Most professions have their own language or jargon and football coaches are no different.
Sometimes you might wonder what Butch Jones is talking about. So we're going to break down a Butch quote/soundbite from the Indiana State postgame press conference.
Butch Jones: “You know I thought one of the key plays of the first half that makes you feel good as a coach, is they were in flat out no deep cover zero.”
Wait a second.
Flat out no deep cover zero.
What does that mean?
When Butch says "no deep" he’s referring to the Sycamores' safeties. They don’t have any safeties in the deep part of the field protecting against the pass.
Cover Zero is a type of man-to-man coverage. There is no safety help. Each eligible receiver is covered one-on-one and everyone else rushes the quarterback.
Go ahead, Butch.
Jones: “Flat out no deep cover zero. So we made the appropriate check, we brought the tight end in.”
When he says "check," he means an "audible" or changing the play or part of the play at the line of scrimmage before the snap. On this specific play (watch the video above), tight end Ethan Wolf is lined up in the slot to the left, detached from the offensive line. QB Quinten Dormady notices Cover Zero (blitz coming!) and brings Wolf across the formation next to the offensive line to help protect against the blitz.
Dormady also sees a matchup he likes with slot receiver Brandon Johnson running a corner route against a safety. A corner route is what you'd call a "man beater." It's good against man-to-man coverage, particularly from the slot. Dormady hit Johnson in the endzone for a touchdown to put the Vols up 28-0.
And now we can let Butch finish his answer.
"We made the appropriate check, we brought the tight end in, and then Quinten did a good job. Our offensive line did a good job of protecting, and Brandon did a good job of high-pointing the ball and going up and getting it. That’s something that we worked very diligently on in a very short week. But moving certain guys around in the slot, I was very pleased with Brandon, and [it was good] to be able to get Jordan Murphy some repetitions on video and be able to work to correct him as well. I want to say it was Tuesday when we asked him to move into the slot, and he had never played in the slot before. It’s a tribute to him that he has learned the entire offense.”
Tennessee was dealing with some injuries at slot receiver, with Josh Smith and Tyler Byrd out, and Johnson came through with four catches for 50 yards and a touchdown.
Smith, Byrd and Latrell Wiliams are all expected to be ready to go at slot for Saturday's game against Florida.