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Tennessee Football: Don’t expect a big change in offense in 2017

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“It’s the Tennessee offense.”

NCAA Football: Tennessee Volunteers Practice Calvin Mattheis-USA TODAY Sports

When asked whether or not it was Peyton Manning’s first time viewing the “new offense,” Tennessee head coach Butch Jones was quick with his response.

“It’s not a new offense, it’s the Tennessee offense,” Butch Jones told reporters on Friday night. “Not much has changed there.”

Manning was on hand for Tennessee’s scrimmage on Wednesday night, addressing the team before practice.

Jones is of course referencing the change in offensive coordinator. Mike DeBord left for Indiana after the 2016 season. Butch Jones hired from within, promoting tight ends coach Larry Scott to the position.

But don’t expect any radical changes to the scheme.

“Maybe just some run schemes, some more gap schemes and things like that,” Jones continued. “Obviously a different passing game with some nuances, but it’s Tennessee’s offense.”

A “different passing game” is likely just in reference to a change at quarterback. If Quinten Dormady wins the job like most expect him to, we’ll likely see a different offensive style, with less read option type plays.

Larry Scott did mention earlier in the offseason that Tennessee might go under center a little bit in 2017. That was something that we virtually never saw last season. That may be a new wrinkle, but don’t expect too much more change.

We’ve always hear that this is Butch’s offense. I think that’s why he didn’t hire from the outside this offseason when he had the chance to do so. After all, offense was hardly the issue in 2016. Tennessee was the 24th highest scoring team in the country in 2016.

So while it might not be a carbon copy of the 2016 offense, don’t expect anything too different in a couple of weeks in Atlanta.