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I think some of Mike's "newness" allusion could be aimed at fans as well. So far, all the comments have civil and mostly positive for the Vols. Jones has clearly made a positive impression on most of the fan base and seems to have done so with the team and prospects as well.
However, not a drop of sweat has been shed in a game yet. The first two games are on the road against dangerous--some might say, overwhelming--opponents. If some players get hurt, or if they lose big early, it will be a test of the character of fans and the team alike. The players have to keep believing in what they are being taught; they have no choice once the season is under way, since major changes would look like panic, and panic feeds on itself.
The fans have to realize that for those first couple of games especially, it might be hard to see even the fairly minimal basic improvements we hope to see. Given the fickle nature of the more casual fans, it will be easy under those circumstances to be negative about the whole Jones regime. And of course the usual trolls and boobirds will rejoice. So there are lots of circumstances that could conspire to wear the, er, "new-coach smell" off of Jones fairly early on.
After a bad start, we have to see how the team bounces back. As they get more familiar with each other in live game circumstances and the competition eases down a notch, if they all have the character we hope they have, they will overcome a slow start.
Of course, it would be great if they could win one or both of those, but let's not go overboard either way. Expect anything at all from this year's Vols; about the only outcome that should shock anyone is if the Vols win the SEC this year! But I would take it(;-P)!
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