Butch Jones wants a preseason practice open to public

Jones working on letting fans in

ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL
Tennessee head coach Butch Jones looks on during the Orange and White game at Neyland Stadium on Saturday.

Photo by Adam Brimer

ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee head coach Butch Jones looks on during the Orange and White game at Neyland Stadium on Saturday.

Butch Jones talks SEC Media Days, announces a possible open practice

Butch Jones announced his latest brainchild Tuesday.

“I’m going to tell you first,” he said with a hint of secrecy to a room of 300 Knoxville-area Rotary Club members. “I’m working right now on having an open practice.”

Looks like Vol fans raring to get into Neyland Stadium early and start the 2013 Tennessee season may get a chance. Jones said he’s trying to crack the stadium doors open for a Saturday evening preseason practice that will be open to the public.

“Here’s my thought process: As their football coach, I’ve never seen our players live,” he explained from a stage at the Crowne Plaza Knoxville hotel. “I’ve seen them one time in front of fans and that was the spring game and it was a great venue. But now we’re playing for real.”

The Vols’ opener is slated for Aug. 31 against Austin Peay at Neyland Stadium. Jones said he hopes to make the open practice a reality, adding that he’s “trying to get the logistics worked out” and that the practice is “not definite.”

“I want to treat it like a preseason game,” he said. “I want to put people in the stands. I want to put (the team) in pressure situations. I want the kickers in pressure situations. Also it’s an opportunity to give back to our fans as well.”

Asked afterward for details on planning the practice, Jones said the idea is “in the infant stages right now.”

“I’ll have a little bit more coming,” he added.

Prepping For a Peppering: According to league officials, more than 1,200 members of the media are credentialed for this week’s SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala.

Jones and Tennessee players Antonio Richardson, Ja’Wuan James and Jacques Smith will step into the crosshairs on Wednesday.

“I don’t know if you’re ever totally prepared,” Jones said. “Obviously I’ve been told about the venue and all that. I’ve been to numerous media days before.”

But none like this. Jones attended Big East Media Day the past three seasons, a mere tea party compared to the SEC’s bonanza.

This will be a

different world. Jones will be sprayed with questions about repairing Tennessee’s derailment and both SEC and NCAA-related issues.

“This is just an opportunity to expose the country to Tennessee football and what we’re doing,” Jones said. “As we all know, we have a ton of momentum right now.”

Then there will be the unpredictable questions. Jones said he went through some question and answer prep work with the UT media relations staff to avoid getting tripped up.

“You have to be ready for everything and anything when you have that amount of media that’s there and you get the attention,” he said.

A Major(s) Story: Asked by a Rotarian about his relationship with former UT coaches, Jones recounted this gem about Vols legend Johnny Majors, who attended multiple spring practices.

“We’re working with the kickoff team and it’s live,” he began. “We give up a return to about the 40-yard line and I go crazy. I say, ‘That’s not the standard for Tennessee football and how we’re going to play special teams.’

“Then I see Coach Majors and I say, ‘Coach Majors! Coach Majors! Is that right?’

“God bless him, Coach Majors, I’ve never see him move that fast. He sprinted out to the numbers, he takes his hat off and goes, ‘You’re God (darn) right Coach Jones, you give em hell. We’re Tennessee!”

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

Get Copyright Permissions © 2013, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2013 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 27

AlpharettaVol writes:

Coach Jones just continues to come up with new ideas to excite the fans and, ultimately, give us a more competitive football program.
On another subject, getting a commitment from Cortez McDowell today was another step in the right direction: the hits just keep on coming!

mikethehistorystudent writes:

He's doing a good job of keeping us excited. I think his energy and the energy of his staff is what brings in the best players. We may see the best recruiting class in school history if he keeps this up.

antonio14313 writes:

this would be a great idea! here in nashville most of the titans preseason practices are open to the public, and free. some of the players even sign autographs after each practice. keeps an intimate setting between team and fan.

hopefully UT does this as well...

go vols!

t

Henley-Street-Bridge writes:

We should have Wrestling matches at half-time featuring the Wright Brothers from Kingston.

northfan writes:

in response to antonio14313:

this would be a great idea! here in nashville most of the titans preseason practices are open to the public, and free. some of the players even sign autographs after each practice. keeps an intimate setting between team and fan.

hopefully UT does this as well...

go vols!

t

I agree it's a great idea. However NFL practices that are open to the public have to be free. If they are aren't any other team can buy a ticket and send a coach to observe-if it's free they can't.Snyder tried doing it to make $ for the Redskins numerous years ago and stopped after 1 year when teams knew alot of their new plays. I don't know what the NCAA rules are but probably similar.

NoChildLeftaDime writes:

in response to Henley-Street-Bridge:

We should have Wrestling matches at half-time featuring the Wright Brothers from Kingston.

Ahh, Ron and Don Wright. The warp your head off hold, and fat ladies with beehives, rotten teeth, and print house dresses. The WWF ruined all that for us.

DeltaCharlie3 writes:

He wants the fans to see what he's seeing to temper expectations. Come on out folks, see your 5-7 Vols.

Smart move.

usafvol writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie3:

He wants the fans to see what he's seeing to temper expectations. Come on out folks, see your 5-7 Vols.

Smart move.

Any Gators arrested today douchbag?

PHAT_VOL writes:

We keep taking steps in the right direction. Coach Majors (like him or not) he is a living U.T. legend. Not many schools have a person like him around. He is living history and I for one will miss him when he is gone. I just don't belive he said goddarn I think it was more like goddam right. WE ARE TENNESSE and coach Jones give'um HELL and keep makeing steps in the right direction.
Think how sweet it's gonna be when we break through become The Tennesse Football team we are capable of. And to all our opponents, your time has running out for a cheap victory.
GO VOLS!!!

mountainbrook writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie3:

He wants the fans to see what he's seeing to temper expectations. Come on out folks, see your 5-7 Vols.

Smart move.

I can see that you are still addled by the beat down that Louisville put on you. Better get used to it with Muskrat as coach.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

CBJ continues to do good things with the program. I'm betting he knocks the socks off of the media tomorrow.

rabidvol1998 writes:

It was a great talk. I was that "Rotarian" that asked the question. I stood up slow because of a bad back the last few days. He told me to "suck it up". Love it. Football season can't get here soon enough.

papavol writes:

in response to Crafty_Commodore_4118:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Guess you vandy fans will be talking about that win for a long time. I would too if wins over UT were that hard to come by. Biggest win in vandy history. But don't ever forget that Derek Dooley, the worst coach in UT history, has a winning record over the dores. I'll give credit where credit is due. JF is doing big things for vandy. How long will he be there until he realizes that the state will never give him full support though? I grew up in Nashville, my little brother graduated from vandy. I know first hand that the fan support, especially with bobby johnson & robbie caldwell, was non-existent. Thats why UT will always be head and shoulders above vandy. Because the fan support, even in down years, far surpasses anything that commodore nation could even dream of having.

But go ahead and brag about the win last year. You guys deserve it.

Flyfisherman writes:

Johnny Majors to Coach Jones:

‘You’re God (darn) right Coach Jones, you give em hell. We’re Tennessee!”

Now if that doesn't make you want to stand up and sing Rocky Top all day long...!

lahvolman2 writes:

in response to papavol:

Guess you vandy fans will be talking about that win for a long time. I would too if wins over UT were that hard to come by. Biggest win in vandy history. But don't ever forget that Derek Dooley, the worst coach in UT history, has a winning record over the dores. I'll give credit where credit is due. JF is doing big things for vandy. How long will he be there until he realizes that the state will never give him full support though? I grew up in Nashville, my little brother graduated from vandy. I know first hand that the fan support, especially with bobby johnson & robbie caldwell, was non-existent. Thats why UT will always be head and shoulders above vandy. Because the fan support, even in down years, far surpasses anything that commodore nation could even dream of having.

But go ahead and brag about the win last year. You guys deserve it.

Papavol, that has to be the classiest put down of a troll I have ever read.....you crushed his nads in such a way that he just has to be curled up in the fetal position in his cubicle.... honesty rather than anger has to devastating....

SevenT writes:

in response to Flyfisherman:

Johnny Majors to Coach Jones:

‘You’re God (darn) right Coach Jones, you give em hell. We’re Tennessee!”

Now if that doesn't make you want to stand up and sing Rocky Top all day long...!

With that kind of foul language I guess Majors still hasn't put down the bottle of booze before showing up at UT practice.

How embarrassing for UT

Snapshot writes:

in response to SevenT:

With that kind of foul language I guess Majors still hasn't put down the bottle of booze before showing up at UT practice.

How embarrassing for UT

How embrassing you are to the human race. You are a coward, sevenTeeth, you never did respond to my little wager for you. Remember??

LovinMyVols writes:

Whatever you want to say about Johnny Majors, two things are true:

1.) He is a football man through and through
2.) He is 100% All VOL!

Johnny took a team that was nearly in as bad a shape as the one Jones took over, took us to the SEC Championship and paved the way for Fulmer's run to the National Championship.

Did I agree with everything he did as Head Coach? No. BUT...you cannot argue the facts that he brought UT Football back to the map when it was down.

Let's all hope that Butch can make the same transition happen.

Johnny is a Tennessee legend as a player and was a much better than average Head Coach by any definition.

Olddogsrule writes:

Craftless is not a Vandy fan. He's a many times banned troll hiding behind their name. His skin is tough, he don't care what you write, his only goal is to spew sewage about the VOLS so he can GET SATISFACTION AND LAUGH AT YOU WHEN YOU ANGRILY OR OTHERWISE RESPOND. Every time anyone responds, he's happily sitting there laughing at you.

So don't sell your hair in Las Vegas or fall into a dinner party, and ESPECIALLY

DON'T WIND UP BEING LAUGHED AT BY TROLLS!

On Topic: I'd think having a Sat. open practice simulating game situations is a great idea for A BUNCH of reasons. All of what CBJ said but mostly players and staff are put in more of 'game with fans oriented pressure situations' than closed practices can-(and I get to be one). Yeah, it does put the players mindset in the "Fans are watching me" mode-(and I get to be one) which adds a little pressure. The staff and fans -(and I get to be one)can do some evaluation of how late arrivals in the 2013 class could be asked to contribute.

It gives Dave Lawson,the Strength and Conditioning coach, the first 'fans are here'-(and I get to be one) game simulation to see how the players responded to the summer programs; and evaluate possible tweaks.

We've all READ how the players have lost or gained weight. We fans-(and I get to be one) would also get to SEE a little of how they did over the summer in strength, speed, and explosiveness under Dave Lawson-(and I get to be one). Really, a little more of that is all the VOLS secondary needed last year, (apart from a DC who could actually be a DC).

Best is: -I get to be one, and get my orange blood transfusion more better sooner! :-)

IT'S GREAT TO BE A TENNESSEE VOLUNTEER!
GO CBJ! GO CDL! GO YOU VOLUNTEERS!

SMOKEY RULES!

volboy81 writes:

in response to SevenT:

With that kind of foul language I guess Majors still hasn't put down the bottle of booze before showing up at UT practice.

How embarrassing for UT

I agree! Didnt his momma teach him better than that? Hes making her look bad.
On a more positive note, can you imagine the great, free publicity UT will get if Jones opens a practice up and 1000s of people show up. It'd be all over ESPN for 2 days. I'm not sure even they could put a bad spin on that!

volboy81 writes:

in response to usafvol:

Any Gators arrested today douchbag?

...not a question of "any gators arrested today" a matter of how many.

GONAVY writes:

in response to papavol:

Guess you vandy fans will be talking about that win for a long time. I would too if wins over UT were that hard to come by. Biggest win in vandy history. But don't ever forget that Derek Dooley, the worst coach in UT history, has a winning record over the dores. I'll give credit where credit is due. JF is doing big things for vandy. How long will he be there until he realizes that the state will never give him full support though? I grew up in Nashville, my little brother graduated from vandy. I know first hand that the fan support, especially with bobby johnson & robbie caldwell, was non-existent. Thats why UT will always be head and shoulders above vandy. Because the fan support, even in down years, far surpasses anything that commodore nation could even dream of having.

But go ahead and brag about the win last year. You guys deserve it.

Very nice response, and fair. But, the win last year for Vanderbilt over a grossly out-manned and mentally dejected UT was not the biggest win in history. They have had "bigger" wins, depending on how one wants to measure things. Don't waste your time on this clown. He simply wants a reaction. Simple things amuse simple minds...

GONAVY writes:

in response to volboy81:

I agree! Didnt his momma teach him better than that? Hes making her look bad.
On a more positive note, can you imagine the great, free publicity UT will get if Jones opens a practice up and 1000s of people show up. It'd be all over ESPN for 2 days. I'm not sure even they could put a bad spin on that!

Johnny Majors has been sober since 1981.

Olddogsrule writes:

in response to Crafty_Commodore_4118:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

A fool in fools clothing is easily discerned as a fool.

Craftless is a fool.

RealisticVol writes:

Johnny still has the fire. Good for him. It made him a great player and a great coach.

gameofvols writes:

in response to Crafty_Commodore_4118:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You want to count how many times he smoked Vandy, or do I need to count for you.

gameofvols writes:

in response to SevenT:

With that kind of foul language I guess Majors still hasn't put down the bottle of booze before showing up at UT practice.

How embarrassing for UT

I do not see a foul word in this. Go count your Seven Teeth and troll somewhere else, loser.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features