Although Bret Bielema said that the Razorbacks will likely feature a more balanced attack than the running attack he used at Wisconsin, Chaney said Arkansas will still use something closer to Bielema's ground attack than the air raid Tennessee used last year.
"The philosophy is his all the way," Chaney said. "We're going to be a physical, downhill football team. I'm comfortable with that. As I've grown through this profession and led the country in passing and done all the passing stuff, but never tend to end up in that championship game. And even as we look through college football in general, those teams that are playing in that national championship football game are usually downhill, physical running teams that play unbelievably solid defense.
"He entrusts me to install his philosophy, I'll handle the schemes, the X's and O's and the play-calling, he'll be confident and if I call a bad call, obviously he's the head football coach and he can override any call I have at any time and I hope he does when I call those bad ones."
Although Arkansas lost three running backs, Dennis Johnson, Knile Davis and Ronnie Wingo, following last season, Chaney said the Razorbacks do return two key contributors to having success in the run game in senior center Travis Swanson and senior fullback Kiero Small.
"If you're going to be a physical, downhill style of running team, it's like being a good baseball team in that you want to be solid up the middle," Chaney said. "Well we have a fullback and a center, so it's pretty good to start with that.
"So people are saying ‘are you optimistic?' Well find me that coach right now that is saying ‘I'm not looking forward to this. This is going to be horrible.' But my optimism is founded in the fact that we have two seniors on offensive positions that are paramount for us to have success and if I'm going to bet my mortgage on it, I'm going with my seniors. That's just sort of what we do. After this many years, you figure it out.
"Those kids are great quality young men that want to be successful, not just for themselves, but for the whole organization and I'm excited to watch those two play. Kiero is going to be running the back half and Travis is going to run the front, so let's see what takes place."
Arkansas landed highly-touted running back recruit Alex Collins and the Razorbacks' returning leading rusher is Jonathan Williams, who was named to the Doak Walker award watch list. Small also made that list and even though he only has one carry to his name, a one-yard touchdown run against Mississippi State in 2011, he may have his number called to run the ball several more times this season.
"I knew he was a good fullback, but he is also really good at carrying the football," Chaney said. "We walked out of the spring and he don't have the top end speed a tailback has, but when he has it, he can drop pads and get extra yards, so it doesn't bother me to hand him the ball one bit."
Whether it's Collins, Williams, Small, Kody Walker, who is returning from a broken leg, junior college transfer Patrick Arinze or anyone else, Arkansas offensive line coach Sam Pittman just wants to see who ever Brandon Allen hands the ball gain positive yardage, starting in fall camp. He said in order to do that, he is looking for blockers to take charge and show they can compete in the conference that has the last seven national champions.
"I want to see us be able to run the football," Pittman said. "I want us to be able to get at least eight deep that we feel like we can win SEC ball games with and I am excited about seeing the young freshmen come in and see what they are all about."
Pittman credited Ben Herbert for the job he had done during the offseason. Among the biggest transformations may be that of Grady Ollison, who was the starting right tackle on the post-spring depth chart, but was listed at just 274 pounds at the time. Bielema said Thursday that Ollison has "joined the 300-pound club" and Pittman said he is anxious to see his development in the weight room translate to the field.
"It's all been good weight. He gets a lot of bull rush and now he's at 300 pounds, so I think he'll be able to sit in on that a little more," Pittman said of Ollison. "He's always been explosive, as you know he was a defensive lineman, so he's always been explosive, but that extra 25 pounds or more, I'm really excited to see that power-wise."
Behind the offensive line and between Swanson and Small stands Allen, who beat out Brandon Mitchell for the starting quarterback job in the spring, helping push Mitchell to transfer to North Carolina State. Chaney said about midway through the spring, he and Allen started to get on the same page and he saw a lot of improvement out of him as well.
"He's going to make some mistakes out there because he is a first-year starter," Chaney said. "But he's also going to make some plays because he is a good football player. You just try to minimize one and maximize the other and watch the maturation process take place. Hopefully by the end of the season, we're going to be really proud of the quarterback we're playing with.
"Brandon, midway through the spring, realized ‘I have to invest more.' When he started investing more, more came to him and that's when everyone started to notice it. To his credit, he has continued that and is riding that. As a football player, you have to hang your hat on something. What are you going to hang your hat on? ‘I've got the best arm in football, I have this, I have that.' Hang your hat on things you can control, which are your work ethic and your attitude, and you'll be in great shape. And that's what Brandon learned to do this spring and I'm excited to see him."