Chaney calling the shots now

Offensive coordinator gets reacquainted with duties

The title is the same.

Jim Chaney also doesn't feel like the workload has really changed.

But the Tennessee offensive coordinator still has a new job in his second season with the football program, one that his old boss used to do instead.

This year Chaney will be the guy calling the shots for the Vols, and he's already brushing off the rust and settling back into the play-calling seat.

"It's kind of been putting myself into a mode I had for a lot of years," Chaney said after UT's sixth spring practice. "I find myself stumbling a little bit as I go through it, like today in the two-minute drill - if I could have a couple of those calls back, I would have.

"It's just getting back into that play-calling status. When I was with the (St. Louis) Rams I hadn't done it in a while. But I did it for a lot of years, I don't know how many, but then I didn't do it for three or four.

" Moving back into that is what's the fun part for me right now as a play-caller."

Chaney and the Vols started having a little bit more of it on Tuesday, sending the coaches to the sidelines to signal in plays and begin more closely simulating a real game experience.

That's certainly a benefit for the players, who won't have coaches in their ear between snaps during a two-minute drill or red-zone situation during the season.

But it's also good practice for an almost entirely new staff learning each other's tendencies, including those of the lone offensive holdover who's moving into a position that certainly appears to have been expanded.

"I think it's something that philosophically we'll get to know each other over time," UT coach Derek Dooley said. "I think there's some consistency in what we believe it takes to win and lose, and I think a lot of communication every day (with Chaney is important). We script practice as if we're calling a game, so when there's certain plays and certain situations that I don't understand, we'll talk it out.

"These two-minute situations are great because so many things come up about when to use a timeout, what do we expect here, so I think all that's going to come over time."

Dooley has been preaching patience in waiting for results in virtually every aspect of the program, though that doesn't seem to be the approach to producing them.

The coaching staff hasn't exactly been cautious in throwing the playbook at the Vols, and Chaney admitted that loading them down has "got their heads spinning a little bit."

Looking at it the other way, Chaney's transition between bosses and a somewhat different system is going much smoother - maybe excluding those calls he wanted to do over on Tuesday.

"The only difference is I've got to mentally prepare to call the game, that's it," Chaney said. "That's the only thing, but hell, that's what I do. That's not a big deal to me. As long as the (players) are executing and playing good I'm a pretty good play-caller.

"It's been neat organizing things, and it's been good. My relationship with (former) Coach (Lane) Kiffin was good and we had a good working environment, so I'm not shot in the butt with having the ego of having to call the plays. Sometimes in my position you like to hide a little bit."

In the same position a year ago, Chaney perhaps had that luxury. Now there's nowhere to hide back out in front of the offense.

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Comments » 44

Volunteer-Varmint writes:

Can't wait to see these guys in action.

Go Vols!

MidTennVol writes:

I really like this guy. Seems like a laid-back, bona fide straight shooter. Very happy he is still coaching our boys.

EarlyReader writes:

Now we have a system we can grow with...the O line will be there on game day.

khelton657 writes:

Too laidback...the thoughts of sitting back and hiding should not even cross his mind..ever.

jobrando#216494 writes:

The great underdog is rising....A trail of tears will flow from the powerful.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

It is refreshing to get brutal honesty from the coaching staff.

No koolade sloshing from this bunch.

How many days, GerryOp?

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

Kiffin was far from being a Norm Chow kind of player caller..At times he looked overwhelmed..Play calling inside the 10 yard line was bad..On the positive side he did a great job of using the tight end on post plays that went for big yardage and taught Crompton to be a decent roll out passer..Chaneys offense is far from flashy but if he develops more innovated screen plays and hot reads it would help a lot in the blitz happy SEC

kevin151 writes:

Kiffin's play calling during the UCLA game was terrible. Good riddance

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

in response to DC_10point0:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

One of the few posts I have agreed with you on.
It will take a few games to get going, hopefully that will include an upset along the way. Unfortunately I see Vols about 6-6 or 7-5.

tmartin writes:

when does basketball start again?

pms151 writes:

As I have said before, this guy should be the Head Coach. He is not a Gomer and he did not come to Knoxville in a Pilot Oil Jet.

NeylandWest writes:

in response to AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons:

One of the few posts I have agreed with you on.
It will take a few games to get going, hopefully that will include an upset along the way. Unfortunately I see Vols about 6-6 or 7-5.

I see them at 0-0 and won't rush to judgment until 2013 ;)

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to khelton657:

Too laidback...the thoughts of sitting back and hiding should not even cross his mind..ever.

No offense, but I think you are mis-reading the personality-type. He's being blunt and he's being honest.

Play-callers face 5 things:
-planning ahead, the 'scheme'
-adaptability to situation
-speed
-communication skills
-confidence

We honestly won't know about this guy until we have a national tv game; I will say this: if I remember right, he did quite well as a play-caller for Purdue.

Am I wrong?

shopsports#273141 writes:

How long ago was Purdue? I question if the "years" since actually calling the plays will bite us. I sure hope not. I hear too much Fulmer style excuses from Dooley et all to satisfy my taste, so far. It is leaving me very afraid.

worldwideturd writes:

in response to khelton657:

Too laidback...the thoughts of sitting back and hiding should not even cross his mind..ever.

I can assure you that Chaney is not "too laidback"

finn writes:

I always love a Chaney interview. The guy will actually answer questions with answers not canned 'coach-speak.' In general, that seems to be the case with our entire staff. The bullshiiters and politicians have been replaced by honest to god coaches!

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to shopsports#273141:

How long ago was Purdue? I question if the "years" since actually calling the plays will bite us. I sure hope not. I hear too much Fulmer style excuses from Dooley et all to satisfy my taste, so far. It is leaving me very afraid.

I hear you but I don't really think DD is afraid - I thought Fulmer was at times. I think Dooley may be the perfect blend of the last two coaches. Cautious and measured when he needs to be, something Phil did too much of but when appropriate, saved our butts on several occasions. However, Coach Dooley also brings a confidence and energy that Phil didn't have. Lane did, but to a fault most of the time. As far as the time distance from his last OC play-calling stent, I'm not too worried about that. He ran a down the field pro-style offense that still works today in places like Texas, USC, and Georgia (excusing the Joe Cox hiccup last year!). His biggest challenge will be finding the right guy to make it work and cobbling together an O-line to give it a chance to work. In my opinion, Dooley's cautious rhetoric is only a reaction to the fever pitch expectations at UT - every year. Realistically, it just isn't going to turn around overnight. Lane walked into a better situation that DD has now and with an easier schedule. For now, I'll watch how they coach, how they recruit from scratch, and how the kids play. I'll give them a couple of years and then make my assessment - as if what I think really matters anyway. Go Vols!!!

asleep#212036 writes:

And another thing: did anyone else see The Sporting News article last week about the new coaches and their assessments of them? They felt Lane was a better recruiter than Dooley, which may or may not be true. But then they said they felt Lane could call plays, the "X's and O's" stuff, better than Dooley. Wow! Whether or not Dooley can get the top shelf kids will be known soon enough but Lane was no great digs at calling plays or scheming out other teams' weaknesses. Chaney did the scheming (and got it right) but during the games, I felt there were lots of times where our offense was as predictable and stale as our worst Cutcliffe/Sanders seasons. That was all Lane. We couldn't score TD's in the red zone, we rarely used the TE (still an eligible receiver last time I checked), and rarely completed passes down the field against above-average defenses. Our scoring average was up but mainly due to a couple of blowouts against very poor competition. I'm sorry but Lane was merely average calling plays on game day. I think we would have been better off last year had Chaney been given the reins and left alone. Ah, but the ego of the wonderboy! I'm actually excited to have a guy in charge of the offense who earned his way there in the trenches. I could be wrong but I expect that this year's version of the offense will be much tighter and much more wide open (NFL-style, not Boise State style!) than we have ever seen in Knoxville. Go Vols!!!

RoadTrip writes:

I spent some quality time talking with him at a lettermen's event last year. There is nothing "laidback" about his approach to coaching. People confuse laidback with his sense of humor, which he refuses to take himself too seriously. There is no question that he expects the players to perform at a high level and holds them accountable both on and off the field.

We are very lucky to have him as OC and Vol fans are going to understand that better as this year and future years progress.

WLafIndianavol writes:

in response to shopsports#273141:

How long ago was Purdue? I question if the "years" since actually calling the plays will bite us. I sure hope not. I hear too much Fulmer style excuses from Dooley et all to satisfy my taste, so far. It is leaving me very afraid.

Chaney was at Purdue about 10+ years ago and is still thought of well in this town (West Lafayette).

secsecsec writes:

I am impressed. When someone is this honest- they are confident. This is one of the more impressive and encouraging articles that I have read here in awhile.

WLafIndianavol writes:

in response to asleep#212036:

And another thing: did anyone else see The Sporting News article last week about the new coaches and their assessments of them? They felt Lane was a better recruiter than Dooley, which may or may not be true. But then they said they felt Lane could call plays, the "X's and O's" stuff, better than Dooley. Wow! Whether or not Dooley can get the top shelf kids will be known soon enough but Lane was no great digs at calling plays or scheming out other teams' weaknesses. Chaney did the scheming (and got it right) but during the games, I felt there were lots of times where our offense was as predictable and stale as our worst Cutcliffe/Sanders seasons. That was all Lane. We couldn't score TD's in the red zone, we rarely used the TE (still an eligible receiver last time I checked), and rarely completed passes down the field against above-average defenses. Our scoring average was up but mainly due to a couple of blowouts against very poor competition. I'm sorry but Lane was merely average calling plays on game day. I think we would have been better off last year had Chaney been given the reins and left alone. Ah, but the ego of the wonderboy! I'm actually excited to have a guy in charge of the offense who earned his way there in the trenches. I could be wrong but I expect that this year's version of the offense will be much tighter and much more wide open (NFL-style, not Boise State style!) than we have ever seen in Knoxville. Go Vols!!!

Wouldn't it be funny if Dooley and the Vols won a National Title before SCUmbag Lane and his merry band did at SCUmbag U!

tnsportsman writes:

in response to RoadTrip:

I spent some quality time talking with him at a lettermen's event last year. There is nothing "laidback" about his approach to coaching. People confuse laidback with his sense of humor, which he refuses to take himself too seriously. There is no question that he expects the players to perform at a high level and holds them accountable both on and off the field.

We are very lucky to have him as OC and Vol fans are going to understand that better as this year and future years progress.

Good post! Same here when I talked to Coach Chaney and Coach Dooley, they both are focused and will bring the excitement back to on-the-field coaching!

Coach Chaney knows more about play calling as an OC than most right now in coaching. He won't be long getting back in the saddle!

I have updated my prediction for 2010 of 8 & 4 regular season to 8 & 4 or more regular season, BOOK IT!

GO VOLS!

ResilientVol writes:

i hear a lot of 7-5's and 8-4's for next year's vols.
And looking at the schedule
vs. UT Martin (my school) an easy win
vs. Oregon- that is looking a lot more winnable than a month ago
vs. Florida - anything could happen with all the uncertainty going on in the swamp
vs. UAB - should be a decent win
at LSU - i think itll be close.. should come down to who has the fewest mistakes with a lot of young kids playing
at Georgia - should be another decent win depending on the dawgs improvement
vs. Alabama - probably the hardest game next year most likely a loss
at SC - im gonna say a win simply because the game chickens say "next year" more than we have recently
at memphis - easy win
VS. Ole Miss - close win
and then theres vandy and kentucky ... history repeats itself 2 wins
with all the games that i feel could go either way ill have to say we beat UTM.. split oregon and florida, win over UAB, split LSU and Georgia loss to Bama and possibly win out the season... a very optimistic 10-2
BUT that seems way to good to be true so I am feeling a loss in the last 5 games to either SC or Miss
so looks like 8-4 or 9-3 seems very likely
Go VOLS!

vol_in_bigten_land writes:

in response to WLafIndianavol:

Chaney was at Purdue about 10+ years ago and is still thought of well in this town (West Lafayette).

Hew WLVol I am just across the river from you. I was here also when CJC was and I think If he can find a decent QB we will be fine in his O. even better when we get good Oline play.

VolsFanSince2010 writes:

in response to shopsports#273141:

How long ago was Purdue? I question if the "years" since actually calling the plays will bite us. I sure hope not. I hear too much Fulmer style excuses from Dooley et all to satisfy my taste, so far. It is leaving me very afraid.

'97-'05

He coached Drew Brees and Kyle Orton while he was there. Maybe he can produce a couple NFL quarterbacks for us?

murrayvol writes:

in response to asleep#212036:

I hear you but I don't really think DD is afraid - I thought Fulmer was at times. I think Dooley may be the perfect blend of the last two coaches. Cautious and measured when he needs to be, something Phil did too much of but when appropriate, saved our butts on several occasions. However, Coach Dooley also brings a confidence and energy that Phil didn't have. Lane did, but to a fault most of the time. As far as the time distance from his last OC play-calling stent, I'm not too worried about that. He ran a down the field pro-style offense that still works today in places like Texas, USC, and Georgia (excusing the Joe Cox hiccup last year!). His biggest challenge will be finding the right guy to make it work and cobbling together an O-line to give it a chance to work. In my opinion, Dooley's cautious rhetoric is only a reaction to the fever pitch expectations at UT - every year. Realistically, it just isn't going to turn around overnight. Lane walked into a better situation that DD has now and with an easier schedule. For now, I'll watch how they coach, how they recruit from scratch, and how the kids play. I'll give them a couple of years and then make my assessment - as if what I think really matters anyway. Go Vols!!!

Good post. I don't think DD is afraid either and I also think he (and Chaney) know the days of 15 play drives are over. Too many good players in every gap to do that consistently.

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to shopsports#273141:

How long ago was Purdue? I question if the "years" since actually calling the plays will bite us. I sure hope not. I hear too much Fulmer style excuses from Dooley et all to satisfy my taste, so far. It is leaving me very afraid.

You need to get off Phil's back. It's not like the man was a perpetual loser. He had 2 bad traits: he got complacent, and he made some bad hires.

But, the man didn't make excuses or lay the blame on others. He knows he messed up trying to bring a mid-major style spread offense to a team taht lacked foot-speed and was built on pro-style players.

As for Cheney: the man has a proven track record. Let him be forthright and don't read into more than is there. We fans go way overboard on analysis, yours truly included.

lakesidegator writes:

in response to ResilientVol:

i hear a lot of 7-5's and 8-4's for next year's vols.
And looking at the schedule
vs. UT Martin (my school) an easy win
vs. Oregon- that is looking a lot more winnable than a month ago
vs. Florida - anything could happen with all the uncertainty going on in the swamp
vs. UAB - should be a decent win
at LSU - i think itll be close.. should come down to who has the fewest mistakes with a lot of young kids playing
at Georgia - should be another decent win depending on the dawgs improvement
vs. Alabama - probably the hardest game next year most likely a loss
at SC - im gonna say a win simply because the game chickens say "next year" more than we have recently
at memphis - easy win
VS. Ole Miss - close win
and then theres vandy and kentucky ... history repeats itself 2 wins
with all the games that i feel could go either way ill have to say we beat UTM.. split oregon and florida, win over UAB, split LSU and Georgia loss to Bama and possibly win out the season... a very optimistic 10-2
BUT that seems way to good to be true so I am feeling a loss in the last 5 games to either SC or Miss
so looks like 8-4 or 9-3 seems very likely
Go VOLS!

You should consider changing your name to RosecoloredVol. Florida will CRUSH Tennessee this Fall. There will be a mass exodus during the third quarter, like I remember from not too long ago and which led to the Fulmer-going-to-work-for-FEMA joke. Remember that?

cmoore7 writes:

We're gonna be alright.

ResilientVol writes:

rosecoloredVol ... now thats just hilarious... so funny it almost made the slightest bit of since at all .. but it doesn't
florida's got talent BUT with so many changes at key positions like qb and wr and along with (im not sure on the number) but 4ish coaching changes, they should be about as sure of their team as we are might be great. Might be terrible... probably will fall in the middle... but again man HILARIOUS joke really ... no sarcasm here

WLafIndianavol writes:

in response to lakesidegator:

You should consider changing your name to RosecoloredVol. Florida will CRUSH Tennessee this Fall. There will be a mass exodus during the third quarter, like I remember from not too long ago and which led to the Fulmer-going-to-work-for-FEMA joke. Remember that?

I remember the look on the faces of the Gator MORONS last year when they got the phooey scared out of them by a Vol team Urby was supposed to beat by 100!

If I were you, I would check my mouth before it overloaded my rear!

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

in response to ResilientVol:

rosecoloredVol ... now thats just hilarious... so funny it almost made the slightest bit of since at all .. but it doesn't
florida's got talent BUT with so many changes at key positions like qb and wr and along with (im not sure on the number) but 4ish coaching changes, they should be about as sure of their team as we are might be great. Might be terrible... probably will fall in the middle... but again man HILARIOUS joke really ... no sarcasm here

1st of all I'm a Vol....

2nd..
Man your crazy! Florida had 4 coaching changes but UT lost all but 2! New d-coord! New man calling plays! UT lost the QB, RB, half the defensive line, THE ENTIRE O-LINE, Eric Berry and our best kick-return threat! 3 positions are VERY thin on depth and Florida is the 3rd game.

Florida has almost all of their skill offense players returning. Their D that is returning all had SIGNIFICANT playing time last year. Brantley has had playing time.

All that said, I hate to say it, but I can easily see a UF win, 31-17.

ResilientVol writes:

in response to AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons:

1st of all I'm a Vol....

2nd..
Man your crazy! Florida had 4 coaching changes but UT lost all but 2! New d-coord! New man calling plays! UT lost the QB, RB, half the defensive line, THE ENTIRE O-LINE, Eric Berry and our best kick-return threat! 3 positions are VERY thin on depth and Florida is the 3rd game.

Florida has almost all of their skill offense players returning. Their D that is returning all had SIGNIFICANT playing time last year. Brantley has had playing time.

All that said, I hate to say it, but I can easily see a UF win, 31-17.

i agree they are in better condition than we are
im just saying a lot has been thrown up in the air so an upset isnt completely insane... i dont expect the vols to upset the gators BUT im just saying they have a lot of question marks as do we...
i agree most likely we lose but im still just saying its not a done deal

tnsportsman writes:

in response to KCHS_alum:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

ROFLMAO! Great KCHS! Meyer & Tebow needs to do a summer trip to Europe, ride the Euro-rail and get a sleeper car together, LOL, LOL!

BRING IT SWAMP AZZES, Knoxville on 9/18!

GO VOLS!

RammerJammer123 writes:

in response to WLafIndianavol:

I remember the look on the faces of the Gator MORONS last year when they got the phooey scared out of them by a Vol team Urby was supposed to beat by 100!

If I were you, I would check my mouth before it overloaded my rear!

Dude im no gator fan, but you did not scare the gators...us, maybe...but not the gators. It took a Tebow fumblw while they were about to get another TD and then you scored and got within 10. MORAL VICTORY lol, how sad that you are still bragging about it. Lets hear the we should have beat you with a real kicker.......

WLafIndianavol writes:

in response to RammerJammer123:

Dude im no gator fan, but you did not scare the gators...us, maybe...but not the gators. It took a Tebow fumblw while they were about to get another TD and then you scored and got within 10. MORAL VICTORY lol, how sad that you are still bragging about it. Lets hear the we should have beat you with a real kicker.......

You keep changing your name since you have been banned from this site so many times. You are a fan of the dirtiest program in college football and have no business here, SO BUZZ OFF!

RammerJammer123 writes:

in response to WLafIndianavol:

You keep changing your name since you have been banned from this site so many times. You are a fan of the dirtiest program in college football and have no business here, SO BUZZ OFF!

Jealous?

Cldvols1 writes:

6 months and I can't wait! GBO

WLafIndianavol writes:

in response to RammerJammer123:

Jealous?

Jealous of a Crimson T#rd fan, you must be smoking crack!

RammerJammer123 writes:

in response to WLafIndianavol:

Jealous of a Crimson T#rd fan, you must be smoking crack!

Na just bud...We know you are jealous...It is way way way too obvious. You need to tone it down some so you dont look so bad in front of your vile friends.

RammerJammer123 writes:

All this stuff that has happened to you guys this off season could not have happened to a better bunch. I really hope you enjoyed the "great" success (underachieved), cause it is over for a long while. You can try and hire someone like Saban but you will never get Saban. I know you think he is going somewhere, but that is what insecure people do. they make stuff up and say it enough to where they actually believe it. I ALMOST feel sorry for you, but really you are just a sorry fan base so I dont.

WLafIndianavol writes:

..and you are a Crimson T#rd fan, the lowest form of life on Earth! A program rife with cheating and dirty players, as well as the biggest bunch of hick fans ever assembled.

Your mommy is calling, get off your behind and let her have her computer back!

mercyseat writes:

in response to pms151:

As I have said before, this guy should be the Head Coach. He is not a Gomer and he did not come to Knoxville in a Pilot Oil Jet.

right on. I'd like to know why young justin wilcox is being paid $600,000 and jim chaney is only being paid $425,000? this is not the way to keep your great coaches. hamilton needs to elevate his salary if he expects chaney to stay on with us season after season. I just feel sorry for him.

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