Jim Chaney enjoys watching film to find new ideas on how to improve his offense. After his first season at Georgia, in which the Bulldogs struggled to find a consistent balance, Chaney turned to the tape with the goal of discovering trends that could be useful this season.
He really liked what former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan did with the Atlanta Falcons and spent time studying that scheme. He studied other college programs, declining to name which ones for obvious reasons.
The offseason proved to be a long time for reflection for Chaney, as his offense finished 11th in the SEC with an average of 384.7 total yards per game.
“I think after the conclusion of last season and not having production that we wanted to have, you do a lot of soul searching and a lot of visitations with a lot of people,” Chaney said. “What’s fresh and what’s new? I’m a big video guy. I like the cutting edge of the NFL, it is always fun to me. … Visited a lot and tried to freshen up ideas. For me personally, it was fun to do. It was time to do. It was much needed for me, a little freshening up of everything, this offseason.”
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Chaney will hope to drastically improve the offense from what it was a year ago. At the same time, Chaney’s first year did have its share of challenges for him as an offensive coordinator.
His starting quarterback was a true freshman in Jacob Eason. The offensive line didn’t possess the size conducive for what Chaney or Sam Pittman would ultimately prefer.
Georgia’s top receiving target was a slot receiver in Isaiah McKenzie (644 yards, seven touchdowns), with Terry Godwin being the second-leading receiver at 397 yards.
While Chaney’s offense struggled to score points – Georgia’s 24.5 points per game ranked 11th in the SEC – it brings back a slew of contributors, including seven starters, from last year’s team.
Georgia’s hope will be that the combination of experience and familiarity will lead to better results.
“I think he will be the first to admit that we did not live up to the expectations we wanted last year,” head coach Kirby Smart said. “That is not the standard we expect at Georgia. He recognizes that. We acknowledge that. We have to do a good job of analyzing why was it that way, why wasn’t it the way we wanted, what are we going to do about it.”
One tweak Chaney has made thus far, at least when reporters have been able to observe practice, is to train tight ends and running backs at the slot receiver position. How often those position groups will be utilized in that role remains to be seen.
Chaney has coached both spread and pro-style offenses over the years, which has implemented into Georgia’s scheme.
Entering his second year with the Bulldogs, however, Chaney knows he needs to spruce the offense up to improve its overall play.
“I had a big part to play in that, and my job was to the freshen things up and take care of my responsibility when it comes to that, because ultimately – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the buck stops here when it comes to production of offense,” Chaney said.