Tennessee opens spring football with rapid adjustment to Butch Jones' style

University of Tennessee head coach Butch Jones, right, watches quarterback Justin Worley pass the ball during the first spring football practice at Haslam Field on Saturday, March 9, 2013. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)$RETURN$$RETURN$

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

University of Tennessee head coach Butch Jones, right, watches quarterback Justin Worley pass the ball during the first spring football practice at Haslam Field on Saturday, March 9, 2013. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)$RETURN$$RETURN$

Evan Woodbery on the Vols first day of spring practice

A microphone-wielding football manager is usually not far from Butch Jones, because the Tennessee football coach sometimes likes to grab the mic and belt out instructions himself.

On Saturday, about halfway through the Vols’ first practice of the spring season, Jones took the mic and shouted over the loudspeaker: “COME ON, Coach Martinez! We’re waiting for you!”

As you might expect, secondary coach Willie Martinez and his players came charging across the practice field to report for receiver-defensive back drills.

That’s the Butch Jones practice atmosphere in a nutshell: A bit of levity mixed with a lot of intensity. In one moment, receivers coach Zach Azzanni might be chewing out a player for poor technique. In the next moment, as players run to a new station, the loudspeakers

might be blaring out 1976 soul/disco hit “Car Wash.”

“I think it was a typical first day of practice,” Jones said.

For Jones and his staff, perhaps it was. But for Tennessee’s current players — and the several dozen former Vols who watched from the sidelines — the first day was a time to adjust to new expectations and a new style.

“In our workouts in the winter, this staff always emphasized energy and always being up from start to finish,” said redshirt freshman defensive end LaTroy Lewis. “You could see that from when we first got out there that everybody was up and it was high-energy.”

Jones told players that there was little time to waste. It had been 105 days since the Vols last played football — the season-ending win against Kentucky on Nov. 24, 2012 — and UT was already behind other teams that had been able to conduct postseason bowl practices.

“Every single rep counts; every single practice counts,” Jones said.

Dozens of former players were on the sidelines, including Erik Ainge, Leonard Little, Xavier Mitchell, Jamal Lewis and Johnny Majors.

Vol For Life coordinator Antone Davis ran the show, getting credentials to visitors and introducing players.

Jones said Davis prepares a packet — “Who’s in town next” — for players and staff members that lists the accomplishments of visiting alumni. Jones also said he also requires his players to learn the history of their number and the players before them who wore it.

“(Former players) are the program,” Jones said. “I tell them, ‘That logo never comes off.’ ”

Media access also was unusually generous. Reporters were able to watch roughly 90 minutes of practice, far more than at any time last year.

Rosters were essential for those watching from the sidelines, as none of UT’s players had their names written on their jerseys or helmets. Jones said that’s to challenge teammates — and coaches — to learn each player’s name without using the helmet to cheat.

Jones said he gives his assistants “name tests” just like he does his players.

“There’s something about knowing an individual’s name and showing you care,” Jones said. “If we’re going to be a family, if we are going to be a team that is bonded by chemistry, that’s important.”

Since his hiring, Jones has used weather metaphor to describe the turbulent last few years of Tennessee football.

“It’s like a storm,” he said not longer after being hired, “and the storm has passed.”

The metaphor worked well this week, which began with ice and snow which gave way to sunny skies and mild temperatures for the first practice on Saturday. Most assistant coaches were in shorts.

Jones roamed the field, observing and occasionally offering suggestions at each position. A former receivers coach, he looked most at home working with the young group of receivers, although he even made time for the punters and specialists.

“I like the way our players have embraced our coaching,” Jones said “I like the way they have embraced the expectations for practice. Teams that have great leadership, they coach each other. I saw that.”

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.

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

Related Stories

Comments » 69

TeamXer writes:

Go Vols!

Geofffourmyle writes:

FIGHT WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT FOR THE ORANGE AND WHITE!!!

Walt

UT '81

123forVOLS writes:

Sounds like they are off to a good start. I love all the enthusiasm and energy being invoked. That will be needed every game day. Oh yeah and it does not hurt having former players and coaches being present. So I am excited moving forward. GO BIG ORANGE!

SummittsCourt writes:

This should be an interesting season. Go Vols!

THEKIDWISCONSIN writes:

This reads to be soooooooooo not Dooley Ball...love it!

Go VOLS!

SevenT writes:

Time for Dooley Part II.

I wonder what the Vegas line is for the number of seasons Davis will have until he is fired?

heyitsme writes:

in response to SevenT:

Time for Dooley Part II.

I wonder what the Vegas line is for the number of seasons Davis will have until he is fired?

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

kmay1125 writes:

in response to heyitsme:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

now that's funny..........

EDDIE_2 writes:

in response to SevenT:

Time for Dooley Part II.

I wonder what the Vegas line is for the number of seasons Davis will have until he is fired?

Go somewhere else and get a life.God your life must be boring.

EDDIE_2 writes:

in response to SevenT:

Time for Dooley Part II.

I wonder what the Vegas line is for the number of seasons Davis will have until he is fired?

Jones,not Davis,go to your own teams site.

vfl76 writes:

in response to SevenT:

Time for Dooley Part II.

I wonder what the Vegas line is for the number of seasons Davis will have until he is fired?

Who is Davis and what team does he coach?

Henley-Street-Bridge writes:

I wonder when they turn the Ghetto music on the loud speakers ala Lane Kiffin..(NEVER)..

GO VOLS

Mboroalum writes:

in response to heyitsme:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think I just busted a gut laughin'. Now, thats the funniest thing I've ever read on here. Great post.

therightstuff writes:

in response to heyitsme:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Glad I saw your post before it was removed! That was good stuff for sure! Seven T makes himself look worse being he didn't get the coaches name right! Good stuff!!! Sister... hahahaha.....

therightstuff writes:

So good that Coach Jones has these kids learning the history and tradition of Tennessee football...
fantastic they learn who had their number before them. Love no name on the helmet or jersey, also.

vfl76 writes:

in response to heyitsme:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Instead of booting off a comment that was really not that bad, KNS needs to boot off anyone's comment that doesn't know the head coach or cannot spell Peyton's name correct. Yes these are my two biggest pet peeves on this site.

RockVegas writes:

I love the Enery that CBJ brings,that's what we need at Tennessee.

RockVegas writes:

I'm sorry guys I meant Energy...LOL...GBO.

mountainbrook writes:

in response to SevenT:

Time for Dooley Part II.

I wonder what the Vegas line is for the number of seasons Davis will have until he is fired?

Your screen name must reflect your IQ.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to heyitsme:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The truth hurts..

NorthwestVol writes:

"The storm has passed".......

Time will tell, but I love the message. Perhaps the mantra for this season.

pingkr62 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

The truth hurts..

Sorry I missed heyitsme's post. But can someone repeat what was said, and be politically correct since the speech police are patrolling today?

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to pingkr62:

Sorry I missed heyitsme's post. But can someone repeat what was said, and be politically correct since the speech police are patrolling today?

Let's just say it implied Kentucky folk date family members..

pingkr62 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Let's just say it implied Kentucky folk date family members..

Thanks again B.B.!!

allvol8 writes:

in response to RockVegas:

I'm sorry guys I meant Energy...LOL...GBO.

Lol..I do agree they have some zip in their step...GBO!

pingkr62 writes:

in response to therightstuff:

So good that Coach Jones has these kids learning the history and tradition of Tennessee football...
fantastic they learn who had their number before them. Love no name on the helmet or jersey, also.

I think C.B.J. and staff should keep the players names off their jerseys this season. This could encourage playing for the "T" first, and then the team could EARN their individual names. Just a thought. G.B.O.!!!

utvolfan1955 writes:

in response to SevenT:

Time for Dooley Part II.

I wonder what the Vegas line is for the number of seasons Davis will have until he is fired?

time for scum bag part 1

SevenT writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Let's just say it implied Kentucky folk date family members..

I am sorry I didn't get a chance to read "heyitsme's" post. I am sure it was offensive, childish and simple minded like most of the posts the UT fans throw up on these threads. I have one question, have they dropped public school education in Tennessee?

Just Saying

Just Saying

pingkr62 writes:

in response to SevenT:

I am sorry I didn't get a chance to read "heyitsme's" post. I am sure it was offensive, childish and simple minded like most of the posts the UT fans throw up on these threads. I have one question, have they dropped public school education in Tennessee?

Just Saying

Just Saying

And then came SCUMBAG part 2.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to SevenT:

I am sorry I didn't get a chance to read "heyitsme's" post. I am sure it was offensive, childish and simple minded like most of the posts the UT fans throw up on these threads. I have one question, have they dropped public school education in Tennessee?

Just Saying

Just Saying

Not sure..My kids only attend private Christian schools..

SevenT writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Not sure..My kids only attend private Christian schools..

You are a smart girl, just read these ignorant posts and one would naturally run from the Tennessee Public Education system.

Navaloranges writes:

in response to SevenT:

You are a smart girl, just read these ignorant posts and one would naturally run from the Tennessee Public Education system.

YOU are puttig down the posters here, and the state of Tennessee? YOU? A kentucky LOSER that has to Troll a ball board to get his "kicks"? I'm sorry, but the irony in that is both pathetic and hilarious at thesame time. You consider yourself "cute", while the rest of us are laughing at the FACT that you're never accurate, never clever, never funny, and always a Pathetic Poser with no life to speak of.

pingkr62 writes:

in response to Navaloranges:

YOU are puttig down the posters here, and the state of Tennessee? YOU? A kentucky LOSER that has to Troll a ball board to get his "kicks"? I'm sorry, but the irony in that is both pathetic and hilarious at thesame time. You consider yourself "cute", while the rest of us are laughing at the FACT that you're never accurate, never clever, never funny, and always a Pathetic Poser with no life to speak of.

+1

SevenT writes:

in response to Navaloranges:

YOU are puttig down the posters here, and the state of Tennessee? YOU? A kentucky LOSER that has to Troll a ball board to get his "kicks"? I'm sorry, but the irony in that is both pathetic and hilarious at thesame time. You consider yourself "cute", while the rest of us are laughing at the FACT that you're never accurate, never clever, never funny, and always a Pathetic Poser with no life to speak of.

Naval

You spent 3 years of your pitiful life on here making excuses and appologies for Dooley. I would take a hard look in the mirror and consider a blanket appology to every UT Fan you insulted due to your Dooley man crush.

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to SevenT:

I am sorry I didn't get a chance to read "heyitsme's" post. I am sure it was offensive, childish and simple minded like most of the posts the UT fans throw up on these threads. I have one question, have they dropped public school education in Tennessee?

Just Saying

Just Saying

KNS why do you allow obvious pot stirrers like this child to post on here? Why is his/her IP address not permanently banned

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to SevenT:

Naval

You spent 3 years of your pitiful life on here making excuses and appologies for Dooley. I would take a hard look in the mirror and consider a blanket appology to every UT Fan you insulted due to your Dooley man crush.

Dude, you've got a nerve to say anything to our real fans..#1. Being a tucky fan why would you care who UT has as their fb coach? I can't tell how much I don't give shirt about tucky's coaches'..#2. The only reason you have an account is to talk sports, having an agenda to annoy UT fans and berate everything UT is not part of the agreement. To all UT fans: Make sure we "Suggest Removal" on any of 7's snide comments in the future.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

Kiffin could coach.....CDD could coach....
question is, can he coach, recruit, and win???

I go with you guys, I'm willing to see. I'm honest to realize that UT is not a "destination" job for hot coaches, as much as we don't wish to admit it.

For Jones, though, this really is a great opportunity. I don't see any "back down" in the man at all.

jjk writes:

in response to SevenT:

Time for Dooley Part II.

I wonder what the Vegas line is for the number of seasons Davis will have until he is fired?

Optimistic, aren't we? Already trolling after one practice. Wow.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to emailnodata:

Kiffin could coach.....CDD could coach....
question is, can he coach, recruit, and win???

I go with you guys, I'm willing to see. I'm honest to realize that UT is not a "destination" job for hot coaches, as much as we don't wish to admit it.

For Jones, though, this really is a great opportunity. I don't see any "back down" in the man at all.

That destination job stuff is lame..Notre Dame and Alabama both had difficult times filling their HC positions. I don't think there is a job out there that coaches are lining up for, especially at a school that demands immediate results. That's my opinion for what it's worth.

allvol8 writes:

Todd Kelly Jr committed to the Vols!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to allvol8:

Todd Kelly Jr committed to the Vols!

That's awesome..So much for GV247 getting an early scoop..GBO!!

Snapshot writes:

in response to VolFanInTheBoro:

KNS why do you allow obvious pot stirrers like this child to post on here? Why is his/her IP address not permanently banned

Suggest removal is the best response to SevenTeeth. Every time he posts if enough people will do it he will be gone.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

http://rivals.yahoo.com/tennessee/foo...

Todd Kelly Jr. Committed to Tennessee.

Supersayin1 writes:

in response to Henley-Street-Bridge:

I wonder when they turn the Ghetto music on the loud speakers ala Lane Kiffin..(NEVER)..

GO VOLS

So what's ghetto music?????? Are you referring to hip hop or rap? Guess what 75% of the players and big time playmakers on the team past and present happen to be African American,and i'm sure they would prefer RAP (Ghetto music)as you call it to Greatful Dead or Garth Brooks, Rock or Country music!!!

It's this type of Good Ole boy thinking that turns way alot of big time African Ameirican Athletes! Sorry but those kids enjoy their type of music,so whats wrong with playing it?

Supersayin1 writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

http://rivals.yahoo.com/tennessee/foo...

Todd Kelly Jr. Committed to Tennessee.

GO VOLS!!!

ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER writes:

I get on this site maybe 3 times a week for about 10-15 minutes each time and these same people are on here that seem to be Florida fans and evidently Kentucky fans. That's too big of a coincidence so I'm guessing they are on here every day for hours. So if they are fans of other schools surely they are also getting on their own school's sites right? Which means they must do nothing other than troll around on websites all day. That's sad.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

That destination job stuff is lame..Notre Dame and Alabama both had difficult times filling their HC positions. I don't think there is a job out there that coaches are lining up for, especially at a school that demands immediate results. That's my opinion for what it's worth.

Bivy,
sure, I get what you mean.

Bama was no destination job when Saban took over, nor was UGA with Richt. If both those guys quit today, a new coach would love to get in there with all that talent on board.

Speaking of Richt....felt horribly for him last season. That ONE play...if his QB just grounds the ball.

That was one of the finest football games ever played, a true classic.

pingkr62 writes:

in response to Supersayin1:

So what's ghetto music?????? Are you referring to hip hop or rap? Guess what 75% of the players and big time playmakers on the team past and present happen to be African American,and i'm sure they would prefer RAP (Ghetto music)as you call it to Greatful Dead or Garth Brooks, Rock or Country music!!!

It's this type of Good Ole boy thinking that turns way alot of big time African Ameirican Athletes! Sorry but those kids enjoy their type of music,so whats wrong with playing it?

They were playing AC-DC as well. Who was that music for?

rb4346 writes:

in response to SevenT:

Time for Dooley Part II.

I wonder what the Vegas line is for the number of seasons Davis will have until he is fired?

You need to push the buzzer for the head nurse, it is way past time for your pills, jackarse!

rb4346 writes:

in response to SevenT:

I am sorry I didn't get a chance to read "heyitsme's" post. I am sure it was offensive, childish and simple minded like most of the posts the UT fans throw up on these threads. I have one question, have they dropped public school education in Tennessee?

Just Saying

Just Saying

You really don't want to know because it is obvious it would remind you of your last date!

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