2017 SEC Media Days: A primer on Tennessee's turn at the podium

Jesse Simonton, Senior Writer
Vol Quest

It’s *officially* talkin’ season again.

Tennessee will take its turn on the podium Monday at SEC Media Days, as Butch Jones and a trio of seniors will field questions about the upcoming season from a hoard of reporters in Hoover, Ala.

Expect a lot of coach speak and little news.

Still, here’s a primer on everything you need to know about Tennessee’s media appearance Monday.

WHEN WILL TENNESSEE TAKE CENTER STAGE? Around 4 p.m. The Vols are the third team on the schedule Monday, meeting with the media after Arkansas and LSU. Jones’ entire time on the stage will be televised live by the SEC Network.

WHO IS COMING? Butch Jones will speak in the main ballroom first, and then seniors Jashon Robertson, Kendal Vickers and Emmanuel Mosley will meet with reporters off to the side.

Robertson and Vickers were apt choices considering their longevity and standing with the team. Both are senior staples at their prospective positions and expected to be leaders on each side of the ball this fall. Mosley was a much more curious choice, but perhaps the senior cornerback, who has started 19 games in three seasons, will have an interesting story to share Monday.

WHAT WILL JONES SAY? Tennessee’s fifth-year coach will be armed with his usual trite cliches when offering his state of the program, but unlike a season ago, Jones won’t be selling a Top-10 team and the SEC East favorite.

The Vols will still likely be ranked to open the year, and Jones will push his program's progress and the narrative of Team 121’s blue-collar, underdog attitude. This spring's "D.A.T." way catchphrase will undoubtedly be repeated, too.

Jones will also certainly tout Tennessee’s three consecutive bowl victories, back-to-back 9-win seasons and the team’s recent historic APR score. He’ll laud his program’s recruiting momentum, offseason strength and conditioning gains and other staff upgrades.

It will be interesting to see how Tennessee's coach responds to quarterback questions (he’ll likely side-step making any real proclamations) and if he has any new thoughts on the grad transfer rule and the early signing period (Dec. 20-22).

Finally, expect Jones to ardently defend his job security against all "hot-seat" questions.

WHERE WILL TENNESSEE GET PICKED? The vote won’t be released until Thursday afternoon, but I expect the Vols to land at No. 3 in the SEC East media poll. Tennessee could certainly win the division if some things (namely quarterback play, improved defense and health) go right in 2017, but for now, Florida and Georgia have less unknowns.

Both of Tennessee’s rivals definitely have question marks, too, but the Gators will play eight home games this year and have their best-set of offensive skill-players since Jim McElwain has been in Gainesville.

Meanwhile, Georgia returns 10 starters from a defense that finished No. 3 in the SEC last season, as well as the tailback duo of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel and a Top-3 recruiting class.

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