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SI: What do you make of your face being painted on the Vanderbilt wall of fame near campus?
JF: That was cool, and we appreciate it. [But] it's weird to drive down and see your face like that. I avoid it at all costs. There's two ways to come to work, and that's one of them. I go the other way.
SI: IS REBUILDING A PROGRAM MORE DIFFICULT IN THE TOUGH SEC?
JF: I LOOK AT IT AS A POSITIVE. IF YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF ONE OF THE BEST AND BRIGHTEST IN THE COUNTRY, WHERE ELSE DO YOU WANT TO BE?
SI: You've coached in the ACC, Big 12, Pac-10, NFL and now SEC. How different is coaching in all those leagues?
JF: In the NFL or the SEC there's a heightened level and expectation—especially in the SEC. You're talking about big-time football in a part of the country where it's a way of life. It's almost a religion. We understand that. We're excited. But football's football. It's about tackling. Running. Blocking. And it's about recruiting.
SI: You have a relatively veteran team. As a new coach would it be easier to have younger guys less set in their ways?
JF: Because we've struggled the past two years, the veterans understand that what they've done in the past, for whatever reason, hasn't worked. They're open-minded, appreciative, coachable. They've been great.