Bray, Simms even in TD passes, but not interceptions

White team members celebrate their 16-7 victory after the Orange and White game at UT on Saturday April 17, 2010.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

White team members celebrate their 16-7 victory after the Orange and White game at UT on Saturday April 17, 2010.

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

No shake-up was planned.

And it appears one won't be necessary, either.

Tyler Bray showed off a rocket arm, made a handful of impressive throws and officially picked up the win while leading the White to a 16-7 victory over the Orange to close out spring practice for Tennessee. And though at times the true freshman appeared to be closing ground between himself and presumed starter Matt Simms, Saturday's festivities at Neyland Stadium likely didn't change coach Derek Dooley's depth chart any under center.

"With the quarterbacks, this game is always kind of tough," Dooley said. "Especially in our situation with Matt and Tyler, they're very different in the things they do well. It's hard to really shape and game plan to fit their strengths, and so that's why you don't want to put too much on this game.

"You do see some physical skills, a couple of decisions we're disappointing, and we've got to get better at that. But that doesn't have anything to do with the game plan."

The long-term plan for Dooley was to never put too much stock in any one practice or scrimmage, and for the most part the Vols were content to just let things play out at quarterback all spring without rushing to judgment.

The short-term one on Saturday seemed to call for as many final looks as UT could get on Simms and Bray, who combined to throw 66 passes against just 36 total carries for the running backs.

That sample produced some positives for both. Simms showed good chemistry with Gerald Jones and improvised one long throw to the senior receiver to set up a 6-yard touchdown pass on an impressive drive. Bray didn't show any nerves and delivered a strike on his touchdown toss as well, drilling Denarius Moore from 3 yards out with a ball right on the money.

It also had it's share of negatives - like some miscommunication and turnover issues for Simms and occasional wildness for Bray's rifle arm. So even though Bray's 18-for-40, 200-yard effort without an interception looks a little better than 12-for-26 for 125 yards and three picks for Simms, it probably wasn't enough to change the order that the rest of spring established.

"I was real pleased with (Bray's) presence out there," Dooley said. "He's really a high school senior, wasn't nervous, nothing jittery and performed the way he'd been performing all spring. I think that says a lot about him.

"He made some good throws, and then he missed some throws. So he did a good job today. I think what it did (show) was, he played how we expected him to play and I think that's good. What didn't happen was a little regression, and I think that's good."

The next step for the Vols will be seeing some progression out of both quarterbacks, and they each have plenty of room for that.

Bray will almost certainly spend the summer bulking up, and he may also need to work out some of his inconsistency in terms of accuracy. Simms will be continuing to dive into the playbook and trying to cut down on costly mistakes, and he'll have at least one fresh in his mind after an ill-advised attempt on second down late in the fourth quarter killed any chance of a comeback for the Orange.

"I definitely wanted to be in this position, but obviously I still have a long way to go," Simms said. "Really, I'm just not going to dwell so much on what I did this spring right now. But what do I need to improve upon? Learn the offense more and the progressions and become a more complete player.

"I'm not going to worry about it right now at this moment. I'm just going to relax and take it easy for the first night off that we have, enjoy my father (former NFL quarterback Phil Simms) who's in town and hang out with him for a little bit - see if he can get his mind off the game a little bit, too. We'll see about that. There's definitely a lot of things to work on, and I'm just looking forward to the summer."

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Comments » 126

pvvol writes:

Good game.

mdvol writes:

Me thinks Tyler Bray will join Brent Schaffer as the only UT quarterbacks to ever start as a true freshman.

tnaseevol writes:

Was hoping Simms would do good. Didn' get my wish tho'.....he was not good!

osbymartin#581730 writes:

in response to mdvol:

Me thinks Tyler Bray will join Brent Schaffer as the only UT quarterbacks to ever start as a true freshman.

Ummm...throw in Erik Ainge and a future hall of famer named Peyton Manning (both started as Freshman at UT)

Tenn_Dawg writes:

in response to osbymartin#581730:

Ummm...throw in Erik Ainge and a future hall of famer named Peyton Manning (both started as Freshman at UT)

I think he means starting the 1st game of the season as a freshman. Those two did not if I remember correctly. It looks as though Bray had a nice day.

ncvol17 writes:

How big was the crowd?

SignalMtnVol writes:

in response to osbymartin#581730:

Ummm...throw in Erik Ainge and a future hall of famer named Peyton Manning (both started as Freshman at UT)

I think he meant the only true freshmen to start the opening game of the season, which would be correct.

volcop writes:

Bray had good field vision and good decision making

Orangeyouavol writes:

Bray was definetly the better quarterback!

Give_It_My_ALL writes:

in response to osbymartin#581730:

Ummm...throw in Erik Ainge and a future hall of famer named Peyton Manning (both started as Freshman at UT)

Peyton didnt start his first game untill like the 6th or 7th of the season... and Erik Ainge started until he hurt his shoulder in south bend...

OrangePride writes:

There were some encouraging things today.....beginning with the great weather and atmosphere. Some of the freshman look like they are going to be great additions once they get a little seasoned and coached up. Bray clearly looked the more comfortable and moved the team much better. Simms looked good on the opening drive of the second half, but that was really about it. Milton and Rhome were new faces who impressed me a lot. Overall? We have a loooooooooooot of work to do....a LOT! Thanks for the nice day, BIG ORANGE! Just keep workin' at it.

SignalMtnVol writes:

I agree. If Bray keeps playing this way, he will start. The 18-40 is less than stellar, but when you consider that he would normally still be in high school at this point, not too bad. Especially when he outplayed Simms, as far as controlling the ball. All in all, Bray looks to be the man heading into fall camp. I hope that gets things heated up even more in the QB competition.

SEC1 writes:

in response to ncvol17:

How big was the crowd?

Some users consider this comment inappropriate. Reveal this comment.

UT= Mere 32,0000 Bama= 91,000 AUBURN= 62,000 What a pathetic display of SEC football. 8 wins keep smoking METH!!!

volsmanning16 writes:

not bad at all! I will say that Simms had a tougher defensive front line in his face all day than Bray did. Simms was running and hurrying his throws alot. Bray was composed and looked good though. Defense looks as good as last year and just wait till the summer guys get enrolled, we shall b fine--really good game

516milesfromUT writes:

Defense looked good! O line made the quarterback situation look worse than it actually is. I am not going to start bashing any of our players, for this is practice, and it is obvious we need help in some areas.

G
B
O
!

SEAL_9821 writes:

Not too bad of a scrimmage considering all that's took place. Skill positions are gonna be fine. I think Defensively, we'll be able to stop a good offense, but I'm still concerned about the depth at D-Line. However, Linebackers and DB's showed some athleticism at times. QB's...It's hard to say at this point. Bray is gonna be a stud in the future but his size and speed out of the pocket may be a negative this yr. Offensive Line looked lost on blocking assignments, but that's to be expected with the turmoil at that position. Overall, not as bad as I thought considering all. I think I would go ahead and challenge Bray to add 15-20 pounds and start building an offense around him. I may be wrong but from what I saw of him in the pocket today at times...the kid is gonna be special.

DRAGtheWATERS writes:

Showed up late to the game and saw Phil Simms. My cousin asked him if that was his son at QB and he said no then took off like we were going to mug him or something. Bray looked better I thought but its hard to tell the way the talent was divided up. D looked good but they should have had some more picks in the secondary.

UCFgradVOLatHEART writes:

in response to SEC1:

This comment may be inappropriate. Reveal this comment.

UT= Mere 32,0000 Bama= 91,000 AUBURN= 62,000 What a pathetic display of SEC football. 8 wins keep smoking METH!!!

I am not even going to give you the satisfaction. Go Vols!!!!!!

ClockworkOrange writes:

in response to osbymartin#581730:

Ummm...throw in Erik Ainge and a future hall of famer named Peyton Manning (both started as Freshman at UT)

yeah no shirt ! and casey clausen. But I think he means start the season..those guys didn't start on the first kickoff

shirt - r=

osbymartin#581730 writes:

in response to Give_It_My_ALL:

Peyton didnt start his first game untill like the 6th or 7th of the season... and Erik Ainge started until he hurt his shoulder in south bend...

yeah that is true neither started the season. It was the way it was worded..my bad. Manning started the 5th game (7-1 as a starter that year). Yeah i remember that game he hurt it on the last play of the half and Clausen threw an Int that gave ND the win

cumberlandVOL writes:

in response to SEC1:

This comment may be inappropriate. Reveal this comment.

UT= Mere 32,0000 Bama= 91,000 AUBURN= 62,000 What a pathetic display of SEC football. 8 wins keep smoking METH!!!

hey sec1, how many fans will there be at auburn's home opener? 87,451 capacity ring a bell? how many will be at UT's? try 100,000. now go away.

flatrock writes:

Not a bad performance at all. Bray has a strong
arm and made some really nice throws. Simms had the
misfortune of facing the 2 starting DTs behind a
patchwork o-line. LBs and DBs were outstanding,
especially Austin Johnson, Janzen Jackson and
Prentiss Wagner. Sure hope injury to Victor
Thomas is not as serious as it looked!

olozbal#646632 writes:

Couple of impressions:
- We've actually got some studs on this team. Namely Janzen Jackson, Tyler Bray, Tauren Poole, and a few WR's.
- Jesus Coach Chaney needs to lose about 300lbs. The guy looks like a computer programmer more than a football coach. I hope he's good.
- This game looked actually better than last year's.
- I thought Bray was the man, however he didn't have a good defense against him like Simms did. I thought Simms warmed up, but in the end Bray was still better.

SEC1 writes:

in response to UCFgradVOLatHEART:

I am not even going to give you the satisfaction. Go Vols!!!!!!

What? satisfaction man it looked like a remake of that classic movie the" Bad News Bears" I call it like i see it. I'M A gator but watching BAMA and AUBURN they looked for real , you just keep fooling yourself thinking you can put a product like that on the field in the SEC.

VolMoment writes:

in response to Give_It_My_ALL:

Peyton didnt start his first game untill like the 6th or 7th of the season... and Erik Ainge started until he hurt his shoulder in south bend...

Eric was hurt in Neyland Stadium north end zone right before the end of the first half.

mercyseat writes:

tyler, you looked great dude! Now get in the weight room and practice your timing with your receivers. Crompton started practicing mid-way through last season with his, and he did a stellar job,coming in 2nd in the sec in completed passes! GBO!!!!!!!!

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

in response to osbymartin#581730:

Ummm...throw in Erik Ainge and a future hall of famer named Peyton Manning (both started as Freshman at UT)

Our offense wasn't doing much when true freshmen Big-brain Peyton Manning and Ice-man Casey Clausen took the field, moved the chains and scored, scored, scored. Hot-hand Matt Simms can still make a run, but Cool-hand Tyler Bray can play as well as any freshman I've ever seen.

UTVOLSRROCKN writes:

It was great to see some TN football again! Please CDD, go with BRAY ALL THE WAY! I know it will be a tough year, but I don't care. I think we will win more games than expected, but, I will support the Vols and CDD no matter what the season brings. We have some MAJOR talent and even MORE will be there by September. Looking forward to FB season!
VOLS.....TCB......KOKO......GBO!!!!!!!

hokies4ever writes:

Who is Chip Rome and where was he last year against BAMA???

Bigger_Al writes:

Fire John Adams!

ThugTillIDie writes:

I've finally come around to believing that the Oregon game is now a toss-up. This might sound crazy, but that game is going to be one of the biggest in UT history. We win and it does wonders for the team's confidence going foward. Get blown out, and the Dooley era quickly tanks leaving the program in shambles.

osbymartin#581730 writes:

in response to steamboatticket#484773:

Our offense wasn't doing much when true freshmen Big-brain Peyton Manning and Ice-man Casey Clausen took the field, moved the chains and scored, scored, scored. Hot-hand Matt Simms can still make a run, but Cool-hand Tyler Bray can play as well as any freshman I've ever seen.

Clausen also beat UF in at the Swamp TWICE lol!

423tiger18 writes:

I was at the game... Tyler Bray looked great.. Simms not so good.. Defense dominated the game. Wilcox seems to be continuing the Tennessee tradition of great defenses.

GBO!! GO VOLS!!

UTVOLSRROCKN writes:

OMG...Selby just went to the Jayhawks and Hooker must be loving on Phil Simms since his buddy left. Just read his new article. No comment

vols2#227315 writes:

Like I have said from the beginning, Tyler id the quarterback. He had several grop pass by Moore and others. Time for Simms to tranfer back to Louisville.

VolinCalif writes:

Well what do some of you old Dinosaur's think? Does the defense look a little like Ga Tech during the coaching days of Bobby Dodd? I liked the defenses speed and the swarming to the ball.The running game wasn't as strong as I thought it should have been but that may well be by design. I also think Simms needs to stop pushing it, his stats were not too bad if he hadn't thrown those Pic's. I also think Nick should have stayed around a little longer. John Adams as a coach you stink, just stick to Sports reporting and you may still have a retirement ahead of you. Another thing , I am very glad Tenn won, I couldn't have stood it if our Vols had lost this game.

dandyseniors#546965 writes:

in response to olozbal#646632:

Couple of impressions:
- We've actually got some studs on this team. Namely Janzen Jackson, Tyler Bray, Tauren Poole, and a few WR's.
- Jesus Coach Chaney needs to lose about 300lbs. The guy looks like a computer programmer more than a football coach. I hope he's good.
- This game looked actually better than last year's.
- I thought Bray was the man, however he didn't have a good defense against him like Simms did. I thought Simms warmed up, but in the end Bray was still better.

That's the same impression I had about Chaney. He needs to slim down and be a role model for the players. Phat Fulmer was always too heavy.

xpsyclonex2002 writes:

We need to put Simms in at QB until the O line gels. If not Tyler will be hurt in no time. Too young and skinny to take SEC abuse right now.

volsgirl writes:

HEY BRAY!!!!!! YOU LOOKING GOOD KEEP IT UP ...

tnsportsman writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Tyler Bray did look good today! I think a lot of us were impressed with him! It's early and this game doesn't mean that much. IMO today was better than last years O & W Game. There is going to be several of the incoming Fall Freshman play this year, namely James Stone!

Saw nothing today that would change my prediction of 8 or more regular season wins! The Big Orange will be fine and better than last year!

Anyone hear how bad Victor Thomas injury was? Sure hate that, brings back real bad memories for me as a SO. in a spring game, total knee/ ACL!

GO VOLS

kd45music writes:

Bray did okay, but neither of them showed SEC calibre quarterbacking. I know, you can't tell much in a Spring game. I still think Simms will start the season and I still think five wins is a lot to ask of this squad. I also believe we are headed in the right direction; it's just gonna take time, possibly more than most Vol fans will allow.

KingsportsGoat (Inactive) writes:

#8 will be great. Was very impressed with Tyler today. Hope Dooley realizes he is our best chance to win. This kid does not play like a Fr.and made better decisions than Simms IMO. Hope he packs on about 15 to 20 this summer. GBO!

TXbigorangefan writes:

http://www.foxsportstennessee.com/pag...

Highlights from the Spring game.

GBO

diamond_dave35#235769 writes:

in response to osbymartin#581730:

Ummm...throw in Erik Ainge and a future hall of famer named Peyton Manning (both started as Freshman at UT)

They didnt start the first game of the season though..Shaeffer did

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Poole will be the man.

Just avoid the injury bug.

Hard-nosed runner.

Bray hung in there, but 'fraid this season may be a painful growing experience for this squad, but we'll see.

lahvolman2 writes:

was there... most impressive thing other than Bray.... defensive backs were actually playing receivers close and tough... Wilcox is definately going to make a difference....

TommyJack writes:

in response to pdhuff#552644:

Poole will be the man.

Just avoid the injury bug.

Hard-nosed runner.

Bray hung in there, but 'fraid this season may be a painful growing experience for this squad, but we'll see.

Sounds about right.

mlcvol writes:

in response to SEC1:

This comment may be inappropriate. Reveal this comment.

UT= Mere 32,0000 Bama= 91,000 AUBURN= 62,000 What a pathetic display of SEC football. 8 wins keep smoking METH!!!

91,000 was the count by the same Bama fan that counts 22 national championships for Bama

GerryOP writes:

Everybody just cool your jets. Still a long way to 9/4/10. This game looked a whole lot better than the O & W game last year. Got a lot of guys vying for a chance to be a star. It will all work out ... for the best. Keep the faith.

140 -- Fear The Dooley Dude...

JTLGOTITANS writes:

in response to SEC1:

What? satisfaction man it looked like a remake of that classic movie the" Bad News Bears" I call it like i see it. I'M A gator but watching BAMA and AUBURN they looked for real , you just keep fooling yourself thinking you can put a product like that on the field in the SEC.

Dude watch your mouth because your guy Tebow is long gone now and it's Big Orange's time to shine now! Go Vols!

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