Friday, June 26, 2020

Veteran Vols defender hails new D-line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh

ByPATRICK BROWN 6 hours ago

Matthew Butler is on the third different position coach of his Tennessee career, but the veteran defensive lineman so far has liked what first-year defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh has brought to the programTracy Rocker coached the Vols' defensive line the past two seasons before moving on (he's now at South Carolina), and Tennessee replaced one veteran with another in hiring Brumbaugh. The former Auburn standout has built a strong reputation as a coach at Syracuse, Kentucky, Maryland and Colorado.

Brumbaugh has taken over a senior-laden Tennessee defensive line, a hard-working, no-nonsense group that took well to Rocker's coaching style, and he's made a connection with his new players over the past few months, according to Butler, despite being separated from them and only getting two spring practices in back in March.

During his appearance on the latest episode of "The Slice" podcast hosted by VFL Films producer and Vol Network reporter Kasey Funderburg, Butler revealed how Brumbaugh has gone about getting to know his mostly position group.

“He is very attention-to-detail, very meticulous in his work. He expects the best from us,” Butler said, “and he’s going to talk to us as men. We come in there, and let’s just say we came in on a Zoom call, we don’t just get into the plays. He’s going to ask us how we’re doing. He expects us to answer honestly, and if we ain’t doing so well, he’s going to holler at us. He’s very thorough.

“There’s times where he’s called me a few times a day to make sure I was good, to make sure that, maybe we had a Zoom meeting that day, to make sure that I understood where he was coming from. He wants to make sure that the way that he’s teaching us, that’s actually getting through to us, because we’ve probably heard it two or three or four different ways at this point.

“He’s meticulous, thorough and attention-to-detail, and he has a resume with him as well, very respectable and continuing to gain my respect and appreciation, just him being my coach, defensive line coach.”

Butler, who led Tennessee defensive linemen with 45 tackles and added three tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and two pass breakups in 2019, said he especially appreciates Brumbaugh constantly checking in on how players are doing mentally, and those efforts to form a more personal connection have resonated with the veteran defender.

“It means a lot, just because in today’s day and age when business is business, it’s tough sometimes just having a truly personal connection,” Butler said. “Then you add on top of that, I’m not speaking from my personal perspective, but you add on top of that just anybody and everybody’s struggle with their mental health. It’s very important for somebody, whether they be a peer or whether they be a quote-unquote superior, or maybe if you’re somebody’s superior, that’s just somebody who’s checking on you. That’s solid and appreciated.”

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