Chat with Butch Jones
Jones is in hist first season as head coach at Cincinnati.
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, Cincinnati football head coach Butch Jones stops by to chat about the upcoming season.
Jones enters his first year as Cincinnati's head coach after spending the last two seasons at Central Michigan. Since arriving at Cincinnati, Jones has made an immediate impact, building a staff of championship-level coaches as well as a competitive and family oriented atmosphere.
Jones left CMU with an overall record of 27-13 and 20-3 MAC record, leading the Chippewas to two MAC conference champinsihps and three-straight bowl appearences.
Send your questions now and join Jones Friday at 11:45 a.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (11:33 AM)
We'll have Coach here at 11:45 a.m. ET to take your questions!
Buzzmaster (11:48 AM)
Coach is just a couple of minutes away!
Buzzmaster (11:49 AM)
He is here!
Do you approach coaching any differently now that you are at a BCS school rather than a non-AQ school?
Butch Jones (11:50 AM)
I would say no. It's still about developing your players on an every day basis, not only on the field, but off the field. And continuing to also build your program on a day to day basis.
Chris W (Cincinnati, OH)
What would it mean to this team/this season/this program/this city to beat Oklahoma at Paul Brown Stadium and how well does UC match up with OU?
Butch Jones (11:51 AM)
Playing a great storied program, like Oklahoma, will be a great challenge for us. But with great challenges also lies great opportunities. I think it's great for Cincinnati, the school and city, and all of our fans to play the Sooners in a great venue like Paul Brown and we're looking forward to the challenge. We have to also keep in perspective that it's just one of our games in a 12 game season.
Butch, I know coaches don't like to get into pre-season polls..but what do you tell your players when they get no respect again with starting the season unranked?
Butch Jones (11:52 AM)
The big thing for us, it's not where you start, but where you finish. I really don't need to say much as our players are very aware of it. I think it can be a motivating factor. BUt in the grand scheme of things, it's all about where you finish. The respect will come.
Joe (San Diego)
You seem to be recruiting a lot of skill players, what are your plans to sure up the o and d lines?
Butch Jones (11:54 AM)
The foundation of our offense and defense will always stem from up front with the lines. They are a priority and also the skill positions as well. A lot of the recruiting comes from the number of players you will lose due to graduation. At the WR position, we lose 4 receivers to graduation after this season.
Do you see collaros having as many rushing attempts as Lefevour did with you at CMU? Or will you give more of the carries to Pead?
Butch Jones (11:55 AM)
We are very excited about Pead and really feel that he can be a major weapon within our offense. A lot of the times the running of a QB is dictated by the flow of the game and the defensive scheme. We have to do a great job of protecting Zach and we would like the bulk of the carries to stem from the RB position. But we still want to make him a dual threat in the scheme.
Much has been made about your frenetic practice pace and lifting routines. Can you describe a typical practice leading up to the season?
Butch Jones (11:56 AM)
We like to call it controlled chaos and we really believe that in order to play fast, you have to practice at that same tempo. However, we do have periods in practice, where we do slow the tempo down in order to teach a little bit more.
Chaz (Dayton, OH)
Coach Jones, any update on Kenbrell Thompkins?
Butch Jones (11:57 AM)
I would say we're still in the process and we expect to make an announcement very soon.
I keep hearing your passing and running game is about ball control (short passes, screens, etc) but will your passing game still have the vertical feel to it that UC had last year? More directly, will we see some big plays or what?!
Butch Jones (11:58 AM)
Yes. In our offense, we must be able to execute all of the throws, from the deep ball to the intermediate to the short. The veritcal passing game is a big part of our scheme.
Coach, I know there have been studies done but is there any tenative time line to renovating Nippert?
Butch Jones (11:58 AM)
We're still in the early stages of exploring every possible scenario to improve Nippert.
Leif E. (Clifton - Bearcat Nation)
Coach- with so many weapons at the WR position this year, how do you plan on distributing the ball to each of the guys?
Butch Jones (11:59 AM)
The big thing for us to to take advantage of each players' skill set. Everything is still based off the concept of team first. Our skill players have great respect for each other. The great thing is we really feel we can cause some defenses issues with the number of options that we have.
Greg (Rochester, MI)
Are there any plans in the works to continue scheduling top notch out of conference games? Anything with the Big Ten in the works?
Butch Jones (12:00 PM)
Yes. In the near future, Ohio State is on the schedule. Purdue is on the schedule. We will continue to look for these type of games.
Aaron (Cincinnati )
Coach, how do you keeps the players focused on Fresno St, and Indiana St without over looking those teams and looking forwarded to Oklahoma?
Butch Jones (12:02 PM)
Fresno State definitely has our attention and respect of all of our players. All you have to do is go back to last year when they had an opportunity to win at the end. It will be a great challenge to go in there and play in their environment. As for Indiana State, we have respect for their program, and on any given Saturday, anyone can beat anyone. When you have higher expectations and goals for your season, every game is critical.
Dylan (Pittsburgh, PA)
Are you surprised that cinci is not ranked in the top 25 poll this year? I am a pitt fan and i think they should not have been left out.
Butch Jones (12:03 PM)
I think that with the Big East Conference as competitive as it's going to be this year, there were a number of teams that deserved to be ranked in the top 25. When you have as many of these quality teams, there are so many teams that you can put into the poll. But again, it's not where you start, but it's where you finish.
What has surprised you most about the state of the football program since being at Cincinnati?
Butch Jones (12:04 PM)
I would say no there isn't anything that's surprising. I tried to do my due diligence in research as possible. It's been extremely positive and we as a staff have been overwhelmed by the passion and excitement that people have for Bearcat football.
Coach, We're thrilled ot have you in CIncinnati and are already proud of you in the way you've made such an effort ot become part of the community. Hope you stay a long time. Recognizing that all teams can be dangerous, what games are giving you heartburn beyond the obvious marquis games (OU, Pitt, WVU)?
Butch Jones (12:05 PM)
Yes, our first game of the year versus Fresno State. Having to fly to the West Coast, weather conditions and they have a great home field advantage. I've watched last year's game numerous times and they were poised and positioned at the end of the game to win it. They definitely have our attention.
Chaz (Dayton, OH)
Coach, how is your family adapting to life in the Queen City?
Butch Jones (12:06 PM)
We love it. I've said it on numerous occasions, Cincinnati is a big city with small town values with tremendous pride. It's a great city to raise a family, especially with small boys. We couldn't be prouder to be residents of Cincinnati.
Butch Jones (12:07 PM)
We're very excited to get this season started and our first practice on Monday. I greatly appreciate everyone's support through the whole transition. I know our players and staff are excited to go out there and represent the "C" on a daily basis. Me and my staff are working hard each and every day to make everyone proud and proud to be Bearcats.