Why Nick Saban considers Butch Jones 'a great guy' to have on Alabama's staff
Each week during the season, Butch Jones provides Alabama coach Nick Saban with a report of how the Crimson Tide can improve on offense.
That’s one of Jones’ duties as an offensive analyst. The former Tennessee coach is in his second year working in that capacity on Saban’s staff.
“Most of the stuff (Jones does) is behind the scenes,” Saban said Wednesday. “Film study, doing administrative-type work. He always does a, ‘What do we need to do on offense?’ for me, in his opinion, in terms of improving, based on film study and things like that. His role has always sort of been that.
“He’s done a really, really good job of it. He’s a great person and a great guy to have in your organization.”
Jones was on Alabama's sideline last season when the Crimson Tide defeated Tennessee 58-21 at Neyland Stadium. Some Vols fans got riled up when images were posted after the game showing Jones partaking in a celebratory cigar, a tradition honored by the victors in this rivalry.
Jones never got to light up while Tennessee’s coach. The Vols were 0-5 against Alabama during Jones’ tenure, losing by a combined score of 192-61.
Jones is set to collect buyout money from Tennessee through Feb. 28, 2021. UT owed Jones $8.26 million when it fired him in November 2017, due in monthly installments. Jones’ earnings after his firing mitigates the buyout, but his $35,000 analyst salary does little to offset UT’s damages.
Jones reportedly was close to taking an on-field assistant coach position at Maryland during the offseason but opted to return to Saban’s staff for a second season.
“Butch had job opportunities after last year, and he decided he wanted to stay here,” Saban said. “I think it’s obviously an advantage when you have continuity in your program with the people that you have in the organization at any level.”
What’s Brian Maurer’s status?
Vols coach Jeremy Pruitt said quarterback Brian Maurer will be “a game-time decision” for the Alabama game after he exited with a concussion during the second quarter of Tennessee’s 20-10 win Saturday against Mississippi State.
Maurer participated during individual periods of Tuesday’s practice that were open to the media.
“He’s went kind of through the (concussion) protocol here, and he’s taking some reps,” Pruitt said.
Blake Toppmeyer covers University of Tennessee football. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @btoppmeyer. If you enjoy Blake’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that will allow you access to all of it.