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Butch Jones Transcript (8/12/14)
Aug. 12, 2014


(On the process of training camp)
"It's starting to grind. This is where your mindset, this is where your mentality kicks in. For the first time, I could feel the training camp legs out there, could feel it, could see it. This is where as a mentally tough football team, this is where you have to fight through it. This is where you have to find the extra treatments, this is where you have to be disciplined in your habits and in your sleep. This is where you mature, this is where you grow up and this is where you find what's inside of you to fighting through the pans, the aches associated with training camp. A lot of them are fighting through it, some of them have to work on that. We kind of changed the schedule on the fly when we got out there because I could just kind of sense it, so I put our team in some competitive situations to kind of get them going right away."

(On feeding off his energy)
"Everything is about energy. It starts with me, it starts with our coaches, it starts with our leaders. You have to get excited, practice is like recess. It is controlled chaos. You get to have recess, you go around and what do you love to do? You get to go play ball at recess. You have to keep in perspective , you work so hard for the opportunity to play football, every opportunity to get better is critical. It's about energy and that mindset. And, again, we're teaching a lot of young players about the mental approach each and every day and not hitting that wall. The wall is an imaginary wall and you've got to fight through it each and every day."

(On Justin Worley checking down during team periods)
"Going through your progressions, there is a clock in your head as a quarterback and also understanding situational football and areas on the field. That was great to see. I see Justin gaining confidence practice-in and practice-out."

(On Jonathan Johnson and Ryan Jenkins)
"Their development is very important. We don't have a lot of depth at thereceiver position yet, we need to continue addressing that in the recruiting process. Ryan Jenkins, we pick our spots with his health. With Jonathan Johnson, the best compliment I can give him and you guys probably know what I'm going to say, is his consistency. He brings it every day. He's worked himself into being a good football player. We call him our two-star. Again, it's a great illustration that stars don't mean anything. He's got a drive to be great, He's got that inner drive, he works every day and doesn't say two words. He shows up to work every day and makes plays for us. He takes coaching. Coach Z [Azzanni] tells him one thing and that's it. You never have to repeat it and he never makes the same mistakes twice, so I've been very, very happy with Jonathan."

(On developing rhythm on offense)
"The rhythm is developing and it started to develop in the scrimmage and when we walked off the field and when I said we gained confidence, that is what I was eluding to, you can see some rhythm but it is not there consistently yet. Our centers have to take a major step moving forward. Our accuracy with our shotgun snaps and when you are in the shot gun the snap sets the temperament for the entire play, run game, play action game, drop back. All of a sudden it takes a snap six inches to the left or to the right or down and the quarterback takes his eyes of his progression. It screws the rhythm and timing of the throw game up. That is probably, right now, my biggest concern. The overall accuracy of the center position in terms of snapping."

(On rotating players on the offensive line)
"We are trying to get as many reps, we are very, very limited up front in the offensive line so if you notice each day we have a different lineup of a multitude of players playing different positions. Because when you don't have a lot of depth we are going to ask some individuals again to play a lot of positions. I keep talking about it, the one individual who continues to shine each and every day, doing an exceptional job, is Jashon Robertson. Again, the move over from defense to the offense has been big for us. He plays at pad level, he is very, very instinctive and he is very intelligent and he is tough. I know our defense wants him back as well but he is doing a great job for us on the offensive line as well."

(On transition of Jashon Robertson)
"It has been a smooth transition for him, but when we recruited him, that's what we knew. We knew he had value on both sides of the ball; he had value to the defensive line and also brought value to the offensive line as well. That's what we like is multiple position players in recruiting. He has great knee-bend, plays at pad level, understands leverage because he was a wrestler, and uses his hands exceptionally well."

(On tight ends)
"I do and they're continuing to develop. They're still youngsters. The other things lost in this, with as many youngsters as we have playing, is their overall and continued growth in the weight room. We still have to get bigger and stronger, so it's a balancing act still of practicing and getting an extra 10-15 minutes of weight room as soon as you walk off the practice field. The tight end position is very competitive and we've helped ourselves in recruiting. We're still not there yet, but there's a competitive favor in that room each and every day from those meetings, to walk-throughs, to the practice field."

(On difference last year to this year)
"Night and day, there is no comparison."

(On Dillon Bates)
"Yes, we've thrown a lot at Dillon. That's the thing again with these freshmen is we have to step back, and that starts with myself as keeping things in perspective. These individuals, at least a lot of them, just got here in June and Dillon Bates is one of those. We put a lot on his table not just playing linebacker but also every special team. That's a cumulative effect in your technique, the fundamentals, details, situational football, and their heads are going. Dillon is one of those individuals where there's a lot going on with the processing of information. Your mind is like a computer when you download the information all the time and how fast you have the stimulus response. You just have to do it over and over again. Dillon is going to be a great football player for us and we need him to continue to mature this season but very very pleased with him. He just has a great demeanor and it stems from his mother and father. Everything is the way he's been raised, brought up in a tough environment, a loving environment, and I can't say enough about him."

(On having an SEC-like linebacker core)
"We have a long ways to go. Chris Weatherd has his own separate package, but overall, that is one of the things that we have to continue to improve in recruiting is a linebacker position. It's nowhere near where we need it to be; from a depth to even a competitive stand point. A lot of your special teams game comes from the linebackers spot. They have big bodies that can run and hit. It is a position that we need to continue to upgrade in recruiting. I like our class that we brought in, and I like the way A.J. Johnson is leading. He has been extremely competitive. I also like the progress Jalen Reeves-Maybin is making. Elliott Berry is another individual. I am on him every single snap. Why? Because we need his development, and we are trying to jump the learning curve as fast as we can to get this football team ready in a hurry."

(On Jalen Reeves-Maybin)
"He is playing with a lot of confidence right now. He is communicating better, and so much is communicating. We played a lot of first year players today in team situations. There were a lot of mistakes, and most of them were a part of the communicative aspect. We have to learn how to communicate. It's a command presence. We are going to play in environments where you can't hear. It's using hand signals, body language and body demeanor. Those things are what we are working on. Every day that you walk out on the practice field, you have a checklist. There are things you have to accomplish before walking off that practice field."

(On freshmen safeties)
"I have been really excited about Todd Kelly Jr. He has that competiveness that you look for. He wants to be out on the field on special teams. He wants to make plays for us. He has continued to get better and better and better. I am really excited about him. Cortez McDowell has been slowed by injury, but he has been back this week. It's been great to see him back out on the practice field. He brings another element to the safety position. He is big, strong, physical and very smart. It has been beneficial to have Kelly and McDowell back this week for practice."

(On Ryan Jenkins recovery)
"He still has a long ways to go, but I see progress and strides being made. Here is the one thing about Ryan Jenkins; he is in the building all day and all night. You heard `Pig' talk about live it, love it, like it. He lives it every day. He is a football junkie. He wants to be great. He has that inner drive. That right now is pushing him, but he has to take care of his body. Football is his passion. He loves to study football. He loves being around it, and that is contagious. Last night, he took Josh Malone under his wing, and I walked in late to find they were studying practice. That is how you grow in development as a football program."

(On players holding each other accountable)
"I have seen growth from all of the players. The culture is in place. If you walk into a team meeting room, there isn't one person late. They get there 10-15 minutes early. A great illustration of this football team was yesterday when we had an early two-a-day practice. The training room opened at 6 in the morning. We spent our first night in a hotel, and we had 25 people waiting at 5:45 waiting to get over here. That is a small victory. We are going to change and adapt to schedule because that was a long day, but not one kid complained. They were there and were ready to go. Now we have to continue to grow in our toughness and our demeanor. Everyone better understand that there are going to be growing pains with this football team. It's going to be tough but also exciting to watch because that is the type of people that we have in our football program right now."

 

 

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