Kirby Smart addresses familiarity of facing former OC Jim Chaney at Tennessee
Tennessee offensive coordinator Jim Chaney spent the previous three seasons at Georgia in the same role, and the since the teams meet this week in Knoxville, there will be some familiarity on both sides.
But Georgia coach Kirby Smart downplayed how it might play out on the field. The teams meet on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.
“I think there’s a lot more to it your guys’ stories than in real life,” Smart said at his regular weekly press conference on Monday. “It’s going to boil down to which guy blocks properly, which guy covers properly. There’s no like secrets. We know what they do, they know what we do, but that’s the case every week. That’s what the tape’s for. So there’s a lot of familiarity there, and at the end of the day, the players got to go out and execute. They got to play with a passion and energy and enthusiasm to beat the guy across from them, and not make it about what our defensive coordinator calls, or what their offensive coordinator calls. I just don’t think that matters a whole lot. I think at the end of the day, it’s blocking, tackling, turnovers, explosive plays, executing and doing it with a lot of passion.”
This is, of course, Chaney’s second stint at Tennessee. He was the OC from 2009-12 under Derek Dooley. Shortly after he was hired in Knoxville, Chaney said he and his wife always loved it there and see themselves living there for a long time. That’s why he called the move, “a pretty easy decision for me to come back to a place I’ve always enjoyed coaching at and living.”