Vols buying into Butch Jones' many quirks

WR Carter: 'We've come a long way'

ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL
Tennessee coach Butch Jones, center, poses with players for a group photo during Media Day at Neyland Stadium on Thursday.

Photo by Adam Lau

ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee coach Butch Jones, center, poses with players for a group photo during Media Day at Neyland Stadium on Thursday.

Tennessee’s 45 returning lettermen did not handpick Butch Jones as their head coach. He was hired, b-lined to Knoxville on a private plane and walked into their lives.

First impressions were immediate.

“I saw an intense man with a ton of energy,” senior long snapper J.R. Carr said Thursday.

“The first time I saw him walk — you know, he walks with a little bounce — my first thought was, ‘What’s wrong with this guy? This dude kind of walks funny,” added fellow senior Dontavis Sapp.

A little more than nine months have passed. During that time, according to multiple Vols, some impressions have changed, while others, in hindsight, were spot-on.

Jones was the ringleader of UT’s Barnum-esque uniform unveiling at Thursday’s preseason football media day. Descriptions of him orchestrating a fashion show drew eye-rolling and some “are-you-kidding-mes” from his players.

Jones is from Michigan, not Milan. This was out of his element.

The Vols are used to surprises at this point, though. While some of the initial judgments of Jones — the intensity, the energy, the drive — have held true, he’s managed to plug any pigeonholing on occasion.

“He’s able to throw little curveballs at us all the time,” senior nose tackle Daniel Hood said.

Butch Jones hosts fashion show unveiling new Tennessee uniforms

One afternoon before Jones walked into UT’s team meeting room, music was pumping through top-of-the-line speakers. Players turned the room into an orange nightclub. Jones swung the door open and was promptly called out.

“Coach Jones, show us some moves.”

“He started dancing right there,” Hood said. “You’re looking at him and you’re thinking, ‘This guy is different.’ ”

Jaques Smith got his own dose of didn’t-see-that-coming. The senior defensive end approached Jones one day and bated him into an impromptu rap battle. A room of Vols inched forward, eyeing Jones.

That’s when the coach dropped some Jay-Z lyrics on Smith.

“Coach Jones won,” recalled senior safety Byron Moore, who spilled the beans on the story. “He just busted it out off the top of his head. He killed ’em.”

No one saw that coming when Jones first arrived in Knoxville. Hood remembers sitting back and digesting the head coach’s first spiel.

“I was just like, ‘Yeah I heard that one (time), two (times), now this is the third time,’” Hood said Thursday.

Hood heard it all from Lane Kiffin. He heard it all from Derek Dooley. Both said the Vols would return to glory. Now he’s on his third UT head coach.

“I just thought, ‘OK, well let’s see what you’re all about,” Hood said.

It turns out Jones is about slogans, lots of slogans. Between his brick-by-bricks and his rise-to-the-tops, the former Cincinnati coach came wielding a cache of catchphrases. That and new rituals, like defensive players raising a fist after third down and darting down the sidelines between quarters.

Many players thought the new traditions were about as hip as Myspace.

According to junior nickleback JaRon Toney, it took time to come around, especially for some members of the defense.

“Yeah, guys would be like, ‘What is this guy talking about?” Toney said.

But just like those first impressions have been molded and modified over time, most of the Vols have gradually subscribed.

“Some of the stuff that we do and say, it’s cheesy, but as (Jones) says, that’s who we are now,” said junior wideout Jacob Carter. “Like the fist up, when they first started it, the defense wasn’t all about it. Now in practice if the defense gets a stop, the whole team is doing it.

“We’ve come a long way.”

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men’s basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn

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Comments » 44

dakota10902 writes:

This is a sign of a leader, when an enterprise has high organization capital, and it's people are all have a clear understanding of its mission, vision, values, and strategy and share knowledge up, down, and across the board! Can't Wait!

OrangePsyched writes:

All things to all people..the man can relate.

proudveteran writes:

I was thoroughly behind Coach Jones until he decided to "junk" the Orange and White Tennessee tradition for "Smokey Gray" uniforms (not our hound dog either). He totally lost my support and belief in him as a person...all "slick tongued" words out of both sides of his mouth.

dakota10902 writes:

It's one game a season dude, and most fans are behind it. Chillax!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Coach Jones has taken the hill by storm..Onward and upward.

Caspian writes:

Never underestimate the power of eccentricity.
Butch killin' it on all fronts.

Olddogsrule writes:

in response to proudveteran:

I was thoroughly behind Coach Jones until he decided to "junk" the Orange and White Tennessee tradition for "Smokey Gray" uniforms (not our hound dog either). He totally lost my support and belief in him as a person...all "slick tongued" words out of both sides of his mouth.

bUTch did not "junk" the Orange & White! Three colors have ALWAYS been associated with the VOLS. Evidently the 'black' we who have always thought was the color of the early unis jersey was in fact this dark grey, or 'smoke'. The pants were actually a khaki brown canvass.

The 'Smokey' uniform will only be used one game, near Hooowl-o-ween! The rest of the year will be EXACTLY the Orange & White we have seen all these years but in hi-tech pads, fabrics & cuts that provide greater freedom of movement with compressive characteristics that hopefully decrease fatigue and injury.

The videos and photos show the team loves it. Thats all I need to know.

GO YOU VOLUNTEERS!!"

'SMOKEY' RULES!!!!!!!!!

Harrit writes:

With Coach Jones you have to be all in. Fellas, it sure looks like we got a real Head Football coach. All you naysayers, its hi time you get out the way let that man lead the troops!

snafu14u#241639 writes:

in response to proudveteran:

I was thoroughly behind Coach Jones until he decided to "junk" the Orange and White Tennessee tradition for "Smokey Gray" uniforms (not our hound dog either). He totally lost my support and belief in him as a person...all "slick tongued" words out of both sides of his mouth.

A little over reactive.....breathe. That was a little harsh don't ya think. Bonzai Vol

lguy (Inactive) writes:

in response to proudveteran:

I was thoroughly behind Coach Jones until he decided to "junk" the Orange and White Tennessee tradition for "Smokey Gray" uniforms (not our hound dog either). He totally lost my support and belief in him as a person...all "slick tongued" words out of both sides of his mouth.

Your opinion is noted. I disagree. Your opinion is like mine -- valueless. Now move on. Let's win some games.

mikethehistorystudent writes:

in response to dakota10902:

This is a sign of a leader, when an enterprise has high organization capital, and it's people are all have a clear understanding of its mission, vision, values, and strategy and share knowledge up, down, and across the board! Can't Wait!

That's exactly what I was thinking.

TeamXer writes:

in response to lguy:

Your opinion is noted. I disagree. Your opinion is like mine -- valueless. Now move on. Let's win some games.

Yep.
Go Vols

CroKev writes:

in response to dakota10902:

This is a sign of a leader, when an enterprise has high organization capital, and it's people are all have a clear understanding of its mission, vision, values, and strategy and share knowledge up, down, and across the board! Can't Wait!

+1

Well said Dakota.

RashaadSalabeb writes:

in response to proudveteran:

I was thoroughly behind Coach Jones until he decided to "junk" the Orange and White Tennessee tradition for "Smokey Gray" uniforms (not our hound dog either). He totally lost my support and belief in him as a person...all "slick tongued" words out of both sides of his mouth.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I like it myself. Changing it up a little is not going to hurt anyone. The kids seem to like it and that's the most important thing. We can't live in the past and expect to move forward. Upward and onward! This Coach is doing about all a person can do. Good things are coming. The way he's engaged former players and coaches, formed relationships with recruits and worked his butt off to get this team ready for the season, is nothing short of amazing.

Keep up the good work Coaches and players! We believe in you. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't win! If you want it bad enough and work for it hard enough, you will win!

dragon18 writes:

in response to proudveteran:

I was thoroughly behind Coach Jones until he decided to "junk" the Orange and White Tennessee tradition for "Smokey Gray" uniforms (not our hound dog either). He totally lost my support and belief in him as a person...all "slick tongued" words out of both sides of his mouth.

dumbest, most short sighted post yet. Sorry, don't know you, but he has not scrapped Orange and White. He brought on an alternate uniform that will be used for one game each year. Oh... and the PLAYERS who sweat, work and bleed for THE FANS, love them. If you have any wisdom you might reevaluate such blanket statements. If you can't, my son and I would love to buy your tickets (if you even have any).

laraccoon writes:

in response to RashaadSalabeb:

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I like it myself. Changing it up a little is not going to hurt anyone. The kids seem to like it and that's the most important thing. We can't live in the past and expect to move forward. Upward and onward! This Coach is doing about all a person can do. Good things are coming. The way he's engaged former players and coaches, formed relationships with recruits and worked his butt off to get this team ready for the season, is nothing short of amazing.

Keep up the good work Coaches and players! We believe in you. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't win! If you want it bad enough and work for it hard enough, you will win!

well put , these kids are the ones bleeding and sweating , whats wrong with them having a little say so in the uniforms they wear on game day . too many fans make it more about themselves then about the players plus its a well known fact that Tennessee old farts are again change , and yea i can say that cause i dwell in the old fart category !

linebam writes:

in response to proudveteran:

I was thoroughly behind Coach Jones until he decided to "junk" the Orange and White Tennessee tradition for "Smokey Gray" uniforms (not our hound dog either). He totally lost my support and belief in him as a person...all "slick tongued" words out of both sides of his mouth.

I was a bit shaky on it too, until I watched the video. There are five combos and only one has the "Smokey Gray". Now that I've seen it "live", I'm OK with it. I wouldn't want it for every game, but changing it up now and then works for me. Personally, my favorite combo is white jersey/orange pants - I've always liked more orange on away games. My least favorite is orange jersey/orange pants - overkill and reminds me too much of Clemson. No matter what, the Vols will always have my support and I will cheer the loudest regardless of what they are wearing when they run out on the field. Go Vols!

jdisintn writes:

I am pushing 60 and lived here in Knox all my life except for my tour in the 82nd. Tradition has a place and I respect that, but, we need a kick in the pants. Young players and a lot of us fans like the thought of changing up the uniforms. It adds excitement and is not the end of the world for the die hard traditional fans. The games is about the players and they really seem to like the uniforms. They need to hear us support them and personally it seems we need an infusion of new thinking and a new way of doing things. Heck, life is for living so lets giddy up and go VOLS and take it to em Coach.

BlueHarley writes:

in response to proudveteran:

I was thoroughly behind Coach Jones until he decided to "junk" the Orange and White Tennessee tradition for "Smokey Gray" uniforms (not our hound dog either). He totally lost my support and belief in him as a person...all "slick tongued" words out of both sides of his mouth.

I've got to admit, when you add those grey pants to the outfit it looks a little like a softball uniform.....

rbwtn writes:

Coach Jones is what the Vols needed. The enthusiasm alone is worth it.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

I hear a bunch of older fans in their 50's say they have no problem with the uniforms. I'm going to wait and see if they play with more vigor when wearing those outfits, if that's the case then they should wear them every game. I grew up in a home with traditional appliances (harvest gold) refrigerator, washer/dryer. I'm sure glad those fads went away, and when i think about it UT's uniforms have developed with the times. White shoes replaced black shoes for a while, white face masks replaced the standard gray. The stripe on the helmet was once thin, now it's thick. Smokey wasn't a mascot until the 50's, they removed the walking horse in the 70-80's. Socks were low, then knee high, and now low again. These changes have more to do with fads than tradition..Just a thought.

StoneJackBaller writes:

in response to proudveteran:

I was thoroughly behind Coach Jones until he decided to "junk" the Orange and White Tennessee tradition for "Smokey Gray" uniforms (not our hound dog either). He totally lost my support and belief in him as a person...all "slick tongued" words out of both sides of his mouth.

This post says a lot about you. You're the guy at the games sitting on your hands and you get mad when other fans stand up and cheer and raise hell.

Change has finally made it's way to UT. The kind of change it takes to make winners. The kind of change it takes to get top notch recruits. And for someone to NOT support a coach because of a one-time uniform change is indicative of below average IQ. If you can't see what this man is doing to take us to the top, you're blind.

So, now that you don't support Jones, don't support him when we're winning SEC championships again. And definitely don't support him when we win NC's in the future. Old fart!

jbocap writes:

I believe CBJ is making a really good impression and like how he has brought this team together. Remember how Dooley lost control of his team? I do not believe Butch is gonna allow that to happen! Love the new unis!!! GO VOLS!!!!

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

Jones is doing something neither Dooley or Kiffin could have ever dreamed of and he's doing it on multi levels..Dooley totally lost his players when water started coming in the boat. Can't help but recall that LA Tech players said they had a total change of attitude as soon as he left.

Orange_Scooter writes:

in response to proudveteran:

I was thoroughly behind Coach Jones until he decided to "junk" the Orange and White Tennessee tradition for "Smokey Gray" uniforms (not our hound dog either). He totally lost my support and belief in him as a person...all "slick tongued" words out of both sides of his mouth.

Good to know you root for uniforms and not the team. Seriosuly, anyone that caught even a tiny fraction of news over the last couple of days knows he hasn't scrapped anything. By the ay, I personally don't care for the uniform myself. I prefer the plain, old orange and white, but I also just don't think the scheme works- a flat gray and black helmet with an orange T or a chrome-colored helemt would look better than a white helmet which makes the uniform look goofy. That said, I don't give a rat's butt what they wear so long as they win. And, winning and being competitive is the only tradition I care about.

GatorHater1998 writes:

It's sad that some so called vol fans are angry about Butch Jones rewarding his players by letting them wear some cool jerseys for ONE GAME!!!!!

antonio14313 writes:

coach jones is a players' coach.

GO VOLS!!!

t

NCSmoky writes:

in response to jdisintn:

I am pushing 60 and lived here in Knox all my life except for my tour in the 82nd. Tradition has a place and I respect that, but, we need a kick in the pants. Young players and a lot of us fans like the thought of changing up the uniforms. It adds excitement and is not the end of the world for the die hard traditional fans. The games is about the players and they really seem to like the uniforms. They need to hear us support them and personally it seems we need an infusion of new thinking and a new way of doing things. Heck, life is for living so lets giddy up and go VOLS and take it to em Coach.

I am 55, was a student from 1976 to 1982 then again from 1986 to 1988 and I am also liking the smokey uniform as an alternate, but then I loved the black and orange for Halloween!!!

JDISINTN, thank you for your service, my dad was in the 508th with the 82nd during WWII, Operation Market Garden, Battle of the Bulge, Eisenhower's guard at the end of the war.

UTFab5 writes:

in response to GatorHater1998:

It's sad that some so called vol fans are angry about Butch Jones rewarding his players by letting them wear some cool jerseys for ONE GAME!!!!!

This is the best post on here!!

GreerVol22 writes:

in response to proudveteran:

I was thoroughly behind Coach Jones until he decided to "junk" the Orange and White Tennessee tradition for "Smokey Gray" uniforms (not our hound dog either). He totally lost my support and belief in him as a person...all "slick tongued" words out of both sides of his mouth.

proud vet...thank you for your service...but dude...your a lousy fan if you abandon support for a little gray bling.

GoVols_16 writes:

“Some of the stuff that we do and say, it’s cheesy, but as (Jones) says, that’s who we are now,” said junior wideout Jacob Carter. “Like the fist up, when they first started it, the defense wasn’t all about it. Now in practice if the defense gets a stop, the WHOLE team is doing it."

That's called leadership. If the whole team is following, we are headed in the right direction. GO VOLS!!!!

edee writes:

If the uniforms are SMOKEY gray.....gotta get a new name for the dog..he sure ain'tGray...bet Jones will trade him in....

edee writes:

in response to antonio14313:

coach jones is a players' coach.

GO VOLS!!!

t

No, jones is a Jones coach..trying to make an impression too fast, after all remember Cincy people said that's all he talked about after they played at UT..how he wanted to be coach and lo and behold Hart hired him because he could get no one else..what was it the first answer to the question that sold Hart..some people waiting to be sold

chucker6 writes:

in response to jdisintn:

I am pushing 60 and lived here in Knox all my life except for my tour in the 82nd. Tradition has a place and I respect that, but, we need a kick in the pants. Young players and a lot of us fans like the thought of changing up the uniforms. It adds excitement and is not the end of the world for the die hard traditional fans. The games is about the players and they really seem to like the uniforms. They need to hear us support them and personally it seems we need an infusion of new thinking and a new way of doing things. Heck, life is for living so lets giddy up and go VOLS and take it to em Coach.

+1, as a fellow UT and 82nd alumnae, who is now 62, I say Go Vols!

Smokey314 writes:

Gotta love the breath of fresh air blowin' on the hill...
I've got a feeling that good things are on the horizon.

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to NINEwillstillbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Sad attempt = your never-ending lame attempt to fire everyone up
Sad attempt = the amount of time you spend doing so
Sad attempt = thinking that it actually works
Sad attempt = thinking your cool while talking tough on web forums
Sad attempt = the fact that you’ve been trolling here longer than most real fans have been posting on this board
Sad attempt = your home life

Here… have some more Troll-Aid.

Enjoy.

Whizzer writes:

in response to proudveteran:

I was thoroughly behind Coach Jones until he decided to "junk" the Orange and White Tennessee tradition for "Smokey Gray" uniforms (not our hound dog either). He totally lost my support and belief in him as a person...all "slick tongued" words out of both sides of his mouth.

I'll take gray uniforms over Derek Dooley any day! I'll support Butch Jones until I'm convinced he is not the man for the job. One thing is for sure, personal taste in attire will have no impact on that opinion.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to laraccoon:

well put , these kids are the ones bleeding and sweating , whats wrong with them having a little say so in the uniforms they wear on game day . too many fans make it more about themselves then about the players plus its a well known fact that Tennessee old farts are again change , and yea i can say that cause i dwell in the old fart category !

I'm an "old fart" too, but as so many posts on this subject show, "old-fartism" is not merely a matter of age. Some people were just BORN old and stodgy; the rest of us have it forced on them and some of us fight it tooth and nail!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to BlueHarley:

I've got to admit, when you add those grey pants to the outfit it looks a little like a softball uniform.....

You know, this whole discussion, IMHO, is less about the details of the uniform than it is attitudes toward change. Some people clearly can't abide the idea of deviating in any way from the way things have "always" been. I put "always" in quotes because uniforms have changed several times just since I became a Vol fan 50-something years ago; "tradition" just ain't what it used to be. Things that don't change are ALREADY dead, or perhaps never were ALIVE!

johnlg00 writes:

On the topic of the article, some of those who think Jones is trashing "UT tradition" don't appreciate the fact that most of the things that constitute "tradition" and team spirit to one group invariably look silly to those who don't share it. That's part of what "our thing" means; what we embrace, others despise, and vice-versa, and that is probably as it should be.

Colliervol writes:

in response to proudveteran:

I was thoroughly behind Coach Jones until he decided to "junk" the Orange and White Tennessee tradition for "Smokey Gray" uniforms (not our hound dog either). He totally lost my support and belief in him as a person...all "slick tongued" words out of both sides of his mouth.

You do realize that one game is not a "junking"? I'm in my late '50's and a Vol fan since I was born. So nobody can talk to me about "tradition". Tradition now is trying to rebuild this program and is all about making money. And you can't do either without players. If this gets a few good recruits, it's worth it. Some of you people need to lighten up. If you don't change with the times, you get left behind. And if a one game uniform change causes you to stop supporting Butch, your support for the program is questionable.

gameofvols writes:

in response to NINEwillstillbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Go back to your mom's basement you fricking loser. You can't even keep the same name.

I keep wondering why opposing members keep showing up here. Think maybe they are getting worried? Anyway, go crawl back in your hole with the other GA losers like Ray Goff, Jim Donnan, Bobo. You remember , the ones UT beat into submission.

drberg4 writes:

in response to proudveteran:

I was thoroughly behind Coach Jones until he decided to "junk" the Orange and White Tennessee tradition for "Smokey Gray" uniforms (not our hound dog either). He totally lost my support and belief in him as a person...all "slick tongued" words out of both sides of his mouth.

Check your history! During the undefeated 1914 season we wore grey jerseys. This is a nod to our history as well as looking to the future. Plus, these uniforms are intended as a one game per season addition to the collection. Coach Jones did not "junk" the Orange and White Tennessee tradition, and the players seem to be excited about these additional uniforms. I do not know where you are getting that idea from but it seems unfounded. The Orange and White will never be gone, and adding grey to the color scheme is a trivial detail in my opinion. I'm more interested in his on the field performance, that's what will make or break my support of our new coach... not something as silly as a new uniform.

bkwats2003#237114 writes:

in response to NINEwillstillbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey Nine,
Please don't ever stop posting. I'm serious. I'm a UT graduate and love my VOLs, but your posts are very funny. The only thing I enjoy reading more are the responses to what you say, so don't ever stop sharing your comments.

Oh and I predict 9 will be the last time! Ten will be the end! But we shall see.

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