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Camp: Butch Jones Q&A 8/18

Last season was not a good season for the Bearcat secondary. Today Butch Jones talked to the media about the improvements that have been made and the impact Dominique Battle has had so far in camp.

Here is what he had to say to the media following the morning practice on Thursday.

Q. How do you feel practice went today in general?

A. I felt we had good focus. This is the time that you find out about your football team. We are still building our identity and coming together as a football team. Now this is when you find out about your leadership and toughness. We got through some situational football, so today has been an extremely productive day.

Q. Have there been any players in camp that has led by example?

A. We have a number of players who lead by example Zach Collaros, Alex Hoffman, Evan Davis, D.J. Woods, Walter Stewart, and J.K. Schaffer. We have a lot of individuals who are leading right now.

Q. How do you like the defensive secondary?

A. It’s a work in progress. We have to continue to challenge them and we haven’t challenged them as much as we would like to. So over the next couple of days, you will see us really challenge them on the perimeter. We will challenge them by blocking, deep balls, mental toughness, and fighting through being tired.

Q. How much did you miss Dominique Battle last year?

A. Well you find there is always a premium on experience. Dominique brings so much to the table with his experience, and his stability in big games that he has played in. We’ve missed that and have been forced to play some young players. It’s great to have him back. He has been competing every day and adding to the overall competition at the corner spot.

Q. How has Dominique done in camp so far?

A. He has been doing great. He is competing day in and day out. We have a great battle going on there. He has brought it every day and keeps getting better. There is a progression when you are coming back from injury. First game shape, then mental conditioning and Dominique has been doing a great job with it.

Q. How much has your secondary improved from last year?

A. It does have to improve greatly. The whole key to being great in the secondary is the ability to disrupt the quarterback, and we did not do that. It may not be statistically by sacks, but its hits on the quarterback, and hurries. I think for us to improve to a great defense its not just about one component. It’s the defensive line, linebackers, and secondary. A lot of times there will be a 15-yard dig throw over the middle and we’re in cover 2 and yelling at the secondary. It’s not the secondary, it’s the under coverage of the linebackers. So, I think playing great pass defense is the overall objective here.

  • I may just be negative on the "Butch Speak" but man, I just don't feel like he's telling us a lot about this football team in the Q&A sessions. I feel like he only talks about "leadership" and "experience" and how someone is "competing" and very little about football.

    When talking about DBs and comparing to how they played last year i want to hear specifics of what they are working on to actually BE BETTER. What's being done to limit the blown assignments? Are they faster / stronger / more disciplined / more physical as a unit this year compared to last? What are the linebackers practicing to be better in the under coverage? Is there a different approach to the defense this season that will create more pressure on opposing quarterbacks or are we just sticking with the same strategy as last season and banking on better play from the athletes? Why is Dominique so important. No doubt experience is important but why? Is he an important piece because he plays more disciplined, he's faster, he makes the tackles he should make?

    After last season's debauchery, I guess I just want to hear the coach tell exactly why I should believe that they will be vastly improved from last year to this year....

    You better rep that "C" and you better rep it good!

  • Neumann, I would like to know those things too. But you aren't going to hear Butch Jones talk about any of that. He isn't going to say how much he thinks the DBs have or haven't improved. No coach is going to talk about that in the media.

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    GO BEARCATS!! FIGHT!!! FIGHT!!!! FIGHT!!!!!

  • It's driving me nuts. I really want to get excited about a team and being a very rational / analytical type person, I need some reasons that are backed up by some real comparative observations.

    There are some VERY big questions out there when it comes to the offenses ability to limit turnovers, the OL's ability to block effectively, the ability for young receivers to come in and make big plays when needed, and the entire defense....I just want a speckle, a small nugget of good, solid, fact based football information that gives me hope. At this point I just know that they have all killed it in the weight room in the off season and the team is stock piled full of leaders (both on and off the field).

    You better rep that "C" and you better rep it good!

  • Oh, and we know that the defense is intercepting balls left and right which I can't take much from as either good for the defense or bad for the offense...

    You better rep that "C" and you better rep it good!

  • I'm not sure how much he will know about those things until they play someone. I thought this was one of the more specific Q & A reports. I loved how he detailed the challenges the Dbacks will be facing in upcoming practices. That alone tells you the areas he feels they are working to improve with that unit. How much does he want to give away on public message boards, be it concerning strengths or weaknesses? Love everything coming out of camp on this site! Can't wait for Sept. 3rd.

  • Good points. I know they need to play someone to get a great feel for what they need to work on and this site is unbelievable in terms of their access and coverage of the team.

    You better rep that "C" and you better rep it good!

  • I do not have any problem with what CBJ is saying. I am sure Tenn would like to know some of the same answers!

    The other alternative is to join the 1200 Club and go to the 1200 Club Day at Camp Higher Ground this Saturday!

  • BearcatJournal

    Carey Hoffman

    I may just be negative on the "Butch Speak" but man, I just don't feel like he's telling us a lot about this football team in the Q&A sessions. I feel like he only talks about "leadership" and "experience" and how someone is "competing" and very little about football.

    When talking about DBs and comparing to how they played last year i want to hear specifics of what they are working on to actually BE BETTER. What's being done to limit the blown assignments? Are they faster / stronger / more disciplined / more physical as a unit this year compared to last? What are the linebackers practicing to be better in the under coverage? Is there a different approach to the defense this season that will create more pressure on opposing quarterbacks or are we just sticking with the same strategy as last season and banking on better play from the athletes? Why is Dominique so important. No doubt experience is important but why? Is he an important piece because he plays more disciplined, he's faster, he makes the tackles he should make?

    After last season's debauchery, I guess I just want to hear the coach tell exactly why I should believe that they will be vastly improved from last year to this year....

    Talk about asking the right question at the right time. It's like Kerry Coombs read exactly what you said you wanted to hear:

  • Oh, and we know that the defense is intercepting balls left and right which I can't take much from as either good for the defense or bad for the offense...

    I take some of that with a grain of salt because the defense is playing against the same offensive sets. How much mystery can there be? Still, it is somewhat concerning as it relates to Collaros.

  • I may just be negative on the "Butch Speak" but man, I just don't feel like he's telling us a lot about this football team in the Q&A sessions. I feel like he only talks about "leadership" and "experience" and how someone is "competing" and very little about football.

    When talking about DBs and comparing to how they played last year i want to hear specifics of what they are working on to actually BE BETTER. What's being done to limit the blown assignments? Are they faster / stronger / more disciplined / more physical as a unit this year compared to last? What are the linebackers practicing to be better in the under coverage? Is there a different approach to the defense this season that will create more pressure on opposing quarterbacks or are we just sticking with the same strategy as last season and banking on better play from the athletes? Why is Dominique so important. No doubt experience is important but why? Is he an important piece because he plays more disciplined, he's faster, he makes the tackles he should make?

    After last season's debauchery, I guess I just want to hear the coach tell exactly why I should believe that they will be vastly improved from last year to this year....

    Neumann,

    I have been to 3 practices and I can see vast improvements in the secondary compared to a year ago. They are more aggressive, more sure of themselves and are communicating a lot better than they were at any point during last season. Plus, they have more experience and depth than last season.

    I completely understand where you are coming from but I would be shocked if this defense is not greatly improved over last year.

  • I guess I don't understand what competitive advantages are being given away by saying "Last year we were undiciplined and gave up big plays down the field because of blown assignments. Discipline is something we've been preaching and the guys have really responded.". Or "The unit looks faster and stronger this year. They are closing in on receivers faster and not missing tackles".

    There was a breakdown in fundamentals last season. To talk about where the team has improved after a terrible year is not lending itself to giving up any secrets...

    While the defense was terrible last year...my concern is the offense. They had talented players last year and they really struggled at times. They were bad on 3rd down, they turned the ball over and they overall underperformed. I would like to hear that these guys start to look more sharp as camp goes on.

    You better rep that "C" and you better rep it good!

  • perdrim said... (original post)

    I'm not sure how much he will know about those things until they play someone. I thought this was one of the more specific Q & A reports. I loved how he detailed the challenges the Dbacks will be facing in upcoming practices. That alone tells you the areas he feels they are working to improve with that unit. How much does he want to give away on public message boards, be it concerning strengths or weaknesses? Love everything coming out of camp on this site! Can't wait for Sept. 3rd.

    2 Things - 1) He made some lofty statements in pre-season last year that proved unfounded so he is minimalizing everything for our good, his staff's good, and for the players good. I've been watching Oklahoma's "Open Practise Sessions" on ESPNU and Stoops is saying nothing....and if anyone could and should have the depth and stature to say anything it would be him.
    2) Perdrim makes a great point - there is no way he's going to comment on specifics of anything in open media. In fact, it scares me how much IS available. I am VERY LEARY of guys that come on our boards and say they're from an opposing school and just wanted to get our read on how the Bearcats look this year and where our strengths and weaknesses are. In fact I read somewhere last year how some athletic staff actually have people do that to get any skinny they can in advance.
    Therein lies the tightrope that Tim and Todd and Jones and Gelehter walk on.....give the UC viewers some worthy info without tipping off opponents. Are we all naiive enough to believe that TN doesn't have rabid fans doing this and ( whether connected directly to the FB program or not ) funneling back info in some form or another in some conduit or another, to someone who would find it valuable. This is especially true with a HUGE OOC matchup in the 2nd game because UC won't give anything away on tape playing Austin Peay. On another board I accused a Fresno guy of doing this last year and I never saw him on the board again. In this media age the speed and accessibility and usability of info is scary. If we all want UC to have the best chance of winning every week we need to be careful. Admittedly, after X number of games in league play film is available and tendencies are known. But with this CBJ staff and our upgraded talent and depth, we have the element of surprise vs our OOC opponents. Let's protect that.

  • Thanks Todd. That's the kind of stuff I want to hear.

    You better rep that "C" and you better rep it good!

  • I am not privy to any inside info but I will say that the defense knows the plays the offense runs and vice versa. So while its good to hear about how well the defense is doing doesn't really sway me to believe that all of a sudden they have become the Steelers defense. I'm more concerned about Zach throwing a bunch of interceptions even if the defense knows the plays there is no need to force the issue and turn the ball over. Speaking of turnovers, Tim/Todd has ball security been a problem in practice?

    I love Coach Jones but I wish we could see more of the fiery guy in the locker room videos than the understated guy in the media. For all of CBK's faults there was a certain bravado about him that in my opinion the kids fed off of. Maybe I tend to over analyze things but it sounds to me that the players are trying to convince themselves and the media that they are better than last year it doesn't really sound like they mean it, again this is just one mans opinion. I believe in this team I just hope they believe in themselves.

  • Firey is something you do not have to worry about when it comes to CBJ. I have seen quite a bit of that side of him while I have watched practice.

    This post was edited by Todd Cunningham 3 years ago

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  • I hear ya Woody, but I really think that this is that time of year when we are all just needing to see the guys actually play somebody so that we can form any opinion that is too meaningful. I personally don't think that confidence or believing in themselves was much of a problem last season, rather execution in many fundamentals that must be better this year for them to win more games. Can't wait to see them get their chance to show us all something on the field biggrin

  • bcatwilly said... (original post)

    I hear ya Woody, but I really think that this is that time of year when we are all just needing to see the guys actually play somebody so that we can form any opinion that is too meaningful. I personally don't think that confidence or believing in themselves was much of a problem last season, rather execution in many fundamentals that must be better this year for them to win more games. Can't wait to see them get their chance to show us all something on the field

    If they are as conditioned as we are told, and bigger, stronger, faster. more skilled, and more experienced, then it all comes down to play calling, game management, and execution. Our 1's should be as good as one else we play this year. They stay healthy and we could be good. If our running game is there this year that will take a ton of pressure off Zach and the hurries and interceptions should go way down and execution way up. If we give the ball to Pead 20+ times a game and work in Poteat and RDA, and re-discover our TE in the gameplan, I like our chances. The OL will define this team and so far you gotta like the improvement.

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  • http://cincinnati.247sports.com/Article/Camp-Butch-Jones-QA-818-36017

    Last season was not a good season for the Bearcat secondary. Today Butch Jones talked to the media about the improvements that have been made and the impact Dominique Battle

    I am totally with the original poster. And c'mon guys, we are not looking for coach to reveal X's and o's. But what Neumann asked is comPletely reasonable and in no way gives away anything actionable to our opponents.

    This year, I want to see the mistakes cleaned up, the unwarranted chest-bumping to stop, and the OL and entire defense to show improvement.

    And so help me, if we get beat regularly on wheel routes again, I may have an aneurism.

    I hate the coach-speak, and after watching the mess on the field last year, I am left wondering if CBJ knows how to fix the issues. I hope to God he is just playing close to his vest, and not just full of hot air.

    Recruiting has been great, A+, in my book considering. I just need to see some evidence that CBJ can coach and I did not see that last year.

    Hopefully that's because there was such a deficit on talent last year that Vince Lombardi couldn't have coached them up, as others have insinuated. I really truly hope so. We are more talented this year and will be even moreso next year.

    Please prove my doubts wrong CBJ. I would be the happiest guy on here.

  • If someone has a few extra bucks, maybe head down to Austin and see what 'ol Mack has to say after his practices, cause I'm sure Longhorn fans want some damn answers after last year.

  • Bearcatjim said... (original post)

    And so help me, if we get beat regularly on wheel routes again, I may have an aneurism.

    Jim , well said. Agree 1000%. You and I will both in the E.R.

  • Canuckcat said... (original post)

    Jim , well said. Agree 1000%. You and I will both in the E.R.

    In fairness, the wheel route ISa good play cool

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