The other part of the Jim Chaney story

Offensive coordinators gonna offensive coordinate, and the jury will be out on Jim Cheney in that regard until we see how the offense performs.  I’m hopeful that last year turns out to be a low bar to exceed, as opposed to it being the new, post-Bobo normal.

But as much as we tend to focus on play calling and scoring, we tend to overlook the other part of Chaney’s job, that of position coach.  It’s a big deal, too.  You don’t have to look any further than last year, when none of Georgia’s quarterbacks appeared to improve over the course of the season, to realize that.

Fortunately, Chaney’s got enough of a track record as a quarterbacks coach to give me some reason for comfort.

During his four seasons as Tennessee’s offensive coordinator, Jim Chaney helped quarterback Jonathan Crompton improve throughout his senior year in 2009 and then oversaw the development of Tyler Bray.

After arriving at Arkansas in 2013, Chaney discovered a program that had enjoyed aerial success with Ryan Mallett and Tyler Wilson but was left with untested sophomore Brandon Allen.

Chaney is now the offensive coordinator at his third Southeastern Conference locale, and the situation he is encountering at Georgia is different from previous stops. The Bulldogs have an ongoing competition among Greyson Lambert, Brice Ramsey and Jacob Eason, with Lambert having won 10 games a year ago and with Eason the top-ranked quarterback nationally in the 2016 signing class.

“This is a little unique in that I think we have three kids who can go out and perform on the field, and I have not had three guys who can go out and play,” Chaney said Saturday in a news conference. “Everybody has their opinion on the quarterbacks. It’s a polarizing position. You get a victory, you get told how great you are. You get the losses, you get told how bad you are. That kind of comes with it.

“This also is a unique situation with the age group of these three kids we’re competing with right now to find out who is going to play and who is not, so it’s been a lot of fun.”

Chaney and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker were made available to the media Saturday for the first time since their hirings, which for Chaney was mid-December. New Georgia head coach Kirby Smart lured Chaney from Pittsburgh, where he spent just one season but had an impact.

Pittsburgh went 8-5 a year ago and finished runner-up in the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Coastal Division with Tennessee transfer Nathan Peterman at quarterback and having lost All-ACC tailback James Conner before the season with a knee injury.

“One of the key reasons I went after Coach Chaney was his quarterback development,” Smart said. “I saw what he did at Arkansas and then with Tyler Bray and also the (Matt) Simms kid at Tennessee, and then he had a transfer come into Pitt last year. I have a lot of respect for his development at quarterback…

We all remember Beyond Crompton, but, as I’ve mentioned before, what Chaney did with Nathan Peterman last season at Pitt borders on the remarkable, especially when you consider he did it with the Panthers missing their stud running back all year.  I have a little faith for 2016 that we’ll see more out of the quarterback position, regardless of who starts, than we did last season.

23 Comments

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23 responses to “The other part of the Jim Chaney story

  1. Bright Idea

    Chaney’s wrong about one thing. If you’re Lambert, if you get a victory you’re still a bum.

    • Greg

      True….kinda sad, too many would rather “look good and lose than look bad and win”. “Just win baby”!!

      • Gaddawg

        It will be very interesting how the crowd reacts in the Dome if it is Lambert. Will we actually hear boos? Personally I hope not

        • Jared S.

          If Lambert starts and there are boos but he ends up doing well (hell, maybe even if he sucks) I expect Smart to give the fans an ass-chewing in the post-game presser.

      • 81Dog

        Does Billy Hoyle have any eligibility left? I hear he’s a good passer, loves to compete.

  2. Greg

    My first thought when we hired him, was the Arkansas and Missouri game a few years ago. This was the year Missouri last won the east. I watched the game, because at the time….all Georgia needed was one loss from MO (of their last 4 games) to win the east. Arkansas had them beat if they continued running the ball…..they were just running all up and down the field on MO, whipping their asses. On Arkansas’s last possession of the game, they drove the field (running) all the way down to MO 30 or 35 ……MO could do nothing to stop them. What happens?? —Arkansas decides to start throwing. I forget the number, but it was probably 10 straight incompletions they had that cost them the game. Their QB at the time could not hit the broad side of a barn. Arkansas ends up losing the game because they abandoned the run imo. That stubbornness scares me with Chaney……nonetheless, he has to be better than “5 O’clock Shadow”.

  3. CB

    Coached Drew Brees – Improved the offense everywhere he’s been. Sounds really familiar.

    http://thesportsquotient.com/ncaa-fb/2015/1/9/what-to-make-of-ugas-new-schotten-hire

    Here are a few interesting quotes.

    “For his work in San Diego, where he helped improve the Chargers’ passing offense each season he was awarded his first offensive coordinator job in 2006 by the New York Jets.

    In his first year as New York’s offensive coordinator, the Jets gained nearly 1,000 more yards and averaged five more points per game than in 2005.”

    Guess who.

    • As I said in my post, the jury is out.

      But one thing to distinguish Chaney from Schottenheimer: when it comes to coordinating college offenses, this ain’t Chaney’s first rodeo.

      • CB

        True, I guess we’ll find out whether or not that actually matters.

      • Charles

        The other thing is that Chaney is working under Mr. Hands-on while Schotty had a boss that just let him sink or swim all on his own. I think if things aren’t going that well, Kirby is going to put his energy toward seeing what he can do to help get things righted.

  4. AceDawg

    With all the new coaching staff coming together, anxiety among UGA fans should be natural. I’m confident the offense has a good overall talent base, but I’m not sure how much chemistry and confidence there will be in the early weeks. Heck – Maybe the uncertainty and the fact that every offensive position group has a lot to prove will work out in UGA’s favor, as the concentration level and effort should be high. Still, the Dawgs need to be praying that the defensive line holds its own against UNC so that the game doesn’t start as a shootout.

    • Greg

      Agree….thinks the offense will be just fine. More concerned about the D’, not enough experience as a college DC is enough to scare me. Wish things would have worked out with Pruitt…but who knows, we will find out soon.

      • Cojones

        Smart is there to back his play….and coaching. Agree that a first year DC ain’t a big confidence builder, but his rep for getting things done and now with a mentor for HC, I’m not worried. And it ain’t like they haven’t known each other before.

  5. paul

    Dear Lord if we have to watch Lambert again, please, please let it be true that Chaney has made him a better quarterback.

  6. W Cobb Dawg

    The truth is, except for CMB’s last few seasons at UGA when he finally became a superior OC, our offense has always been middle of the pack. Most of the high octane offenses wouldn’t even consider a weak armed QB like Lambert. I don’t expect some of the questionable stuff we saw with last year’s play calling and hope we avoid the ultra-conservative approach. But I also don’t expect us to be confused with the scoring machine O’s we see – mostly on the other side of the Mississippi.

    • WCD, I don’t think CMB would have offered Lambert. I figure Bobo would have given Ramsey every opportunity to be the starter.

      • VoxDawg

        Ramsey was absolutely heir apparent at QB under CMB. I think he would have gone with him as the starter, and had Bobo stayed and rode that decision out, it would’ve put a considerable tarnish on the shine he developed over the Murray/Mason years.

        • paul

          And today we’d all be blaming Bobo for getting Richt fired.

          • paul

            Of course there isn’t. But what else do we have to talk about? It’s the dog days of summer and we’re getting antsy for some football. It would be just plain weird not to make unsubstantiated statements at this point.

        • Otto

          Don’t forget that if Ramsey failed Park would have likely been on campus, and Eason would still be in Athens this year. I’m not a Bobo fan but Schott…….

  7. DawgPhan

    the woe is me aspect of UGA fans with a 10-2 returning starter in the SEC is amazing.

    Our QB situation is better than most everyone in the league.