Mike Strange: Even in a rout, Vols left much to be desired in Butch Jones' mind

Mike Strange
Tennessee head coach Butch Jones runs off the field after their 45-0 victory over Austin Peay at Neyland Stadium, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013 in Knoxville, Tenn.  (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Michael Patrick, Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee head coach Butch Jones runs off the field after their 45-0 victory over Austin Peay at Neyland Stadium, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013 in Knoxville, Tenn. (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Even with the rout over Austin Peay, Butch Jones realizes a lot of improvements need to be made before the Vols take on Western Kentucky.

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Comments » 8

fannotsheep writes:

We will know more about this team's potential after the next game, but we won't know the direction of the program until we see how the Vols respond on the road, how they compete against teams that have twice our talent and depth, and how many of those commitments the staff can get to sign in February.

Patience.

bUTch__please writes:

I think the direction of this program is crystal clear. Solid, fundamentally sound football played with passion, enthusiasm and intelligence. Demanding players to be responsible for their craft and giving them the tools, attention and love they need to grow it. That will reflect in a positive manner as they win the ones they're supposed to and catch one or two by surprise. Even when this team is outgunned, which they will be, the foundation has already been laid for them to perform at a much higher level than last year.

This team has some issues with toughness, focus and playing through every snap. That is what was inherited from the past. Those issues are being addressed every day in every rep instead of being ignored. As the year progresses, those that fight though will play, those that don't will drop back. Nothing can be done about the talent that was inherited, but you haven't heard a single coach say anything more than we will go forward and recruit to our needs to build the team. Not a one has lamented having the players who are here nor cut any of them any slack by playing the "we're not talented enough" BS card. Heart can be healed and effort can be drawn out...having a pity party won't help either be accomplished.

As far as commitments go, wouldn't expect more than one or two to drop. Even if that occurs, this staff will replace with a higher ranked prospect, same as what happened a few weeks ago.

Gonna have fun watching this team grow and play some, long awaited, Tennessee ball!

johnlg00 writes:

Sounds fairly typical of CBJ and staff to find things to try to keep the team focused on improvement even after a clean, dominating performance. This seems to be a staff that embraces the concept of "playing against the game" rather than merely against the opponent. The idea is that if you succeed in doing all the little things right all the time, the wins will come. Nobody can really control outcomes of games, but a focused team and staff CAN control their inputs in terms of execution and effort. If a team can maintain their focus every time they step on the field, they will have a decent chance to win, and that is all they and the fans can really expect.

johndavid writes:

Do the black stripes come off when the newcomers make a play or just play? Do they have to score a TD? Are they part of the team yet? What if the player assigned to decide never thinks the guy is deserving enough? They all had orange Stripes Sat. night. Is the black stripe thing over?

johnlg00 writes:

in response to bUTch__please:

I think the direction of this program is crystal clear. Solid, fundamentally sound football played with passion, enthusiasm and intelligence. Demanding players to be responsible for their craft and giving them the tools, attention and love they need to grow it. That will reflect in a positive manner as they win the ones they're supposed to and catch one or two by surprise. Even when this team is outgunned, which they will be, the foundation has already been laid for them to perform at a much higher level than last year.

This team has some issues with toughness, focus and playing through every snap. That is what was inherited from the past. Those issues are being addressed every day in every rep instead of being ignored. As the year progresses, those that fight though will play, those that don't will drop back. Nothing can be done about the talent that was inherited, but you haven't heard a single coach say anything more than we will go forward and recruit to our needs to build the team. Not a one has lamented having the players who are here nor cut any of them any slack by playing the "we're not talented enough" BS card. Heart can be healed and effort can be drawn out...having a pity party won't help either be accomplished.

As far as commitments go, wouldn't expect more than one or two to drop. Even if that occurs, this staff will replace with a higher ranked prospect, same as what happened a few weeks ago.

Gonna have fun watching this team grow and play some, long awaited, Tennessee ball!

Great post; agree with all. This staff seems to get the idea that great teams are not only built from the bottom up but also from the inside out. It is not enough to have enough sturdy, talented bodies to put on the field, it is also necessary to develop the inner qualities of winners. Players will respond to a staff who constantly challenges them to be the best they can be and recognizes their effort even if their performance could still stand improvement. I fully expect the Vols to step up to the increasing level of the competition even if their numbers and talent preclude them from winning against all future opponents.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to johndavid:

Do the black stripes come off when the newcomers make a play or just play? Do they have to score a TD? Are they part of the team yet? What if the player assigned to decide never thinks the guy is deserving enough? They all had orange Stripes Sat. night. Is the black stripe thing over?

From what we have seen of this staff so far, I'm pretty sure the criteria for things like taking black stripes off of PRACTICE helmets are pretty well laid out and known to all. I doubt there was ever any intention to carry that over to the game uniforms. CBJ and staff don't seem to neglect any details or motivational ploys. Most importantly, it seems that all of the team has bought in to the system and developed a measure of trust in the staff that has probably been lacking for some time now.

johndavid writes:

I was just wandering was it over? I knew they wouldn't wear them in games. If it was pretty laid out and known to all I would have hoped the NS would have informed us back in August when they enjoyed reporting on the black stripes almost daily and even mentioning in articles when a player got his removed. Radio shows even sarcastically said they had breaking news when a player got his removed. At last count I only knew of about 5-7 newcomers having stripe removed. KNS , does the black stripe thing end with the first game or the end of the season? Do some players never earn their removal? Or, does nobody care at this point?
Is it a big deal to the team, or does running Thru the T for the first time take trump it?

Did more newcomers get their stripe removed and it was no longer newsworthy ?

bUTch__please writes:

in response to johndavid:

I was just wandering was it over? I knew they wouldn't wear them in games. If it was pretty laid out and known to all I would have hoped the NS would have informed us back in August when they enjoyed reporting on the black stripes almost daily and even mentioning in articles when a player got his removed. Radio shows even sarcastically said they had breaking news when a player got his removed. At last count I only knew of about 5-7 newcomers having stripe removed. KNS , does the black stripe thing end with the first game or the end of the season? Do some players never earn their removal? Or, does nobody care at this point?
Is it a big deal to the team, or does running Thru the T for the first time take trump it?

Did more newcomers get their stripe removed and it was no longer newsworthy ?

In one of his pressers Coach Jones responded to the curiosity of who earned their stripe removal by asking his press assistant to release a running list as the stripes are removed. So, I'm sure it will be reported on an ongoing, intermittent basis.

The stripe removal is simply when the "big brother" decides that the Freshman has earned his way onto the team through solid practice/play contribution. This puts responsibility upon the "big brother" to also be a mentor...and mentors better practice what they preach.

If you go the whole season without getting your stripe removed...might not have a scholly waiting for you in the spring....might be some travel brochures instead.

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