When you rack up three Big East titles in the past four years and four ten win seasons in the past five years sometimes a sense of complacency can start to creep in...but Butch Jones and Cincinnati certainly don't fit in that category.
This off season Jones has traveled to numerous NFL facilities (including the Bengals and Dolphins) to take a closer look at the differences between the two levels and what him and his staff may be able to tweak. "You can always take something from everyone and every place that you go. You always try to bring little things back. You always try to gain an edge, you always try to gain an inch in your development."
"Even though there's differences, there's a lot more similarities than differences. At the end of the day it's all about teamwork, it's about people doing their job, it's about execution. It's about playing hard. It's getting to have each individual on your team, whether it's 12 individuals or 105 individuals, to play to the best of their God-given ability and to get the most out of them. The competitive factor that goes into it, the motivation that goes into it. We covered all those things from A to Z. it's been great for me to sit and watch everything happen over the course of the playoffs."
After going 4-8 in 2010 and returning a lot of guys that faced adversity during that season, the Bearcats put together a 10-3 season last year. At the end of the day, Jones and the staff knew that staying the course would get them back on track.
"You got to stay the course. You tweak things based on your personnel, but your fundamental values, the standards, the expectations, the formula for winning never change. Looking back on it we had a team that was very immature, inexperienced and we had a lot of players that had to step up and fill some very big shoes. Lot of times laying a foundation is very tough to do, but once you get that solid foundation, then things take off."