KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WVLT) -- It was a long bye week for the Vols, and on Monday morning they had yet another setback. Defensive end Darrell Taylor is suspended indefinitely, Butch Jones announced in his weekly Monday news conference. Taylor was already suspended for the first half of the South Carolina game after being ejected in the second half of the Georgia game for throwing a punch. Jones said there is no timetable for his return.
With the open week last week rumors were flying all over the place about Butch Jones and team chemistry (the fights at practice have not helped that cause) but Monday the head coach cleared the air saying the team is as committed as they've ever been.
"The locker room is strong, the team is strong. We've had a lot of individuals step up and emerge was leader as the bye week progressed. I told them we have to learn from our mistakes, learn from the past, but you have to let the past go now."
Even with the suspensions and the rumors flying around, Butch said Monday he was pleased with the work that was put in last week in the bye week, "I like the way the players came out and competed. I liked their approach, I thought it was if not the best by week, one of the best bye week's we've had in a very long time. I liked that. Now we need to continue that and elevate as we get into game week preparation now."
At one point Monday, "Butch Jones" was trending on Twitter from his comments he made about the quarterback situation. He was asked on several different occasions about who will get the start between Quinten Dormady or Jarrett Guarantano (he even threw out Will McBride as being "one snap away" from the No. 2 quarterback spot). He danced around a direct answer and instead talked about an unfamiliar term "leadership rep."
He explained here, "You don't have to get a physical rep to get a rep. You can get a leadership rep, by having all the wide receivers by you and going over your progression and going over what you're thinking. So there are a lot of repetitions that can be incurred over the course of practice. It may not be a phyiscal rep, but it can be a mental rep or a leadership rep practice and as we all know we need every kind of rep to be able to perform at a high level."
You can watch Butch Jones' entire news conference from Monday right here: