Jones says Vols improving in 'small increments'

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (release) -- Coming into day four of fall camp the focus was on consistency and performance day in and day out. Afterwards, head coach Butch Jones felt like overall it was a step in the right direction.

Still one ongoing challenge stuck out in Jones' head.

"I thought an extremely productive day today," he said. "Still working to build our identity with this football team and what happens now is our players have to understand now the consistency in performance, the consistency in their preparation, the mental effort, and the mental intensity that it takes."

As the Vols finished the day and continue into the heart of their long stretch of practices, they'll look to continue a routine of constant improvement despite the physical taxation that can start to wear a team down.

"We have a long way to go," Jones said after Monday's practice. "I do think we're improving in small increments but we are improving.

"This is how teams win in the fourth quarter. Teams that win in the fourth quarter have a consistency in their performance each and every time out."

Jones stressed the importance that training camp has on creating mentally tough individuals who are able to win in tough situations even noting some of the outside strains on the Volunteer football team.

"I try to really study our football team and where they're going to be and they're going through a grind right now," he said. "As you all know our practices are demanding but a lot of these individuals have an academic workload as well and it stems in finishing this week also in summer school."

It's that tough, grinding mentality that Jones and his staff are trying to get molded into the identity of Team 117.

"I told every player when we walked in here and we had our first meeting, Dec. 7, everyone was responsible for building their own identity," said Jones. "What they had done in the past did not have any merit at all."

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