'The process'

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One step at a time, one snap at a time, one route at a time, one throw at a time, one first down at a time. The Tennessee Volunteers, under new head coach Butch Jones, will be all about one thing — the process.

The focus is the now, the end result a compilation of every step taken to get there. As the Vols ready to trot onto Haslam for the first of 15 spring practices Saturday, March 9 at 10:45 in the morning the focus will be completely on the process.

"We have to focus on the process," Jones told members of the media during his press conference Friday afternoon. "Too many people want to focus on the end result. We just have to focus on the process and that is winning tomorrow.

"Like I said, make no mistake about it, I am a big believer in the Navy Seals and a big part of the Navy Seals is setting short-term goals, short-range goals, every hour you begin those goals and that is the approach."

The process begins with rebuilding the program from the ground up. Jones and company must develop a standard of excellence that has been lost in the transition of five different head coaches in a matter of six years.

"We are going to have an execution-based system," Jones said. "I think the big thing is developing the overall standard of play. You have to learn to walk before you can run. That is why we take our time with the installations. We are going to teach our style of play and we are going to build that confidence."

"Before we can throw a lot at them we are going to teach them how to practice, we are going to teach them how to play and then the schemes will come. I believe in execution. Do your players execute it? Do they know it? What do we own? By the end of practice 15 I want to know what we own in all three phases."

Ja'Wuan James says him in combination with left tackle Tiny Richardson have the potential to be the best tackle duo in the country.
(Danny Parker/InsideTennessee.com)

Junior quarterback Justin Worley says a new standard was evident from the moment the Jones and his coaching staff first spoke with "Team 117" as they have come be known under the new regime, as the 117 team in Tennessee football history.

"He has really talked about short-term goals and winning day-to-day really touches on that," Worley said. "If you compound winning the day one time, two times, three times in a row it starts building and you starting learning from that. Hopefully learning from winning one day turns into winning games, winning weeks, winning rivalries and different things like that.

"The coaches definitely came in and set the tone for how they want things run — not being late for meetings, workouts and things like that. The players have taken hold of that too. You can see the different energy about us, different attitudes being brought to meetings and different things like that."

One of the biggest goals for spring practice won't lie in executing a slant route or breaking down zone coverage, but instead finding which Volunteers will lead Butch Jones first squad on The Hill.

"What is your commitment level," Jones asked. "What is your commitment level to winning? What is your commitment to being a better football player each and every day? What is your commitment level to your teammates? What is your commitment level to the University of Tennessee? Our players have been outstanding. They have done anything and everything that we have asked of them.

"We are looking for individuals who consistently perform at a championship level. We always talk about it is better to be a player-coached team than a coach-coached team in terms of team togetherness. We are developing that brotherhood and that family each and every day."

For Tennessee, the 2013 season will be all about attention to detail, details that cost Tennessee in games such as one-score losses to teams like Georgia, South Carolina and Missouri in 2012.

"This year we just need to focus on attention to details and the little things that happened to add up to losses last year," Worley said. "We are trying not to look back on last year. This is all about Team 117 and just developing who we have here. We are moving on now."

That attention to detail starts in a matter of hours when Tennessee begins the standard acclimation period of spring practice when NCAA rules prohibit players from wearing shoulder pads for two practices.

"There is only so much you can do in helmets, but the big thing I want to see is the attention to details, the small details, the stance, the starts and I want to see how much they can retain from the meetings," Jones said. "I want to see how much our players can take from the meeting room, the classroom setting and apply it."

Be sure to stay tuned to InsideTennessee.com for all the latest from Butch Jones first Tennessee Volunteers spring practice session on The Hill.

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