ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia football offensive coordinator Jim Chaney is about as seasoned and successful of an assistant coach as you will find, and his media sessions reflect that.
Chaney is an informative and entertaining speaker, his enthusiasm for the game and the players is as unmistakable as his encyclopedic knowledge of football.
Some coaches appear tired and reluctant to discuss their teams, but that’s not the case with Chaney.
Chaney clearly enjoys his job and the opportunity to share his thoughts on what looks to be another championship caliber Bulldogs’ offense.
Here are some key quotes from Chaney’s expert presentation:
Jim Chaney, Aug. 4, Butts-Mehre Building
• “We all know how polarizing the quarterback position can be. Everybody wants to know about that spot. In my particular role, I worry about everybody. And every good football player we have, you try to find ways to get them on the field and utilize them.”
• “I love [Justin Fields]; he’s a wonderful young man, comes from a great family. He’s a competing son-of-a-gun, and he’s also a hell of a good football player. The future is very bright for him. As far as what happens in the future, as far as playing time and all that, all that is going to take place in the next three to four weeks, and all that who plays and who doesn’t play, you know as well as I do, that gets down to Coach Smart’s decision. So I don’t get in to all that, I’m just very glad he’s here, a part of our program and competing for our starting position for our team.”
• “James [Coley] moving into quarterbacks [coaching role], it’s been awesome. He brings a good, vast amount of knowledge to that position. He knows what he’s doing there. It’s kind of a fresh breath for those guys to hear things from a different voice. He’s done a great job with them. For me going back to the tight ends spot, I’m very comfortable there also. So, those kids that I’ve got in the room, particularly the older guys, with Isaac [Nauta] and Charlie [Woerner] and Jackson [Harris], those kids have known me a long time. The transition has been pretty much seamless in my opinion. I think we’ve done a good job in that room. And Shane [Beamer] had done a good job before. It just kind of worked out that the staff just kind of switched around. It worked out fine. I’m very comfortable with where we’re at right now. I think it’s actually brought it a little energy to what we’re trying to do
• “We don’t have a vast amount of depth at that position right now, so when you start running quarterbacks, you’re putting him in harms way a little bit more, so you’ve got to be real conscious of that. I don’t know if you walk out and say, because Justin Fields can run, he is a running quarterback. I think Justin Fields is a fantastic quarterback. He happens to be able to run. So that’s a good thing. Designing a playbook directly because he can run, I think that would be disoriented of who we want to be as a football team. But it does give us some different things we can open in the playbook. It does open some pages to it.”
• “You don’t rule anything out [asked about two-quarterback system]. Like I said guys, everybody wants to know about that right now. And I don’t blame y’all for asking the question at all. But we’re so much in a mode of training camp right now, just trying to get every player a little bit better, and cohesively working within our unit, and utilizing our base offense, that the mindset of game planning and putting out two different offenses hasn’t – can’t even think about things like that. My mind is so far away from that right now. I just want him to be all he can be, and let us evaluate him, see what his skill set is, and utilize it to the best of our ability – overall, to help Georgia win football games. And if it ends up being that way, so be it, but that’s a long way in the future.”
• “[Jake Fromm] is more confident with the X’s and O’s. There’s no question about that. He’s got that year under him, and he had a fantastic year, and he’s playing good football for us, and he’s playing very confident. But Jake’s personality has always been Jake. Even last year, he was a freshman, he was still Jake. He’s an outgoing guy, he likes to talk to his teammates. He’s positive all the time. So a lot of his personality traits haven’t changed. A lot of it is his familiarity, and he played 900-some snaps of football last year. That’s hard to overlook. He’s a good football player.”
• “It’s not all Jim Chaney. Trust me on that. When we get in the run game, it’s Dell [McGee] and myself, and Sam [Pittman] a lot. When you get into the passing game, it’s Cortez [Hankton], and James, and it’s Jay and myself. We all collectively put it together, slap it up on the board, see where we’re at. If we’re heavy somewhere else, and someone has an opinion on somewhere else – anybody can bring up anything they want. I don’t care. I worked for a guy named Gene Murphy a hundred years ago – bless his soul, I lost him a few years ago. He told me, ‘Jim, if you ever have an opportunity to hire people, always try to hire people smarter than you.’ That’s always stuck with me. I’m fortunate on our staff; I’ve had a lot of good people who are a lot smarter than I am. I would be a damn fool not to listen to what they have to say.”
• “There’s a lot of talent there in that [running backs] room. Everybody tells me how good we’re going to be, but I still look for those two kids we had last year [Nick Chubb and Sony Michel] walking down the hall and they haven’t showed up yet, they’re gone. They’re history. The kids we have, we like. We think they’re going to be good football players but to go out on the field and perform they have yet to do that. We have to watch them do that, watch them go play. We are excited about it. We’re optimistic about it. The rubber hits the road in about a month when we go out on the field and play. We’ll find out where we are at that time. “
• “The receiving core in general is older, they’ve played a lot. We have Riley [Ridley], Mecole [Hardman], and Terry [Godwin] who have played a lot. Trey (Blount) played last year. Jeremiah (Holloman) played last year. The one thing about our receiving core you have to remember is- you think about Special Teams. Tyler Simmons, Riley [Ridley], and Jayson Stanley all played over 100 snaps last year on Special Teams- that’s a game and a quarter of nothing more than Special Teams. In places where I’ve been, wide receivers hadn’t played that much. That’s telling you a little bit about their character. They care about the team and they’re physical football players. You can’t play Special Teams and be any other way.”