As the Vols get ready for fall camp, it sounds like they just finished up a fun kind of summer camp. Said defensive end Corey Miller,"We've had cook-outs together. We've done rafting trips." Said linebacker A.J. Johnson,"Rafting experience was real fun. When we got to the part where you get out on the water, we had some tackling drills. You get to hit people off the raft. That was one of the fun parts of it." Said safety Brian Randolph,"I know we go bowling every Wednesday and Friday night. Just try to hang out more." Reporter-"How does that make you a better football team?" Said Randolph,"Like when the fourth quarter comes around or it gets tough. Workouts get tough and all that stuff, you feel like that's your brother. I feel like you just don't want to let them down."
Coach Jones has tried to create a Band of Brothers ever since he arrived in Knoxville. "When we first came here, we did the name test. The guys had three minutes. There was a picture of names, their first and last names. We charted what names were missed, but also the individuals who were missing those names. That's all part of a family."
Jones believes camaraderie among the coaching staff is also important. "If you have a staff that has great chemistry and loyalty, kids are smart. They can feel it." Said Miller,"I feel a huge difference between this staff and our previous staff. Both staffs are great guys, but this staff actually shows you a more family oriented type of relationship."
Team chemistry can often be a sports cliché, but Jones has felt the real results at his previous stop in Cincinnati. "It's not a secret. Are we going to be the most talented team this year? No we're not. We all understand that. But talent doesn't win championships, teams win championships. Last place I was at, we won two championships in-a-row, and I believe we voted fourth or fifth in our conference."