Advertise with usContact UsRTI Team

Report Card: Tennessee’s 2014 Season

Butch Jones-1


Daniel: This was a good coaching job by Butch Jones and his staff. The Vols hit the recruiting trail hard before the 2014 season and those upgrades were immediately noticeable on the field in many places. Despite facing adversity and one of the tougher schedules in the nation, Jones managed to get Tennessee back to a bowl game for the first time since 2010 and to win one for the first time since the 2007 season. That’s impressive. I had questions from time to time about game management, especially in the Florida, South Carolina (yes, they won that one) and Missouri games, but I also thought there were some great calls and moments sprinkled in throughout the season from the staff. The quarterback situation was tough to get a handle on for everybody. Watching portions of fall camp, I completely understood why Worley won the job, but after seeing what Dobbs did, should the coaches have put him in earlier in the season? Would they have done it all if not for the injury? I’m not going to nail the staff for a hypothetical, but that was one of the most interesting aspects of covering the team and staff in 2014. Overall, this staff overachieved and continues to do a solid job building the program. The Vols should be in position to compete for bigger and better prizes as soon as 2015. Grade: B+

Houston: It was really hard to get a feel for this team heading out of fall camp, and I think that led to some questionable moves by the staff early in the season as they tried to figure out what this team could and couldn’t do. The gameplan against Georgia nearly led to a victory between the hedges, while the plan for Florida was average at best. The injury to Justin Worley led to questions about whether or not Joshua Dobbs should have at least been getting reps as Tennessee’s backup quarterback during the season, and I think that those are are fair questions considering how well Dobbs performed. But, when you look at the final record against a brutal schedule and the way these young Vols improved over the course of the season, it’s hard not to be extremely impressed with what the staff was able to get out of this team – even as the injuries began to pile up. Off the field, the staff has stayed completely intact since Jones’ arrival and recruiting on The Hill is as good as it as ever been. Those reasons, combined with the on-field improvement point to an extremely bright future on Rocky Top. Stealing a win against Florida or Georgia would have meant an A for the coaches, but, all in all, it was still a really good year. Grade: B+

Reed: This was a big year for Tennessee’s coaching staff. They got the Vols back to postseason play and led UT to its first bowl victory since the 2007 season. Nearly every group improved from last season to the end of this season. Perhaps nothing illustrates that more than this stat: The Vols were outscored by 5.2 points per game last year but outscored opponents by 4.7 points per game this year – a 9.9 ppg swing. That’s just phenomenal improvement and bodes well headed into a 2015 season which should see the Vols favored in the majority of their games. There were a few hiccups along the way, there always are, but Tennessee was a much improved team this season and looks to be on the way to big things in the coming years. Grade: B+

Average Grade: B+

Similar Articles


Tweet Us