Vol Players Already Impressed with Jim Chaney

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    (Photo via Randy Sartin/US PRESSWIRE)

    Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt pulled Jim Chaney away from Georgia to serve as his offensive coordinator for the next three seasons this offseason. Chaney returns to Knoxville after calling plays for the Vols from 2009-12, and he was given a huge contract to come back to Tennessee to be Pruitt’s play-caller.

    Chaney’s offensive system is known for being adaptable and friendly to whatever type of players he has on the roster. He molds his play-calling to take advantage of what his play-makers can do, and his offenses are known to be quarterback-friendly.

    And two of Tennessee’s quarterbacks on the roster are already very excited about running Chaney’s offense.

    Rising redshirt junior quarterback Jarrett Guarantano took to Twitter on Wednesday night to express his happiness and excitement over Jim Chaney’s offense, using several fire emojis to describe how he feels about Tennessee’s new offense.

    For Guarantano, Chaney will be the fourth different offensive coordinator he’s had at UT in his four years on the roster. Mike DeBord was Tennessee’s offensive coordinator in his first year in 2016, Larry Scott was the Vols’ OC in his second year in 2017, Tyson Helton was UT’s offensive coordinator in his third season in 2018, and now Chaney will be calling plays for the Vols in Guarantano’s fourth season at Tennessee.

    The 6-foot-4, 209-pound quarterback has dealt with a great deal of change and adversity while at Tennessee, and he’s had a somewhat disappointing career thus far given the hype surrounding him coming in to UT. Guarantano was rated as a high four-star and was the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the 2016 recruiting class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.

    So far, though, Guarantano has yet to consistently perform at a high level. He’s had some good games at Tennessee, chiefly during the Vols’ 30-24 upset victory over Auburn and in both of his starts against Kentucky, but overall he’s not quite reached his peak. Not all of that has been his fault, of course. Tennessee’s offensive line hasn’t been anywhere close to competent in Guarantano’s 18 starts in his career.

    Last season, Guarantano finished the year completing 62.2 percent of his 246 pass attempts for 1,907 yards, 12 touchdowns, and only three interceptions.

    Luckily for Guarantano, Chaney is known for helping develop quarterbacks at the collegiate level.

    Chaney has coached quarterbacks such as Drew Brees, Kyle Orton, Curtis Painter, Tyler Bray, Brandon Allen, and Jake Fromm. He even helped turn around the careers of Jonathan Crompton at Tennessee and Nathan Peterman at Pittsburgh.

    Guarantano isn’t the only quarterback who’s already buying in to Chaney, though.

    The Vols’ newest addition to their QB room, incoming freshman Brian Maurer, also tweeted out his feelings on Chaney on Wednesday night, calling Tennessee’s new play-caller an “offensive mastermind.”

    Maurer was a three-star quarterback coming out of high school in the 2019 recruiting cycle, and he signed early with Tennessee and is currently enrolled early at UT. The 6-foot-3, 199-pound quarterback out of Ocala was rated as the No. 482 overall player and No. 19 pro-style QB in the 2019 class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. And he was a record-setter in his senior season at West Port High School.

    As a senior, Maurer completed 65.4 percent of his 428 passes for 3,572 yards, 34 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions all while running for 466 yards and six scores on just 80 carries. Maurer set several school and county records in his final year at West Port, and he did all that while his offensive line and defense didn’t play effectively.

    Not only did Maurer impress as a senior, but he gave scouts something to talk about over the summer. He placed fifth among the 12 quarterbacks at Nike’s The Opening Finals, finishing ahead of several four-star quarterbacks in the process.

    Tennessee won’t officially begin spring practices until early March, but it’s clear that the early returns on Jim Chaney’s offense are already positive.