our offense, that five plays made the difference between winning and losing today. And every play counts, you can never take a play off. We have great video to be able to go back and evaluate, some individuals are starting to distance themselves, some individuals are kind of taking themselves out of the picture to play. Everything is kind of coming to play right now. Like we told our team everyone is responsible of their own personal identity, what they put on video and we are proving right now what individuals can play on a consistent basis and what individuals can help Tennessee win on game day.

(On the heat today)
"The heat, we are going to have to play in heat. We are from the South and we play in the SEC, so it is a mindset. It is that mental effort, it is that mental intensity, it is that energy that it takes like we talk about of having game like conditions, game intensity to prepare for practice like it is a game. It starts with your morning, it starts in your approach, it starts with your hydration, it starts with what you eat. We had a couple individuals that struggled with the heat because the didn't get enough fuel, they didn't get enough to eat, they didn't hydrate all day. And they were young players and you learn. So these are great teaching opportunities. We can't afford to have all these teaching opportunities all the time. They need to mature and they need to mature in a hurry."

(On major heat problems today)
"No not major."

(On veteran players responding)
"Well with A.J. [Johnson] we held him out of some of the live contact stuff today. Just to hold him out. And also just to bring leadership, A.J. is an individual, I thought he took monumental steps forward in leadership and ownership of this football team on defense, where he called the defense together in the tent and kind of rallied them and got them going. We are going to need that because we are not out on the field with these individuals come game day. It has to be a player led football team like I continually say each and every day. So I thought A.J. took some steps that way. Just the overall style of play is not game ready in any shape or way. We don't have enough ball disruptions, we are not finishing at the football right now, we are not getting 11 hats to the ball on defense. Our style of play has to improve. Same thing on offense. Way to many negative yardage football plays. Negative yardage plays are the difference between winning and losing. Too many false start penalties again. That is that mental toughness that it takes, with the noise going, listening to the quarterbacks cadence and the change in plays and just being disciplined, Again, we need to continue to focus on that. Because you know, the basis of our program is based off of discipline and we are an undisciplined football team right now, overall. The actions of one reflect on all. It is the power of position, if one person lets that position down they let everyone down."

(On the quarterback race)
"Not where we need to be and every individual has to take accountability for their performance and we are not playing winning football at that position right now. I am always going to be brutally honest with you and those three individuals need to step up. It is just an overall consistency in performance. It is not completion percentage because when you say, `well, they are 60 percent.' What about drops? Efficiency is what we are hunting and we are not efficient right now at that position. We are going to go back and we are going to refine it but our passing game needs to take monumental strides in the next couple days in moving forward."

(On the kicking game)
"Aaron [Medley] has been, take one practice out of the mix, he has been pretty consistent all camp so far. George Bullock has done some good things along with Derrick Brodus. Today it was good to see, we did some game-ending kicks at the end at different field positions, assorted hash marks. I even from the left hash and the right hash, at the one-inch yard line because the angle is so much different. Aaron Medley was five-for-five with pressure and that is why we concluded practice. We will continue to manufacture stressful situations for these individuals but as you know field position and kicking game are critical elements to winning football games. I have been pleased to far with the performance of those individuals. So I have been happy with that so far."

(On players distancing themselves)
"I do not want to call anyone out right now. Some veterans, Curt Maggitt continues to bring it each and every day. Another individual who has really upped everyone's level of play has been Derek Barnett. Derek Barnett has had a tremendous camp, his effort. He made one of the best plays I have seen in a long time two days ago in practice. Where he caught, chased Devrin Young down the sideline about 30-yards running for the football. And it has been great to see. Derek Barnett has elevated the defensive line play. He is one of the individuals that stick out. Elliott Berry, we continue to challenge him, we are asking a lot of him in terms of playing nickel, playing some WILL linebacker, moving him around. It is just overall consistency as a football team that we need each and everyday. Too inconsistent right now."

(On letting freshman speak to the media)
"First of all, I think this class has great maturity. Our Sports Information department does a great job of really teaching them how to sell their personal brand. They are going to play and they are going to be in some mini battles. They have to go on the road and play in the SEC, go on the road and play against Oklahoma. Playing what I think is the best fan base in the country. So why not let them talk to the media? Because they are going to have to play in front of hundreds of thousands of people all the time. Part of a maturity factor as well."

(On Coleman Thomas)
"Coleman is very athletic and he has benefited from having a spring football under his belt. But again the overall consistency, the strength levels of what is needed to play on the offensive line, he has really worked on that. But he is very, very athletic, and he has good toughness."

(On other players who have stood out)
"I think individuals have their good days and days that need to improve upon but Dillon Bates is another individual who is playing very well. Emmanuel Moseley, as we know, the freshman 33. He has benefited from being here for spring football. So those individuals. Ethan Wolf on offense continues to impress, both in the run blocking game but also in the pass catching game as well."

(On the return game)
"Being a great returner, you have to have a knack for it. Devrin Young has a knack for it. So he brings another element. Everything about special teams is field position, controlling the field position game and what we call, `hidden yardage.' So I am really excited because I think we have added to the returner list. Last year all we had was Devrin Young. And you want to put a person back there who is a threat to go the distance every time they touch the football. Devrin Young is one of those individuals. Cam Sutton has been gaining some valuable repetitions back there. Evan Berry, as we.. So we have put a lot of people back there to see what they can do in the returner game. And as camp continues to progress, we will scrimmage live special teams as well."


 

 

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