Jim Chaney says Tyler Bray's struggles 'a little bit me'

Game preview: UT vs. Kentucky

Full event details »

The learning curve doesn't just apply for a true freshman quarterback.

Tennessee offensive coordinator Jim Chaney admits to needing a little patience himself while calling plays for one.

With that in mind, Chaney pointed the finger back at himself for some of Tyler Bray's struggles in last week's win over Vanderbilt, which in turn could be a valuable lesson for both heading into the last game of the regular season on Saturday (TV: WVLT, 12:21 p.m.) against Kentucky.

"It's a little bit me," Chaney said. "I don't think I called a particularly good football game over there for the young man. We did some things a little different than what we had tried to before, and I think quite honestly we weren't ready to get into a lot of that. If I had to do it again, I'd change a few things personally.

"But with that said, he's got to make me look good and I don't think he did that all the time either. That's just kind of the way it is. Hopefully we'll continue to learn each other and become better."

Bray didn't exactly play poorly in his third consecutive win since taking over as the starter for the Vols (5-6, 2-5 SEC), but he did have some issues reading different defensive looks and his two interceptions marked his first clear growing pains since his first snap off the bench at South Carolina.

But perhaps by emptying the backfield more often and relying on Bray's natural ability after two huge passing performances going into last weekend, UT might have gone for too much, too soon offensively. And with the Wildcats (6-5, 2-5) much better statistically against the pass than the run on defense, that could put the onus on Chaney to again rein himself in with his new toy.

"I think sometimes with production or non-production, too much is put into it," Chaney said. "I think every half has a lot of learning experiences. Sometimes you learn through some positive things and sometimes you learn through some bad things. I don't think we played particularly well. Hopefully he can learn from it. But also he's made some plays before that he probably shouldn't have, and he's got to learn from those also. Every time he steps out there he's learning a lot.

"I think we did a lot of the empty stuff early on, and we struggled with that quite honestly. I thought we were ready to roll that direction a little bit, and quite honestly, looking back I don't believe we were. But that's water under the bridge now, and we keep moving on."

Bumps And Bruises: Zach Rogers finally got his red, non-contact jersey off, and the wide receiver appears ready to return from his concussion.

Prentiss Waggner was the only player still wearing one during Thursday's afternoon practice at Haslam Field, but the sophomore cornerback insisted earlier in the week his sore body wouldn't slow him down against the Wildcats and UT doesn't seem concerned at all with him not being able to contribute.

"Last week, this is the sixth game in a row since the open date, so everybody is like that in college football," coach Derek Dooley said Wednesday. "The way we do it, we keep working and we keep lifting and your body gets stronger, and a lot of it is mental.

"Hopefully we'll be ready, but everybody across the country is banged up, that's how it is."

Change Clothes: A different number on the practice field made Chad Cunningham a little harder to find, but the wrap on his left hand ultimately gave him away.

The senior punter, wearing backup Matt Darr's No. 3 jersey instead of his own No. 96, injured his left hand making a tackle last week - which isn't really a problem for him kicking off or even punting, but it could be for his role as a holder on field goals and extra points.

Backup quarterback Matt Simms has taken reps throughout the week as the holder and could be in line for some work there if Cunningham can't go.

Austin Ward covers Tennessee football. He may be reached 865-342-6274. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Vols_Beat and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/ward.

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 » 23

Hacksaw57 writes:

Coach knows what he's talking about - game still needs to slow down for TB and it starts from the press box.

orangeblood8456 writes:

my body's kind of banged up jumping all over the living room pulling for a win. here kitty, kitty!

tnsportsman writes:

Chaney is an honest and great OC. He knows QBs and Offense, glad to see he can admit needed changes!

VOLS, focus, protect the damn ball and WE will WIN! Let's get to Neyland early and BE LOUD!



paradisetaxi writes:

Jim Chaney is AWESOME !

LimeyVol writes:

At a time when Chaney could be worrying about his job, it's good to hear him come out and take some of the pressure off Bray. Mind you, Bray might just keep him in a job for the next three years!

ncvol17 writes:

Another season has flown by. Not one to remember on the field but one where a lot of kids are getting their start at UT. Bray should be a good one but I hope we recruit and sign a top flight recruit in February. Glad the weather will be through K town by game day. Beat the Cats...

paradisetaxi writes:

When Kiffin left , I saw Coach Chaney comong out of the Hilton that next day and told him I was glad he stayed, He just smiled and said "Thanks" Thanks again Coach Chaney !

TommyJack writes:

Chaney knows his bidness.

GreerVol22 writes:

in response to LimeyVol:

At a time when Chaney could be worrying about his job, it's good to hear him come out and take some of the pressure off Bray. Mind you, Bray might just keep him in a job for the next three years!

If we are at the same record this time next season, maybe there will be some rumblings, but this year he got a free pass thanks to Kiffin. Your right about Bray keeping him in a job from here on out.

JohnnyVol writes:

Florida, Georgia and UT all have youngster QB's. Gonna be fun watching our division over the next 2-3 years. Gonna see a lot of passing yards there.

PlaidinOrangeandWhite writes:

We are set at QB and WR for the future. The only thing I do worry about there is replacing Gerald Jones. We struggled to move the chains when he was out for those few games. Hopefully Z.Rogers or Arnett can step up and be that guy next year.

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Chaney knows his bidness.

Seems to know good bidness. We don't want no bad bidness.

Mobbdeep4life writes:

in response to PlaidinOrangeandWhite:

We are set at QB and WR for the future. The only thing I do worry about there is replacing Gerald Jones. We struggled to move the chains when he was out for those few games. Hopefully Z.Rogers or Arnett can step up and be that guy next year.

I had been thinking about who might replace G. Jones next year. I think Da'Rick has the size and strength to be a good third down target. The key for him will be understanding the playbook and running more precise routes.
Will be amped up and ready for the game Saturday.

dead_vol_foul (Inactive) writes:

Zach Rogers runs great routes...he's fast, too. He's just gotta catch the dang ball.

BreweryVol writes:

We need a new slot receiver to replace Gerald Jones and I am hoping that Deanthony Arnett will be that guy. 6'0 180 and a four star athlete. He is rated the number 8 wide receiver in the country by some of the services. He should complement Derick and Justin on the outside with Rivera running seam routs up the middle. Poole back with 4 out of 5 offensive lineman returning. Can't wait.

BreweryVol writes:

Sorry, I forgot to mention a gun slinger that reminds me a little bit of a young Favre. High risk High Rewards.

We are the real UT.


in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I doubt anything or anyone could speed up Simms release. Not always coaching though.
Just can't coach some bad habits out!

FarmerVol writes:

in response to jcvet33:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Truer words were never spoken. Zak could play weak side safety and is much faster than the current pretender. Might even stop some of that mid-drag route phooey that seems to leave us nek nek neeeeeeked on that side.

FarmerVol writes:

Forgot to add GO BIG ORANGE!!!! UT24 KY21 !!

Ayres_Hall writes:

Struggles? 5th year senior Jon Crompton wished he had struggles like true frosh Bray....

mercyseat writes:

I hope we can get the kats to cough up 3 or 4 fur balls and score off of them. Prentis Waggner and Eric Gordon have really been good for that. By the way, Eric Gordon can really run! Wonder what he runs the 40?

TKO writes:

Looks more and more like a 45-17 KY victory.

james#216392 writes:

in response to TKO:

Looks more and more like a 45-17 KY victory.

And you probably said we would lose the NIT by 40. Dream on Cat fan.

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.