The New Orleans Saints have officially hired former Tennessee offensive coordinator Jim Chaney as an offensive analyst, it announced on Thursday afternoon in a press release. The former coordinator for the Vols was let go after Jeremy Pruitt was fired in January.
Tennessee owes Chaney almost $1.8 million for this year and will be paying him on the contract that runs into the early portions of 2022.
The Vols were hampered by quarterback problems during his last stint here in Knoxville, as the staff decided to ride Jarrett Guarantano until they turned to others in the later portion of the season. The offense never felt like it was capable of putting together sustaining drives or big plays, especially after the first two games of the season.
There were rumblings that Chaney would not be returning to Knoxville this season if Pruitt were still the head coach, though I don’t think Chaney would’ve had a problem with that. The coaching staff at Tennessee turned into one big powder keg, waiting to explode.
But we’ve seen in the past that Chaney’s offense can have its moments, so it’s easy to see why the Saints would be adding him to the staff.
This is also a chance for a potential reunion, if Drew Brees decides to come back next season for New Orleans. Chaney was part of the staff at Purdue when Brees was turning heads in college with his numbers and vision for the field. He coached Brees into one of the best quarterbacks in the country at the time. So, this would be a great opportunity for the two to re-connect, if he does return.
Although things didn’t end well in Knoxville for Chaney, he now has the opportunity to re-ignite himself in the Deep South and enjoy the New Orleans lifestyle. There might not be a better way to spend the next few years, so at least he’ll be taking a bunch of Tennessee’s money with him.