Tennessee football: Vols head coach Butch Jones right to downplay his use of slogans

COLLEGE STATION, TX - OCTOBER 08: Head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers Butch Jones watches a play in the first half of their game against the Texas A
COLLEGE STATION, TX - OCTOBER 08: Head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers Butch Jones watches a play in the first half of their game against the Texas A /

Tennessee football head coach Butch Jones said Sunday that his use of slogans is overblown. Here is why the Volunteers coach is right with that assessment.

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It’s become a running gag to Tennessee football fans and college football fans in general. Butch Jones will say some catchphrase that gets everybody going.

And then the world takes it to another level by using it to criticize his track record.

We know them all by now. It started with brick-by-brick. Then there was get one percent better. And everything’s a teaching opportunity.

But it went to another level when he used the term champions of life last season and then said five-star hearts when it came to recruiting.

Still, finally, Jones called out the fact that his use of those slogans have been overblown. Here’s a bit of what he said from his press conference, which you can see here on UTSports.

"“Every football program has those. It’s a way to get the attention of your program, so we haven’t been any different. I think it’s been grossly over-talked about.”…“I think if you do your research around the country, every football program has to have something that they’re going to hang their hat on.”"

Jones is deadly accurate with this response. Yes, those slogans are cheesy, meaningless and unimportant. But here’s a question for all of you who have criticized him for them: did you do it before last year?

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From 2013 to 2015, Jones was meeting expectations each year, and after a 5-0 start in 2016, he was a hot commodity as a head coach.

But he had been giving those slogans ever since he took over in Knoxville. How often did you hear about it?


That’s because he hadn’t had a season worthy of criticism yet.

Then, after one bad half of a season that turned a great year into an under-achieving year, it came time to magnify all those slogans.

So Jones was perfectly within his right to come out and defend his use of those slogans. After all, Nick Saban says bland things all the time in his press conferences.

Do you think anybody cares?

Meanwhile, Derek Dooley was a wizard in press conferences and gave amazing quotes. How’d that work for him on the field?

You don’t win games with your quotes.

It’s fair to criticize Jones for failing to meet expectations in 2016. It’s fair to laugh at those slogans. However, to focus on those as if it’s representative of Jones’s coaching abilities makes no sense.

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If Tennessee football manages to shock everybody this year and win the SEC East, you can bet that many of the same people who make fun of those slogans will be screaming ‘DAT way!’ in December.