New Tennessee offensive coordinator Jim Chaney faced the media for the first time since leaving Georgia for Tennessee this winter on Friday. The veteran play-caller touched on a number of different topics, including the quarterbacks that he’s inheriting.
Starter Jarrett Guarantano enters his second full season with the job, but faces yet another new offense. For Guarantano, a redshirt junior, Chaney serves as his fourth offensive coordinator.
“I think that Jarrett is doing a good job learning his role, once again with another system, with another coordinator,” Chaney said. “He’d been through a few of us.”
“What’s interesting to me about college football is when you take a kid like him — what am I, the third or fourth coordinator he’s had? — is how hard it is for them not to get really get calloused and cynical about the game of football and to stay fresh with it. It’s tough sometimes. It’s not always a bed of roses out there for the quarterback spot.”
Chaney then compared Guarantano to a former Tennessee quarterback — one that Chaney inherited in a similar position a decade ago.
“When we got (to Tennessee) before with Jonathan Crompton — there are some similarities there,” Chaney said. “They’re both good football players, and I think Jarrett’s going to have a good season. I think he’s playing good football right now and he’s fun to be around.”
As a senior playing under Chaney, Crompton put together a decent 2009 season, which was his first as a starter. He ended up throwing for 27 touchdowns and 2,800 yards, helping Tennessee land in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
Chaney is also learning about his two young quarterbacks JT Shrout and Brian Maurer. Assuming Tennessee doesn’t add a grad-transfer, one of these guys will land as the Vols’ backup. Fans will get their first look at both guys in the spring game on April 13th.
“The young freshman (Maurer), he’d never been under center before, so he’s having to take snaps. Brian is having to learn to take snaps right now under center. And JT Shrout, he’ll flash once in a while, do some real good stuff. I’m optimistic about all three of those young men.”
Chaney’s new offense — specifically how the quarterbacks look in his new offense — will likely end up being the story of the day during the Orange and White Game. For Guarantano, let’s hope his fourth offensive system is the charm.