At the end of the last disastrous season of Tennessee football, the consensus at Rocky Top Talk seemed to be that three coaches on the Dooley staff deserved consideration to stick around, based on the work they'd done: Offensive Coordinator Jim Chaney, RB Coach (and Vol legend) Jay Graham, and OL Coach Sam Pittman. Of the three, Pittman seemed among the most obvious to be maintained: he had done yeoman's work turning around a talented, but under-achieving group that had largely quit on previous coach Harry Hiestand. In fact, several current Vols seemed to rally around the idea of keeping Pittman, praising him on their twitter accounts.
Alas, Coach Jones chose to clean house, retaining only Coach Graham, and installed former Central Michigan and Cincinnati staff member Don Mahoney as offensive line coach. Pittman quickly landed on his feet coaching the same position at Arkansas on Bret Bielema's new staff, again working under Jim Chaney... and giving many Vol fans a sense of unease as the "best coaching staff in America" seemed to be composed largely of former coaches from Coach Jones' Cincinnati staff.
Well, rejoice, fellow RTTers! ESPN's Big East blogger Andrea Adelson's new blog post What's in store for Cincinnati run game? covering the Cincinnati run game from the past two years throws out some stats we'd all like to see: back-to-back thousand yard rushers, a seamless change from one lead back to another, and most importantly, two First-Team All Big East players on the offensive line.
So, reason for optimism: maybe Coach Jones brought Mahoney along because he's good at his job.