A week from spring ball, Butch Jones anticipates quicker, stronger Vols

Butch Jones attends the Tip Off club, Wednesday, February 26, 2014. (Erin Chapin/News Sentinel)

Photo by Erin Chapin

Butch Jones attends the Tip Off club, Wednesday, February 26, 2014. (Erin Chapin/News Sentinel)

Butch Jones at the Big Orange Tipoff Club

Tennessee football coach Butch Jones thought he had a good handle on the distractions facing his players until a guest speaker this week pointed out that many college students shower with their cellphones.

Jones, himself permanently attached to a cellphone, found it “mind boggling.”

The speaker, leadership guru Tim Elmore, told players to view life as a river, confined by banks and flowing in one direction.

“So many of our players don’t have a river; they have a flood,” Jones said Wednesday during an appearance at the Big Orange Tipoff Club at Calhoun’s on the River.

Tennessee will open its second spring season under Jones on March 7, but much of the offseason transformation has already taken place.

Players have spent the last two months in the weight room and more recently on the practice field in “standards” workouts.

Jones, unhappy about one workout a few days ago, said he declared a “sudden change” — one of his favorite tactics — and then instituted an overtime period for the session.

“Then when that was done we had a double overtime,” Jones said.

Jones also mentioned the gains in the weight room he has touted several times in recent media appearances. The number of players able to squat 600 pounds? Up from zero to nine players in the last year.

He also said the influx of newcomers this spring and summer will provide a boost for the team’s overall speed, which he deemed “below, below average” in 2013.

In response to questions from the audience, Jones identified two returning redshirt players who had stood out to him during the offseason.

Jones called junior linebacker Curt Maggitt “hands down, the heart and soul of our football team.”

Jones also praised redshirt freshman defensive end Kendal Vickers and said the Vols need him to have a big spring.

As for redshirt freshman quarterback Riley Ferguson, “he’s still frail and skinny, but he’s done a good job of putting weight on,” Jones said.

Asked about the nine current players who were arrested or cited after authorities broke up a loud party earlier this month, Jones defended the “character” of his team but said in this case young people made “poor choices.”

He said discipline would be handled internally but it would be “swift and fair.”

Jones emphasized that he wanted to continue to have a “good working relationship” with local law enforcement agencies.

“I grew up in the house of the police chief,” Jones said. “My dad was my hero and I wanted to be a police officer.”

On the recruiting front, Jones said the Vols would probably sign 18-22 players in the 2015 class, far less than the 32 announced in February.

“But that’s always in flux,” Jones said.

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

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Comments » 24

jakethevolguy writes:

On the recruiting front, Jones said the Vols would probably sign 18-22 players in the 2015 class, far less than the 32 announced in February.

I don't understand this statement. What about the 14 or 15 player that are already on campus? Of the other 17 or 18 they only expect to sign 3 to 8? Don't make sense to me.

knoxth81 writes:

2014 - 32
2015 18-22 (TBD)

Goodgriefcharliebrown writes:

Glad these fools are playing football and are not in a military platoon. Hate to think someone's life would be in the hands of these immature punk lawbreakers. Jones is a joke.

JSmith525 writes:

You must have lived a miserable "grief" existence eh. Calling teenagers "fools" because they had a few drinks and was playing loud music. Most make mistakes at that age and most learn from them. "Immature punk lawbreakers" I am sure that living in your grief has kept you from breaking any law in your miserable lifetime. Surely a beer never crossed you lips while you were young. Probably drank a gallon or two of "mother's milk each day though eh. Actually the joke is on you. Coach Jones has one of the best jobs in the NCAA and is doing an awesome job at it thus far. He will handle any issues that should arise. No need for your help. You are dismissed and can go back to collecting soda cans from your neighbors trash cans now.

MooseandSquirrelVol writes:

in response to Goodgriefcharliebrown:

Glad these fools are playing football and are not in a military platoon. Hate to think someone's life would be in the hands of these immature punk lawbreakers. Jones is a joke.

Spoken like someone without an inkling how much trouble off-duty military personal sometimes get into.

pingkr62 writes:

in response to JSmith525:

You must have lived a miserable "grief" existence eh. Calling teenagers "fools" because they had a few drinks and was playing loud music. Most make mistakes at that age and most learn from them. "Immature punk lawbreakers" I am sure that living in your grief has kept you from breaking any law in your miserable lifetime. Surely a beer never crossed you lips while you were young. Probably drank a gallon or two of "mother's milk each day though eh. Actually the joke is on you. Coach Jones has one of the best jobs in the NCAA and is doing an awesome job at it thus far. He will handle any issues that should arise. No need for your help. You are dismissed and can go back to collecting soda cans from your neighbors trash cans now.

Excellent response to a true fool. Thank you.

ColPhorbin writes:

in response to Goodgriefcharliebrown:

Glad these fools are playing football and are not in a military platoon. Hate to think someone's life would be in the hands of these immature punk lawbreakers. Jones is a joke.

Loser

Snapshot writes:

in response to jakethevolguy:

On the recruiting front, Jones said the Vols would probably sign 18-22 players in the 2015 class, far less than the 32 announced in February.

I don't understand this statement. What about the 14 or 15 player that are already on campus? Of the other 17 or 18 they only expect to sign 3 to 8? Don't make sense to me.

The reference was to the 2015 class, not this years.

The 14 that enrolled early and on campus now are for THIS year and will play this fall.

bUTch__please writes:

in response to Snapshot:

The reference was to the 2015 class, not this years.

The 14 that enrolled early and on campus now are for THIS year and will play this fall.

...and the beauty part is 9 of the early enrollees are on the offense. 4 OL/TE and 5 WR/RB. Could not have asked for better.

facultyman writes:

in response to Goodgriefcharliebrown:

Glad these fools are playing football and are not in a military platoon. Hate to think someone's life would be in the hands of these immature punk lawbreakers. Jones is a joke.

Agree. Jones talks a good game, but needs to focus on better discipline both on an off the field. Also needs somebody to teach these clowns how to tackle....not strip, bump, push, or arm wrestle ball carriers. Go back and watch last year's replays to see how bad they were.

brewlocal writes:

in response to Goodgriefcharliebrown:

Glad these fools are playing football and are not in a military platoon. Hate to think someone's life would be in the hands of these immature punk lawbreakers. Jones is a joke.

That's funny. When I was a platoon leader I had soldiers get DUI's, domestic assaults, awol, public intox, felony theft, and bad check charges all in garrison. As a company commander in war zone I had a guy pull the pin on a grenade, duct tape the spoon down and drop the grenade in the fuel tank of a helicopter in an attempt to kill one of the pilots. I would take some football players drinking beer and listening to loud music any day.

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

Better focus on and off the field? Where does that come from??? Butch has had one incident in over a year, how much more focus could he have? Notre Dame has probably had more than that and we all know how close to perfect they are, don't we. LOL

oldster writes:

in response to Goodgriefcharliebrown:

Glad these fools are playing football and are not in a military platoon. Hate to think someone's life would be in the hands of these immature punk lawbreakers. Jones is a joke.

I was in the military. Several people I knew did what these guys did, and much worse while enlisted. I would have trusted my life to them.

I might add that several of my friends who were serving in Viet Nam at the time I was serving, said that they frequently had to go on guard duty with guys who were stoned.

Young people do stupid things. It is part of being young (you are aware that the frontal lobes of males do not fully form until about 23, right?).

wilk58 writes:

in response to Goodgriefcharliebrown:

Glad these fools are playing football and are not in a military platoon. Hate to think someone's life would be in the hands of these immature punk lawbreakers. Jones is a joke.

Obviously you were never in the military.

jakethevolguy writes:

in response to Snapshot:

The reference was to the 2015 class, not this years.

The 14 that enrolled early and on campus now are for THIS year and will play this fall.

Well duh!! I must have still been asleep when I read that article. I guess I'm still pumped about this recruiting class and can't get it off my mind. Thanks, Snapshot, for pointing that out. Anyway, I think most sites have the 2015 class in the top 10 right now. GBO!!

IndianOutlaw writes:

Facultyman and goodgriefcharliebrown are KNS plants pure and simple. Without there comments their would have been very little if any comment and thus would hurt the "hits" and thus lower the requested ad pricing. Just ignore them and they will change their name and come back. Differing view points are good and expected. But this persons rambling shows they are not real or they need to have some serious help defining reality. Just like Jensen on the other side of the paper.

SewaneeVolFan writes:

C'mon guys, we're giving the trolls the attention they want. Yeah, I know it's like shooting fish in a bucket to rip them a new one, but for some strange reason -- masochism? providing reassurance that a miserable tree falling in a forest makes a sound, even though an infantile and insignificant one? -- that's what they want.

We have more important stuff to care about than providing the reactions they crave, such as the continuing recovery of the football program and the fabulous job coach Jones and his staff are doing. Not having been a football player myself, I don't know EXACTLY how being able to squat 600 pounds translates into football success, but I assume it does if the S & C staff values it, and going from no one being able to do it to nine players being able to do it feels like some significant overall team strength gain. Hope those nine play on the lines.

gc_scvol writes:

in response to IndianOutlaw:

Facultyman and goodgriefcharliebrown are KNS plants pure and simple. Without there comments their would have been very little if any comment and thus would hurt the "hits" and thus lower the requested ad pricing. Just ignore them and they will change their name and come back. Differing view points are good and expected. But this persons rambling shows they are not real or they need to have some serious help defining reality. Just like Jensen on the other side of the paper.

You are exactly right, My Friend.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to facultyman:

Agree. Jones talks a good game, but needs to focus on better discipline both on an off the field. Also needs somebody to teach these clowns how to tackle....not strip, bump, push, or arm wrestle ball carriers. Go back and watch last year's replays to see how bad they were.

A good part of the poor tackling fundamentals you mention are as much due to lack of speed as lack of technique. If you aren't quick enough to take the proper angles and get in proper body position, all you CAN do is lunge and grab. Butch says they are working on that, so I guess we'll see.

And again, as for the off-field stuff, they had ONE incident in a solid year now. Don't you remember the "Fulmer Cup" and the frequent transgressions of Dooley's players? They have also vastly improved in their academics, a fact which should be not only known but near and dear to the heart of a "facultyman". Some people just like to gripe for no apparent reason.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to IndianOutlaw:

Facultyman and goodgriefcharliebrown are KNS plants pure and simple. Without there comments their would have been very little if any comment and thus would hurt the "hits" and thus lower the requested ad pricing. Just ignore them and they will change their name and come back. Differing view points are good and expected. But this persons rambling shows they are not real or they need to have some serious help defining reality. Just like Jensen on the other side of the paper.

That might explain a lot. Otherwise, I would feel sorry for anybody who could feel so much indignation over so little on such a faulty basis.

MooseandSquirrelVol writes:

in response to johnlg00:

A good part of the poor tackling fundamentals you mention are as much due to lack of speed as lack of technique. If you aren't quick enough to take the proper angles and get in proper body position, all you CAN do is lunge and grab. Butch says they are working on that, so I guess we'll see.

And again, as for the off-field stuff, they had ONE incident in a solid year now. Don't you remember the "Fulmer Cup" and the frequent transgressions of Dooley's players? They have also vastly improved in their academics, a fact which should be not only known but near and dear to the heart of a "facultyman". Some people just like to gripe for no apparent reason.

".....the frequent transgressions of Dooley's players?"
============================================

And to top it off with Dooley's players, it was more likely to be the QB!

The one guy on the team who's supposed to be smart enough to not get caught, if nothing else!

gglardon50#417841 writes:

When is Grueden coming. I hear he was looking at houses in Knoxville

gc_scvol writes:

in response to gglardon50#417841:

When is Grueden coming. I hear he was looking at houses in Knoxville

June 6, 2007. Obvious Plant

bUTch__please writes:

in response to gc_scvol:

June 6, 2007. Obvious Plant

Absolutely gc. You know what the sad part is? The juvenile nature of this effort to up the post count by wallowing around like pigs in slop.

Evan has the right idea when he post under the staff banner and discusses points from his perspective. You would think a product suffering as much as print would want to find a sustainable, interactive means to create usage demand for their website and deliver quality eyes for their online advertisers.

But...no...let's just use the John Adams School of Smart Mouth to poke the few remaining subscribers on this site.

Sad. Really.

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