October 10, 2012
Nothing really changes
Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney joked he's been yelled at plenty by head coaches for his play-calling through the years, but it's always been over a headset.
Not straight to his face. Saturday night in Starkville, Miss., Chaney will be face to face with his boss as Derek Dooley coaches from the press box following emergency hip surgery on Tuesday.
"I have no issues with it. Coach and I have a great relationship. We talk throughout the game. He will just be doing it sitting beside me. We will manage. We are both grown ups. I'm sure he will yell at me and I will yell at him and we will get right through it and keep on with the game," Chaney said. "That's kind of what happens. I won't really yell at him. He's my boss."
When asked if Dooley would be in his ear calling plays, Chaney said of course.
"He always has before, why would he stop now," Chaney said laughing.
Joking aside, the longest tenured assistant on Tennessee's staff said during the game little will be different with Dooley not roaming the sidelines.
"You are calling plays fast," Chaney said. "There's not a lot of dialogue going on in between those. Derek and I will spend most of our time talking post series than we ever do during the series. I don't see where he's at having any affect on that at all.
"For us as a staff we are trying to maintain our responsibility the same way we always have. I talk to Derek on the headsets and now he will be sitting beside me. So I don't anticipate any difference quite honestly when it comes to game day."
First-year running backs coach Jay Graham said the conversations among staff members during a game are all done via headsets so, like Chaney, he sees very little changing Saturday night.
"It's really the same communication," Graham said. "It's so loud that we are all on headsets. It's kind of the same thing. Everyone is talking and communicating back and forth but it's through the headsets all the time."
Wednesday morning Dooley sent multiple text messages to his staff about various things regarding his team. All assistants praised Dooley's thoroughness in his plan for the rest of this week as well as for Saturday. Receivers coach Darin Hinshaw will handle the offensive sidelines duties and Chaney said the bottom line is that everyone just has to go do their job.
"Coach has done a good job with this team treating them like mature young men," Chaney said. "We expect them to perform. We have a football game to try and win and we expect them to fight their rear ends off whether coach standing on the sidelines or sitting in the box."
NEAL'S CONTINUED DEVELOPMENT
Through five games, Rajion Neal has 103 carries for 460 yards and 4 touchdowns. To put it in perspective, Neal in his first two seasons as a Vol had just 73 carries for 331 yards.
"He's worked hard in practice and it's showed up in the games," Graham said. "That's the thing that I have been talking to him about. Continue to work and continue to do things better each and everyday."
Added Chaney, "I think he is getting more disciplined. The more reps he gets on particular runs the better his vision is. I think we saw that a lot the last ball game where he hit the same play several times and as the game went on and he grew more mature with the play he handled the play better."
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