Butch Jones addressed the media on Monday after the Vols loss to Kentucky.
It was business as usual for Jones, who remains the Vols’ head coach despite Tennessee losing four consecutive games, including only the second loss to Kentucky in the last three decades.
He reviewed Tennessee’s loss on Saturday, updated a few injuries and also spoke to questions surrounding his job security moving forward.
Quinten Dormady is done for the season with a shoulder injury. Jones said that injury has been bothering the junior quarterback for quite some time.
“He’s tried to fight through it, but felt at this point in time that surgery was needed,” Jones said.
He also added that the only serious injury sustained against Kentucky was an ankle injury for Josh Smith. He will be out for the Vols’ homecoming game on Saturday.
John Kelly and Will Ignont were suspended for Saturday’s game. Their status is still up on the air for Southern Miss, according to Jones.
“They’ll be back at practice today. We’ll see how their week of preparation goes, whether they’ll be available for the game or not. That’s on them.”
Confidence from Currie
John Currie hasn’t made a public statement on the status of his football coach. But Jones doesn’t care.
For him and his players, it’s business as usual.
“Our players, just like us, it’s back to work for another week. They’re ready to go just like our coaching staff,” he said.
Jones said after the loss that he “absolutely” believed he had Currie’s support. When he was asked if that feeling had changed over the past 36 hours, he gave a succinct response.
“Nothing has changed at all.”
Jones says that he and Currie meet everyday. And the conversation has been focused on day-to-day operations.
In terms of recruiting, Jones says that prospective athletes aren’t concerned about his job security.
“It’s definitely been a challenging month, but the message has stayed the same,” Jones said. “Our recruits understand what we have here and our relationships. That really has been a non-factor.”
“I was really excited about the play of all three running backs. I thought all three really stepped up,” Jones said.
Ty Chandler, Tim Jordan and Carlin Fils-aime all got valuable reps with John Kelly suspended.
Chandler specifically stood out, leading the team in rushing for the first time in his career. And it likely won’t be the last time.
“I thought Ty brings some different dynamics to our offense, and that was good to see,” Jones added.
At the quarterback position, Jones complimented Jarrett Guarantano for taking another step forward. Although the redshirt freshman is still winless in each of his starts, he showed progress according to Jones.
“He’s making significant progress game in and game out,” Jones said. “Are there a few throws that were touchdown throws that he left out there? Yes, but that’s all a part of the growth and maturation phase for a freshman quarterback.”