Butch Jones compares Tennessee's rebuilding process to Ole Miss' turnaround
Tennessee coach Butch Jones reflected on his team’s upcoming matchup at No. 3 Ole Miss during his weekly press conference Monday. Jones said he believes Tennessee’s young roster is different from the Rebels’ last season, despite both teams relying on true freshmen from a top-5 recruiting class.
“I think every situation you inherit is different in and of itself,” Jones said. “A lot of it is, where was the program when you took over? What was there? Right, wrong or indifferent, I am not saying bad, good or indifferent I am just saying each program you take over and this is our third time taking over a program and each one is different. Each program you take over throughout the course of the country is different.
A lot of time it is what is there and what is there in terms of a culture, a mindset, a work capacity, just an overall thought process so there is a lot that goes into it that a lot of people don’t realize. I always ask myself, when I go home every night, are we a better football team and a better football program day in and day out. Are we a better football program now than where we were a year ago. And yes we are.”
Jones realizes that Tennessee is still a work in progress, despite improvements made in several areas. The second-year coach looks to lead the Vols to their first bowl game appearance since 2010 and first winning record since the 2009 season.
“We still have, as we all know, monumental strides in moving forward,” Jones said. “But we are better right now than where we were a year ago. We have to continue to accelerate that, continue to expedite, however you want to phrase it. But I do see progress but again, it is acquisition of talent and development. Developing the mind, the mindset, the culture, physical development, mental stamina, all that goes into developing 17 to 22 year old young adults. That is why you coach college football. We enjoy that part of it. We want to be a part of that process.”