You may have noticed that Tennessee’s defense sucked last year. Evidently things haven’t gotten off to a swimming start in spring practice either. This should not be a concern, because Tennessee’s defensive coordinator has a proven track record that goes back years of fixing bad fundamental play. No, really:
This isn’t necessarily cause for alarm.
Jancek noted this isn’t the first time he took over a defense that needed to improve its tackling. He previously worked as a defensive coordinator or co-defensive coordinator at Cincinnati, Georgia and Central Michigan.
Now that’s a bit rich. Jancek showed up in Athens after VanGorder’s departure. Tackling, like most other fundamentals, was most definitely not a problem before Jancek began his coaching stint in Athens. But tackling, like most other fundamentals, deteriorated almost as soon as he started working with the linebackers. It never got better. Which is how Jancek found himself let go by a head coach who’s famous for his loyalty to staff.
And let’s not forget that his co-defensive coordinator at Georgia again works with Jancek.
The best thing Tennessee’s defensive staff has going for it in 2013 is that it’s replacing a group that was much, much worse than what Jancek followed in Athens in 2005. Unlike then, there pretty much isn’t anywhere to go but up in Knoxville. But none of that changes Jancek’s performance during his time here.