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Saturday, September 17, 2005

John Chavis: The Norm Chow of Defense?

Most of the focus by the media leading up to the Tennessee-Florida game has been one thing. Can the Urban Ledgend's pread-offense work in the SEC? I don't know. Maybe, but it might not work against Tennessee.

"We've got some new stuff in our scheme that we're running," Simon said. "We've got a really good defensive plan. Hats off to coach [John] Chavis. He really did his homework on this one, getting the scheme to where we can play our best ball. But the magic's not going to be in the scheme. The magic is going to be in the players."

Chris Low, ESPN "SEC Notebook" (Insider Article)

John Chavis, defensive coordinator at Tennessee has already turned down some head coaching offers. Lucky for Tennessee as Chavis is defensive genius. I think Chavis loves defense too much to go to head coaching.

But back to my question. Is John Chavis the Norm Chow of defense? Well you can certainly make a case for it. He is known for a sophisticated style of defensive packages that make opponents' offensive cooridinators scratch their heads. In 2001, Tennessee was headed to a late season Florida game (because of September 11th). All season long the defense had been playing a package from Chavis called the "Mustang". Against Florida, Tennessee pulled out a package no one had seen called the "Prowler". It confused Spurrier, the offensive coordinator, and the quarterback. They didn't know what to call. They didn't know who was blitzing and who was rushing. They didn't know what plays to check out of or to check into. All thanks to the brilliant scheming of Chavis.

Is John Chavis the Norm Chow of defense? I don't know, but I do know that Chavis is the author of more than a few great schemes for defense. It sounds like he might even be ready for Florida. I don't see why he couldn't have designed something that might work against the spread offense.