Guarantano's confidence growing thanks to Chaney's summer school
Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney has been the most talked about addition to the Tennessee football program this offseason. There’s been plenty of talk about how much Chaney has helped Jeremy Pruitt as the head man heads into his second year.
Chaney’s personality oozes confidence. He never gets too emotionally high or low. After all, as he says it’s just ball.
The expectation for Chaney this fall is for the Vol offense to make huge strides after averaging just 22.8 points a game last season.
In his first season at his last four stops (Tennessee, Arkansas, Pittsburgh, Georgia), Chaney’s offense has averaged 25.6 points a game. They key to Chaney’s success has been about finding his playmakers and giving the quarterback the confidence to make plays. In his first year at Pitt, Nathan Peterman threw for 2,287 yards, 20 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. At Georgia, Jacob Eason threw for 2430 yards, 16 touchdowns and 8 interceptions in 2016. In 2009, Jonathan Crompton threw for 2800 yards, 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions — success that Crompton said was built over the summer in his one on one time with Chaney.
“Now to instill confidence the player has to work hard. I can remember going up in the summer and Chaney did things that would help. I would script the 7-on-7 workouts. That helped me learn the system and I had to learn it fast because I only had one year with them. So I would script the 7-on-7 work using the new terminology,” Crompton said.
“Look at his track record. His knowledge of the game. His understand of young kids. Keyword being kids. They are 18-21 year-old-kids. It takes a special human being to understand how to coach them and get them to do things within the system. They don’t come much better than him in that position. That’s my personal opinion. At the end of the day, I’m a numbers guy. I like math. His numbers don’t lie. Look what they have done at Georgia. If you look everywhere he has been there has been productivity.”
Ten years after Crompton’s summer school of football, redshirt junior Jarrett Guarantano is taking the same classes from Chaney.
“Coach Chaney and I have been catching up on film a lot,” Guarantano said. “I’m probably in there an hour and a half or two hours. You don’t put a time on it. Whenever you feel like you have enough for that day, you head on home.
“Coach Chaney has helped me a lot. Just today we were in the film room working on third downs. I love having him around. I love having him as our offensive coordinator. Guys really appreciate him. They know the knowledge he brings to the game.
“He definitely likes the fact that I am always up in the complex and he always invites me up there. I think just having the pleasure of being up there with him. I feel gratitude and its helping me a lot.”
That help means plenty of freedom and growing confidence for Guarantano.
“I can’t even put it into words,” Guarantano said of his new freedom. “It’s a lot different. Coach Cheney trusts me with the offense and he has me calling protections. He has me calling my own plays at the line. Meeting with him every day I get a feel for what he wants and I get a feel for what I really like to do. He’s giving me a lot of different things to handle that I’m glad I’m getting to take on.
“I really have full control right now. Coach Chaney has put that on me and I’m ready for the test.”
How Guarantano passes that test will be pivotal to Tennessee’s success in 2019. With practice starting a week from Friday, Guarantano, who Pruitt declared his quarterback at SEC Media Days, will enter with more confidence than he’s ever had. It's a confidence that stems from a summer of hard work and confidence that comes from a coach that he has more confidence in than any of the three previous coordinators he has played for.
“I think what he really does best because he’s been at so many different places and his track record is amazing, what he really does best is he gets to know his offense and he does what the offense does well,” Guarantano said.
“He consistently puts guys in good positions to get the ball and get the ball out. So I’m really excited to have him as my offensive coordinator. When I heard that he was hired I was really happy and I still am.”