FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas offensive coordinator Jim Chaney took part in a media teleconference earlier today, answering a few questions about his new position.
Chaney was hired by coach Bret Bielema on Wednesday night. He plans to be in Fayetteville for the first time tomorrow and is ready to recruit immediately.
Below are some of the highlights from his teleconference:
(On how he got to Arkansas) “Well, when I wasn’t retained at the University of Tennessee., obviously this is what I do for a living. You’ve got to go looking for a job. I was looking around at situations that I wanted to be part of. I love this conference. I think the Southeastern Conference is by far the most competitive league, and as a competitive football coach, I was going to do everything I possibly could to remain in this setting. I had some friends kind of reach out to coach and let him know I had interest. We made contact over the phone and I had a chance to sit down and visit a little bit, talk about philosophy and see which direction he was wanting to go and what I wanted to do with my career. It seemed to work out pretty good. We have a lot of things we share in common and I enjoyed those conversations and when he offered me the opportunity to join his staff I quickly jumped at it."
(On his philosophy) “I believe what takes place, when I first started coaching, I started with a pro style offense, then went to the spread. Couldn’t get anything done with the spread at Cal State Fullerton so we tried the triple option and that didn’t work much. So at Wyoming I went back to the spread. From Wyoming I went to Purdue and we had some quarterbacks that they were our best football players and that enabled us to be successful. Moved into pro football and realized the line of scrimmage is where things happen. I like parts of the spread offense. ... You can win a lot of your games playing the spread offense. I do believe that. I really believe at times you have to be multiple. At times you have to be physical. I believe you have to have more of a balanced attack and be able to run the football when you need to."
(On his background with Bielema) “I recalled some of the Iowa teams that I played when I was at Purdue being the most physical, tough defenses that you couldn't move very much. They were difficult to move. They were very, very sound, well coached. Their identity was very clear and they were hard to move the ball on. So I have had a great amount of respect for what he’s been able to do with his program up at Wisconsin for a long time. And all the success that they’ve done. You see the results show all the time in the big bowl games when you get a chance to go to them. My interest with Bret other than that is just the success he’s had and being intrigued to know him more. I’ve had a good opportunity to do that this past week and I’m excited about the chance to work with him.”
(On Sam Pittman coming over from UT as well) "I don’t have any idea where we’re headed with the staff at this time. I know Sam is a wonderful football coach, and if coach decides to go in that direction and hire Sam, I think that’s wonderful. But he and I haven’t gotten that far. So we’ll see how that plays out. What takes place with the staff, that’s coach’s decision, and if he asks for my input I’ll gladly give it to him."
(On having SEC experience) "We’ll find out in a few years I think. The proof’s in the pudding. I think I understand the lay of the land down here, the recruiting in the South and how competitive every aspect of your program has to be if you’re going to compete at the highest level. ... It really makes you pay close attention to the details. Because of my experience in the league, I hope I can bring something to the table that maybe some of the guys that haven’t been around the SEC can’t do. But I do not believe that the only good coaches in the world are in the SEC. I don’t believe that. I believe there’s wonderful coaches everywhere, and I’m sure coach is going to put together a staff that’s indictative of that."
(On recruiting) "Coach and I haven’t spoken about that very much, regarding where we’re going to go recruiting, other than I like the recruiting of the quarterback position is so critical and I feel one of the strengths I might bring to the table is the evaluation process at quarterback. I feel like I’m very diligent with that and very critical and very picky sometimes. ... Picking that good quarterback enables you to become a good quarterback coach. So tat’s critical, and I think I’ll be very, very involved with that. As far as areas, I’ve been around the South now everywhere. At Tennessee, I had home visits throughout the land. When I was at Purdue, I recruited Dallas-Fort Worth for three or four years. So I’m comfortable in the South about anywhere he wants to put me. My home state is Missouri. Obviously, I know my way around up there, too. So wherever he feels like I can fit in from a georgraphical area, I’ll go, but I’m sure i’ll be very, very strong in the recruitment of the quarterback position."
(On coaching quarterbacks) “I prefer that today. The years I was at Purdue I had a gentleman named Greg Olsen with me, who was so fantastic a quarterback coach. Knew a lot more than I did. He did all the quarterbacks while I coordinated from the tight end position. I’ve coordinated from several different positions. As I’ve moved to this stage in my career and in the Southeastern Conference, I feel like it’s the best thing to do. It worked for us this past year when I went back and took tyler bray over as the quarterback coach. I think Tyler had a pretty solid year for us. I’m enjoying doing that again and I like it."
(On running a balanced offense) “Without any question, make no bones of that, balance is what we’re looking for all the way. We’ve got to be physical and hand that ball off and get some physicality in the front and the running back position. Utilizing some quality tight ends and multiple formations. All the while, being able to win if you have to throw that ball in that 2-minute drill. And to be successful on third down you’ve got to be efficient. So balance is the answer. That’s what we’re looking for.”