Brian Jean-Mary prepared for many potential questions before addressing the Knoxville Quarterback Club on Monday.
The Tennessee linebacker coach wasn’t ready to be asked how he would compare Neyland Stadium to Michigan Stadium.
Jean-Mary, who coached in Michigan in 2020, said the biggest difference was the Tennessee fans.
“I think the University of Michigan crowd – which is a good crowd, I’m not going to say it’s a bad crowd – it’s more of a tennis crowd,” said Jean-Mary. “We have more of a crowd of gladiators at the University of Tennessee stadium. “
Jean-Mary, 45, was hired in Tennessee in February. He was a Michigan linebacker for one season. His previous training stops include Georgia Tech, Louisville, Texas and South Florida. He gained experience as a defensive coordinator at USF.
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Michigan Stadium is the world’s largest college football stadium. It has a capacity of 107,601. Neyland Stadium is the fifth largest stadium, with 102,455 fans.
“The University of Michigan is more of a bowl that sits a little lower,” said Jean-Mary. “Our stadium, it’s going up and it almost feels like it’s on top of you, which obviously makes it a lot noisier. It makes you feel like you’re in a colosseum like in the movie ‘Gladiator “.
Penn State has the second largest stadium, while Ohio State and Texas A&M are third and fourth, respectively. LSU and Alabama also have stadiums that can accommodate over 100,000 fans.
Tennessee opened the season with three straight home games at Neyland Stadium. The Vols lost 38-14 to 10th to Florida in their first road game last Saturday.
UT (2-2, 0-1 SEC) plays Missouri (2-2, 0-1) on Saturday (noon ET, SEC Network).
Tennessee has had four different players as linebackers. Jeremy Banks and Juwan Mitchell, a transfer from Texas, started the opener against Bowling Green on September 2. Aaron Beasley and Solon Page started against Pittsburgh on September 11.
Banks and Beasley have started the last two games. Banks leads linebackers in tackles with 21.
“Jeremy plays as hard as any linebacker I’ve ever been with,” said Jean-Mary. “Now we just want to control that. That’s the main thing. We always try to make sure he does things as aggressive and as fast as he can, but he has to do it in the defense. .
Jean-Mary said Mitchell struggled with “a few nicks and bruises”, but it was a “welcome addition”. He called Beasley the “group captain” and praised Page for making his way through the playgroup.
Mike Wilson covers athletics at the University of Tennessee. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @By MikeWilson. If you enjoy Mike’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that will give you access to it all.