Then there are the tight ends, who have seen a steady decrease in catches the last few years. Since Chaney is remaining the play-caller but taking over the tight ends, they’re hoping they will benefit.
“I would hope so, yeah. I think that’s definitely the anticipation in the room is we would get the ball a little more next year,” Georgia tight end Charlie Woerner said. “Maybe we can sweet talk him, bring some cookies in for him. He’ll get us the ball a little more next year.”
(Upon closer questioning, Woerner said he thinks Chaney is more of a McDonald’s and sweet tea guy.)
Kidding aside, there’s some interesting stuff to parse in Seth’s article about the changes on the coaching staff. Take, for example, what Mecole Hardman has to say about his new position coach:
When Georgia receiver Mecole Hardman was asked about Hankton, he first mentioned his new position coaches’ pedigree: He played receiver in the NFL, and it’s the only position he’s ever coached. He brings a technical expertise to the position.
“Coach Hank is a cool guy. A guy who’s been in the NFL. Knows what it takes to get there,” Hardman said. “He’s just giving his knowledge and experience to us to help us out and get us to the level we need to be at.”
Coley, after two years coaching Georgia’s receivers, is now back coaching quarterbacks, a position he has coached at the high school and pro levels.
“Coley is in a better spot where he’s at with the quarterbacks,” Hardman said.
Hmmmm… and I thought Coley did a pretty good job last year with the wideouts.
As always, it’s worth reading what Kirby says about what he was thinking.
“You can always look at yourself and say, ‘How can I improve?’” Smart said. “I think we improved our staff tremendously by retaining one of our best recruiters and best coaches in James Coley while also bringing an unbelievable personality and great background in Cortez Hankton. He’s coached in our league, knows our league, has recruited in our league. All we want to do is make our staff better, and that’s the ultimate goal is to improve each year, and that’s what I think I’ve been able to do. So I’m excited about that.”
It’s also not that Chaney and Coley have completely forsaken their former units. There’s enough overlap during practice, whether it be team drills or passing drills, that receivers and quarterbacks are working together, that Coley and Chaney might be talking to their former guys.
And Chaney ultimately remains the man in charge of the offense. That hasn’t changed.
“Chaney’s the OC, so he’s with everybody. The receivers, the tight ends, the quarterbacks, at the end he’s going to have the overall say,” Hardman said. “But Chaney, he’s trusting Coley and Coach Hank to do their thing. I think Coach Chaney’s more laid-back now and just letting everything play itself out. That’s good, because he’s giving the quarterbacks and Coley to do more things that they can do.”
Reading a little between the lines there, I think it’s apparent that Smart really didn’t want to lose Coley from the staff. If Hankton is as good as advertised, this does look like a stronger group overall. We shall soon see.