Tennessee Vols Football Monday Press Conference Cliff's Notes

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Guess what? Butch Jones respects Oregon.

In case you missed the Monday press conference, a full live blog is available in the comments here. If you just want the Cliff's Notes, here they are:

  • We respect Oregon. Like a lot. You might think they're a finesse team, but they're not a finesse team. They're a physical team that will wear you out. You might think they're all offense, but they're not. They're excellent in all three phases of the game, and their speed on special teams is going to be very difficult to deal with. You might think they're going to get worse without Chip Kelly, but you win with continuity, and they have it in spades.
  • Tempo and lining up will be tough, but you really win with the fundamentals. It's not about how you start plays, it's about how you finish them. Stay fundamentally sound, make tackles in space, have eye discipline (Butch Jones' favorite phrase, apart from "pride of who we are."). Also, don't let one Oregon big play turn into five big plays.
  • Jones was asked about Daniel McCullers coming out on third downs, and he mentioned that McCullers is still learning the importance of practice. It's the same thing he's had to teach future NFLers at Cincinnati, and McCullers is progressing well early in the season, but he has a ways to go. He's still working on his pass rush, and Saulsberry gives us something there.
  • Jones did say that in the third quarter, he intentionally slowed down the offense because the defense had been on the field too long. He said part of having a good defense is protecting them with your offense.
  • Jones was pleased with the running backs going more north and south.
  • He was not pleased with the blocked punt. It's inexcusable, and he's going to fix it.
  • Also in the realm of things we already know, winning first downs is good, losing on second and third and long is bad. Throwing interceptions instead of throwing the ball away and kicking a field goal is also bad. But Justin Worley settling down in the second half is good. Depth continues to be our biggest problem, but we can't fix it without recruiting.
  • Jacques Smith is back. Maggitt and Vereen are still being evaluated this week.
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