Seemingly seamless

Since head football coach Phillip Fulmer hired three new offensive assistants last week, Tennessee's attack seems likely to suffer some growing pains this spring. Then again, maybe not.

The staff additions – coordinator Dave Clawson, receivers coach Latrell Scott and running backs coach Stan Drayton – may be new to Tennessee but they aren't new to one another. They have worked together in the past – Clawson and Scott the past three years at Richmond, Clawson and Drayton for three years at Villanova.

Scott already knows Clawson's philosophy, his scheme, his expectations and his style. Ditto for Drayton. This level of familiarity should enable the Vols to hit the ground running when spring practice begins, rather than being forced to move slowly as everyone gets to know everyone else.

"The fact we've worked together for three years is really going to help this transition," Clawson said. "Not just for me, but for the entire Tennessee offense."

When Clawson emerged as a leading candidate for UT's offensive coordinator vacancy, he had no idea that Drayton already was in line for a job with the Vols. That proved to be a pleasant surprise.

"I showed up Sunday night (Jan. 7 to interview for the coordinator job) and met him at the hotel," Clawson recalled. "I said, ‘How'd it go?' He said, ‘Good, I think I'm going to get the job.' We said, ‘Boy, it would be great to work together again.'

"He's not just a good coach," Clawson added. "He's a really good personal friend. It's very ironic that it worked out."

Maybe it's not so ironic, after all. Maybe Fulmer saw three pieces of a puzzle that he could reassemble, rather than starting from scratch with a new puzzle. That certainly should help create a seamless transition for the new offensive staff, especially given the fact Clawson and Scott spent the past three years working together at Richmond.

"That's going to help a lot," Clawson conceded. "It's also going to help that Stan Drayton and I worked together for three years.

"Stan's been in the spread offense (at Florida) for three years but I'm sure it'll come back quickly to him. A lot of the concepts of attack that we ran at Villanova we'll incorporate here."


Inside Tennessee Top Stories