Tennessee Head Coach Butch Jones Press Conference Transcript – Nov. 6, 2017

Opening Statement:
“Well, just going back and revisiting the Southern Miss game, before I move on to Missouri, when you look at the game, it is all about the details. The small details add up to the big things and what it takes to play winning football and we were able to do that. When you look at the details, we only had three penalties in the entire game. We did not turn the ball over. We generated two takeaways which led to 14 points. Red zone efficiency, we were four out of four with three touchdowns, which is big. I thought Aaron Medley’s field goal at that stage of the game was also big for us. We controlled field position for pretty much most of the game until really about the middle of the fourth quarter, and that is when we needed special teams to step up. I thought Trevor Daniel flipped the field position game for us. He had six punts of 50 yards or more. I thought Aaron did a really good job on his kickoffs and putting them through the end zone. Defensively, we were able to generate four sacks and hold them without a touchdown until about six minutes and 50 seconds to go in the game. The offensive line, as we know, is a very challenging situation. I thought our players for the most part did a good job there. When you look at Devante Brooks, Ryan Johnson and Trey Smith, there were many positive things to build on in our style of play and that’s what it takes to win football games. We all know winning is very hard in and of itself.

“In terms of an injury update, Jarrett Guarantano is much better today. We would list him as probable. Shawn Shamburger will be probable. I think he will be ready to go. Questionable going into this game will be Marquez Callaway, Brett Kendrick and Drew Richmond. Out for this game will continue to be Marcus Tatum. Latrell Williams will have surgery and he will be out for the rest of the season. Unfortunately, Evan Berry will be out for the season as well. I give him a lot of credit for working his way back and getting himself ready to go. Unfortunately, he has an injury and as we look at it right now, it is season ending.

“On to Missouri, they are a team that is playing with a lot of momentum, passion and energy. They have three straight wins. When you look at their offense, they are explosive and dynamic. I think they are averaging a little over 315 yards per game passing. That’s third in the SEC and 14th in the country. They are averaging 37 points per game. The impressive thing is that they do not give up many negative yardage football plays. They have only given up eight sacks this season. They are number one in our conference with just over 480+ yards per game. When you look at Drew Lock, I think he is playing at a really high level. They are doing a good job at involving him in the run game. When you look at his 31 touchdown passes, that is number one in the country. He has a quick release and he can make all of the throws. Schematically, they do a good job at getting the ball out of his hands quickly. Defensively, they are very disruptive. They average eight tackles for a loss per game, that is second in our conference and 15th nationally. (Terry) Beckner is as good as anyone we have seen inside. (Terez) Hall leads the SEC in tackles for a loss. They are very disruptive and they can play man to man coverage out on the perimeter. They are very good in the special teams game as well. We know that’s life on the road in the Southeastern Conference. Again, it starts with a great start to the week this Monday.”

On Missouri’s run game:
“They do a really good job with the RPOs and really matching up the run game with a RPO or two. They have fits for that team and that game. I think they have really good running backs. There was a number of situations in their game last week where they were able to make the first or second level defender miss and get the ball vertically, so they are very explosive. I think they add another dynamic when they involve the quarterback into the run game, which they have done that. He is a very good football player.”

On Ryan Johnson and Devante Brooks:
“In terms of Ryan Johnson and Devante Brooks, when you look at Devante, that’s the first time he has really played competitively in a game situation since his sophomore year of high school. I thought he did some good things and obviously some things we will need to correct. The same thing goes for Ryan. I thought Ryan did some good things moving forward for us. Considering the circumstances, I think they did an admirable job and they will continue to get better with the reps they are gaining right now.”

On how to balance using redshirt freshman quarterback Jarrett Guarantano’s mobility while protecting his ankle:
“It’s seeing exactly where he’s at from a health standpoint and what quarterback gives us the best opportunity to win. I was really encouraged today with Jarrett’s progress and obviously with the amount of reps that Will (McBride) gained from the game on Saturday. There’s always little nuances, there’s always pretty neat storylines. Here’s Will McBride, his family is at home and they’re celebrating his brother’s birthday and they’re watching the game, and all of a sudden it kind of turned into a Will McBride watch party. Their family was ecstatic and excited to be able to turn the birthday party into watching their son and their brother play, so that was pretty neat.”

On which wide receivers need to step up in the absence of Marquez Callaway:
“I think with the reps Josh Palmer is receiving, he’ll continue to grow and develop as a true freshman. Jordan Murphy had his first career catch. Saturday night, we’re going to lean a lot more towards him. Jeff George has played a lot of football for us. So again, all those individuals – we don’t have very many of them, it’s kind of the same situation as we are up front in the offensive line situation – but these individuals come to work every day. Tyler Byrd will be more involved in the offensive game plan as well. These individuals continue to work, and I expect them to be ready come Saturday.”

On what has led to the defense creating more turnovers in recent games:
“I think it’s just constantly stressing it every single day in practice, in our video study. I think what you make important is going to be important. We always talk about takeaways and hunting the football. They’ve done a very good job and it’s starting with their habits in practice. When you start to create turnovers, it also generates a level of confidence as well. They compete against each other to try to get the takeaway as well. I think it’s a combination of all those little things stemming in your habits and how you practice, what you expect and what you demand.”

On whether he will consider keeping freshman offensive lineman Trey Smith at left tackle:
“That’s something that affords us a luxury that we’ve not really had in terms of depth. If Trey continues to progress and grow and develop at left tackle, that adds for a lot of different combinations that we need, especially with a lack of depth there. So again, it’s ongoing.”

On the decision to pull Will McBride’s redshirt status by playing him on Saturday:
“All along, we’ve expected Will McBride to have to play at some point in time, especially with Quinten’s (Dormady) surgery. We’ve really worked hard on him with his reps in practice, but also in the meetings and him understanding that there’s a lot of football left to be played and you’re one snap away. I don’t know where that comes, I just know this young man was excited to play and his family was excited that he was playing.”

On Jarrett Guarantano’s decision making on Saturday:
“I thought Saturday, I was really pleased with the rhythm, the spacing and the timing of the throw game. He was much more decisive in the throws. He seemed a lot more confident throwing off the platform in the pocket and understanding where he was going with the football, whether it was a post-snap read or going through his progressions once the ball was snapped. I thought he really showed great progress. Again, he’s going to do nothing but get better and better game in and game out.”

On Mizzou’s defensive improvement:
“That’s a good question. I love their style of play. They’re very active. They’re very disruptive. I think it’s continued growth and development. They’ve had pretty much the same starting lineup. Those players have really come together. They’re playing as a unit. I think they’re playing with a lot of confidence. That’s what winning does. They’re on a three-game winning streak. They’re playing with a lot of confidence. They have explosive football players. They’re winning a lot of one-on-one matchups up front, and as we all know, it all starts on the line of scrimmage. Their linebackers are very, very active. In the secondary, they’re very active as well. I think it’s a combination of a lot of confidence. They have very good football players, and I think it’s just continuity and consistency as well.”

On Will McBride:
“Will has a unique personality in and of itself. He does not get rattled. He has very good poise and very good command presence. Our players believe in him. They got excited when he’s in the football game. We’ve seen that throughout the course of this entire season. He can make the throws. He’s very cerebral. He can run the football. Now, it’s just teaching him when to get down with the football and just continuing to manage field position, understanding that sometimes a throw-away is the best play and then play the next down. I think just going through the progressions, the quickness in his reactions and also managing the run game, when to pull it, when to hand the football off are important. If it’s an RPO, it’s understanding which defender we’re reading. That all comes with the accumulation of reps, particularly game-speed decisions. He doesn’t get rattled. He’s the same person. I thought our players did a good job in the huddle when he knew he was in the game.”

On Mizzou’s quarterback Drew Lock:
“I think Drew Lock is a challenge. I think when you look at the quarterback fundamentals, in terms of playing the position, he has as quick of a release as anybody. We have faced probably the best, in terms of that. He can make all the throws. He has a live arm. They play to his skill set. I think the big thing is, you can’t get to him. As a defensive front, you can’t get frustrated. There are a lot of things that go into impacting the quarterback. I think the most valuable is experience. He’s played since he was a true-freshman. He plays with great confidence. He has moxy. He has swagger when you look at the physical attributes, from his stature, to his ability to stand in the pocket and the ability to make plays with his legs when the play breaks down. With the quick release, he can make all the throws. He’s very impressive on video. He’s going to play for a long time on Sundays.”

On Evan Berry’s impact on the Tennessee football program:
“You saw that on Saturday night. He can change field position in a hurry. He’s a threat every time he gets his hand on the ball. He’s a threat to score. Just his will to get back and play his senior year and the want to be out there and help this football team win, I think it speaks volumes for him.”

On the possibility of Jonathan Kongbo retaining his starting job:
“He’ll have to earn that. Everything is earned through competition throughout the course of the week of practice. I thought Darrell Taylor really stepped up in the game with two sacks. Then, Kyle Phillips, he continues to be a bottle of consistency. He also had two sacks as well and was very disruptive. Nothing is given. Everything is earned. He’s going to have to earn that playing time back.”

On who the third-string quarterback is:
“The third-string quarterback, right now, is Seth Washington

Tennessee Head Coach Butch Jones Press Conference Transcript – Nov. 6, 2017

Opening Statement:
“Well, just going back and revisiting the Southern Miss game, before I move on to Missouri, when you look at the game, it is all about the details. The small details add up to the big things and what it takes to play winning football and we were able to do that. When you look at the details, we only had three penalties in the entire game. We did not turn the ball over. We generated two takeaways which led to 14 points. Red zone efficiency, we were four out of four with three touchdowns, which is big. I thought Aaron Medley’s field goal at that stage of the game was also big for us. We controlled field position for pretty much most of the game until really about the middle of the fourth quarter, and that is when we needed special teams to step up. I thought Trevor Daniel flipped the field position game for us. He had six punts of 50 yards or more. I thought Aaron did a really good job on his kickoffs and putting them through the end zone. Defensively, we were able to generate four sacks and hold them without a touchdown until about six minutes and 50 seconds to go in the game. The offensive line, as we know, is a very challenging situation. I thought our players for the most part did a good job there. When you look at Devante Brooks, Ryan Johnson and Trey Smith, there were many positive things to build on in our style of play and that’s what it takes to win football games. We all know winning is very hard in and of itself.

“In terms of an injury update, Jarrett Guarantano is much better today. We would list him as probable. Shawn Shamburger will be probable. I think he will be ready to go. Questionable going into this game will be Marquez Callaway, Brett Kendrick and Drew Richmond. Out for this game will continue to be Marcus Tatum. Latrell Williams will have surgery and he will be out for the rest of the season. Unfortunately, Evan Berry will be out for the season as well. I give him a lot of credit for working his way back and getting himself ready to go. Unfortunately, he has an injury and as we look at it right now, it is season ending.

“On to Missouri, they are a team that is playing with a lot of momentum, passion and energy. They have three straight wins. When you look at their offense, they are explosive and dynamic. I think they are averaging a little over 315 yards per game passing. That’s third in the SEC and 14th in the country. They are averaging 37 points per game. The impressive thing is that they do not give up many negative yardage football plays. They have only given up eight sacks this season. They are number one in our conference with just over 480+ yards per game. When you look at Drew Lock, I think he is playing at a really high level. They are doing a good job at involving him in the run game. When you look at his 31 touchdown passes, that is number one in the country. He has a quick release and he can make all of the throws. Schematically, they do a good job at getting the ball out of his hands quickly. Defensively, they are very disruptive. They average eight tackles for a loss per game, that is second in our conference and 15th nationally. (Terry) Beckner is as good as anyone we have seen inside. (Terez) Hall leads the SEC in tackles for a loss. They are very disruptive and they can play man to man coverage out on the perimeter. They are very good in the special teams game as well. We know that’s life on the road in the Southeastern Conference. Again, it starts with a great start to the week this Monday.”

On Missouri’s run game:
“They do a really good job with the RPOs and really matching up the run game with a RPO or two. They have fits for that team and that game. I think they have really good running backs. There was a number of situations in their game last week where they were able to make the first or second level defender miss and get the ball vertically, so they are very explosive. I think they add another dynamic when they involve the quarterback into the run game, which they have done that. He is a very good football player.”

On Ryan Johnson and Devante Brooks:
“In terms of Ryan Johnson and Devante Brooks, when you look at Devante, that’s the first time he has really played competitively in a game situation since his sophomore year of high school. I thought he did some good things and obviously some things we will need to correct. The same thing goes for Ryan. I thought Ryan did some good things moving forward for us. Considering the circumstances, I think they did an admirable job and they will continue to get better with the reps they are gaining right now.”

On how to balance using redshirt freshman quarterback Jarrett Guarantano’s mobility while protecting his ankle:
“It’s seeing exactly where he’s at from a health standpoint and what quarterback gives us the best opportunity to win. I was really encouraged today with Jarrett’s progress and obviously with the amount of reps that Will (McBride) gained from the game on Saturday. There’s always little nuances, there’s always pretty neat storylines. Here’s Will McBride, his family is at home and they’re celebrating his brother’s birthday and they’re watching the game, and all of a sudden it kind of turned into a Will McBride watch party. Their family was ecstatic and excited to be able to turn the birthday party into watching their son and their brother play, so that was pretty neat.”

On which wide receivers need to step up in the absence of Marquez Callaway:
“I think with the reps Josh Palmer is receiving, he’ll continue to grow and develop as a true freshman. Jordan Murphy had his first career catch. Saturday night, we’re going to lean a lot more towards him. Jeff George has played a lot of football for us. So again, all those individuals – we don’t have very many of them, it’s kind of the same situation as we are up front in the offensive line situation – but these individuals come to work every day. Tyler Byrd will be more involved in the offensive game plan as well. These individuals continue to work, and I expect them to be ready come Saturday.”

On what has led to the defense creating more turnovers in recent games:
“I think it’s just constantly stressing it every single day in practice, in our video study. I think what you make important is going to be important. We always talk about takeaways and hunting the football. They’ve done a very good job and it’s starting with their habits in practice. When you start to create turnovers, it also generates a level of confidence as well. They compete against each other to try to get the takeaway as well. I think it’s a combination of all those little things stemming in your habits and how you practice, what you expect and what you demand.”

On whether he will consider keeping freshman offensive lineman Trey Smith at left tackle:
“That’s something that affords us a luxury that we’ve not really had in terms of depth. If Trey continues to progress and grow and develop at left tackle, that adds for a lot of different combinations that we need, especially with a lack of depth there. So again, it’s ongoing.”

On the decision to pull Will McBride’s redshirt status by playing him on Saturday:
“All along, we’ve expected Will McBride to have to play at some point in time, especially with Quinten’s (Dormady) surgery. We’ve really worked hard on him with his reps in practice, but also in the meetings and him understanding that there’s a lot of football left to be played and you’re one snap away. I don’t know where that comes, I just know this young man was excited to play and his family was excited that he was playing.”

On Jarrett Guarantano’s decision making on Saturday:
“I thought Saturday, I was really pleased with the rhythm, the spacing and the timing of the throw game. He was much more decisive in the throws. He seemed a lot more confident throwing off the platform in the pocket and understanding where he was going with the football, whether it was a post-snap read or going through his progressions once the ball was snapped. I thought he really showed great progress. Again, he’s going to do nothing but get better and better game in and game out.”

On Mizzou’s defensive improvement:
“That’s a good question. I love their style of play. They’re very active. They’re very disruptive. I think it’s continued growth and development. They’ve had pretty much the same starting lineup. Those players have really come together. They’re playing as a unit. I think they’re playing with a lot of confidence. That’s what winning does. They’re on a three-game winning streak. They’re playing with a lot of confidence. They have explosive football players. They’re winning a lot of one-on-one matchups up front, and as we all know, it all starts on the line of scrimmage. Their linebackers are very, very active. In the secondary, they’re very active as well. I think it’s a combination of a lot of confidence. They have very good football players, and I think it’s just continuity and consistency as well.”

On Will McBride:
“Will has a unique personality in and of itself. He does not get rattled. He has very good poise and very good command presence. Our players believe in him. They got excited when he’s in the football game. We’ve seen that throughout the course of this entire season. He can make the throws. He’s very cerebral. He can run the football. Now, it’s just teaching him when to get down with the football and just continuing to manage field position, understanding that sometimes a throw-away is the best play and then play the next down. I think just going through the progressions, the quickness in his reactions and also managing the run game, when to pull it, when to hand the football off are important. If it’s an RPO, it’s understanding which defender we’re reading. That all comes with the accumulation of reps, particularly game-speed decisions. He doesn’t get rattled. He’s the same person. I thought our players did a good job in the huddle when he knew he was in the game.”

On Mizzou’s quarterback Drew Lock:
“I think Drew Lock is a challenge. I think when you look at the quarterback fundamentals, in terms of playing the position, he has as quick of a release as anybody. We have faced probably the best, in terms of that. He can make all the throws. He has a live arm. They play to his skill set. I think the big thing is, you can’t get to him. As a defensive front, you can’t get frustrated. There are a lot of things that go into impacting the quarterback. I think the most valuable is experience. He’s played since he was a true-freshman. He plays with great confidence. He has moxy. He has swagger when you look at the physical attributes, from his stature, to his ability to stand in the pocket and the ability to make plays with his legs when the play breaks down. With the quick release, he can make all the throws. He’s very impressive on video. He’s going to play for a long time on Sundays.”

On Evan Berry’s impact on the Tennessee football program:
“You saw that on Saturday night. He can change field position in a hurry. He’s a threat every time he gets his hand on the ball. He’s a threat to score. Just his will to get back and play his senior year and the want to be out there and help this football team win, I think it speaks volumes for him.”

On the possibility of Jonathan Kongbo retaining his starting job:
“He’ll have to earn that. Everything is earned through competition throughout the course of the week of practice. I thought Darrell Taylor really stepped up in the game with two sacks. Then, Kyle Phillips, he continues to be a bottle of consistency. He also had two sacks as well and was very disruptive. Nothing is given. Everything is earned. He’s going to have to earn that playing time back.”

On who the third-string quarterback is:
“The third-string quarterback, right now, is Seth Washington



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