Scenes and outtakes from the Vols media day
Tyler Bray has the arm.
The Tennessee true freshman has enough ability.
He's also already piled up some impressive numbers through two scrimmages with the Vols.
But for all the positives Bray brings to the table in a race to take over the UT offense this fall, there appears to be one big difference between he and junior-college transfer Matt Simms as they near the midway point in camp. The adjustment to another level, the speed of the college game and its complex offenses takes time - and quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw knows firsthand how challenging that can be from his playing days back at Central Florida.
"I can identify with Tyler in a lot of ways," Hinshaw said. "I know what Tyler's going through. Some things just come with reps, and that's what you need because when you first start off it just feels like you can't ever get the game to slow down. It feels like when someone blitzes there's 50 guys blitzing instead of just two.
"Then as you start to get it, you start understanding where everything is and where the blitz is coming from and how to handle it, where the (middle linebacker) is and all the different coverages, that kind of stuff. Tyler's getting better. From the first day of spring to where he is now, he's gotten better - it's a learning curve."
The rate of progression is different for everybody though, so there's no real way of knowing exactly when Bray might be completely ready for the Vols.
As a freshman, Bray was unavailable for comment during UT's media day at Neyland Stadium on Sunday, just hours after turning in another solid statistical performance in the second scrimmage of camp. Combined in those outings Bray is 27-for-50 for 399 yards and a touchdown according to numbers provided by the program, and perhaps more important, he hasn't been charged with a turnover.
Bray certainly appears to be keeping the heat on Simms, but there's still one critical area of evaluation where there seems to be a decided edge for the favorite to win the job.
"Matt, of course, the reason he's been ahead of him is because he's got two or three more years of that (administration)," Vols coach Derek Dooley said. "That's not necessarily (experience) in our system, but just that running the offense.
"It's hard, it's wordy, it's a lot of formations, a lot of moving and shifting, and what happens is the play comes in and you start thinking about what you've got to do. Then you forget about communicating with the other 10 guys and getting them right before you do your thing right. That slows him down a little bit, and it's going to come in time."
The Vols don't exactly have a lot of it to spare with the opener closing in and no real depth at the most important position on the field. Dooley has repeatedly stressed that he would need two quarterbacks to get through the season, and given his roster, he can't afford a redshirt season that Bray might have been able to put to good use.
So instead, Dooley and Hinshaw have a little less than three weeks to get Bray up to speed - and the game to slow down.
"Every kid is different, and for a true freshman, it's always hard," Hinshaw said. "But he had a spring in him. With Tyler, I have to continue to stay on him and test him, get him ready to play mentally.
"As far as the administration of the game, be able to tell the other 10 guys the play, be able to get them to the line of scrimmage, make sure he's looking at the play-clock, be able to identify the defense - all those things that he's doing, we've just got to speed it up with him."
The clock is ticking.