The leading rusher from last season graduated.
The offensive line coach took a job elsewhere.
There wasn't a full-time assistant even directly responsible for the running backs a year ago.
Significant changes are coming for the Tennessee ground game heading into next football season, which surely is no surprise after the Vols ranked among the worst in the country at the end of the last one.
And considering the turnover in those critical spots, in some ways the new batch of replacements will be inheriting a clean slate — and plenty of room for improvement, even if there's only so much they can do right now.
"I don't think you evaluate them on film (from last year) right now as much," recently hired running backs coach Jay Graham said. "I think you wait to do it on the field, in person.
"That's the way to do it, instead of what is already on tape."
That video evidence obviously isn't pretty for a team that finished No. 116 in the nation in rushing yardage. And with a relatively small sample size of carries for tailbacks still on the roster with Tauren Poole gone, there's limited value for Graham in rehashing it.
There might be a bit more value to using the film to evaluate the personnel for Sam Pittman, who will be working with an offensive line that returns all the starters and key reserves as he heads into his first season with the program.
But really, the best use for popping in those tapes for both Graham and Pittman is to get a feel for what the offense did schematically, which coach Derek Dooley indicated last week wouldn't change much with UT's pro-style attack.
"I think we can continue to build," Dooley said during his most recent news conference. "He's been in, systematically, a pro-style offense the last five years over there (at North Carolina), and I know the systems he's been in.
"The only learning curve will just be personality more than anything, but there's always a learning curve with any coach schematically. And you have to iron them out."
The Vols were never able to smooth things out in the backfield or up front for the rushing attack a year ago.
But starting with the new additions on the sideline and their recent track records, there are signs they could bring better results with them. Of course, there's nowhere to go but up.
THE CASE FOR JAY GRAHAM
Before he arrived at South Carolina:
The Gamecocks finished among the worst rushing offenses in the country in 2008, averaging just 94.1 yards per game, the lowest total in the SEC. Overall they finished No. 112 in the nation, with leading rusher Mike Davis held to under 50 yards per game
After he arrived:
2009: Averaged 121.2 yards per game, ranked No. 91 in the nation
2010: Averaged 154.4 yards per game, ranked No. 60 in the nation; balanced out an offense that also ranked No. 44 in the country in passing
2011: Averaged 192.1 yards per game, ranked No. 25 in the nation and third in the SEC despite losing Heisman Trophy candidate Marcus Lattimore for the last six games
Verdict: Strictly based on yardage, the Gamecocks showed improvement on the ground every year with Graham on the staff, with the finest rushing performance coming in a year that required some creativity after losing its most talented tailback to injury midway through the schedule.
Integral in the signing of Lattimore, Graham worked with the freshman as he burst on the scene and made an instant impact in 2010. In just his second career game, the Gamecocks handed him the ball 37 times against an SEC defense — and Lattimore produced 182 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Georgia. He wrapped up the year with 1,197 yards on the ground and 17 touchdowns.
After losing Lattimore midway through last season, plugged Brandon Wilds into the lineup and watched him produce a stretch with three 100-yard outings in four games.
During his first year with the Gamecocks, oversaw a unit that featured four tailbacks with virtually no experience prior to the season. With one junior and three freshmen to work with, South Carolina got a combined 1,267 yards out of the group on the way to a postseason appearance.
Graham honed his craft on the field with the Vols, leaving the program as one of the most prolific rushers in school history. His 2,609 career yards still ranks seventh all-time at UT, and he found the end zone 25 times on the ground before heading to the NFL.
A third-round pick in 1997 by Baltimore, he spent six seasons in the NFL spread over three organizations with a pair of touchdowns at the highest level to his credit.
Final word: "I think it's important for our young men to understand that (history) and know what it means, understand the tradition and the storied history here. I'll talk a lot about that." — Graham
THE CASE FOR SAM PITTMAN
Before he arrived at North Carolina:
The Tar Heels averaged 113.3 yards per game on the ground with an offense that featured 49 more rushing attempts than passes.
After he arrived:
2007: 99.2 yard per game, ranked No. 107 in the nation
2008: 122.6 yards per game, ranked No. 89 in the nation
2009: 132.9 yards per game, ranked No. 79 in the nation
2010: 125.7 yards per game, ranked No. 94 in the nation
2011: 138.9 yards per game, ranked No. 76 in the nation
Verdict: After initially taking a step back in production during the coaching transition, Pittman helped produce a big jump in his second season and another in the third to give the Tar Heels some balance offensively. He capped his career with North Carolina with the finest rushing attack he was a part of there, one led by a redshirt freshman running back.
Before he arrived:
North Carolina allowed 22 sacks while throwing for nearly 180 yards per game on the way to a 3-9 record.
After he arrived:
2007: 3.1 sacks allowed per game, No. 105 in the nation; 226.2 yards per game, No. 57 nationally
2008: 2.2 sacks allowed per game, No. 79 in the nation; 198.8 yards per game, No. 74 nationally
2009: 2.0 sacks allowed per game, No. 63 in the nation; 174.9 yards per game, No. 102 nationally
2010: 2.9 sacks allowed per game, No. 104 in the nation; 264 yards per game, No. 26 nationally
2011: 2.1 sacks allowed per game, No. 69 in the nation; 254.4 yards per game, No. 36 nationally
Verdict: The Tar Heels weren't afraid to throw the ball in their pro-style attack, which left plenty of work for the line to do in terms of protecting the quarterback. For the most part, North Carolina ranked right in the middle of the country in keeping the passer upright while posting some big numbers tossing it around.
Named a top-25 recruiter by ESPN.com
Signed tackles rated No. 2 in the country in each of the last two years, James Hurst and Kiaro Holt
Worked with tackle Garrett Reynolds and helped mold him into a fifth-round draft pick in 2009
Final word: "Good person, good football coach, the players loved him everywhere he's been and worked hard for him, and he's an excellent recruiter. It was a little bit of everything." — Derek Dooley