Mike Strange: No bowl, so Butch Jones already building Team 118

Mike Strange

Butch Jones sat down behind a microphone Thursday at Neyland Stadium and did what he does best. He instilled hope.

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Comments » 3

VibrantVol writes:

Jones is definitely a recruiter & a motivator, just like Pearl was & is. Can you imagine how great the optimism all over campus would be if Pearl were rehired?

Yes, I know Pearl's time in purgatory doesn't end until August, but he can be hired on as a "consultant" to the program once Martin is fired in March & then elevated to coaching status in the summer. He could build a coaching staff during that consulting period that could go & do the things that he can't do as "coach," such as recruit. Since he wouldn't be the official coach, he could go to the Rocky Top league games this coming summer & unofficially coach there. That breaks no NCAA rules. The irony of his firing is that a totally new governance system will be in place next year for all bigtime schools that will eliminate what he did by having a BBQ at his home for high school juniors as a violation at all.

As for Jones, the jury is still out on whether he can coach up players to SEC championship level. I'm in hopes that he will upgrade his staff after national signing date & get a few who have been disappointments replaced.

pingkr62 writes:

I expect to see a lot of true freshmen starting for team 118. This will definitely be something to see. G.B.O.!!!

johnlg00 writes:

There is merit to the idea that not having a bowl this year actually does help the Vols get started for next year. With all the losses on the lines after last season, an extra two weeks of practices with guys who won't be around next year would have been of only limited value. All the ones who will be here next year can clearly see the route to major roles and get a start on sorting out leaders in the weight room, locker room, and classroom. In other words, there is much to be said for a clean break from a disappointing past. Like Mike, I view the Vols' prospects for a significantly better 2014 warily, but this offseason will mark the true beginning of the Butch Jones era. Dooley's remarks about "Year Zero" were met by almost universal derision, and I doubt that we will hear Jones say anything like that, but that doesn't mean that last year WASN'T truly a "Year Zero" in the Jones era.

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