New Tennessee Vols linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary, who was most recently on staff at Michigan under Jim Harbaugh, comes to Rocky Top with some interesting experience when it comes to UT head coach Josh Heupel’s offense.
Jean-Mary served as the defensive coordinator at South Florida from 2017-2019, which meant he had to prepare for Heupel’s offense in 2018 and 2019.
On Monday, during a media session with reporters, Jean-Mary discussed preparing for Heupel’s offense.
Jean-Mary said that Heupel’s offenses were the most difficult to prepare for during his time at South Florida.
New Tennessee ILB Brian Jean-Mary said Josh Heupel’s offenses were the most difficult he had to prepare for in his time as an assistant under Charlie Strong at USF.
— David Ubben (@davidubben) March 8, 2021
“Very very explosive, aggressive team,” said Jean-Mary of Heupel’s UCF offense. “A team that’s going to take its shots downfield, but a team that you had to defend from sideline to sideline. Equally explosive with the pass game as the run game.”
Jean-Mary actually did a pretty decent job against Heupel. While South Florida lost both matchups against Heupel’s UCF squad, USF only gave up 38 points (in 2018) and 34 points (in 2019). That may not seem like a “pretty good job”, but those UCF teams were regularly scoring 40 or 50 points.
The comments from Jean-Mary on Monday should be encouraging to Vol fans for two reasons.
For one, if Jean-Mary felt the offense was tough to prepare for, there’s a good chance most defensive coaches will feel the same way.
The other reason is because if the offense is that tough to prepare for, then it should make Tennessee’s defense even better. The Vols’ defense will be going up against Heupel’s offense every day in practice. Iron sharpens iron, right?
If you’re going against one of the most explosive offenses in the country every day in practice, it should make game days a lot easier.
Featured image via Tennessee Athletic Communications