For the majority of the day, Butch Jones had a good day in Hoover. He didn’t embarrass himself with any new phrases like “Champions of Life” or “Five star heart,” he stuck to his script and kept it positive as he usually does.
But he had one hiccup. It came when he was asked how he viewed the 2016 season.
Butch Jones does not view 2016 as a "disappointment," but concedes that UT did not accomplish everything the team set out to accomplish.— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) July 10, 2017
2016 was billed by many as the “return” of Tennessee football. They had the most talent in the SEC East and were poised to take advantage of a weak division. It didn’t happen. It started great at 5-0, but fell apart. Most of that was due to a rash of injuries, particularly on defense. By the end of the year, Tennessee couldn’t stop anyone.
After a 5-0 start, Tennessee finished 9-4. They won the Music City Bowl. After being in the top ten midway through the year — after beating Georgia and Florida — Tennessee didn’t win the SEC East, which was their goal all along.
Tennessee fell short of their goal in 2016. That’s the very definition of disappointment.
Butch Jones says last season, when he had the most talented team in the East and got run by Vandy, was not a disappointment. It was.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_SEC) July 10, 2017
Most of you agree. I don’t know how you can’t agree. Tennessee football hit a high last year that they hadn’t hit since the Fulmer years. Butch should celebrate that fact. But it’s also okay to be disappointed in how the Vols finished.
Does Butch even believe this? There’s no way he wasn’t disappointed with how his team finished. I get that he’s a positive person, but personally — it would have been nice to hear Butch Jones own it.
You can blame injuries all day long, but at the end of the day the lack of depth falls back on Butch. This happened in year four of his program. There’s no way Tennessee should have been that thin at defensive tackle. He’s done a good job remedying that issue on the recruiting trail, but that lack of depth cost him the SEC East crown last year.
I’m all for keeping it positive and keeping your momentum going, but it’s okay to be disappointed. If your goal was to win the SEC East and win a “championship,” how is it not disappointing to fall short of that goal?