Chaney knows his role, willing to adjust

Jim Chaney's last offensive coordinator job is a little different from his new one.

For starters, he called every offensive play during his nine seasons at Purdue. In his new gig as Tennessee's coordinator, coach Lane Kiffin will almost certainly handle the play calls.

And Tennessee's offensive scheme? That belongs to Kiffin, too.

That could be a deal-breaker for some, but Chaney knew what he was getting into when he decided to take the job in January after three seasons as an assistant coach with the St. Louis Rams.

"At 47 years old and put a few years in, my ego isn't so big to have to worry about all that other stuff," Chaney said. "My job is very clear-cut here - to help Lane and this staff achieve the best offense we can. By sitting back and looking and helping the other coaches at their positions and helping coach in all the other stuff we need to do, in my opinion, to make the offense as efficient and productive we can. That's my role."

And while Chaney's role is different, so is the offense he'll spend his time working on.

At Purdue, the Boilermakers helped advance the one-back spread offense behind quarterbacks like Drew Brees, now with the New Orleans Saints, and Kyle Orton, who recently was traded from the Chicago Bears to the Denver Broncos.

"Jim, to me, was ahead of his time a bit with that spread offense," says Greg Olson, who was Purdue's quarterbacks coach from 1997-2000 and hired Chaney when Olson was the Rams' offensive coordinator. "I think the year after I left (for the NFL), Urban Meyer came down to Purdue and learned from Jim. A number of coaches came down and spent a lot of time with Jim to learn it and then they added their own little wrinkles to it."

But three NFL seasons led Chaney to add his own wrinkles to his offensive philosophy. Those pass-happy days at Purdue, when the Boilermakers led the nation in total offense six times in Chaney's nine seasons, are a thing of the past.

"You change as you go through this profession," Chaney says. "We could never get over that hump at Purdue running that style of offense. You can win seven or eight games. I think it's a great equalizer, some of the spread offense. But to achieve maximum goals, personally I don't believe philosophically it's the way to go.

"I think a more balanced, pro-style offense is the way to go. After living through it the last three years (in St. Louis), I feel comfortable that way. That was one of the things when I came down to visit with Coach about (becoming UT's coordinator) was to make sure we're on the same page philosophically. And we've been very, very cohesive that way."

While moving away from the spread might sound like a major departure, Chaney hasn't been afraid of change during his career.

Former Purdue coach Joe Tiller recalls Orton's junior season, when the Boilermakers dialed back their offense and relied on a defense that wound up leading the Big Ten.

"Some fans who liked that wide-open style of football thought that Jim was losing his marbles or something," Tiller said. "The reality of it was that was planned and we talked about it, and we just said this is the best way for us to be successful.

"I bring that up because I think he's a guy that's going to do a good job of adjusting to the talent on hand. I think he'll maximize whatever talent it is that's there."

He'll also find a way to stay within Kiffin's pro-style offense that seeks balance.

Chaney said he hopes to sit down with Kiffin sometime after the spring evaluation period ends and UT's coaches return to Knoxville. Chaney will offer some suggestions and tweaks to the scheme, but at its core UT's offense will be Kiffin's.

"He'll do whatever it takes," Olson said. "If the head coach thinks it's the direction they need to go in order to win, he'll follow that direction.

"I think Lane's real lucky to have him."

Drew Edwards covers University of Tennessee football. He may be reached at 865-342-6274.

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Comments » 23

tls writes:

1st.

tls writes:

I didn't read the article. Just wanted to be first.

BigOrangeJeff writes:

in response to ButchIsBack:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Tool.

ThaiVolFan writes:

I like hearing some real positive things from several different sources about Chaney. I really do hope that our offense has a genuine chance at being productive THIS season. Guarded optimism is all it is for now...but we will see

Voluvr writes:

So, Meyer learned his philosophies from Chaney...hmmm! No wonder the fans of the nat'l champion are so worried about a little 5-7 team on this site.

dvhill100 writes:

Good article on Chaney. I really think LK has put together a superb staff. I can't see the offense being anything but better this year. Clawsen's offense last year was such a different style from what UT had run and the players best suited for that style weren't there.

I appreciate the parking the ego and doing what is best for the team on Chaney's part. Things are definitely looking up.

eb502us#225637 writes:

Was hoping to hear the reverse....that most of the offense was Cheney's.

I still have positive vibes about the whole thing but Cheney has had incredible success while Kiffin is still somewhat of an unknown, added to the fact that this team has more Purdue type talent than USC type talent which could make it tougher on Lane.

rockytopatl writes:

in response to CrAzY_DaViD:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yeah, just think -- 2 1/2 hours lost forever.

Laydbakvol writes:

You guys are idiots.

VOLFORLIFE writes:

in response to gatorz4:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You, with any luck at all.

GO VOLS!!!
JUGHEAD

OrangeMan_86 writes:

in response to gatorsownya:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You know you're a loser when you copy a fake wrestler.

the10sevol writes:

in response to gatorz4:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Note to DetroitVol:
All z's kids live in the OTHER trailers in the swamp. It's that whole whodababydaddy lizard thing.

panties4tebow writes:

GO VOLS! gator4 and dc have gone to cryin meyers tebow panties party and will be back later so enjoy the moments while they are gone.

BamaVol80 writes:

in response to VOLFORLIFE:

You, with any luck at all.

GO VOLS!!!
JUGHEAD

And there will be plenty of VOL fans ready and willing to drive that bus!!!

GO VOLS!!!

gulfvol963 writes:

in response to gatorz4:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

i was actually thinking the same thing

FlaVol2 writes:

I wonder why you good Vol fans pay any attention to the Gatorhead's posts. You know they are just a bunch of overgrown lizards.

BigT_Chief writes:

in response to FlaVol2:

I wonder why you good Vol fans pay any attention to the Gatorhead's posts. You know they are just a bunch of overgrown lizards.

Yeah, none of them are worth the powder and lead it would take to blow their brains out.

orange__hammerhead writes:

in response to uf2006bcs1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

we'll all just have to wait and see. i get so tired of you little girls talking about how much better the Gatorz are than the Vols.

I suggest you man up and show a little modesty. Florida lost a game last season to Ole Miss - they are not the second coming. (apologies to Tebow - a fine Christian)

khonea1553 writes:

in response to gatorsownya:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Don't you think when you are trying to talk trash about people's "grammer" you should spell it correctly: Grammar..

khonea1553 writes:

Look, I am a Vol fan but it really is embarrasing to liste n to the fans on this site talkign a bunch of trash about Florida. The fact is that Florida has won more championships in the last 20 years than Tennessee has in it's history. The fact is that Tennessee has been relegated to a second tier program not because of coaching but do to kids going into to college are now looking at what is available in the area they go to school.
Florida with it's beaches and easily avail drugs has a already huge recruiting pool. If Tennessee had the same draw trust me Phillip Fulmer could have won just as easily as Meyer. It's just reality. I know Tennesseans don;t like to deal in reality but it is what it is.

douglasawilliams#582863 writes:

in response to khonea1553:

Look, I am a Vol fan but it really is embarrasing to liste n to the fans on this site talkign a bunch of trash about Florida. The fact is that Florida has won more championships in the last 20 years than Tennessee has in it's history. The fact is that Tennessee has been relegated to a second tier program not because of coaching but do to kids going into to college are now looking at what is available in the area they go to school.
Florida with it's beaches and easily avail drugs has a already huge recruiting pool. If Tennessee had the same draw trust me Phillip Fulmer could have won just as easily as Meyer. It's just reality. I know Tennesseans don;t like to deal in reality but it is what it is.

The readily available illegal drugs is a major recruiting tool that Meyer has used to his advantage. Just ask Percy.

douglasawilliams#582863 writes:

in response to khonea1553:

Look, I am a Vol fan but it really is embarrasing to liste n to the fans on this site talkign a bunch of trash about Florida. The fact is that Florida has won more championships in the last 20 years than Tennessee has in it's history. The fact is that Tennessee has been relegated to a second tier program not because of coaching but do to kids going into to college are now looking at what is available in the area they go to school.
Florida with it's beaches and easily avail drugs has a already huge recruiting pool. If Tennessee had the same draw trust me Phillip Fulmer could have won just as easily as Meyer. It's just reality. I know Tennesseans don;t like to deal in reality but it is what it is.

The plethora of illegal drugs is a major recruiting tool that Meyer has taken full advantage of. Just ask Percy Harvin. Some of the finest pot is grown in Florida.

feathersax writes:

in response to gatorsownya:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think Obama wanted a pair of those Tebow panties.

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