If the microphone is on and Malik Jackson is sitting behind it, somewhere a team manager is clearing off space on the bulletin board.
The Tennessee defensive end has no filter and a sense of humor he doesn't seem to ever want to hide, which even before a single practice has likely provided some motivation in locker rooms around the SEC.
What does he think of Georgia's Aaron Murray, who many expect to be the class of the league's quarterbacks?
"Just another guy," Jackson said last week at SEC Media Days.
Heisman Trophy candidate Marcus Lattimore of South Carolina?
"He's only a sophomore ... you can't judge somebody off one year."
How do you tackle somebody like Alabama's Trent Richardson?
"I feel like once you just hit him in the mouth a few times and get him knowing that you're there and you're not going anywhere, then he'll soften up."
Of course, there are more to Jackson's quotes than the parts that will be highlighted and taped up for guys like Murray, Lattimore and Richardson to see before playing the Vols this fall. But that's perhaps where the senior's comments get the most interesting, because when viewed as a whole, the point generally remains the same.
Jackson almost always steers the conversation back to UT and its players, perhaps making him much more of a supportive teammate and leader than a brash, cocky trash-talker.
"To be honest with you, I'm bad with keeping up with other teams and guys," Jackson said. "So, to be honest, I probably wouldn't trade anybody on our team (for anybody else in the SEC). Everybody works hard, and I'm happy to be with every single one of those guys.
"These guys are all happy to be here, they work really hard and I wouldn't trade them for the world."
If that occasionally leads to backhanded compliments about Lattimore still needing to improve while talking up Tauren Poole as the best rusher in the league, that appears to work just fine with Jackson.
As the new UT tattoos on his right arm can attest, the transfer from Southern California has completely devoted himself to the program. And after arriving last summer thanks to NCAA penalties that allowed him to leave the Trojans without penalty or all that much background about where he was heading, Jackson has quickly embraced a leadership role for a team short on veterans — not to mention another gig as a go-to spokesman for the Vols.
"It's been kind of hard," Jackson said. "I ask my coach a lot, 'What should I do (as a leader) in certain situations?' It's pretty tough. It's my first time.
"Coming back, I kind of know the swing of things, so I'm getting used to everything. I'm getting the young guys on the same page as us. It's just good to be in the system more than a year and have the same coach for more than a year. Just getting used to things."
With only one season under his belt, it's also no surprise that he hasn't familiarized himself with all the rosters around the conference enough to have them com
mitted to memory.
When asked about Murray, he first had to double-check with the media that he was the quarterback for the Bulldogs. He had to do something similar with the Crimson Tide when he called Richardson the toughest tailback to tackle in the league.
But Jackson knows his teammates, and given his way, he's much more interested in shining the spotlight on the Vols and their young talent instead of pumping up opponents.
"I know what to expect of them," Jackson said. "I expect greatness from all of them.
"We've just got to work and keep working and work to their potential so on Saturdays they can show everyone else their greatness."
Jackson has spent the summer delivering that message directly to UT.
No bulletin board will be necessary.