1. “New age” means updates from schemes to uniforms.
Yes, Josh Heupel talked about bringing in a new age to Tennessee football. However, what does new age mean, and will it clash with the traditions that Vol fans hold so dear? Well, the answer to that is clearly no.
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Heupel is trying to mix in his new flare with what has been established here. That includes his new schemes, which he talked about at length, going to an up-tempo spread offense with a physical front and a 4-3 based nickel-heavy defense. It also includes doing things off the field to increase pride within the program overall. Here’s a bit of what he said about the new age.
"“It’s the way that we communicate inside of our building. Every interaction that we have with players, with staff, with janitors, it doesn’t matter who it is, creating and harnessing energy inside of our building. I think that’s a really important thing that we’ve tried to build with our VFLs too is harnessing that energy and creating positive momentum that surrounds our program where our kids feel that every single day.”"
Now, all of that seems pretty vague, but then Heupel got specific and discussed the new age potentially meaning wearing alternate uniforms. Here’s an exact quote from him on that front before we break down what it means for the future.
"“As we move forward, it may be different opportunities as far as what the uniform looks like when you run out on the field. Look good, feel good, play good. We want to create a positive player experience from the moment that they step on campus until they’re done but have a long-term relationship with them that lasts forever.”"
That part is key. Heupel is clearly looking into changing uniform combinations and doing other things off the field to generate more interest. People soured on that with Butch Jones in the end, but things like the Smokey Grays and Checker Neyland were entertaining.
Obviously, Tennessee football has a lot of work to do to get back to its winning ways, but establishing new traditions is a great way to start. Based on what Heupel said here, that’s going to be a focus of his, and everybody should be thrilled about that on Rocky Top.