KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee coach Butch Jones had no doubts about promoting 2015 Miami Hurricanes interim coach Larry Scott to offensive coordinator after last season.
And Scott, who coached the Vols’ tight ends last season, knew who to turn to as his quarterbacks coach — Mike Canales.
“Having Coach Canales working with the quarterbacks, it means a lot to me, there’s a personal relationship going back,” said Scott, who played offensive tackle at South Florida from 1996-99, when Canales was the Bulls’ offensive coordinator.
“Every young player was touched by someone or someone left an impression on them, and Chico, as I call him, always left that impression,” Scott said of Canales. “I remember how he made us feel as players, and he’s one we’ve kept in touch with through the years.
“To have someone you trust and know is a good leader of men was important to me, especially at that position and where we’re at. We’re building the focus and integrity of it and restoring what great Tennessee quarterbacks are all about.”
Canales is direct when dealing with his quarterbacks, knowing exactly who to draw expertise from.
“Peyton Manning said it to them best, and it’s up on our board,” Canales said, referring to Manning’s visit in June, which was part of his annual scholarship presentation. “Every rep you take in practice has to be executed at game-rep speed — and that’s the way we’re gonna practice, and that’s the way we’re gonna prepare.
“What Peyton Manning said to those guys in that [quarterbacks meeting] room, is what I preach and what I coach,” Canales said. “My personality will not allow it to be less than 100 percent, I want perfection.”
Canales stays on top of quarterbacks Quinten Dormady, Jarrett Guarantano and Will McBride from the time the warmups start, bringing a vocal presence to the coaching position that Tennessee previously did not have.
Canales, twice the interim coach at North Texas, said he enjoys drawing on his experience to focus in on the quarterbacks he’s developing.
“It’s been good for me to coach a room, because I know I’m the CEO of the quarterbacks room, and I think it’s important they understand I’ve been a coordinator, a quarterbacks coach and a head coach,” said Canales, who began his career as a graduate assistant for College Football Hall of Fame QB guru LaVell Edwards at Brigham Young.
“I think that Coach Jones values the opinion we have,” he said, “but it also gives me a chance to work my room, and give them the philosophy I’ve gained over the many years I’ve coached.”
Canales played quarterback at Utah State from 1981-83, and during his stint as North Texas’ offensive coordinator, the 2014 team led the nation in red-zone scoring (94.3 percent).
Coaching beside Scott at South Florida from 2007-09, Canales’ 2008 Bulls offense led the Big East in scoring as the team rose to No. 10 in the rankings, having hit No. 2 in the polls the previous season.
The first-year Tennessee quarterbacks coach is also known for his role in helping San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers in his development at N.C. State. Canales was QB coach for the Wolfpack in 2001 and 2002, Rivers’ sophomore and junior seasons.
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Posted by Tennessee Volunteers Insiders on Friday, January 20, 2017