John Adams: Tennessee‘s experienced staff could make up for loss in continuity

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSVIDEO: Scenes from the UT Football Recruiting Announcement Event | 1:14

Scenes from the UT Football Recruiting Announcement Event

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSUT coach Butch Jones visits Nashville after Signing Day | 0:48

Tennessee football coach Butch Jones talks with fans about Signing Day at Nissan Stadium. Shelley Mays/The Tennessean

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSBob Shoop: New recruits will mix well with returning players | 1:21

Tennessee's defensive coordinator thinks new recruits will mix well with returning players. Mike Strange/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSButch Jones: I'm ecstatic about Josh Palmer | 1:18

Butch Jones describes how Tennessee addressed needs with this recruiting class. Mike Strange/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSTennesseee's 2017 signing class | 1:14

Butch Jones talks about all the people who contribute to Tennessee's signing class. Mike Strange/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Kivon Bennett | 1:01

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel give the latest recruiting updates on National Signing Day. Angela Gosnell/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Will Ignont | 0:54

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Will Ignont.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Theo Jackson | 0:48

Ryan Callahan of GoVols247 and Rhiannon Potkey of the News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Theo Jackson.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Brent Cimaglia | 0:54

Ryan Callahan of GoVols247 and Rhiannon Potkey of the News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Brent Cimaglia.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Trey Coleman | 0:36

Ryan Callahan of GoVols247 and Rhiannon Potkey of the News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Trey Coleman.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day – Marquez Bembry | 0:53

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Marquez Bembry.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Jordan Murphy | 1:17

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Jordan Murphy.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Jacquez Jones | 0:41

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Jacquez Jones.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Timothy Jordan | 1:55

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Timothy Jordan.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – K'Rojhn Calbert | 1:06

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee K'Rojhn Calbert.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – LaTrell Bumphus | 0:46

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee LaTrell Bumphus.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Ty Chandler | 1:39

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Ty Chandler.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Eric Crosby | 1:09

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Eric Crosby.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Ryan Thaxton | 0:48

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Ryan Thaxton.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Maleik Gray | 0:50

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Maleik Gray.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Terrell Bailey | 0:49

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Terrell Bailey.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – James Brown | 1:26

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee James Brown.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Cheyenne Labruzza | 2:21

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Cheyenne Labruzza.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Josh Palmer | 1:12

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discusses Tennessee football signee Josh Palmer.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Solon Page III | 0:51

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee football signee Solon Page III.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Shawn Shamburger | 0:55

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee signee Shawn Shamburger.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Matthew Butler | 1:11

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee signee Matthew Butler.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Trey Smith | 0:55

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel talk about Tennessee early enrollee Trey Smith.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Will McBride | 1:15

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee early enrollee Will McBride.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Shanon Reid | 0:42

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee early enrollee Shanon Reid.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Riley Locklear | 1:00

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee early enrollee Riley Locklear.

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VIDEOS: 2017 TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASSNational Signing Day 2017 – Deandre Johnson | 1:15

Ryan Callahan of 247Sports and Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel discuss Tennessee early enrollee Deandre Johnson.

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  • VIDEO: Scenes from the UT Football Recruiting Announcement Event
  • UT coach Butch Jones visits Nashville after Signing Day
  • Bob Shoop: New recruits will mix well with returning players
  • Butch Jones: I'm ecstatic about Josh Palmer
  • Tennesseee's 2017 signing class
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Kivon Bennett
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Will Ignont
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Theo Jackson
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Brent Cimaglia
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Trey Coleman
  • National Signing Day – Marquez Bembry
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Jordan Murphy
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Jacquez Jones
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Timothy Jordan
  • National Signing Day 2017 – K'Rojhn Calbert
  • National Signing Day 2017 – LaTrell Bumphus
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Ty Chandler
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Eric Crosby
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Ryan Thaxton
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Maleik Gray
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Terrell Bailey
  • National Signing Day 2017 – James Brown
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Cheyenne Labruzza
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Josh Palmer
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Solon Page III
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Shawn Shamburger
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Matthew Butler
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Trey Smith
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Will McBride
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Shanon Reid
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Riley Locklear
  • National Signing Day 2017 – Deandre Johnson

Tennessee Volunteers head coach Butch Jones reacts to the team‘s first touchdown in the first half of the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., Friday, Dec. 30, 2016.(Photo: Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean)

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Four years ago, Butch Jones was hired as Tennessee’s new football coach. And like any new coach, he had a grand plan.

“You win with consistency,” he said at his introductory news conference. “You win with continuity.”

His hires lent credence to those words.

Seven of his nine assistant coaches had been at Central Michigan, where Jones first became a head coach. Five of his assistants had been with him at Cincinnati, his second head-coaching stop.

In a sport where assistant coaches move hither there and yon at a furious pace, the continuity on Jones’ staff defied the norm. And at a school that had three different head coaches in the previous five seasons, the continuity was reassuring.

Jones is a long way from that now.

Offensive coordinator Mike DeBord for the Indiana Hoosiers after this past season. Willie Martinez, UT’s assistant head coach and defensive backs coach, . A new quarterbacks coach (Mike Canales), secondary coach (Charlton Warren) and strength coach (Rock Gullickson) were hired.

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NEW TENNESSEE FOOTBALL COACHES CHARLTON WARREN, MIKE CANALESTennessee's Larry Scott, Mike Canales share history | 3:51

Larry Scott and Mike Canales discuss their new roles on the Tennessee football staff. Scott was promoted to offensive coordinator and Canales arrives as the new quarterbacks coach. Rhiannon Potkey

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NEW TENNESSEE FOOTBALL COACHES CHARLTON WARREN, MIKE CANALESNew Tennessee defensive backs coach Charlton Warren | 1:07

Vols new defensive backs coach Charlton Warren talks with the media Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. Mike Strange

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NEW TENNESSEE FOOTBALL COACHES CHARLTON WARREN, MIKE CANALESMeet new Vol QB coach Mike Canales | 1:25

New Tennessee quarterback coach Mike Canales talks about his past with UT offensive coordinator Larry Scott at South Florida MIke Strange

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  • Tennessee's Larry Scott, Mike Canales share history
  • New Tennessee defensive backs coach Charlton Warren
  • Meet new Vol QB coach Mike Canales

The coaching shuffle might not be finished, either, as Jones reacts to the mishaps of a 9-4 season that started out 5-0. There has been considerable speculation about whether defensive line coach Steve Stripling and offensive line coach Don Mahoney would be retained. Their contracts, which expire this month, have yet to be renewed.

Brady Hoke will replace Stripling as defensive line coach, according to a 247Sports report.  He has been a head coach at Ball State, San Diego State and Michigan.

Hoke has been fired at his past two jobs, as Michigan’s head coach and Oregon’s defensive coordinator. Oregon‘s defense ranked 126th out of 128 teams while giving up 41.4 points per game.

The Ducks’ defense was so inept last season that university President Michael Schill took a shot at Hoke during new coach Willie Taggart’s introductory news conference.

“Go out and find a great defensive coordinator,” Schill told Taggart.

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Montgomery Bell Academy running back Ty Chandler is a 2017 Tennessee football signee.  George Walker IV / The Tennessean University School of Jackson offensive lineman Trey Smith (73) is a 2017 Tennessee signee.  C.B. SCHMELTER/The Jackson Sun Defensive back Maleik Gray of LaVergne High School is a 2017 Tennessee football signee.  Tom Beckwith/The Tennessean Running back Timothy Jordan of Bartow (Fla.) High School is a 2017 Tennessee football signee.  Lakeland Ledger Overton defensive back Theo Jackson (5) is a 2017 Tennessee football signee.  Michael Murphy / The Tennessean Page kicker Brent Cimaglia is a 2017 Tennessee football signee.  File / The Tennessean West Monroe, La., athlete Trey Coleman is a 2017 Tennessee football signee.  TOM MORRIS/The News-Star Hattiesburg, Miss., wide receiver Jordan Murphy (center) is a 2017 Tennessee football signee.  Susan Broadbridge/Hattiesburg American Receiver Jacquez Jones (5) of Clearwater, Fla., High School is a 2017 Tennessee football signee.  Jim Damaske, TAMPA BAY TIMES Hardin County High School defensive end LaTrell Bumphus (23) of Savannah, Tenn., is a 2017 Tennessee football signee.  C.B. SCHMELTER/The Jackson Sun Ocean Lakes High School defensive lineman Eric Crosby of Virginia Beach, Va., is a 2017 Tennessee football signee.  Stephen M. Katz, The Virginian-Pilot St. Thomas Aquinas High School senior Josh Palmer of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is a 2017 Tennessee football signee.  Tom Martinez Kell High School linebacker Solon Page (3) of Marietta., Ga., is a 2017 Tennessee football signee.  Jason Getz / Atlanta Journal-Constitution Colquitt County, Ga., cornerback Shawn Shamburger is a 2017 Tennessee football signee.  Connie Southwell / Moultrie Observer Defensive tackle Matthew Butler of Garner, N.C., High School is a 2017 Tennessee football signee.  GoVols247 Southridge High School defensive back Deandre Johnson of Miami, Fla., is a 2017 Tennessee football signee.  Andrew Ivins/247Sports Buckhorn High School linebacker Will Ignont of New Market, Ala., is a 2017 Tennessee football signee.  GoVols247 Marquez Bembry  FILE Warren County High School offensive lineman K‘Rojhn Calbert is a 2017 Tennessee football signee.  GoVols247 Ryan Thaxton  247Sports Terrell Bailey  247sports James Brown  247Sports Cheyenne Labruzza  Shae Dixon / 247Sports Kivon Bennett  247sports Will McBride  247Sports Riley Locklear  247Sports Shanon Reid  247Sports

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However, it’s not as though Hoke was working with Alabama-like personnel. Oregon returned just four defensive starters from a team that gave up 37.5 points per game.

Hoke would add even more experience to an already experienced staff. He has 35 years of coaching experience, and has been a defensive line coach at four different schools.

Gullickson has 39 years‘ experience at the college and pro level as a strength and conditioning coach. Canales has coached for 30 years.

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Experience can make for an easier transition to a new staff. But a coach as accustomed to continuity as Jones will have to adjust, too.

Returning staff members will have a significant role in whatever progress the University of Tennessee can make on both sides of the ball.

With a healthier defense and a full year in defensive coordinator Bob Shoop’s system, the defense almost has to be better. Larry Scott, who was , will be heavily scrutinized since he never has been a coordinator at the college level. With that promotion, Jones left himself wide open to second-guessing.

But if the changes work out, Jones will get the credit. And no one, including Jones, should care as much about continuity.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at or . Follow him on

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