When the Tennessee Vols hired Jim Chaney to replace Tyson Helton as the program’s offensive coordinator in January, incumbent starting quarterback Jarrett Guarantano was immediately thrilled.
And that excitement hasn’t waned in the months since Chaney’s hiring.
Speaking last week at SEC media days, Guarantano told reporters “When I heard that he (Chaney) was hired I was really happy and I still am”.
After two tough seasons that saw the Vols only win nine total games, Guarantano, a player with the talent to be one of the top quarterbacks in the SEC, needed a shot of life. Athletes don’t become starters in the SEC if they’re not hard workers. But it’s easy to get beat down if the losses vastly outnumber the wins.
And a shot of life is exactly what Chaney has delivered for Guarantano.
You can hear it in the way Guarantano talks about his relationship with Chaney and their off-season work.
When Guarantano discussed Chaney with reporters, there were no answers filled with fluff. The redshirt junior quarterback was practically beaming, saying “I love having him around. I love having him as our offensive coordinator.”
As for the work he’s been putting in, Guarantano said “I’m probably in there [watching film] an hour and a half or two hours. You don’t put a time on it.”
I don’t think anyone could ever question Guarantano’s love for football. He’s been a tough competitor that’s left it all on the field. But it’s easy to see how a pessimistic outlook could enter the equation after a couple of rough seasons.
The addition of Chaney, however, has ensured that Guarantano will have an optimistic, fired up outlook for the 2019 season.
Attitude is everything. And Guarantano certainly has the right attitude heading into fall camp.
I think Jim Chaney is going to have a huge impact on Tennessee football. In fact, I think it’s clear from Guarantano’s words that he’s already had a big impact.
Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports