If it's Chavis

the one thing I can say is we will be fast and physical on defense. No more of this bend don’t break, base defenses without any pressure packages. He may not be what he was, but he’s better than what we’ve had.

By God A-Men,brother!

I don’t see us playing bend but don’t break defense regardless of the DC. We will want a lot of possessions, so I look for an aggressive defense designed to force bad plays(but also vulnerable to big plays).

I don’t care if the score is 14-13 or 43-42 as long as we win.

i will be VERY happy with Chavis

So bringing in Chavis will infuse our current players with more speed?

Absolutely. He is the Chief!

I duck hunted with Phil Fulmer the last several years. He was booked to come again first weekend in January. With his new job (Tennessee AD), he asked for a rain check this year. I can recall sitting with him a couple of years ago when John Chavis was mentioned. He lit up. He said he is as good a defensive coach as he has ever seen. And, he said he’s a good recruiter, too. Knows how to close in a living room. Generally, defensive coordinators have not been much on recruiting. But Fulmer said Chavis was good at explaining how a player fits in his system and closing the deal. He said he’s especially good at attracting defensive linemen, the key to a strong defense. He said Tennessee, LSU and Texas A&M always have featured strong defensive ends and that’s because Chavis will make sure to get them. He might not be the lead recruiter, but he’s good on the close.

what bothers me about Chavis is he did not have very good defenses at TAMU and he had much better players there than he has now…I would much more prefer bringing in a DC that the league doesn’t know much about…they know chavis inside out.

For years I really disliked Phil. I suppose because he came into our state and recruited the Houston kid and he also owned us (typically) on the football field. But I’ve changed my mind about Phil the last couple of years. He has been a supporter of the Vols when he could have been bitter about his firing (he was bitter but he still showed up at games at least basketball and football) and took a fairly low paying PR job with the Vols. Also my daughter is a friend of Phil’s daughter who lives here in Chattanooga. My daughter has been around Phil some and speaks highly of him.

I think he was a good pick as AD. But I hope he has a bad day December 30th!

I’m not a Chavis lover or hater. Whoever the DC is it’s going to be a whole different game for us. The fast full tilt boogie offense puts a lot of pressure on a defense. Using Chavis as an example we can look at LSU 2014 Season when his defense was pretty good and gave up 12 PPG, 4.87 YPP, 316.8 YPG and ranked 9th in total defense. Then his 2016 A&M defense that gave up 25 PPG, 5.5 YPP, 441.8 YPG and ranked 90th if total defense. The reason I used these 2 years is that both teams finished 8-5. Looking at defensive stats can be misleading. A&M’s fast past offense resulted in that defense playing 1035 plays compared to LSU’s 845. 190 extra plays is about the same as 3 more games for the defense to play. We just need a defense that allows us to outscore the opponent. 2010 is arguably our best season in the SEC and we give up 23 PPG. 14-7 and 49-42 are both a 7 point victories.

I have enjoyed my time around Phil. He didn’t know me or most of the other folks at the lodge when he first began to come and treated everyone with class. You can tell about someone when you are at a duck lodge. You are with them pretty much all day and night. The duck hunt lasts about an hour. You share time at the dinner table (breakfast and dinner are sit down affairs at this place) and watching ball games. You can figure out someone pretty fast that way. Phil passed my tests. We all are glad when he hunts with us. He’s asked to go fly fishing, too. That will probably happen when he takes his next retirement. I don’t think he plans to do this AD gig for more than a couple of years.

I also was around him quite a bit when he came to Fayetteville to speak at the NWA Touchdown Club. I enjoyed his comments at the luncheon and my time around him.

I will add that my friendship with him was worth a free meal at a restaurant in Dickson, Tenn., a couple of years ago. I was traveling to Knoxville solo because my travel arrangements fell through because of a hurricane that was supposed to move through East Tennessee. I popped into a steak place for dinner, with only a spot open at the bar. I was around some local welders. They asked about my trip. So I explained I was going to Knoxville to cover the game.

It got interesting at that point. They all said (about seven guys) that they hoped Arkansas won, so that Butch Jones would be fired. They also hoped that the athletic director would be fired and that “Coach Fulmer” could return to clean up the mess that is Tennessee football.

I said that I duck hunted with Coach Fulmer in Arkansas for the last 3-4 years. I showed them a picture with me and him in a duck blind. Immediately, my dinner was paid. They asked for shots to be poured, but I declined. Not what I do. I texted Phil to thank him for a meal. He texted back to the delight of the men at the bar. His message: “You can take me to dinner the next time I’m in Arkansas.” So I owe him.

I know Aaron Hayden thinks the world of Phil.

It was his trip to Fayetteville for the NWA Touchdown Club that got him the invitation to duck camp. The place I go is Steel Wings, near Carlisle. It’s the Ritz-Carlton of Arkansas duck lodges. Private and very swank. I am scheduled to go in early January. They have flooded timber and have had excellent hunts. I have not been yet this year. I usually go there once, and to Whiskey Chute with the Crafton boys and Hal Hunnicutt from Conway. That is the extent of my duck hunting. Usually, four days each season. I probably am a spoiled duck hunter. Nothing we do is tough, or like some of the hunting that many endure to shoot a few ducks.

Clay, I very much enjoy your stories on this board! Thanks. It’s another reason I like this board so much.

Agree with Jerry, so many personal stories you have shared over the years have added immensely to the
enjoyment I get from this board. I have never been
duck hunting nor do I have the desire to do so.
However, the life events that give richness and
meaning long after that slice of time has passed
is what you have given to this board.

So, my brother-in-the Lord, be well and have
a blessed time with your family and Merry Christmas.

I find it interesting that some do not want Chavis. I actually think he has to help recruiting. He can’t hurt the defensive recruiting that Arkansas has had recently. What I think a great DC does is help in the evaluation during recruiting. He knows what he needs for his defense and will fit that together with evaluation with the head coach. It’s absolutely critical.

I also think this is going to be a young staff. At least one veteran head (and eye) will be helpful.

Two things.

  1. I thought about the veteran experience to go with a “young” staff. When the “Chavis is too old, but he has experience” argument started, I immediately thought of the LA Rams. Seems to be working great for them.

  2. This is a question. The Moore twins. It’s been said they want to play college ball together. I saw where the one that was committed to aTm, did sign yesterday. If, Chavis does indeed leave aTm and come here, how does that affect the early signees? For example, kid committed because of his relationship with Chavis, then Chavis leaves. Is the kid now stuck because he signed a LOI?

To latch onto a great ‘defensive player’ whisperer has to
be a positive gain. I imagine coaches like the ‘chief’ have
fewer misevaluations than the general population
of defensive coordinators.

Yep. Unless A&M releases him, which rarely happens. He had to know that Sumlin’s staff isn’t coming back. It’s not like they fired Sumlin after signing day. I recall Andre Iguodala signed with us in November, then Nolan got fired in February. We gave him his release and he wound up at Arizona. But this doesn’t apply at A&M; Sumlin was gone weeks ago.

The LOI rule is, unless the kid completes a full academic year at the school at which he signs, he has to sit out a year at the new school and lose that year of eligibility, unless he is given a release. If this kid bails on A&M to come here, he would be able to play in 2019 – as a sophomore.