Georgia's football program is coming off a dream season that included everything but the national championship.
The success of a year ago is not lost on Bulldogs offensive coordinator Jim Chaney, who helped guide a freshman quarterback and three new starters on the line to a 13-2 record and a Southeastern Conference title. He's just not taking any credit for it.
"When I was a young coach, I once drank that Kool-Aid and that it was all about me," Chaney said Saturday during a news conference. "The next year we fell flat on our face. I learned that lesson the hard way. What happened last year is just last year. Will what took place last year happen this year?
"There is no guarantee of that. You attack each year and try to be the coach you can be. My name is stapled on this offense, and I want it to do well."
Chaney is entering his third season as offensive coordinator of the Bulldogs and his first overseeing tight ends, with former receivers coach James Coley now in charge of quarterbacks.
Georgia's offensive achievements last year were numerous, with Jake Fromm replacing an injured Jacob Eason at quarterback during the opener and finishing among the nation's top 10 in passing efficiency. Nick Chubb gained 1,345 rushing yards, Sony Michel 1,227 and D'Andre Swift 618, so the top three rushers for the Bulldogs combined for a whopping 3,190 yards.
Chubb compiled more than 4,000 rushing yards in his four-year career, while Michel surpassed 3,000.
"Everybody tells me how good we're going to be," Chaney said, "but I still look for those two kids we had last year walking down the hall, and they haven't showed up yet. They're gone. They're history, but the kids we have, we like."
Despite having four offensive players drafted — Chubb, Michel, left tackle Isaiah Wynn and receiver Javon Wims — the Bulldogs return eight starters.
Fromm is battling five-star freshman Justin Fields for the starting role, which Chaney was quick to realize is receiving plenty of attention. Fields was the nation's top dual-threat quarterback in the 2018 signing class, leaving Chaney with the dilemma of when and how to use him.
"Justin's ability to run the ball is exceptional," Chaney said, "but we don't have a vast amount of depth at that position right now, so when you start running quarterbacks, you're putting them in harm's way a little bit more. You've got to be real conscious of that. I don't know if you can just walk in and say, 'Because Justin Fields can run, he is a running quarterback.'
"I think Justin Fields is a fantastic quarterback. Designing a playbook directly because he can run would disorient who we want to be as a football team, but it does give us some different things we can open in the playbook."
After receiving multiple questions about Fields, Chaney was happy to answer a query about Fromm's improvement from a year ago.
"He's more confident with the X's and O's, and there is no question about that," Chaney said. "He's got that year under him, and he had a fantastic year. Jake's personality has always been Jake. Even last year, when he was a freshman, he was still Jake. He's an outgoing guy, and he likes to talk to his teammates.
"He played 900-something snaps of football last year. That's hard to overlook. He's a good football player."
Contact David Paschall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6524.