Vols say little to ruffle favored status
HOOVER, Ala. — For the first time in coach Butch Jones’ tenure, Tennessee arrived at SEC Media Days on Tuesday knowing it probably will be named SEC East favorite by the end of the week thanks to the 17 starters it returns from a 9-4 team.
It was clear from the time Jones and the three attending players began speaking that they had no interest in creating much news beyond their likely poll position. Jones held tightly to his cliches in each of his media meetings, and the controversy-averse trio of linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin, cornerback Cameron Sutton and quarterback Josh Dobbs dodged every attempt media members made to discuss either their long-term goals or the social media skirmish that broke out with Florida players over the offseason.
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Sutton wouldn’t even acknowledge that the Vols were circling the Sept. 24 game against Florida on the calendar after 11 straight losses in that series.
“We open up with Appalachian State, who was an 11-win team last year,” Sutton said. “We don’t consider ourselves worried about games long down the road. It’s one week at a time, one game at a time. That’s our mindset right now. We’re focused on Appalachian State. ”
Dobbs’ coachspeak game was at an even higher level.