Butler excited to get started at USC

New special teams coordinator John Butler spoke with the media after practice on Thursday, as he goes through his first spring practice as a part of Steve Spurrier's South Carolina staff. Butler most recently served as an assistant at Minnesota and has spent the time since his hire working hard to acclimate himself in Columbia.

John Butler is excited to be at South Carolina.

After all, there's so many advantages to serving under Steve Spurrier at an SEC school and Butler said he couldn't be more excited to get things going at USC.

"So far it's been great," said Butler. "The staff is outstanding, the players have been awesome. I've been here four days working with the players and all I can say is I'm very, very, very, very happy to be here and I'm not overstating that at all. Every aspect."

And what are some other advantages to being in Columbia, South Carolina in March as opposed to Minnesota or the northeast? Well according to Butler, getting to be outside in the fresh air will serve him just fine.

"The weather's a big part of it too," said Butler with a smile. "Being able to be outside. I coached at Minnesota and it was great, and I coached at Harvard for four years. The last eight years our spring ball have been you're either dealing with snow or inside. So it's nice to be outside."

Gamecock fans certainly loved the passion and enthusiasm of Shane Beamer, both in his on-field demeanor as well as his tirelessness on the recruiting trail. While it remains to be seen what sort of enthusiasm Butler will show on the sideline at Williams-Brice, it appears that he will definitely attack the challenges facing him with the same type of gusto.

"With what we've got, I'm excited to start working with them," said Butler. "I think a couple of main things in the spring is one, I've got to identify who they are in terms of where they fit within our schemes. Our schemes aren't going to be overly complicated. They're going to be something that's simplistic enough that we're going to execute. That's the second thing, coming out of the spring we've got to be sure they understand the basic fundamentals of what we're trying to do. Spring's all about installing your schemes and identifying personnel."

Carolina fans shouldn't be too worried about the potential of a lot of starters potentially risking injury on special teams, as Butler said they would look to use the best players but that he also felt depth was satisfactory for his needs.

"Our philosophy here is we're going to use the best players, but we're also going to be smart," said Butler. "We're going to play the ones that we think can help us win the football game in all areas. And I think we've got enough depth that there's not going to be a situation where I'm going to have to use many guys on more than (a couple) phases in my initial evaluation of our personnel."

With any coaching change, there is always the transition factor. From different schemes to entirely different players, it will often be a new look unit as the years and coaches change.

One way to combat some of that uncertainty is with preparation, and Butler said he is doing plenty of that as he looks to build another successful unit at USC.

"I've watched every single rep of every single special teams (play)," said Butler. "I know exactly who's played where and who played well, and maybe some spots we've got to move some different guys. I feel like I've got a pretty good idea of what they did well in the past and what we've got to do better in the future."

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