These are exciting times for Joey Halzle. The first-year offensive coordinator, who was formerly Tennessee’s quarterback coach, is taking over what is expected to be one of the top offenses in the nation this season.
Halzle, 37, has to uphold what the Vols did last season when they took the nation by storm, fielding one of the most explosive offensive units in the entire country. Tennessee ranked first in the nation in scoring offense with 46 points per game. Of course, head coach Josh Heupel is largely responsible for what happened last season and whatever will happen this season. Nevertheless, Halzle’s new role will be much more impactful on whether or not Tennessee is successful this season.
Here are some of the highlights from Halzle’s visit with the media on Thursday:
Game-planning is a group effort.
“As far as the game planning, I said it when I first took this role, we’ve all done that all together. That’s never just been one person’s show who says ‘This is how we’re doing it.’ It’s extremely communal. The staff has been awesome around me. It’s been a great transition. It hasn’t been like drinking through a fire hose.”
Despite the communal approach, Halzle certainly has more to do.
“There are more (responsibilities), as far as going into meeting time. I have to have everything prepped on the front end. I can’t just show up and take my notes, can’t just stare at my quarterback as we’re watching tape and seeing how that’s going. You’ve got to see how everybody’s doing and make sure the whole thing hangs together perfectly.
“As far as an adjustment, also you’ve got to talk a whole lot more. You got to talk the whole meeting … That’s the main part of it, the front end everything is on you to make sure it’s prepared so everybody else can have a smooth transition through their day.
Senior quarterback Joe Milton has still been a primary focus and quite helpful.
“Playing that position is a huge part of having everyone bought into you as a person as opposed to just you as a player. As he’s gotten more comfortable here, more comfortable in his role, it’s really as his understanding of his offense has grown and grown where he’s not worried about that part of it. He’s been able to put some energy and put a lot of his energy towards bringing the next group of guys along and making sure he’s got that type of real relationship with his fellow team.”