Georgia's Jim Chaney eager to put busy offseason to use

Georgia's Jim Chaney is entering his eighth season as a Southeastern Conference offensive coordinator, having worked four years at Tennessee (2009-12), two at Arkansas (2013-14) and last year with the Bulldogs.

Insanity has been described as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Jim Chaney has no plans of going insane during his second year as offensive coordinator of the Georgia Bulldogs.

Inheriting true freshman quarterback Jacob Eason, an inconsistent line and tailbacks Nick Chubb and Sony Michel coming off injuries, Chaney oversaw a unit that ranked 11th in the Southeastern Conference in total offense and scoring offense during his debut season in Athens.

"After the conclusion of last season and not having the production that we wanted to have, you do a lot of soul searching and a lot of visitations with a lot of people of what's fresh and what's new," Chaney said Saturday in a news conference. "I am a big video guy and get into tons of video watching. I like the cutting edge of the NFL, and I thought Atlanta did a wonderful job last year, so I've been studying a lot of their stuff.

"I would rather not get into a lot of the college teams we looked at, but we visited a lot, just trying to freshen up our ideas. For me, personally, it was fun to do and it was time to do it. It was much needed for me, so I enjoyed this offseason a lot."

Evolving is nothing new for Chaney, who is entering his eighth season as an SEC offensive coordinator. He worked at Tennessee under both Lane Kiffin and Derek Dooley and also spent two years under Bret Bielema at Arkansas.

Kirby Smart faced Chaney multiple times as Alabama's defensive coordinator under Nick Saban, and he believes Chaney has moved on from last season while taking plenty of lessons from it.

"I've always had a lot of respect for the work Jim has done," Smart said Saturday. "He's been in some interesting situations, from Arkansas being heavy run to Tennessee, when we played them one year and couldn't slow them down from throwing it because they had a guy (Tyler Bray) who could throw it and had really good wideouts. He has been very versatile in his past, but he was not able to do that last year. We were not in a position to be that.

"It's not who we were. We were in a transition, and it was tough. He'll be the first to tell you that we didn't live up to the expectations we wanted last year. It's not the standard we expect, and we have to do a good job of analyzing why it wasn't and what we're going to do about it. That's what we're worrying about now."

Chaney doesn't want to compare last season to any other, but he knew it would have some difficulties.

"Anytime you play a young quarterback, it's challenging to try and figure out what he can and can't do as early as you possibly can," he said. "We've gotten a lot closer on that, and I feel like Jacob has done a good job. We know one another a lot better now."

Smart and Chaney have placed an emphasis in growing both Eason and freshman quarterback Jake Fromm. There are also the objectives of stretching the field more, becoming more balanced overall, and developing a larger, more physical line.

The Bulldogs set offensive records during Mike Bobo's final three seasons as coordinator (2012-14), so the expectations are there, especially with what the Bulldogs have back from a year ago.

"To (him who) much is given, much is expected, and we're expected to be at our best every day," Chaney said. "That's my expectations of myself, also."

No redshirt thoughts

Smart was asked Saturday, considering fifth-year senior quarterback Brice Ramsey is still around, what would it take for Fromm to redshirt this season?

"I don't know that you even think about that right now," he said. "You've got to let things happen as they happen. We've got to develop Jake Fromm as fast as possible, because, as of today, he is one play away from playing."

Thompson doing well

Junior defensive tackle Trenton Thompson, who underwent offseason shoulder surgery and withdrew from classes during the spring semester, is off to a solid start in camp.

"Trenton has always been what we call a stack monster," Smart said. "The stack is where the 10 people are - the O-line and the D-line - all bunched. When the ball gets thrown on the perimeter, the best thing Trenton does is that he turns and runs to the ball really fast. He's a great energy guy, and I've been pleased with where Trenton is.

"He's got to work on how he strikes the offensive linemen and controlling his gap. He's really quick and athletic, but he doesn't always control his gap."

Odds and ends

Redshirt freshman Chauncey Manac is listed as an outside linebacker but has been working at defensive end, with Smart adding that the 6-foot-3, 243-pounder is "slippery and hard to block" but that he is not big enough to consistently play effectively against the run. The Bulldogs held an open practice Saturday inside Sanford Stadium, which was their sixth workout of the preseason. They will take today off before resuming Monday.

Contact David Paschall at [email protected] or 423-757-6524.