Tennessee’s defensive coordinator Bob Shoop has plenty of experience building strong defenses.
Shoop was the defensive coordinator at Vanderbilt and Penn State, helping build strong defenses everywhere he went. Shoop was coming in to Tennessee with a talented defense already in place and plenty of experience on the coaching staff.
It seemed the big thing Shoop had to do was not mess anything up.
That was the key to his interview with Butch Jones and Tennessee. It was an unorthodox way for the team to interview him for the job:
“Coach literally threw us in a room and said, ‘Get to know one-another, because we’re going to make this thing work,'” Shoop said on Fox Sports Radio Knoxville. “I wouldn’t have taken the job had there not been that chemistry. These guys have made it such a great transition.”
Shoop said that experience was important for him taking the job. He too wanted to make sure he got along with the returning coaches and did not change too much of what worked so well for the Volunteers last year when they finished 18th in defensive S&P+ according to Football Outsiders.
Shoop has ensured he incorporates what worked for the team previously rather than imposing what he did already.
If getting locked in a room together helps Tennessee get off to a good start with this new group, then it could mean very good things for the Volunteers in 2016.