Butch Jones met with members of the media after practice on Tuesday to talk about mental toughness, a RB sitting out and freshmen that are standing out thus far in camp.
Here is what he had to say after the ninth practice of training camp.
Q. Why didn’t Isaiah Pead practice today?
A. He is just nursing a sore leg, just getting him back to strength, so we decided to hold him out. Also it gives an opportunity to our young backs to get reps, nothing serious.
Q. Has there been a freshman that has stood out yet during camp in your eyes?
A. Well I think we have asked so much of our freshman that it’s very hard to say right now. We have thrown a lot at Jameel Poteat, Shaq Washington, Dwight Jackson, and Nick Temple. We have thrown a lot at all the freshman but those individuals in particular. I thought they have done a great job of handing it. It’s just fighting through the daily grind of training camp.
Q. Are you happy how Zach Collaros is coming along in camp so far?
A. Yes I think he is progressing. The big thing is the past couple of days we have been turning the ball over. We can’t turn the football over; we have to make good decisions with the football. It’s not just been Zach, it’s been coming from our second and third string quarterbacks. We have to do a better job. Also it’s not just them it’s also the wide receivers running the appropriate routes, and the effort. Although I have been pleased with Zach so far.
Q. Are you happy where your defense is right now? The past 2 days of practice it seems they have been causing a lot of turnovers.
A. It’s and on going process. There are a lot of things we can do better. As a coach, you are always looking at things, how we can get better and what to improve on. So it’s an on going process. I think we are making strides. We are still making a few mental mistakes; all of our big plays that we have given up in camp have either been a missed assignment or lost leverage on the football. I think we will know a little more tonight when we do some live tackling situations.
Q. Last week you said your team needs an Navy Seals type of mentality, have you reached that yet?
A. It’s a work in progress. We are still in no way, shape or form there yet. I think the next few days of practice we will find out a lot about our football team. We just concluded practice 9. Your mentality, work ethic and your leadership is what sets in and drives you. Your body is sore and you’re mentally tired, you have been out here for a while. This is where toughness is born right now.