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KEEPING UP WITH THE JONES'

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No doubt, because of the Lance Stephenson news of the hour, Wednesday's practice didn't have it's usual array of reporters.   So, my due diligence of the day is to provide you with full Butch access.....

On today's effort....


"I liked our tempo, we've got to pick it up though. I really like the mentality right now that our defense has. Right now, offensively, we're still not executing the way we need to. We have way too much talent on offense right now, with it being practice #7, to not be executing more. That's going to be a point of emphasis again. I'm not real happy where our offense is right now. That's what usually happens in spring football, the defense is usually ahead of the offense, but we've got to step it up."


OL Jason Kelce trying to rally the offense today (verbally) looking for that?


"No question. Jason's a very passionate individual and he takes great pride in everything that he does. Most teams that win have peer pressure and they don't want to let each other down. One of our goals this spring is to develop our leadership, who's going to be our leaders? It's our job to teach them leadership qualities but we're also looking where our leaders are. I expect to see leaders step up. Jason's an individual who's been through a lot, he's been very successful in this program and he's paid his dues."


On how individual competitions make you better....


"That's why we compete on each and every play and that's why we end practice as coming together as a team because we are one. But, when you compete on every snap on both sides of the ball, that makes you a better football team."


Trying to make statement with more physical practices?


"Well, I think our philosophy as a coaching staff and it's our program philosophy. I don't think it has anything to do with what's gone on in the past, it's the way we conduct our business. That's the way we're going to play and those are our demands and those are our expectations."


Halfway point...good and bad....


"I think we're still learning how to practice. When I say learn how to practice--how we track the ball in a 'tag' situation, how we tackle, how we block on the perimeter, how we run the football--so we're still going through that process. I think our players came out here on back-to-back days and the 'want' is there. Now, it comes down to they've got to do a better job of executing our schemes, the finite details that it takes--the proper route technique, the pass 'pro' technique, being able to rush the passer--all those different things that continue to be a work in progress."


Grading how team has taken to the new staff....


"It's an ongoing process, but I would say an 'A'. We're still learning each other, we're still learning each and every day. But, I think what they should find out is that we care for them both on and off the field. We're very passionate in what we do. We're very fair and we're going to demand excellence. We're going to demand greatness on every snap. I think our players are showing that they want to please by their academic progress and by the way they're practicing, so I've been extremely happy to date."


Intense red-zone drill today...point of emphasis?


"No question. It's a mentality. You've got to live that mentality everyday, it's a way of life. Obviously, coaching is correcting but also you need to point out the good too and you want to reward the performance that you want. There was a number of times where finally our tight ends started blocking the way we want them too."


Number of yellow jerseys...tough to prevent...training staff always keeps them busy....


"There's something to always do to get better and rehab your injuries and a couple of them are hamstring pulls and we need to get them back."


Is it not also a little 'incentive' to try to get them back quicker on the field?


"Well, there's a difference between being injured and being hurt. Sometimes, you've got to push through some other things. Some things you've got to be smart and each individual has his own circumstances."


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