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Butch Jones Transcript (8/18/14)
Aug. 18, 2014



(Opening Statement)
"This is our last practice of training camp. We have a team function tonight, and then we will take two days off. We will get ourselves ready to go academically but also to relax ourselves from all of the nagging injuries. We will get our minds right. Right now with the freshman, some continue to improve and others improve more slowly. Some are ahead of others, but now comes the maturation part. With the student body coming back on campus, players have to start managing their time with class and study table. We need to be a mature football team. We aren't there yet. I will know a little bit once we go through a week of school. I think that it's beneficial to us that school i=s starting early, so they can get into a routine, and we aren't starting school while moving into game week. That will be very beneficial for us."

(On concern towards defensive tackles)
"It's a great concern, and we have to get some individuals to step up. It's going to be playing with the mentality of 63 effort. We all know that you have to stop the run first. We are talented, but we are also very young. It is a concern moving forward."

(On what he learns from team by approach to the league)
"We are still a working progress from the maturity standpoint. We knew this, and it wasn't any surprise to us. These are 17-year-old's going through their first training camp. It's having that mental toughness to fight through the conditioning and fatigue. We talk about having a relentless approach, but the mental approach is so much more important than the physical approach. Some individuals are tougher than others, but we are very youthful as a group. In terms of Trevarris Saulsberry, it could be a few days to a week for him. He re-aggravated his knee, but we don't anticipate him being gone for the season. It will just depend on how his body heals."

(On players staff)
"That is a big part of your football team. You rely on your leaders. We talk about the standards and expectations. There is a difference between, 'do you love the Power T' or 'do you love the power of the T?' There is a standard and expectation that comes with being a member of this football team."

(On Kyler Kerbyson at Tackle vs Guard)
"He is extremely athletic and very intelligent. He has provided some stability at that position. He has the ability to play both, but that is where we are at in the program. Realistically, he is probably more of a guard then a tackle, but he has answered that challenge. He has performed on a consistent basis. He is a very smart football player, and that is what we need him to be."

(On searching for the perfect line combination)
"It's about what we expected it to be. It's not so much the search as it is the depth. We want to be able to move players around, so we can have the best five players on the field. When you have someone like Coleman Thomas who knows center, guard and tackle, that is very beneficial. When you don't have the numbers, you have to get it by players who can play multiple positions up front."

(On the combination of J. Robertson and K. Kerbyson on O-Line)
Some individuals are ahead of other individuals in the learning curve and Jashon has done a great job and it's been a big benefit having him on the offensive side of the ball.

(On Robertson's lack of hitting a freshman barrier)
"He hasn't hit the freshman or training camp barrier. He's come and brought it each and every day. It's like your kids: every individual has a maturity level different than the others. Some develop at rapid paces and some over time. Todd Kelly, Jr., is one who continues to mature (and) we see that growth and development each and every day in practice and we'll need that moving forward. Jashon has done a great job overall."

(On the Berry twins individually)
It's a work-in-progress. We've put a lot on their plates, especially Elliott. We moved him to linebacker. Elliott understands leverage and he plays with a pad level....The Berrys are very cerebral and they live football each and every day.

(On Todd Kelly's ability to slow the game down)
"Part of the maturation process is that the game has been playing fast for a lot of these kids and the ones that are maturing and growing and developing, the game is slowing down. We talk 'see a little, see a lot'--the eye discipline--and TK has been a sure tackler. He's played physical. We've pointed out practicing etiquette, how you thud, how you tag off. We give illustrations of how you thud and it's always TK. The other thing is that the start of the season against Utah State isn't the end. These individuals are going to continue to develop from now all the way until the end of the season. Some might not be game-ready right now. Some develop more so than others. I'm encouraged by what I see, but it's an overall process. They just have to continue to develop. Every day is a new learning experience for these kids and unfortunately it's half of our new football team. It's what makes coaching and teaching exciting."

(On the role of the tight ends in the offense)
"We want to be a tight end-oriented offense. It provides flexibility, scheme-wise. You have to be able to run and catch and block and pass protect. There's so much that goes into playing winning football at the tight end football. Now, we have depth and also a little competition, which has been great to see. That competition has elevated the play of individuals at the particular spot."

(On the speed of the kick-off coverage team)
We have really improved our team speed, but it's about the fundamentals. It's understanding the schemes, how to play in space. how you reduce your surface, the leverage. The biggest thing that young players struggle with is understanding where your help is, understanding leverage of a coverage team or on defense.

(On trying athletes at different positions)
"It's an ongoing process, trying to put the players in the best position that they can possibly be in, but also to help the team as well."

 

 

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