With SEC Media Days coming up next week (July 16-18), there’s a few questions on our mind that we hope Butch Jones doesn’t get asked during Tennessee’s media session next Wednesday.
1. How did it feel to not be Tennessee’s first choice for head coach?
This has pretty much been covered ad nauseum. We’re all aware of how close Charlie Strong was to becoming the Vol’s coach, and the communication that took place between Tennessee and Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy. It was detailed extensively during Butch Jones’ introductory press conference (which he handled with class and humor by the way). After eight months on the job it’s blatantly clear that Butch Jones was 100 percent the right choice for Tennessee, no one else matters at this point.
2. What about Jon Gruden?
This kind of goes hand in hand with the first question, but it’s a little more specific. The Gruden angle was discussed, and even obsessed over, by a good portion of Vol Nation. Rumors of secret meetings, visiting schools and talk of Gruden’s land in Dandridge, TN captivated the state of Tennessee the entire month of November 2012. Just like with the first question, none of this matters anymore. Athletic director Dave Hart and the Vols got their guy. It’s unlikely that anyone besides Jones would’ve been able to truly excite the crowd through a fulfillment of promises like Butch has done so far.
3. What do you think of your predecessor Derek Dooley?
Hopefully nobody would be foolish enough to ask this question, Butch Jones is waaaaay too classy to go anywhere near a question of that nature. Derek Dooley is in the past and the Vols are where they are today, for better or worse, in part because of Dooley. There’s some talent on this roster that Dooley did manage to bring to Knoxville. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what Butch Jones thinks of Derek Dooley, or what anyone does. All that matters is the wins and losses come this fall.
4. Do you run a true spread-offense?
This is another one that’s been discussed over and over and over. Butch Jones’ offense is unique and can’t truly be defined by a simple phrase. Even the way that Jones describes it — no huddle, up-tempo, is a bit confusing. The terms pro-style and spread have been used to describe Jones’ offense, but the best definition is that Jones builds his offense around his players, and not the other way around.
Whatever you want to call it, it works. Jones’ track record proves that. So hopefully he won’t continue to be asked to define it.
5. What do you think of James Franklin’s antics?
As mentioned with the Dooley question, Jones is way too classy and smart to get into a media-battle with anyone. The actions of James Franklin and what goes on at Vanderbilt is fun for the fans and for twitter debate, but it’s something that I’m sure Jones barely notices, or eve cares about if he does notice.
Jones is full of nothing but respect for his fellow SEC coaches. He handles himself in a first class way, and Vol fans should be very, very proud of that.
Check back with us tomorrow for the five questions we hope do get asked of Butch Jones during SEC Media Days.