Jim Chaney

The Associated Press

Kirby Smart assembling Georgia staff with offensive assistants


Despite hanging on to his role as defensive coordinator at Alabama for the upcoming College Football Playoff run, Kirby Smart is also busy assembling his staff to lead once he moves over full time to Georgia as the new head coach. The newest piece to the staff heading to Athens will reportedly be Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Jim Chaney, who will take on the same role with the Bulldogs and brings with him some previous SEC coaching experience. Dawg Nation was first to report the hiring of Chaney at Georgia. Arkansas offensive line coach Sam Pittman is also reportedly heading to Georgia.

Pittsburgh head coach Pat Natrduzzi has already released a statement of appreciation and thanks for the work done by Chaney at Pitt.

“On behalf of our entire program, I would like to thank Jim for his contributions to Pitt,” Narduzzi’s statement said. “His hard work was very important as we established our program in this first year. In addition to being an excellent football coach, he is a tremendous person and we wish him and his family the best.”

With Smart being a defensive-minded head coach, hiring a competent offensive coordinator to lead the Georgia offense was key. Chaney’s offensive style at Pittsburgh tended to utilize some smart and safe passing routes, and that proved to be pretty effective. Chaney was not one to gamble too often by going for home run after home run plays. The style he brings to Georgia should have some good potential to work as Georgia looks to take advantage of aggressive play in the trenches and allow the running game to control the offense.

Of course, the hiring of Chaney will also hope to have some benefits with quarterbacks as well. Chaney previously coached Drew Brees, and Georgia is still looking to recruit talented five-star quarterback Jacob Eason despite the coaching staff changes.

The loss of Chaney at Pittsburgh means both Pitt and Penn State are looking for offensive coordinators this offseason. The two in-state foes meet for the first time in over a decade next September.

Pat Narduzzi’s offensive system at Pitt a continuation of Michigan State’s

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The Pitt Panthers already utilized a ball-control offense under former head coach Paul Chryst. Pitt fans can expect much of the same with new head coach Pat Narduzzi leading the way.

Pitt’s foundation will be built on playing strong, aggressive defense under Narduzzi’s supervision with a run-first offensive led by new offensive coordinator Jim Chaney.

“It doesn’t matter what their problems were in the past, we’ve got our system we need to put in and focus on that,” Narduzzi told ESPN.com’s Andrea Adelson.

Last season, Pitt ran the ball 610 times and averaged 5.3 yards per carry. Chaney’s, who previously served as the Arkansas Razorbacks’ offensive coordinator, called 557 running plays for an average of 5.1 yards per carry.

Narduzzi clearly found the right man to lead his offense.

“When you look at running our style of offense and what we’ve done here in the past, he’s one of the top names that comes to mind,” Narduzzi said. “He’s a perfect fit.”

All of this boils down to basically one thing:  expect a ton carries for James Conner in 2015. The 250-pound back is an absolute workhorse who carried the ball 298 times as a sophomore.

The 2012 season was last time Narduzzi was part of a coaching staff that featured a running back over 240 pounds.  Le’Veon Bell carried the ball 382 times that season.

Conner should expect a heavier workload.