First Impressions: Chaney's Post-Practice Highlights


Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said earlier this month he believes that first impressions last a lifetime.

If that's the case, we got a first glimpse at offensive coordinator Jim Chaney last night. He has spoken with the media since being hired (his introductory teleconference in December and interviews on national signing day), but Tuesday was Chaney's first post-practice appearance with the Razorbacks.

And he's pretty quotable.

Here's how he began the interview:

“Let me first start by saying what a pleasure it is to be here and meet you guys," Chaney said. "I haven’t had that opportunity. I get a kick out of talking to you guys. It’s always fun. And also, I thought this was in the South. We were talking on the way over (to the interview room), I’ve been freezing my hind end off here long enough. Let’s get some warm weather. Now I’m ready for questions now that I got that out of the way.”

It was one of a few highlights from Chaney, who didn't dial up the John L. Smith demand to "Smile!" but did tell the media to lighten up at one point Tuesday. He covered a number of topics during a 12-minute interview session and here were some of the most quotable moments:

On the challenge players face in learning a new offense: "I would encourage you take your pens out and put them in another hand and try to write your name with the pen the other way. That's what we're asking these kids to do: Learn how to write their name with a different hand and it's difficult."

On center Travis Swanson: "Swanson's brain is working faster than I can even think. He's like a professor out there. I need to calm him down. He does so much thinking. I think Swanson is trying to think for all 10 guys. I need him to think for Swanson. So I have to slow him down a little bit. His brain works at great speed, which is a great thing for him. It’s a big asset for our offense to have a super smart center."

On backup QB Taylor Reed: "Taylor Reed's doing a lot of nice stuff out there. The lefty. It’s hard for me to coach. I've got to coach him from a mirror so I can figure that out. I don't know. This left-handed stuff drives me crazy. There are no lefties in here are there?"

On his QB meeting room: "They want to learn. The room is awesome. They ask good questions. They joke with one another. There's just a lot of good. There’s a lot of good. Now I understand it's the honeymoon period and all of a sudden these games are going to come around. These games ruin this profession."

On moving players to different positions: "Some kids in the game of football might be better suited for certain positions, but because of a lack of depth you end up playing one position. I should have been an offensive guard, but I had to play wide receiver my whole career. … You don't believe that, I hope."

— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau