When Jim Chaney was hired by Jeremy Pruitt this offseason, Tennessee’s offensive players likely heard all about how wise of an offensive mind their new coordinator possessed. Now as they enter their first season with the veteran coach, those same players are beginning to fully understand how the mind of the team’s new offensive leader really works.

It’s one thing to hear about another person’s expertise, it’s another thing altogether to see it in action. During his recent media availability, junior offensive lineman Ryan Johnson was asked if he could explain what is it about Chaney that makes him such a smart football coach.

It didn’t take long for Johnson to draw a parallel between one of his favorite hobbies.

“You can see it in a bunch of different places but one, for example, you’ll be watching film with him; you are just watching a play here or there and he will just come out with something you just haven’t seen before,” Johnson said in a video uploaded to YouTube by Vince Ferrara of WNML. “Just one small minute detail that he can build off of. Like a corner’s footwork or something like that and you are just sitting there like, ‘Man, I’ve never thought about anything like that. Who would have possibly thought about that?’

“We are just looking at inside zone and you are looking at the corner saying we can exploit that? It’s incredible that he can just think of that. It’s almost like a chess game, it really is, and I like playing chess. Some people play chess one or two moves ahead, Coach Chaney plays chess, or I guess, the game of football, 10 or 11 moves ahead.”

Considering Pruitt has his hands all over the defense on Rocky Top, this description of Chaney’s offensive acumen would appear to be the perfect fit to what Tennessee wants on the offensive side of the ball. While these Tennessee offensive players have yet to play a single game under Chaney’s leadership, he’s shown enough this offseason in the film room to get their full attention heading into the season.