There’s been a lot of talk during the first month of the season about the job that Tennessee Vols offensive coordinator Jim Chaney has done in his return to Rocky Top.
Because of Tennessee’s offensive woes, there have been some fans who aren’t sold on Chaney.
I think that’s ridiculous, considering Chaney’s track record of success. I also think it’s ridiculous because Chaney doesn’t have a roster loaded with four-star and five-star talent like some of UT’s rivals.
Offensive coordinators are responsible for putting their players in a position to have success. And they’re responsible for trying to outsmart the defensive coordinator they’re going up against.
But beyond that, it’s all about the players on the field.
And that’s something that Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart pointed out this week when discussing his team’s upcoming matchup with the Vols.
Smart was asked about going up against Chaney’s offense (Chaney spent 2016-2018 as Smart’s offensive coordinator).
“I think there’s a lot more to it in your guys’ stories than there is in real life. It’s going to boil down to which guy blocks properly, which guy covers properly”
Smart added “There’s no, like, secrets. I mean we know what they do, they know what we do…….at the end of the day, the players have to go out and execute.”
There are only so many plays in the playbook. Coordinators can only get so creative.
Winning a football game is all about winning one on one matchups, beating the man in front of you and taking advantage of mistakes.
Now, coaching obviously comes into play. But more often than not, the bigger, faster, stronger team is going to win.
It’s up to the coaching staff to make sure their team plays with passion, but there’s nothing a coaching staff can do to make up for a lack of talent.
That’s why even if Georgia beat Tennessee by several scores on Saturday, it won’t be an indictment on Jeremy Pruitt and his staff.
The Vols don’t have the same talent Georgia has. When they do (if they ever do), then we can fairly compare Smart and Pruitt.
Until then, it’s all about the players on the field.
Featured image via Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports/Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports