The Tennessee Vols are in the process of hiring a new offensive coordinator to replace Mike DeBord.
The man that most Vols fans wanted calling plays in Knoxville next season, Mark Helfrich, is apparently out as a candidate.
Helfrich had success as Oregon’s offensive coordinator under Chip Kelly (and with a stud QB Marcus Mariota on the team), but when he took over as head coach the program steadily declined each season.
Fans wanted Helfrich because his name is attractive, but he never appeared to be a good fit at Tennessee.
Reports and murmurs around the program seem to suggest that a co-coordinator setup with current tight ends coach Larry Scott is likely.
The most popular name to join Scott in that setup is Carolina Panthers quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey.
That would obviously mean Dorsey would be UT’s quarterbacks coach. I imagine Scott would continue to coach tight ends, but his special team coordinator duties would need to fall elsewhere (expect more staff changes on the way).
This hire wouldn’t be the splash name hire that most fans want, but it could still be a successful pairing.
Scott is an in-demand coach that interviewed for head coaching jobs after the season. He’s an up-and-comer in every sense of the phrase.
Dorsey is a relatively young coach. He was Cam Newton’s quarterback coach during his MVP season in 2015.
But Dorsey isn’t anywhere close to a promotion to an NFL offensive coordinator. So this job would be very attractive to him if he wants to make a splash in the NFL down the line.
The Vols would benefit from this setup because it would give them a proven quarterbacks coach. That’s pretty important right now since Tennessee has a lot of unproven talent on the roster.
Jones’ offense isn’t going to be overhauled regardless of who is hired. And it shouldn’t be — it was incredibly efficient last season.
The offense, however, does need to be tweaked a bit. But perhaps more than that, the play calling in the first half of games needs to improve.
A pair of young, innovative coaches could be just what Tennessee needs.