Butch Jones is back in the spotlight again.
And it’s the same old message. Sorry, Tennessee fans.
Jones talked to ESPNU Radio on Sirius XM on Thursday morning. And his comments sounded awfully familiar.
“I’m very proud of what we accomplished at Tennessee,” Jones said during the interview. “Two back-to-back nine win seasons, three straight bowl games — we were able to do things here that haven’t been done in 10, 15, 20 years.”
.@CoachButchJones told us he's proud of where he took the program at @Vol_Football, and "as you get ready for the next journey you learn from some things and you get ready to move on. Already I'm starting to get the itch."
— ESPNU Radio on SiriusXM (@ESPNUonSiriusXM) January 4, 2018
Jones’ motto for the 2016 season was “own it.” But instead of following his own mantra from two seasons ago, his answers on Thursday were filled with excuses.
“The last two years, I’ve never been a part of anything like this year,” Jones went on to say. “29 concussions, we had 25 players out. I’ve never seen anything like that.”
His statements sounded like a job interview for any school looking for a coach. Except there was never any admission of wrongdoing, of which there was plenty while he served as Tennessee’s head coach.
Jones could have expanded on what didn’t work at Tennessee. The failure to win an SEC East title, the worst season in program history, or the inability to beat rivals consistently. But he spent his time talking about why his progress wasn’t noticed and appreciated.
“I thought we’d come a long way, and I’m proud of all of our players and staff,” he said. “As you get ready for the next journey you learn from some things and you get ready to move on. Already I’m starting to get the itch.”
Jones will find that journey by cutting out the excuses.
When you have three consecutive years of unprecedented injury problems under three different strength coaches, it’s time to completely reevaluate. In order for Jones to be successful at his next stop, he’ll need to find more answers than excuses.
But during his time with Tennessee, Jones had an abundant amount of excuses and failed to find the answers needed in order to have success.