HOOVER, Ala. (WHNT) – From Mississippi State, Coach Dan Mullen, Kaleb Eulls, Benardrick McKinney, and Tyler Russell are here. From Tennessee, Coach Butch Jones, Antonio Richardson, Ja’Wuan James, and Jacques Smith are here.
Continue our coverage of SEC Media Days with Auburn’s press conference here: http://whnt.com/2013/07/17/live-blog-sec-media-days-auburn-and-arkansas/
Jones has concluded his press conference. Student athletes from Tennessee will take the stage shortly for questions.
Jones on his players using Twitter: We have a character education program that is very extensive. One bad Tweet can change everyone’s opinion of you in one second.
Jones: Everyone is working for inches. Everyone is looking for the edge. That’s what makes this the best conference.
Jones said there were no surprises moving up to the SEC. The analogy he gave was it’s like being fourth-and-one in a national championship game.
Jones: There’s some things we won’t compromise. We want to play an uptempo game. We will slow it down if we need to, but we want to have an uptempo team. We’re not going to be a finesse team, we’re going to be an aggressive team. We want our playmakers to have the ball.
Jones: Our senior class have done a great job of holding everyone to the high standards we want. It’s great to have a player-coached team rather than a coach-coached team.
Jones on being the new head coach for the Vols: The circumstances change, but the process doesn’t. The transition has been seamless and we have relied on what we have learned from past changes.
Jones: The focus is on our team. Making every student better in every aspect of their lives. The next phase is recruiting a very high caliber of student athlete.
Jones: “We have to focus on the process, we can’t worry about the end result right now, we have to focus on the process.”
Jones: I think we left spring football a much better team.
Coach Jones has taken the stage. He has begun to speak about improvements, both mental and physical, of his players.
“Our football team lost over 260 pounds of fat and gained with that about 230 pounds of muscle mass, and that leads me to believe that these players are hungry and they want to win.” -Butch Jones
Jones has won four conference championships in six seasons as a head coach, including the Big East title in 2011 and 2012 with Cincinnati and the 2007 and 2009 Mid-American Conference titles at Central Michigan.
This is Jones’ first season at the University of Tennessee. He is the 24th head coach of the Vols. Jones has a 50-27 record in six seasons as a head coach and comes from the University of Cincinnati, where he finished with a 23-14 record.
The Mississippi State players have left the media room. Tennessee Coach Butch Jones will take the stage shortly.
Mullen has ended his press conference. Soon, Kaleb Eulls, Benardrick McKinney, and Tyler Russell will join us to answer questions.
Mullen remarked that his players have gotten behing what the Mississippi State football program is trying to accomplish. He also thanked his fans for their continued support.
Mullen: I hope we start the season 7-0 again. I think our guys know how to handle that diversity now. You have to know how to put that last game behind you and move on and look toward the future.
Mullen on having four different defensive coordinators in the last five years: Well, we have the defensive co-coordinators, so we don’t have much turnover. Those guys have gone on to bigger and better things, and that is to be expected.
Mullen: Our first loss last year affected us, I think. But, it was a great learning point for our guys and i think we took a lot from it.
I don’t think our players we as disappointed about the bowl game loss because of that.
Coach Dan Mullen, Mississippi State: I’m very proud of our team.
We have a very young team, with only ten seniors.
I’m very proud of how our students have stepped up to leadership roles left by the large senior class that we lost.