Simms still atop depth chart at QB

Tennessee quarterback Matt Simms throws the ball during practice at Neyland Stadium Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010.

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee quarterback Matt Simms throws the ball during practice at Neyland Stadium Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010.

Photo with no caption

Nothing is final.

Derek Dooley is also adamant that he’ll need two quarterbacks to make it through the season.

But after one scrimmage, the Tennessee coach hasn’t seen anything that would make him realign his depth chart. Tyler Bray may have posted better numbers during the closed workout on Tuesday night at Neyland Stadium, but the starting job under center for the Vols still appears to belong to Matt Simms.

“They’re both really doing well and they’re both different,” Dooley said. “I think ultimately we’re going to evaluate them on how well we move the ball and score points, it doesn’t matter how we get there. They’re different, they’re different. Tyler does some things better than Matt. Matt does some things better than Tyler.

“I think Matt stays ahead at this stage of the game because of his experience and his knowledge of the offense and his command, those sort of things. But we’re going to need both of them, I’m just going to tell you right now. ”

For the moment it still looks as if Simms will be the first one up for the Vols, though his 9-for-21 passing performance for 80 yards and a touchdown clearly isn’t the sole determining factor.

The junior-college transfer actually lost a statistical battle to Bray according to numbers provided by UT, with the true freshman completing 11 of his 22 attempts for 153 yards and a long scoring strike to Denarius Moore to keep pace with Simms.

“You can never be comfortable, especially the way that we practice and the way that we compete with each other,” Simms said. “Every day I get a little better, Tyler gets a little better and even (freshman) Nash Nance gets a little better. We need to continue to push each other so we can help move this offense forward.

“I thought as an offense today we really did well, we really executed the run game really well and the young offensive line is really coming around. There’s not much to compare with (personally) because I didn’t play well in the Orange and White game. So, definitely improved, definitely getting better with some of the smaller details of our offense and I feel good about today. But it’s a small steppingstone.”

The Vols still have several more of them to take before the season opener against UT Martin on Sept. 4, and Dooley doesn’t appear to be in a rush to name an official starter this early in camp.

And with both quarterbacks playing well and Tauren Poole leading a strong running game by breaking huge runs virtually every time he steps on the field, there’s no real reason for Dooley to make a final decision.

“Matt had a very good day running the offense, hit some big third downs to Denarius,” Dooley said. “Tyler Bray had a good day. He had some series with the ones and hit a big third down to (Mychal) Rivera, hit a long touchdown to Denarius, so I was real pleased with the progress the quarterbacks are making.

“They’re both good players, we’re going to need both of them and I’m happy with where they are. Doesn’t mean we’re ready to go play with them, but I said this in the spring, all I care about is seeing (progress). I just don’t want to see the dip.”

Dooley didn’t see one from either quarterback during the first big test of the fall. The status quo still leaves Simms on top.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2010, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2010 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 82

wags32 writes:

Pass that test John Brown!!!!

RockyToptoNeyland writes:

I hope simms improved his passing motion, it was ugly in the spring.

69vol08 writes:

Keep pushing each other...I agree we will see them both!

ravensearay writes:

It's good that they are different. During a game it is a way to defeat a good defense by switching up the style of the quarterbacks. But the key to success is the O-line. Give the QB's time and either one could beat you.

HtownVol writes:

something in Simms, cuz in the O-W game..I sure didnt. Tyler has SO MUCH upside, and I have no confidence in Matt. Maybe he leads the team better. Also the fact that Tyler may get killed due to the lack of blocking UT will have is a reason.

Please Matt, just dont throw to the other team, that is all we can ask of you.

jjsteel writes:

Dooley lives by the running game. Ball control and punch it down the field. If he remains healthy, Poole will be big this year regardless of experience of the OL. He is one of those rare backs that runs so hard and quick, he will make any OL look good.

mdvol writes:

No mention of INT's which is a huge plus.

I think the term "depth" chart is an overstatement. Probably better referred to as the 2-deep. Actually that is misleading too.

WoodstockVol writes:

I get the feeling that Simms is here to be the caretaker of the position for the first half of the season as we work through the brutal section of our schedule. He is more likely to withstand the hits that Florida, Bama Oregon and Georgia will try to put on him. As the schedule eases up later in the season, look for a lot more of Bray. When he fills out, he'll be the real deal

tnsportsman writes:

I remember a time when the same results and statements were being made about a guy name Peyton! Simms will be fine until Bray is ready to take control. The OL PRIDE with the younguns will surprise everyone this year!

Let's finish up Pre-season and GET IT ON!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

bluetick writes:

in response to jjsteel:

Dooley lives by the running game. Ball control and punch it down the field. If he remains healthy, Poole will be big this year regardless of experience of the OL. He is one of those rare backs that runs so hard and quick, he will make any OL look good.

I agree that Poole is a good RB but the RB is only as good as the OL that blocks for him. With that being said either our OL is good or our defense needs a lot of improvement.

tnsportsman writes:

in response to back2z1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I don't think CDD is talking a 'real 2 QB system' that is where you switch QB's almost every play like 'D' Head Spurrier used to do at FL, LOL.

I think CDD will give each quarters in a game. That works for the likes of UT Martin, UAB, Vaaaanderbilt or KY.

Just my guess and take?

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

Once again 80% of Vol fans want Bray because of one glorified scrimmage (O&W game). The coaches are at EVERY practice and we can't possibly know or have seen more than them.

SO TRUST THE COACHES. All you people that want Bray think every practice they play like April 19th.

OldSmokey writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch_Doctor you are badly needed over at VolNation!

http://www.volnation.com/forum/tennes...

SCIENCETCHR writes:

For Pete's Sake! As the old saying goes......."If it ain't broke, Don't fix it!" If DD says two are better than one, who are we to argue? He's being paid Big Bucks, so believe him if he says 'tis true.

Ayres_Hall writes:

I read nothing about a QB rotation.

tennezz writes:

in response to OldSmokey:

Witch_Doctor you are badly needed over at VolNation!

http://www.volnation.com/forum/tennes...

I agree, Witchy you need to get on VN and straighten out the gloom and doomers!

rclarkfork#639958 writes:

There is no straightening out the doom and gloom crew....they live in a world most of us will never understand

Orangeatang writes:

in response to bluetick:

I agree that Poole is a good RB but the RB is only as good as the OL that blocks for him. With that being said either our OL is good or our defense needs a lot of improvement.

That's not entirely true. Barry Sanders, Gale Sayers, Maurice Jones-Drew, Eric Dickerson, Bo Jackson are just a few examples of great backs who had average to below average offensive lines to run behind in the pros. Some backs are good enough to create their own holes, especially in college. Not sure if Tauren is that guy, but we will see when we play Oregon.

OldSmokey writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Awesome post over on VN Witchy. That should take care of it lol!!

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to RockyToptoNeyland:

I hope simms improved his passing motion, it was ugly in the spring.

I'd rather have ugly and effective rather than pretty and ineffective-----ugly completions are better than pretty interceptions

Orangeatang writes:

Certainly neither Simms nor Bray will be as bad as Crompton was. I don't care if he's in the NFL now either. He was one of the worst college quarterbacks I have ever seen play in the SEC.

tn_rockytop writes:

in response to jjsteel:

Dooley lives by the running game. Ball control and punch it down the field. If he remains healthy, Poole will be big this year regardless of experience of the OL. He is one of those rare backs that runs so hard and quick, he will make any OL look good.

agree

Groundedvol writes:

Simms is older and probally more mature than Bray is. But I also think once Bray gets some lbs on that frame he will be the man. Arm strength and accuracy he has. Leadership he will learn. He is the future.

Orangeatang writes:

in response to Groundedvol:

Simms is older and probally more mature than Bray is. But I also think once Bray gets some lbs on that frame he will be the man. Arm strength and accuracy he has. Leadership he will learn. He is the future.

How do you know that Bray is an accurate passer? So far, in the O and W game and tonight's scrimmage he has only been completing around 50% of his passes. That's not that accurate.

peyton4prez writes:

Tyler Bray all the way. Unless our running game is strong we will need a qb who is capable of making big league throws and simms doesn't have a strong enough arm to do that.

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to HtownVol:

something in Simms, cuz in the O-W game..I sure didnt. Tyler has SO MUCH upside, and I have no confidence in Matt. Maybe he leads the team better. Also the fact that Tyler may get killed due to the lack of blocking UT will have is a reason.

Please Matt, just dont throw to the other team, that is all we can ask of you.

jesus christ, any other part of the offense you want to sh**-can???

These aren't pud offensive linemen who don't know how to paly the game. they are simply new to being a unit. Will they be great? Probably not. Will they get the job done? Probably so.

Maybe ease off everyone's back until they take a friggin' snap in a real game??

Volapalooza writes:

If you have 2 qb's, you don't have 1.

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to always_vol:

jesus christ, any other part of the offense you want to sh**-can???

These aren't pud offensive linemen who don't know how to paly the game. they are simply new to being a unit. Will they be great? Probably not. Will they get the job done? Probably so.

Maybe ease off everyone's back until they take a friggin' snap in a real game??

...and yeah, I was pretty negative back in the spring, felt Bray would win out, felt the O-line was cr@p....

but, looking back, I think we where all emo after the coaching change drama.

Now?? I've always gone by this: I evaluate people on how they treat me, not what they say. Same goes for what they do for work: I give the a chance to do it.

Who knows, in a month, we may ALL be bltching and moaning...or, we may be saying, 'dang, these guys aren't bad!!'

My bet? A little of both!!

orangeman1 writes:

in response to tweetdriver63#346474:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think the Clausen bros were players too. Casey had an unbelievable record in away games. I dont understand why people wouldnt like him. Rick may not have been as good, but I will never forget the time he came into the LSU game in Baton Rouge and came from behind to lead the Vols to victory. This was after he transferred to UT from LSU when Saban came in and told him he wasnt good enough to play in the SEC.
I do know alot of fans complained about 2 qb systems in the past, but it might be the best chance to win.

VolGrad writes:

Coach DD says we need both of these guys because every SEC team needs at least 2 good QB options. It is a long tough season in the SEC, and with our young, inexperienced OL.... Well, of course, we need both of these guys. Peyton had Tee, Casey Clausen had a hodge-podge of Fayton, Washington, Leak and Banks, and Ainge had Crompton. Nothing new going on here. You never know how the season will develop with injuries or one of the QBs stepping it up into a clear starting role over the other like Ainge over Schaeffer several years back.

Orangeatang writes:

in response to tweetdriver63#346474:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

gatorhator4eva writes:

in response to bluetick:

I agree that Poole is a good RB but the RB is only as good as the OL that blocks for him. With that being said either our OL is good or our defense needs a lot of improvement.

i dont know man, poole is fast and a hard runner. he doesnt need an o line.

RandRams writes:

I like the fact that MS & TB are that close as opposed to a BIG drop off between 1st and 2nd QB.

Explosive. Gotta love TP. NICE!

Orangeatang writes:

in response to BAMAVOL1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yep. You are correct sir.

VolinCalif writes:

in response to Orangeatang:

How do you know that Bray is an accurate passer? So far, in the O and W game and tonight's scrimmage he has only been completing around 50% of his passes. That's not that accurate.

I played cornerback. but one of the things I thought I learned was that the Receivers had a little to do with the QB's completions %. Even the cornerback played a part. But who am I .
Just thinking about it... OOh well.

VolGrad writes:

in response to BAMAVOL1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You seem to forget the reason why he did not "make it" at Lousiville. Initially he had some issues with alcohol and breaking team rules. Later on he retaliated when a teammate was involved in a brawl, taking matters into his own hands, so to speak. That fight later lead to his dismissal. He admits having a troubled past and needing to learn a few hard lessons. So far, he has not given CDD any reasons to believe he did not effectively learn from those mistakes.

xpsyclonex2002 writes:

I think Dooley knows that Bray will finish the season as QB. He is letting the Simms kid be the sacrificial lamb through the toughest part of the season. It will keep Bray from getting hurt until the O line gels and it will give Bray more time to understand the system. I think Dooley is looking to next season already. If Simms looks great right out of the box, Dooley may keep him.

UTByrd writes:

in response to ravensearay:

It's good that they are different. During a game it is a way to defeat a good defense by switching up the style of the quarterbacks. But the key to success is the O-line. Give the QB's time and either one could beat you.

Excellent point. I'm not good with names or dates but didn't a former baseball player backup QB come in and kick our butts in the SEC Championship against LSU.
I must add that being able to change pace because you want to instead of having to could be used to a huge advantage. No matter what you might think about UF, their Leak/Tebow duet was a major headache for opposing defenses. Simms/Bray can carve their own niche.
Go VOLS!!!!!

1volfan98 writes:

Please quit bashing these young men and just beleive in Coach Dooley and his staff and most importantly BELEIVE IN TENNESSEE FOOTBALL

OrangePsyched writes:

I think tht CDD is a traditional coach. He will make Simms QB and he will get most of the snaps as long as he doesn't emplode, If so step in Bray. Bray will get more opportunities is blowup type games either way. That's the way I see it. I hope that they both do well and team does well. 8 wins.

CroKev writes:

A lot of focus on Simms' & Bray's stats but did anyone look at the scorecard to see how Lincoln and Palardy did? Palardy was 0 for 2 with a blocked field goal. Looks like Lincoln is not so ready to become 2nd fiddle just yet...

CroKev writes:

I have never seen Poole run; I've only heard he's a hard runner. I did notice on the stats from yesterday and from the Spring game that if you take away his one big run in each instance, his average yards per carry are not very impressive. Not much to judge from but it appears that he will always be an explosive threat but as for grinding out yards, our other backs should be getting plenty of playing time as well.

realmenwearorange writes:

I think simms will have to make plays with his feet if he can do that we will be alright!!!!

xvolx writes:

Go with tradition. Bench Appleright, start Simms.

xvolx writes:

Sorry, Applewhite.

TLepage writes:

in response to AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons:

Once again 80% of Vol fans want Bray because of one glorified scrimmage (O&W game). The coaches are at EVERY practice and we can't possibly know or have seen more than them.

SO TRUST THE COACHES. All you people that want Bray think every practice they play like April 19th.

Actually, Bray has out-performed Simms (statistically) in two scrimmages now.....

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to Orangeatang:

How do you know that Bray is an accurate passer? So far, in the O and W game and tonight's scrimmage he has only been completing around 50% of his passes. That's not that accurate.

Did you ever consider that the recievers have a lot to do with receiveing percentages?

volfan4life1998 writes:

I dont like the 9-22 passing for 80 yards.. Looks about like his O&W game stats. Honestly Bray is defintly looking like the better QB.

gnm53108 writes:

in response to OrangePsyched:

I think tht CDD is a traditional coach. He will make Simms QB and he will get most of the snaps as long as he doesn't emplode, If so step in Bray. Bray will get more opportunities is blowup type games either way. That's the way I see it. I hope that they both do well and team does well. 8 wins.

I'm gettin that feeling too.

HtownVol writes:

in response to always_vol:

jesus christ, any other part of the offense you want to sh**-can???

These aren't pud offensive linemen who don't know how to paly the game. they are simply new to being a unit. Will they be great? Probably not. Will they get the job done? Probably so.

Maybe ease off everyone's back until they take a friggin' snap in a real game??

Wow, you are obviously trying to make yourself feel big with that comment. What the $$ have I said about any other part of the team? I have left posts praising our RBs, WRs, LBs, and DBs. The ONLY positions I have questioned in the O-Line.

SO to Answer the question, YES there is a part of tffense that I wont SH$$-can. The RBs, WRs, TEs, and even QBs. Man I am such a VOL hater for worrying about having NO experience on the O-Line.

I hope you feel like you really told me.

You idiot. I love UT, but be realistic. We have the most questionable O-Line in the SEC. If we returned 4 starters do you think we would be picked to finish 11th in the SEC??

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features