Jim Chaney’s offense at Georgia looked a good bit different than his offense did at Tennessee under Derek Dooley. Jake Fromm’s 2,700 yards passing in 2018 fall a good bit short of Tyler Bray’s 3,600 in 2012, for example. However, the Vols didn’t have the rushing attack that those 2018 Bulldogs had either.
The point is, those two very different looking offenses each ended up inside of the top 20 by then end of the year. That adaptability is what makes Jim Chaney a good football coach, according to Jeremy Pruitt.
“I think Jim has done it a bunch of different ways over the years,” Pruitt said of his new offensive coordinator on The Erik Ainge Show (WNML). “To me, thats’s what a good coach does. If you have four great wide receivers, you need to play with them all the time. If you have two great tight ends, you need to find ways to get them on the field at the same time. If you have multiple running backs. He’s just done it a bunch of different ways.
“He’s done it with really good offensive line and not as good of an offensive line. He’s done a good job helping develop the quarterback and making the game simple.”
Tennessee certainly has talent on offense, returning three really good upperclassmen receivers in Jauan Jennings, Marquez Callaway and Josh Palmer. He will inherit two talented running backs as well, returning Ty Chandler and Tim Jordan.
We’ve already seen him get creative during the spring game, working Chandler a little bit out of the slot receiver position. That’s probably a decent indication of what he thinks of Chandler as a pure playmaker.
“Coaching against him over the years, I know he’s a guy that was really tough to prepare for,” Pruitt said. “Being around him over the last four months, he’s an excellent evaluator, he’s a very good motivator. He builds really good rapport with his staff and his players. So I can see why he’s had a lot of success wherever he’s been.”
Tennessee enters 2019 looking to improve off of another dismal offensive season. The Vols ranked 121st in total offense, averaging only 325 yards per game under the direction of Tyson Helton. Helton has since moved on to become the head coach at Western Kentucky, which opened the door for Pruitt to hire Chaney.
Tennessee will pay Chaney 1.5 million per year in hopes of finally turning around this offense, which has ranked in the bottom ten of the FBS for two straight seasons. Pruitt also made a big time move to make Tee Martin his new receivers coach, while moving Chris Weinke to quarterbacks coach and David Johnson to a running backs coach role.
With a veteran staff in place and some big time talent finally coming in on the offensive line, the time is now for quarterback Jarrett Guarantano. Ultimately, that’s how Chaney and this offensive staff will be judged during the 2019 season.
Nobody expects this unit to break any records this year, but it’s time to see some clear progress.