Why did Butch Jones get us so close, where Dooley and Pruitt didn't?

ThreatLevelOrange

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Aside from Dobbs, Kamara, and Barnett he really didn’t.

If not for that miraculous comeback vs S Carolina, Butch would’ve had 3 losing seasons in 5 years. And even in 2016 we were fortunate to beat App State and Georgia.
 
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VolunteerHillbilly

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This is not an attack on you at all.

Part of the issue in Knoxville is the should have mentality. We have won ONE national title since I have been alive which is almost half of a century. Based on most coaches’ performances when inheriting a dumpster fire, we shouldn’t have anything. Yet, Butch came in and almost beat Bama with a much less talented roster, almost beat Oaklahoma, beat #19 Georgia, beat #11 SC, Florida, Georgia again and almost beat Bama during one of their playoff years and and lost to an 11-2 Oklahoma team in double overtime. He was a 3 time MAC champ in 4 years and a Big East Champ. He took Cincinnati from the bottom to the top. He has a better resume than any coach that has coached here since Majors. Period. But guess what, the should have mentality led boosters and fans to bitch and moan over the loss to Oaklahoma and meltdown against FL and dissect his staff.

It is clear, no one wants to coach at Tennessee and it has everything to do with what goes on around TN football and the meddling of the boosters. We blamed the dumpster fire Kiffin left, but Kiffin had an awful resume. Then we blamed Dooley, but why did we even hire him? Because no one any good wanted to coach here. Then we blamed Butch for his bad season, but he had already done better than anyone else we had since Fulmer. Then we fire him and we end up with a guy who had never been a HC. Now we blame Pruitt, who in my opinion was pretty bad, but the boosters meddled with his staff too.

If we want to do well, we need to stay the F*** out of the way. Period. Nothing is ever good enough. ONE NC in 53 years and we think we should be anything better than what Fulmer did the year before we fired him, which was a 10 win eastern division championship.

Seriously, it is our faults. We deserve this 100%.

Regardless, Jones’ original staff would have gotten us the East at least at some point. By the time he was gone, the best he had left were people he had never coached with. He was on an island.

If we get to 9 wins with this staff in three years people better stick a sock in it.
Nine wins? I’ll be surprised to see anything better than 6-6 in the next few years.
 
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JRich

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Obviously it's pretty much a consensus that our last 3 coaches weren't the answer. However for whatever reason, Butch Jones got us pretty damn close to where we wanted to be. We came SO close (and should have) to winning the east two straight years! Rather than dwelling on the reasons why Butch blew it, I would like to look at it from another point of view. What did he do right to get us that close where the other two coaches couldn't even sniff that much success? Was it recruiting? Was it motivation? Was it luck? I'm just curious as to how Butch almost touched success here where the other two weren't even close.
Dobbs, Jennings, Hurd, Kamara, Malone and Calloway on offense (even North); Barnett, Sutton, Kelly, McDowell, Moseley, Gaulden, Tuttle, McKenzie, and Reeves-Mabin on defense. Also, don't forget about Evan Berry.

I guess you can give Butch credit for recruiting.
 

The Original Fade

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That and Jones just happened to show up at a time when UT's recruiting was very uniquely advantaged. There were a bunch of legacy players and in-state homers who created the foundation for 2 or 3 really good classes.

Talent got UT "close"... Jones' inability to coach and recruit once that well dried up has a lot to do with the failure of Pruitt and where we are now. I've been as critical of Pruitt's affinity for JG as much as anyone... but when he arrived there were no other really good options. His hopes that KC might shake things up were ill conceived.

Lastly... I truly believe that he was hired because he agreed with Fulmer's "old school" philosophy of play that no longer works.
The legacy players underachieved for the most part
 

Brave Volunteer

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The legacy players underachieved for the most part
They really did. Other than Evan Berry's amazing kick off return prowess, what other legacy player was a difference maker? Todd Kelly Jr really wasn't. Dillon Bates never was. Elliot Berry wasn't. Kahlil McKenzie wasn't. Did I leave anyone out? Getting all those legacy players signed, the optics were great on signing day but in reality they never really produced all that much.
 
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I liked Dooley and he was close. He just had incredibly bad luck! Give him the LSU and North Carolina wins (which he did win as time expired) and it turns out differently and hes still the coach competing for championships! He was and is still head and shoulders above Butch and skin head!
 

The Original Fade

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They really did. Other than Evan Berry's amazing kick off return prowess, what other legacy player was a difference maker? Todd Kelly Jr really wasn't. Dillon Bates never was. Elliot Berry wasn't. Kahlil McKenzie wasn't. Did I leave anyone out? Getting all those legacy players signed, the optics were great on signing day but in reality they never really produced all that much.
Legacy status is totally irrelevant for me
 

LWSVOL

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Obviously it's pretty much a consensus that our last 3 coaches weren't the answer. However for whatever reason, Butch Jones got us pretty damn close to where we wanted to be. We came SO close (and should have) to winning the east two straight years! Rather than dwelling on the reasons why Butch blew it, I would like to look at it from another point of view. What did he do right to get us that close where the other two coaches couldn't even sniff that much success? Was it recruiting? Was it motivation? Was it luck? I'm just curious as to how Butch almost touched success here where the other two weren't even close.
Dobbs. He would have been fired after year 3 possibly, year 4 definitely if not for having Dobbs.
 

sjt18

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Legacy status is totally irrelevant for me
It has some value. I'd rather have a talent rich state full of homers like UGA has but legacies usually have strong ties to UT and make good peer-peer recruiters. It is a difficult equation. If you don't recruit them even if you think they're slightly sub-par then it can cost you support and credibility with alums and some recruits. But then you've tied up a scholarship with a guy who doesn't help you on Saturday.

IMHO, Butch's incompetence had a lot to do with not getting more out of those legacies. In the Fulmer/Chavis era, Bates is probably a LB as soon as he steps on campus... maybe even Kelly. I'm often a Fulmer critic but they did some things really well too. One of them was turning slow safeties into fast, effective LB's.

It would have been interesting to see what they would have done with K McKenzie. The Berry twins were two very underutilized guys.
 

TCNC53

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Obviously it's pretty much a consensus that our last 3 coaches weren't the answer. However for whatever reason, Butch Jones got us pretty damn close to where we wanted to be. We came SO close (and should have) to winning the east two straight years! Rather than dwelling on the reasons why Butch blew it, I would like to look at it from another point of view. What did he do right to get us that close where the other two coaches couldn't even sniff that much success? Was it recruiting? Was it motivation? Was it luck? I'm just curious as to how Butch almost touched success here where the other two weren't even close.
I cannot agree that Jones got us close. Not even close to close. Remember - this is the coach that thought Alvin Kamara was second string talent. I have neither the time nor space to list Kamara's accomplishments as a star player in the NFL - post UT - post Butch Jones. Jones was lucky to have Dobbs, Kamara, Jennings and a few other players that could cover for his complete ineptness as a coach. And frankly, we haven't been close since 1998.
 
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theFallGuy

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I cannot agree that Jones got us close. Not even close to close. Remember - this is the coach that thought Alvin Kamara was second string talent. I have neither the time nor space to list Kamara's accomplishments as a star player in the NFL - post UT - post Butch Jones. Jones was lucky to have Dobbs, Kamara, Jennings and a few other players that could cover for his complete ineptness as a coach. And frankly, we haven't been close since 1998.
Lots of people say this but you have to remember Hurd was on track to be UT's all time leading rusher. I mean it's not like Butch started some slouch over Kamara. He just happened to have 2 awesome backs.
 

VFFL@THE BEACH

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Brave, I would not say JG got Butch Jones fired. Butch Jones got Butch Jones fired.

Remember, the QB position was played by committee that year, 2017, Butch's last. Quinten Dormady was our starter the first third of the year, including the loss to Florida and the first half of the ugly loss to Georgia. Then panic set in. Guarantano and McBride split the rest of the games, most of which were losses. More Guarantano then McBride, but only because he was the better of the two.

No, can't blame the firing of the coaching staff on JG. He didn't save them, no, but he's not the reason we went 4-8 and they got fired. That's all on Butch & Co.
I agree, coaches decide who play, players are not going to say I am not ready to play.

Bj was no quarterback whisperer. Remember, he threw Peterman out, in the swamp for his first start. Florida played a horrible first quarter and we could not capitalize. That embarrassing trick play that did not work.

Celebrating the ugly of Florida-Tennessee

Bj was a good recruiter in a sense but he did not recruit for his system. He seemed to try and get the kids with the most stars and he would fit them into his "infallible" system. They rarely every fit, or got their talent developed.
 

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