Butch Jones says players being 'transformed' in summer conditioning

UT coach pleased with both freshmen quarterbacks

ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL
Tennessee head coach Butch Jones, left, shares a moment with wide receiver Pig Howard after the Orange and White game at Neyland Stadium on Saturday.

Photo by Adam Brimer

ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee head coach Butch Jones, left, shares a moment with wide receiver Pig Howard after the Orange and White game at Neyland Stadium on Saturday.

Tennessee’s football team is in a “state of shock” after enduring rigorous offseason workouts under the supervision of the strength and conditioning staff, UT coach Butch Jones said Monday.

Jones made the comments on The Sports Animal in Knoxville.

“They’ve never run the way they’ve run,” Jones said. “We can’t have any interaction with them. They’re in the hands of (strength coach) Dave Lawson (and his staff). But when they come up, to see the transformations in their bodies is unbelievable.”

Jones singled out defensive tackle Daniel McCullers as showing the most dramatic transformation.

“Our kids have a lot of confidence right now because they see their bodies changing,” Jones said.

Jones also said he was pleased with the progress of UT’s two freshmen quarterbacks, Riley Ferguson and Joshua Dobbs.

“We’re very fortunate to have two of the finest quarterbacks in the country come here,” he said. “I’m ecstatic about those individuals. Word has it they’re pushing (veteran quarterbacks) Justin Worley and Nathan Peterman.

“I think we’re going to look back at this (2013) class that was assembled in 31 days and say there were some real difference-makers that really propelled Tennessee football.”

Jones also said he was pleased by the “momentum” in recruiting, and even credited fans for making recruits and their families feel welcome when they “stop at the Pilot” on the way into town.

“They’re evaluating the friendliness of the people, as well,” Jones said.

Jones said his coaches finally have a short vacation on the horizon after working nonstop for months, but even then they won’t be able to put down their phones.

“Recruiting is nonstop, 24-7,” he said. “There is no offseason.”

Jones also talked about his trip to Miami to watch the Heat beat San Antonio to win Game 7 of the NBA Finals. Jones is friends with Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.

“It was a great experience, one of the most anticipated Game 7’s in NBA history,” Jones said. “It became a game of will as it went on.”

Jones took one of his sons into the post-game locker room and got a photo by LeBron James’ locker.

“That type of stuff doesn’t happen very often,” he said.

He said Spoelstra, James and the Heat provide a good lesson for athletes in any sport.

“We live in a sports-centered society,” Jones said. “You can turn on the TV every day and see highlights, but you have to work every day to get those highlights.”

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him on Twitter.

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Comments » 211

usafvol writes:

Can't wait for the season to get here. Season ticket holder with a 5 hour drive each way but think it will be well worth the mileage. Go Vols!

VolMoment writes:

in response to usafvol:

Can't wait for the season to get here. Season ticket holder with a 5 hour drive each way but think it will be well worth the mileage. Go Vols!

Same here on season tickets, 5 hr. drive and CAN'T WAIT FOR SEASON TO GET HERE!

antonio14313 writes:

i'm so glad that the recruits, and their families, see the true vols fans, the ones that are friendly and supportive of the team!

can't wait till aug 31!!!

go vols.

t

bUTch_please writes:

in response to shiftb:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Be careful what you ask for...our last QB was a game changer.

Go Team 117!

bUTch_please writes:

Shouldn't a minimum qualification for commenting be to at least watch the games?

Nah. Why spoil the fun with football intelligence.

SummittsCourt writes:

There is a lot to be excited about. One thing I just thought of is since he his friends witht the Heat coach, how about have LeBron come to some of the practices. Regardless of how some may feel about him, these 18-20 year olds would really be impressed by a visit and some motivational words by Lebron.

I think Justin Worley has started his last game already. My guess is Dobbs is opening day started.

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to bUTch_please:

Shouldn't a minimum qualification for commenting be to at least watch the games?

Nah. Why spoil the fun with football intelligence.

Maybe they should at least show some football intelligence.

td writes:

In close contests in any sport, the mentally tougher team invariably wins. Coach Jones & Staff appear to be sharpening the psychological edge of the sword. If the players feel like they look stronger, they will play stronger; and if they play stronger, they will win against comparable teams (and just maybe against a few superior opponents)! It would be peerless (wish he could still play) to pull a historic upset in Eugene!!! I predict right now that Coach Jones & the Vols will earn a signature win in Norman, Oklahoma in Sept 2014.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

There is a lot to be excited about. One thing I just thought of is since he his friends witht the Heat coach, how about have LeBron come to some of the practices. Regardless of how some may feel about him, these 18-20 year olds would really be impressed by a visit and some motivational words by Lebron.

I think Justin Worley has started his last game already. My guess is Dobbs is opening day started.

I'm having a hard time putting much stock in the statement that Dobbs and Ferguson are pushing Worley and Peterman when all that is going on right now is conditioning training.

bUTch_please writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

There is a lot to be excited about. One thing I just thought of is since he his friends witht the Heat coach, how about have LeBron come to some of the practices. Regardless of how some may feel about him, these 18-20 year olds would really be impressed by a visit and some motivational words by Lebron.

I think Justin Worley has started his last game already. My guess is Dobbs is opening day started.

Dobbs is the wild card. My guess is he will get a lot of 3rd and 4th qtr snaps first 2 games to see if he's got the click. Coach Jones and Coach Bajakian kept saying that they will adapt the offense to the QB, so no stated preference as to drop-back or option-read. Like you, my guess is they would prefer an option-read guy, but with this years OL, any drop-back will be safe.

Seems their #1 stated concern from spring was having a QB that makes the right decisions and gets results out of situation challenges. It's the guy who reads and reacts the best....and that could be Dobbs. Will be fun to find out.

68 days.

mongobfairchild writes:

Not a Vol fan but think TN hired the best of the coaches in the off season, by far! He's going to get them back on the map if the yahoo's will leave him alone and let him do his job. May not be this year, but they'll be on track. Great hire!!

usafvol writes:

in response to Ghost_Of_Neyland:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Agree with you. Bray had maturity issues for sure be he was hardly the reason for the terrible season. With no defense and zero running game, I think he did pretty damn well. Everyone knew we couldn't run the ball and they still couldn't completely stop him not to mention Hunter and Patterson dropping passes all over the place. I went to every home game and watched the others on the tube so I think I have the qualifications and intelligence to make that observation. The Bray haters will always spout off but they should really learn the game..

GerryOP writes:

Looking forward to the season! Based on what we are "hearing," I think the Vols are going to surprise a lot of people this year!

It's great... to be... a Tennessee Vol.

bUTch_please writes:

Worley = drop-back

Peterman = drop-back

Ferguson = drop-back

Dobbs = 6'3", 193 lb, 4.0 GPA wildcard.

It's football. Try not to overthink it.
Classic gamblers' error.

etu_vol_fan writes:

in response to GerryOP:

Looking forward to the season! Based on what we are "hearing," I think the Vols are going to surprise a lot of people this year!

It's great... to be... a Tennessee Vol.

At least this team will not quit in the 4th quarter or run out of steam like the previous regime. We won't go 11-2 but I like where we are heading.

vol98champ writes:

in response to etu_vol_fan:

At least this team will not quit in the 4th quarter or run out of steam like the previous regime. We won't go 11-2 but I like where we are heading.

Finally, a post on topic. I for one am happy the team is loosing fat and gaining muscle and stamina.

vol98champ writes:

Hit the o key twice by mistake.

dvhill100 writes:

in response to bUTch_please:

Dobbs is the wild card. My guess is he will get a lot of 3rd and 4th qtr snaps first 2 games to see if he's got the click. Coach Jones and Coach Bajakian kept saying that they will adapt the offense to the QB, so no stated preference as to drop-back or option-read. Like you, my guess is they would prefer an option-read guy, but with this years OL, any drop-back will be safe.

Seems their #1 stated concern from spring was having a QB that makes the right decisions and gets results out of situation challenges. It's the guy who reads and reacts the best....and that could be Dobbs. Will be fun to find out.

68 days.

Many people don't understand the QB's calls at the line of scrimmage. Peyton was/is fabulous in getting into right play. Even though Simms didn't have the tools to be a top level SEC QB, he did an outstanding job of changing plays. For proof, just look at the difference in rushing yards when he was in vice the others.

GerryOP writes:

in response to etu_vol_fan:

At least this team will not quit in the 4th quarter or run out of steam like the previous regime. We won't go 11-2 but I like where we are heading.

It will be interesting to see the affect of the new S&C approach on the field. There was a big change in appearance last year, sounds like more change is coming.

Hopefully the QB/WR/TE/RB crew will come out ready to play. A lot of talent there, but a bit short on experience.

As you said, I like where we are heading.

bUTch_please writes:

in response to dvhill100:

Many people don't understand the QB's calls at the line of scrimmage. Peyton was/is fabulous in getting into right play. Even though Simms didn't have the tools to be a top level SEC QB, he did an outstanding job of changing plays. For proof, just look at the difference in rushing yards when he was in vice the others.

Spot on. Simms was great at the line of scrimmage but too short to get the ball over it.

To prove your point in reverse, 32 NFL teams said "No-thank-you-very-much" when it came to drafting our "game changing QB" from last year, specifically due to his demonstrated inability to read.

dvhill100 writes:

They will need to be in shape when we play Oregon. Do like Chavis did at LSU to prepare - alternated the 1st and 2nd offenses running plays without pause and the defense had to play both with no break.

Sounds like they are getting in SEC shape - dare I hope?

cobragolfer writes:

They need to be "summer studying"!!!

NowHearThis writes:

Looks like the Vols will have some competition for the East cellar the next few years - Kentucky has passed UT in Rivals 2014 Team Recruiting Rankings.

volnbig11land writes:

in response to NowHearThis:

Looks like the Vols will have some competition for the East cellar the next few years - Kentucky has passed UT in Rivals 2014 Team Recruiting Rankings.

hahahaha, you're funny Vicki.

Maybe they are so high in the rankings because they have the most commits of the SEC?

whaddaya think, stupid?

murrayvol writes:

in response to Ghost_Of_Neyland:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No offense intended but how does one run "fluently"?

Ironcity writes:

in response to dvhill100:

Many people don't understand the QB's calls at the line of scrimmage. Peyton was/is fabulous in getting into right play. Even though Simms didn't have the tools to be a top level SEC QB, he did an outstanding job of changing plays. For proof, just look at the difference in rushing yards when he was in vice the others.

How many pts did we average with Simms in the game? How many turnovers did we average with Simms in. I think it was about the same. Please do not use Simms for any arguments, that guys was awful at everything. When the coaches discussed Simms getting us into the right plays, that was coach speak stating "this guy was 2-15 so we don't want to admit he is horrible so we will say what a great job of play calling in a feeble effort to build up his confidence". After that disaster of great p[lay calling Dooley went with a true freshman who didn't even know the plays rather then stick with that great play caller Simms. Then in a complete panic move Dooley reinserted the still injured Bray who couldn't throw the ball 10 feet accurately rather then have either of the other two QBs play.

EastTnVols962 writes:

in response to Ghost_Of_Neyland:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You've made some good posts today, that I have enjoyed reading. Based on what you've seen/heard as of now, who do you think would be our best option at QB to start the season? Any ideas or too soon to tell?

Ironcity writes:

in response to bUTch_please:

Spot on. Simms was great at the line of scrimmage but too short to get the ball over it.

To prove your point in reverse, 32 NFL teams said "No-thank-you-very-much" when it came to drafting our "game changing QB" from last year, specifically due to his demonstrated inability to read.

Simms was a tall dude just not as tall as Bray. Simms problem was he stunk out loud. worst starting QB in modern history by far. He made Bray look fleet of foot.

joeaubie writes:

The SEC, and its top heavy defensive-minded mindset, will have a field day with the read option (FL had their run with it for a few years with Tebow, Harvin and Demps..but it faultered quickly cause it's an easy concept to catch on to
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
It faltered quickly? Last three Heisman winners were in read option offenses, two in the SEC. Cam and Johnny Football say hi...

ElizabethtonvolnNC writes:

in response to Ghost_Of_Neyland:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Tyler Bray? Tyler Bray? wherefore art thou Tyler Bray? Florida -8 yards last 3 possessions and 7 straight incomplete passes to end the game. Georgia, and SC, fumbled the ball to effectively lose both of those. Bama 13/27 for 184 yds with 2 ints. Vandy 11/29 for 103 and 2 ints. If you are going to give him credit for putting us in those games, you give him credit for losing them as well, don't you?

I for one will be looking for a fresh start at quarterback, running or throwing, but mostly - winning!

As for the short quarterbacks you mentioned, more the exception rather than the rule, don't you think?

Go Vols!

volhome writes:

in response to VolMoment:

Same here on season tickets, 5 hr. drive and CAN'T WAIT FOR SEASON TO GET HERE!

Y'all are making me Jealous. After 16 years of season tickets the job took us 16 hours away, so we lost all of the accrued points and credits, and now have to do alumni get-togethers or watch at home. Nothing like Neyland on game day, anywhere.

ElizabethtonvolnNC writes:

in response to Ghost_Of_Neyland:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yes, all of the aforementioned losses were caused by ole-whathisname?! I will infer my disgust just like any other would regarding an inexperienced quarterback....ignorance included.

Oh, as far as exceptions, you gave me one quarterback from the 50's one from the 80's and one from the 90's?? As a note all Wise(a - -)One, Johnny U was actually pretty tall considering the players of his day. Same goes for the other two considering the eras of play too.

Yeah....exception rather than the rule but nice try.

ReeseHallRelic writes:

in response to Ghost_Of_Neyland:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Jeffy, why not just admit you made a mistake trying to use big words you don't fully understand?

Nobody knows if a guy on crutches runs more fluently than an Olympic sprinter, because "fluent" only relates to language, spoken or written. It has nothing to do with what you're referring to, which would be "fluid". Check a dictionary, if you doubt it... if you're fluent, that is.

As for your "evaluation" of the QB talent: "I haven't been given any indication that -this guy (insert anyone on the roster listed as a QB)- has what it takes to get us on track on the offensive side of the ball." I'll buy that. But how is it that your next assertion that "the offense will be as stale as last month's bread"? If you don't know the abilities of the QBs, what makes you so sure that our offense will necessarily be poor?

That's really a rhetorical question, Jeffy, because we know what your primary goal is: to badmouth anything and everything about the current Vols. You cannot allow anything positive -- or even potentially positive -- to appear in your consistently negative commentary. You spend your sad life looking in the rear view mirror, longing for the "good old days" of Fearless Phil. Heck, if you look closely enough, you can probably convince yourself (not the rest of us, but yourself, at least) that even YOU were a good football player. Why not, if ToddyBoi tells the world he was/is an "elite athlete"?

bUTch_please writes:

LMFAO! Doug Flutie of the New Jersey Generals and an icon in the CFL hotspots of Calgary and Toronto. Joe Montana's last snap 20 years ago. Johnny Unitas, last down played 40 years ago.

Freak, geek and antique. Good players back in the day, but all 3 would get their neck broke on their first play in today's HGH-fueled NFL.

tovolny writes:

Well,it seems strange to read so many posts where people are just singing out WAGS about anything they know very little about. THEN, along comes a responder that comes across about 10 times more UNINFORMED. By the way WAGS is the acronym for:Wild ### Guess.

I wish UT Sports (or anybody qualified) would start a Football Primer for all the people out there that have no idea what the difference is from a "dive play" and an "end around"...AND, provide a few basic rules that fans need to know. When I go to a game, the fans around me have no idea what is taking place. I sometimes hear a young guy try to explain to his girlfriend or wife what just happened on the field, and his explanations are ridiculous (as well as hilarius). Some of these posters have to the same guys.

dvols writes:

sluuuuuuuuuuuuurpp...............!

ElizabethtonvolnNC writes:

in response to Ghost_Of_Neyland:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Okay, there aren't many very good short QB's vs there aren't many short QB's. You still get the same thing, not very many QB's who are shore or very good....with the exception.

How can you not take into account players of any one era. It goes without saying players of today are bigger, stronger and faster than at any other time. But I misstep, forgive me I am just a kid.

ModelMaker writes:

I would not be surprised to see Jones go with a quarterback that can run the football. With Tennessee's offensive line I think it would be a smart thing to try and control the ball as much as you can. Win the time of possession. If Jones chooses to go this route one of the freshman just might be in the mix.

tarter_sauce writes:

in response to Ghost_Of_Neyland:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

can you please post me a link to all the big numbers Flutie put up after college ?

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to joeaubie:

The SEC, and its top heavy defensive-minded mindset, will have a field day with the read option (FL had their run with it for a few years with Tebow, Harvin and Demps..but it faultered quickly cause it's an easy concept to catch on to
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
It faltered quickly? Last three Heisman winners were in read option offenses, two in the SEC. Cam and Johnny Football say hi...

Not operated in the pro-set, you can option to pass or run and that was not implemented in a pro style while Tebow was at UF. Tony Pike ran this style of offense and he was an NFL type athlete of 6'6 230 lbs.

GerryOP writes:

in response to tovolny:

Well,it seems strange to read so many posts where people are just singing out WAGS about anything they know very little about. THEN, along comes a responder that comes across about 10 times more UNINFORMED. By the way WAGS is the acronym for:Wild ### Guess.

I wish UT Sports (or anybody qualified) would start a Football Primer for all the people out there that have no idea what the difference is from a "dive play" and an "end around"...AND, provide a few basic rules that fans need to know. When I go to a game, the fans around me have no idea what is taking place. I sometimes hear a young guy try to explain to his girlfriend or wife what just happened on the field, and his explanations are ridiculous (as well as hilarius). Some of these posters have to the same guys.

I believe that GVX is and always has been classified as a "Vol fan" site. Here is one definition of a "fan":

"Fan (person), a fanatical enthusiast or supporter, especially with regard to entertainment and sports"

Where does it specify that "...fans need to know..." anything about the sport that they so enthusiastically support? Why do we need to know "what the difference is from a 'dive play' and an 'end around'...?" Many of us are a "fan" of UT football (actually ALL UT sports) simply because we attended or graduated from UT. And GVX is our chosen forum for specifying the extent of our fanhood!

Those of you who are interested in plays, strategies, and other details about college football ... go for it. Perhaps you are "jocks" who could not excel at football and have to live "the life" vicariously! Well, go for it; but don't criticize us who are "fans" simply because the Vol football team represents out alma mater.

Just like GVX does not specify a minimum age or IQ to participate on GVX, they also do not require a specific knowledge of football must be met before anyone can contribute! Likewise, UT does not ask anyone to pass a football test before they sell you an $85 ticket to a game!

No denigration or name calling of anyone is intended here. Us basic "fans" would appreciate it if the same consideration would be given to those of us who do not know, or care to know, "... the difference ... from a 'dive play' and an 'end around.'"

tarter_sauce writes:

in response to Ghost_Of_Neyland:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

i guess you must know alot more about a "serviceable Q B " then me .sorry i just dont swing that way . next time i need haircut advice or which color curtains go with whatever ill look you up .

tovolny writes:

in response to Ghost_Of_Neyland:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well, you have one thing right. I was talking about you mostly. You make ridiculous, outlandish remarks that reminds me of a bunch of Jr. High nerds.
Honestly now...have you ever played one snap of organized football? If a coach handed you a Jockey Strap and cup, I'm betting you would put it on your head.

tovolny writes:

in response to GerryOP:

I believe that GVX is and always has been classified as a "Vol fan" site. Here is one definition of a "fan":

"Fan (person), a fanatical enthusiast or supporter, especially with regard to entertainment and sports"

Where does it specify that "...fans need to know..." anything about the sport that they so enthusiastically support? Why do we need to know "what the difference is from a 'dive play' and an 'end around'...?" Many of us are a "fan" of UT football (actually ALL UT sports) simply because we attended or graduated from UT. And GVX is our chosen forum for specifying the extent of our fanhood!

Those of you who are interested in plays, strategies, and other details about college football ... go for it. Perhaps you are "jocks" who could not excel at football and have to live "the life" vicariously! Well, go for it; but don't criticize us who are "fans" simply because the Vol football team represents out alma mater.

Just like GVX does not specify a minimum age or IQ to participate on GVX, they also do not require a specific knowledge of football must be met before anyone can contribute! Likewise, UT does not ask anyone to pass a football test before they sell you an $85 ticket to a game!

No denigration or name calling of anyone is intended here. Us basic "fans" would appreciate it if the same consideration would be given to those of us who do not know, or care to know, "... the difference ... from a 'dive play' and an 'end around.'"

Yep...its you too. Looks like I had you pegged about right. So, why waste our time responding and posting about things that you really have no insight at all. Thanks for revealing yourself.

GerryOP writes:

in response to tovolny:

Yep...its you too. Looks like I had you pegged about right. So, why waste our time responding and posting about things that you really have no insight at all. Thanks for revealing yourself.

Yes, but I support UT sports ... win, lose or draw! Because that's what fans do!

GerryOP writes:

in response to Speyers_Spectacular_Show:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I expect exactly what every coach and every player on the UT football team expects ... 12-0. Every game is winnable! If a coach or player doesn't feel that way, I want them gone.

ivyvol writes:

Well,well well another food fight has broken out on this site. What a surprise.

GerryOP writes:

in response to shiftb:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Did I mention Dave Hart? No! How much coaching and playing does Dave Hart do on the UT football team? None.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to Ghost_Of_Neyland:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

To be fair, in those 16 years of Majors, Bama won 6 SEC championships, 3 National Championships and one losing season. During Fulmer's 16 years, they won 1 SEC championship and had 4 losing seasons. However, Bama is #1 hated rival.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to GerryOP:

Did I mention Dave Hart? No! How much coaching and playing does Dave Hart do on the UT football team? None.

Go Gerry, I'll be your wing man if you need me..GBO!

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