Scrimmage to gauge Tyler Bray's growth

QB 'swamped' with installation of offense

Derek Dooley after practice, March 31, 2011

Tennessee vowed to throw the playbook at Tyler Bray, though it didn't exactly specify how much of it.

Through nearly two weeks of practice, offensive coordinator Jim Chaney has a much more exact idea of how much he's asking the quarterback to soak in right now.

And heading into Saturday's first scrimmage of spring camp, the UT coaching staff will try to come up with another number to gauge just how much of the offense Bray has nailed down with a test in a game-like environment.

"We have our ups and downs throughout spring ball, but as far as installation, we're throwing it all at him," Chaney said. "He's swamped with it right now; we've probably got about 90 percent of the offense in, so we're about done with installation.

"From last year (for Bray), it's about 50 percent more. There's a lot more to it."

With his figurative plate so full right now, it's almost beside the point that Bray still could use a few more helpings on the literal one to continue adding some bulk to his frame.

Bray obviously has plenty of time to work on both the mental and physical aspect of his game before his sophomore season opens in September, but in terms of live work against a full defense in Neyland Stadium, there won't be many more opportunities like the one this afternoon. And while it isn't going to make or break his future if the recent rough patch he's gone through in practice continues for another day, UT certainly would prefer to see some progress considering how much influence Bray has on the rest of the offense.

"I think Tyler has been struggling a little bit the last two practices because we've put a lot in and there's a lot on him," Vols coach Derek Dooley said. "And I think when you're thinking and not just reacting you don't perform as well. We'll hopefully try to shave it down a little bit for the scrimmage to get him to try to play a little faster and more decisive.

"Here's Tyler, he's a year into it and he's not even close - so it's a long journey. The more he grows, the more we give him. There's really no end. That's the thing people don't realize. There's not like, 'OK, you've got it. You're done.' We're going to do as much as the quarterback can do."

Bray proved he could do plenty last season, when he took over for the last five games, winning four in a row to earn a bowl bid despite his limited knowledge of both UT's offense and the defenses he was facing.

In some ways, that splashy debut only has increased the pressure, attention and expectations on Bray, which already were pretty high even before he stepped on the field but have soared now that he's clearly at the top of the depth chart for the Vols. A shaky outing in a scrimmage is unlikely to change that, no matter how well backups Matt Simms or Justin Worley play when given the chance. But a strong performance might allow Chaney to open up the playbook even more during the practices UT has left on the schedule.

"All quarterbacks have their days, and I think Tuesday was a difficult day," Chaney said. "We didn't do very well - because he didn't do very well. (Thursday) was a little bit better, so we just continue. . . . I look for individual development by play. Ultimately, it's his job to move the ball down the field and score points, so we get judged by that. How many do we score and how many we don't score, but we're looking for development as a football player right now.

"You're calling plays now and he understands what they are. He's seeing the bigger picture better, he's throwing the ball accurate like he always does and we're real pleased with his development. He's doing fine, growing up the way he's supposed to."

A scrimmage should help the Vols figure out exactly how quickly Bray is doing it.

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

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Comments » 45

OTPVol writes:

Go Tyler! Go VOLS!!!! C'MON FOOTBALL!

tree_em_smokey writes:

Good to hear he is consistently throwing the ball accurately! If he stays healthy we will challenge EVERY opponent....we won't win em all but noone will beat us bad unless we beat ourselves. The way they are raving about FB Fugate we will have a bigger arsenal on offense. I believe our running game will be much improved due to our entire O-line not being freshmen.

Anyone hear whether or not Eddrick Lofton is eligable this year or not? GBO!!!!

tree_em_smokey writes:

in response to toddyboy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I want a puff of whatever you are smoking. LOL. Any DECENT QB scouts the field as he drops back to throw. If it's a passing play that is.

CliveVol writes:

Finally an article about Slash. How is he looking?

SEC1 writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Smart post, that will be tooth picks first true test in the swamp, this will not look like the chumps memphis, vandy, kentucky he torched. i also hear muschamps defense will send the kitchen sink early& often, oh oh bray!

Classof72 writes:

Please tell me they're not going to screw up Tyler Bray. Blocking the running game effectively is the best way to improve the quarterback's passing performance. How's that coming along?

jamgod writes:

In response to "Toddyboy's" post....SHUTUP!!! If Tyler Bray would have went in the first game, then his confidence could have been smashed and you be female dogin' about that....that's why your a couch coach and Dooley is the real coach!! GO Bray and Go Vols!!!

888657 writes:

in response to SEC1:

Smart post, that will be tooth picks first true test in the swamp, this will not look like the chumps memphis, vandy, kentucky he torched. i also hear muschamps defense will send the kitchen sink early& often, oh oh bray!

I am new to the website. However, I have been a Vol fan for life, and you would never catch me on another teams site. You must be proud to spend your time here.

givehimsix82 writes:

i was wondering about lofton as well... that story kinda just fell of the face of the earth

dislikethemtrolls writes:

in response to SEC1:

Smart post, that will be tooth picks first true test in the swamp, this will not look like the chumps memphis, vandy, kentucky he torched. i also hear muschamps defense will send the kitchen sink early& often, oh oh bray!

I will look forward to talking to you on the Gators site this fall. www.lizardlips.com.

Be there.

tulelakevol writes:

swamps, bugs, gators, = drained, smushed, fried everyday in the south.

tennezz writes:

in response to SEC1:

Smart post, that will be tooth picks first true test in the swamp, this will not look like the chumps memphis, vandy, kentucky he torched. i also hear muschamps defense will send the kitchen sink early& often, oh oh bray!

Stop it you have us all scared to death! Well, after we get through laughing anyway! Will this be another 63-3 beatdown!

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

Wow!! Got a lot of brilliant armchair coaches on here tonight! Don't know why none of them are coaching UT right now!

mountainbrook writes:

in response to tennezz:

Stop it you have us all scared to death! Well, after we get through laughing anyway! Will this be another 63-3 beatdown!

Nah. TN won't beat Zook II and Tubby by that much.

UTVOLSRROCKN writes:

I see the trolls are already out as usual. CDD, Bray, and the entire team must have them all really worried about this season.

Glad to know that they are giving Bray all that he can handle. Wish he would have put on some more weight, but he is gonna have a great year! GBO!!!

tennrich1 writes:

in response to SEC1:

Smart post, that will be tooth picks first true test in the swamp, this will not look like the chumps memphis, vandy, kentucky he torched. i also hear muschamps defense will send the kitchen sink early& often, oh oh bray!

This ole boy is scared already....usually they wait until two a days start to let the anxiety slip out but SEC1 can't help himself..

CroKev writes:

in response to 888657:

I am new to the website. However, I have been a Vol fan for life, and you would never catch me on another teams site. You must be proud to spend your time here.

Welcome 888657 (do they let you have visitors?). Seriously, don't worry about the trolls. Even their gator brethren are embarrassed about them. Most of the trolls are from Florida and Vandy (interesting combo) with the occasional Bama fan thrown in. All the other SEC schools are pretty classy though.

jjsteel writes:

in response to toddyboy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

your so smart................................................................................................................not!

Pompey writes:

in response to toddyboy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

...may need to back off of the toddies toddyboy, they are making you sound incoherent and goofey...

ClassicVol (Inactive) writes:

I'll never be a fan of his after the way he acted in the bowl game.

Go Worley.

kcbigorngX writes:

All you guys j---ing all over yourselves about T Bray need to remember he only has limited experience and was fortunate that half of his passes weren't picked last year. He still has a long way to go, but the talent is definitely there.

It will be a MAJOR accomplishment if our Vols win eight games this season.

If this team continues to develop, without a lot of injuries, I look forward to a serious run at the SEC championship in 2012.

Turn 'em loose, Dooley.

allvol87 writes:

I barely have enough time to read the articles on our website, how do people find the time to stay on other teams sites and trash talk? I guess if you live in mom's basement and date your computer you find the time? Just not sure.

kcbigorngX writes:

in response to FLVOL79:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I hope Muschump does throw the full blitz package at Slash.

That will leave the receivers 1 on 1, and the entire nation will be introduced to a man wearing Big Orange with 2 #1's on his jersey.

Mr. Hunter will be on his way to getting an invitation to sit in the front row at the New York Athletic Club.

Vol4EVA writes:

in response to ClassicVol:

I'll never be a fan of his after the way he acted in the bowl game.

Go Worley.

If you are not a fan of Tyler's then change you user name and go pull for another team. A true member of the Tennessee family does not come onto a public forum such as this and make negative comments about one of the family regardless of the circumstances. Keep those observations within the family. The young man got caught up in the moment and let his emotions get away with him.

All in all, I would say Tyler showed some great potential in second half of last year, and barring a couple of mistakes, he did some spectacular things for an 18 year old Freshman.

I say, Go Tyler..Go Simms...Go Nance....Go Worely...Go Hunter...Go Rogers...Go Probst...Go Palardy....Go Dooley...Go Chaney....Go Vols!

Anyone of you that comes on this site and calls yourself a Vol fan and then proceeds to bash any one of the players and coaches in this public forum need to surrender your status as a member of the Tennessee family and go join up with those whiners from Memphis or Vanderbilt....

Go Big Orange!....I'll hang up and listen to your comments.....

SEC1 writes:

in response to kcbigorngX:

I hope Muschump does throw the full blitz package at Slash.

That will leave the receivers 1 on 1, and the entire nation will be introduced to a man wearing Big Orange with 2 #1's on his jersey.

Mr. Hunter will be on his way to getting an invitation to sit in the front row at the New York Athletic Club.

The vols want stand a chance come sep. young players bray , hunter, rogers will be in a hostile place on the road for the first time, bray sacked 4 times tosses 2 picks ...gators 38-10, makes it sevennn in a row.. best shot for vols will be in 2012 in knoxville when jeff driskel & jacoby brisket will be soph. but the defense will carry the gators to 8 in a row with powell, floyd, easly, martin, matt elam, being jr's proven they are nfl ready. oh by the way muschamp is on his way to a top3 recruiting class with committs from rb matt jones, 3 dt's from ga, top wr, lb, to make 8 verbs for gators already

CCLC writes:

Bray didn't go through the same meat grinder that Sims did. He looked good in his four games but the D's weren't the best competition for him. Hope he gets some more weight on him. He looks thin.
espn.go.com/blog/sec/post/_/id/21107/video-whos-the-next-best-sec-qb

888657 writes:

in response to CroKev:

Welcome 888657 (do they let you have visitors?). Seriously, don't worry about the trolls. Even their gator brethren are embarrassed about them. Most of the trolls are from Florida and Vandy (interesting combo) with the occasional Bama fan thrown in. All the other SEC schools are pretty classy though.

Visitors? Worried? Not at all. Just trying to get some reasoning behind spending your time on a rivals site.

txvolsfan writes:

in response to toddyboy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

maybe you should be coach toddygurl!!
NOT

vick3333 writes:

Bray is the best young QB in the Nation...best thrower of the football in years and cocky...a potential #1 pick in the Draft...stop it with the nitpicking....MUSCHAMP?????how was the Texas defense last year????? Simms is on his 3rd school where he could't get it done, despite his "punk" Father, forget about him. Bray and Hunter are going to tear it up!!!!!!

8ball writes:

in response to SEC1:

The vols want stand a chance come sep. young players bray , hunter, rogers will be in a hostile place on the road for the first time, bray sacked 4 times tosses 2 picks ...gators 38-10, makes it sevennn in a row.. best shot for vols will be in 2012 in knoxville when jeff driskel & jacoby brisket will be soph. but the defense will carry the gators to 8 in a row with powell, floyd, easly, martin, matt elam, being jr's proven they are nfl ready. oh by the way muschamp is on his way to a top3 recruiting class with committs from rb matt jones, 3 dt's from ga, top wr, lb, to make 8 verbs for gators already

Auburn 28 ala 27

RashaadSalabeb writes:

in response to SEC1:

Smart post, that will be tooth picks first true test in the swamp, this will not look like the chumps memphis, vandy, kentucky he torched. i also hear muschamps defense will send the kitchen sink early& often, oh oh bray!

Bring em on! Let's see what they got! We just might have something in store for them too! I don't see any "tree shakers" in the ole swamp this year.

Go Vols! Gators Suck!

TeamXer writes:

in response to ClassicVol:

I'll never be a fan of his after the way he acted in the bowl game.

Go Worley.

You're right. I never did ANYTHING when I was 18 that I'm embarrassed about now. We should make people carry their youthful indiscretions to the grave.

Vol43 writes:

in response to 888657:

Visitors? Worried? Not at all. Just trying to get some reasoning behind spending your time on a rivals site.

Dude, that is the age old question that they won't answer. I've tried to get in their goofy heads to understand their purpose. Believe me, you're wasting your time trying to reason with these idiots.

sec1, cantstandsaban, shen24, goodbad and that 'ZZ' idiot. Unfortunately, there are more. Welcome to the club.

NorthwestVol writes:

in response to toddyboy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

From your post it's obvious Hamilton missed on the Dooley hire. How did he miss you? You know so much more about quaterback play than a guy who's put his life into the sport.

ncvol17 writes:

Side bar: Doesn't the stadium look amazing after the overhaul. Brick facade - statue of the General - murals of the past players...Sweet, impressive, amazing, cannot wait till Sept...

NorthwestVol writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You going to keep repeating that same line for the next 6 months? How about a little original imput. Even trolls should bring something to the table.

BrayIsTheWay writes:

^The name says it all

govols1981 writes:

GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!

hillsborovol writes:

in response to SEC1:

The vols want stand a chance come sep. young players bray , hunter, rogers will be in a hostile place on the road for the first time, bray sacked 4 times tosses 2 picks ...gators 38-10, makes it sevennn in a row.. best shot for vols will be in 2012 in knoxville when jeff driskel & jacoby brisket will be soph. but the defense will carry the gators to 8 in a row with powell, floyd, easly, martin, matt elam, being jr's proven they are nfl ready. oh by the way muschamp is on his way to a top3 recruiting class with committs from rb matt jones, 3 dt's from ga, top wr, lb, to make 8 verbs for gators already

Your abilities to see into the future are amazing, but you have yet to master 3rd grade grammer and know the difference between "want" and "won't".

cage952 writes:

in response to SEC1:

The vols want stand a chance come sep. young players bray , hunter, rogers will be in a hostile place on the road for the first time, bray sacked 4 times tosses 2 picks ...gators 38-10, makes it sevennn in a row.. best shot for vols will be in 2012 in knoxville when jeff driskel & jacoby brisket will be soph. but the defense will carry the gators to 8 in a row with powell, floyd, easly, martin, matt elam, being jr's proven they are nfl ready. oh by the way muschamp is on his way to a top3 recruiting class with committs from rb matt jones, 3 dt's from ga, top wr, lb, to make 8 verbs for gators already

they wont be in a hostile environment for the first time. we went to LSU and thats the third hardest behind neyland(when we were really good), and bryant-denny. (BTW i hope the gators fade away and let TN be the best in the east again)

PdxVol writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I recommend you zippit

PdxVol writes:

in response to kcbigorngX:

I hope Muschump does throw the full blitz package at Slash.

That will leave the receivers 1 on 1, and the entire nation will be introduced to a man wearing Big Orange with 2 #1's on his jersey.

Mr. Hunter will be on his way to getting an invitation to sit in the front row at the New York Athletic Club.

THATS WHAT I'M TALKIN BOUT WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

commonman writes:

in response to 8ball:

Auburn 28 ala 27

What does that have to do with Tennessee?

commonman writes:

in response to BrayIsTheWay:

^The name says it all

Who's Brayl?

VOL1SG writes:

in response to commonman:

Who's Brayl?

I am not the smartest person in the world, but do realize if you separate the board name it is "Bray Is The Way"

Just Sayin

GO VOLS

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