Spread offense, pro-style offense, up-tempo, no huddle, shotgun.
Those are all words and phrases that have been used to describe Butch Jones’ offense.
On Wednesday, during Jones’ media session at SEC Media Days, the Vol’s head coach went a little more in depth about Tennessee’s offense and how it will look next season.
While Jones didn’t allude to who Tennessee’s quarterback would be against Austin Peay, he did provide some encouraging words to those who are afraid Jones’ offense won’t translate to the SEC.
The biggest misconception about Jones’ offense is that it’s a prototypical spread offense. Typically when you hear the word spread you think soft.
The truth is most college football teams have some element of the spread offense, rather it be read-option plays or just spreading out the field, much as Tennessee did under former offensive coordinator Jim Chaney.
Regardless of what you think about the spread offense, Tennessee’s offense will have some of those elements this season, but it’s not a bad thing and it doesn’t mean that Tennessee’s offense won’t look like an “SEC offense”.
Some of Jones’ comments today should ease the concerns that a lot of folks have about Tennessee’s offense heading into 2013.
I think a lot of times when you hear the element of the spread offense you think of finesse, and we’re not going to be a finesse style football team. We’re going to be a physical football team. We’re going to run the ball first. I think that’s evident in our body of work.
That quote pretty much sums up all you need to know about Tennessee’s offense. Jones is committed to being a physical, hard nosed team that runs the ball and wins in the trenches.
So basically a typical SEC offense.
Jones is also a versatile coach, one that’s capable of running an offense with a dual-threat quarterback or a pro-style quarterback. He proved that at Cincinnati and referenced it today.
The mark of a good football coach is they’re able to mold their personnel into what they want to do. I think our offensive system is extremely flexible………We won our second consecutive championship last year at Cincinnati and we had a dual-threat quarterback and midway through the season we made a quarterback change and he was a drop-back passer.
A lot of how Tennessee’s offense will look is going to depend on who wins the quarterback competition.
If Justin Worley wins the competition you’re probably not going to see as many read-option plays as you would if Nathan Peterman or Josh Dobbs wins the job.
What you will see, regardless of who wins the job, is a lot of Rajion Neal and Marlin Lane, with some Alden Hill sprinkled in there. All three guys fit very well into Jones’ offense and should be featured extensively.
You’ll also see a concerted effort to get the ball in the hands of Tennessee’s big time playmakers, which have yet to be identified.
We want to put the ball in the hands of our playmakers. We want our playmakers catching the ball……We’re going to continue to define who our playmakers are and do whatever it takes to get them the ball in open space.
I think Volunteer fans should be excited about the Vol’s offense this year. It’s going to look different, but it won’t be completely unfamiliar to what you’re used to seeing in Tennessee.
The Vols will still get the ball down the field and make big plays. They’re still going to run the ball. They’re still going to have that Power T on their helmet.
There’s also the discussion of Tennessee’s tempo as we head into the 2013 season.
Jones has talked a lot about being an up-tempo offense, but he also mentioned today that he may decide to slow the offense down from time to time, in order to protect his defense.
There’s some things that we won’t compromise. We want to play at an up-tempo [pace], but in order to play great defense sometimes you have to protect your defense. If that means slowing down the tempo then we’ll be able to do that.
It’s understandable that Tennessee fans are worried about seeing a very different offense come to town, but Vol fans need to worry less about how the offense is run and more about “will it be efficient?”
Butch is committed to running an efficient offense that will give the Vols the best chance to win.
In the end, that’s all that really matters.
With that being said, if the wins start to mount for the Vols, the fans will absolutely love Butch Jones’ offense, no matter how it looks on the field.