4. Jim Chaney’s changes to the offense
Derrick Ansley as Tennessee football’s defensive coordinator doesn’t bring any questions. We know he’s going to be a clone of Jeremy Pruitt given the fact that he studied under Pruitt, Kirby Smart and Nick Saban. It’s the same formula.
However, Jim Chaney is a different story. Sure, Vols fans somewhat know what they are getting based on his time with Lane Kiffin and Derek Dooley those four years in Knoxville from 2009 to 2012. But even then, he was more about balance after spending years running the spread offense in a pass-heavy system.
Then, since leaving the Vols, he has become more of a run-oriented offensive coordinator, and he produced insanely great results with the Georgia Bulldogs the last two years on that front. So what will he do now that he’s back with the Vols?
This isn’t a question Pruitt really answered. He touted Chaney’s diverse abilities to run different systems, and when asked twice about Chaney, he touted his new assistant’s familiarity with the league and what he knows going up against him. It was really just basic praise for an assistant coach hire.
However, exactly how Chaney will run the offense remains a mystery. Will he do the run-heavy offense he ran at Georgia by using Ty Chandler and Tim Jordan? Or will he go back to airing it out with Jarrett Guarantano and all those receivers? That looks like a question we likely won’t know the answer to now until the season begins.