Following the conclusion of practice, head coach Butch Jones met with reporters to talk about his team’s approach to their final week of formal workouts and how they hope the strides made in this period will translate into the summer months.
“I’m pleased with the fundamentals, the details,” said Jones. “Everything we spoke about when spring started is doing everything with accountability and toughness. What we’re doing right now is having exit interviews this week and then every player in our football program will be judged on those three criteria: details, accountability and toughness. Then we have the five levels of commitment, from being compelled to committed and everything that goes along with it. We will evaluate everyone and then have a great foundation when we move forward to our summer strength and conditioning program.”
Tennessee’s spring season concludes on Saturday with the annual DISH Orange & White Game on April 22 at Neyland Stadium (4 p.m. ET). The Orange & White Game will be televised on SEC Network for the second consecutive year with Clay Matvik and Clint Stoerner calling the action and Dr. Jerry Punch reporting from the sidelines.
Admission and parking are free to the public and a Fan Day event will precede kickoff.
Like all Tennessee athletic events, UT’s clear-bag policy will be enforced the Orange & White Game. For more information on the clear-bag and other safety policies, click here.
Tennessee will go through its final tune up before Saturday’s Orange & White Game on Thursday afternoon at Haslam Field.
Day 13 Quotables
Senior OL Jashon Robertson
(On the team’s conditioning level improving through the fall and now into the spring)
“Some guys have definitely cleaned up, especially with eating habits and things like that. The guys who have needed to put on weight have done that some and will continue to do that throughout the summer. As far as conditioning level goes, when practice starts ending, we have had opportunities to practice and get our football conditioning up. As far as conditioning goes, you can’t train and prepare for long drives and being in your stance and coming out and driving somebody and constantly being resistant. It is a hard thing to do, but throughout this we definitely have improved our conditioning.”
RS sophomore DL Darrell Taylor
(On if having an opportunity to become a starter has made a difference in his approach)
“I think it made a difference. It changed my mindset about working harder. My redshirt year I did not think I was going to do anything and it was hard not playing so it has definitely changed my mindset and made me want to work harder and go get everything I do not have already.”
Head coach Butch Jones
(On the toughness from the offensive line)
“It’s a part of the details, accountability and toughness and it’s through those things and pushing through when you’re tired. We talked about the ability to finish off a 12-, 13- or 14-play drive. To be able to run the football or pick up the blitz effectively and the only way you can prove your toughness is to push yourself through that threshold every day. What happens is you start to gain more and more confidence.”
Offensive coordinator Larry Scott
(On strengths of the offense so far)
“I think right now one of our strengths that we’re excited about is our offensive line, up front. When you have some guys that come back with the experience that we’re bringing back, that’s what you want to rely on. Any time in any good offense, when you’re relying on the guys up front, when they go we all go as a team. I don’t care if you’re really good at the skills position, even if that means quarterback. You’re only as good as those five guys up front. How they go, we all go. So right now I think that’s one of our strengths. We’re going to continue to build it, continue to challenge them, continue to develop them and that mindset.”