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COLUMN: Jim Chaney Deserves Massive Credit for Depth Shown in UT QB Room

by | Oct 28, 2019

Tennessee OC, Jim Chaney is universally respected across the nation due to his experience and elite track record with the quarterback position, which is why Tennessee fans were extremely excited when Jeremy Pruitt made the call to bring him back to Rocky Top late last year. The then Georgia OC elected to leave the proven team to accept the same position in Knoxville, and while his deep connections on Rocky Top likely contributed to the move, it still caught many by surprise. The question many people asked themselves was simple. Why would Chaney leave a proven program, and a team that is on a roll to go to deflated and washed up Tennessee? Did he want a bigger challenge? Did it have to do with the money? Did Georgia push him out? The truth is we don’t know. In fact, we may never know the true reason why Chaney ditched Georgia to return to the Great Smoky Mountains, but one thing is very clear, Tennessee made an outstanding hire by bringing him back and the results of the move are now becoming apparent in the quarterback room.

Chaney’s track-record at the quarterback position is by far the most impressive part of his resume. From coaching future stars such as Drew Brees at Purdue, to developing consistent passers such as Jonathon Crompton and Jake Fromm, Chaney has had great success at the position. However, one of his most impressive achievements has to have come this year from the development of freshman quarterbacks Brian Maurer and JT Shrout, and no game showed his hard work like the Volunteer’s recent blowout victory over the South Carolina Gamecocks.

To start we’ll discuss JT Shrout, a redshirt freshman quarterback from California. Shrout played tremendously well when he was forced to return to the game after a blow to 2nd-String QB Jarrett Guarantano’s left hand knocked him out of the match-up. He finally got his prime opportunity to show his talent and he made the absolute most of it. With a beautifully thrown ball down-field to Marquez Callaway for a touchdown to put Tennessee up two scores over the Gamecocks he was able to get every Vol fan in the world up and started yelling. While that is the play most remember from Shrout, he shined all throughout the game finishing 7/11 with 122 yards and a touchdown. While he was in high school he was known as an elite gunslinger, however, he had a massive amount of interceptions, which was his biggest flaw by far. If Chaney can continue to work with him in regards to limiting his turnovers, he has the potential to be an extremely good quarterback, and you saw that potential a lot against South Carolina

In addition to Shrout’s potential that he put on full display against South Carolina, Tennessee junior QB, Jarrett Guarantano also deserves praise for his 11/19 229 yard performance as he had a major comeback performance. Last week, he cost Tennessee a chance to upset the #1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide with his heart-wrenching fumble at the goal line which Alabama returned for a 100-yard touchdown to essentially ice the game. This week, he clearly redeemed himself as many agree that UT would not have won the game without Guarantano. While he has many things he must improve on, mainly his inconsistency, his game against the Gamecocks deserves recognition and high praise.

In the end, the Vols still must win 3 of their remaining 4 match-ups to get to a Bowl Game, but with the help of Jim Chaney, Tennessee’s quarterback room is turning the corner and showing their true potential.

Luke A. Thomas

Luke A. Thomas

Senior Writer

Luke was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and grew up with a passion for SEC Football.

His career in journalism started in 2016 when he covered his hometown MTSU Blue Raiders. He would later go on to cover the local Vanderbilt Commodores before he would begin covering the Volunteers. He wrote for SBNation, covering UT Athletics before joining Volunteer Roadshow in May of 2019. At Volunteer Roadshow he covers all things Tennessee, with a focus on UT Football and Basketball.

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