Changes coming on special teams for Vols? Butch Jones says unwise to ‘panic’

Butch Jones meets with the media on Nov. 18, 2013.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Don’t expect to see any major personnel changes on the kickoff and punt coverage teams against Vanderbilt this week.

The Vols allowed two touchdowns — one punt return, one kickoff return — in a loss to Auburn on Nov. 9.

Butch Jones said he wants to get the best 11 players on the field in special teams, but heaping more responsibilities on starters who are already playing every snap is difficult.

Beyond that, Tennessee’s coverage units have generally been pretty good this year. And to shake up the units for the sake of change might also be unwise.

“The thing you don’t want to do is have individuals who have taken those repetitions and trained for those positions all year long and you panic and you make wholesale changes,” Jones said. “Now you go out there and they haven’t been through the nuances of playing that position and live game-speed repetitions. So it’s a balancing act. On the flip side of it, you’re always trying to find the best 11 to put on the field. It’s an 11-man mission.”