John Adams: Tyler Bray not planning on a long run

John Adams
Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray looks for an open receiver during a warmup session prior to a team scrimmage at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011.  (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, Adam Brimer

Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray looks for an open receiver during a warmup session prior to a team scrimmage at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Dooley discusses the repercussions of Rajion Neal's knee injury

Tennessee has a running quarterback. He just doesn't run the way you remember UT quarterbacks running.

Condredge Holloway ran defenses crazy when he played quarterback for the Vols in the early 1970s. Tee Martin ran UT to a national championship in 1998.

Tyler Bray reminds no one of Holloway or Martin. He will run sparingly and strategically, just as so many of his UT predecessors have since Peyton Manning seemingly defined the way the position would be played in Big Orange Country. Martin was an aberration.

The Vols have changed coaches repeatedly the past few years. They haven't changed their image of what a quarterback should be: A passer first, a runner when no one is looking.

Former UT coaches Phillip Fulmer and Lane Kiffin both favored the old NFL prototype. Coach Derek Dooley also prefers his quarterbacks to either drop back and throw or hand the ball to someone who can run more adeptly and without endangering the health of the offense.

Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney adheres to the same philosophy, which manifests itself in UT's recruiting as well as on fall Saturdays.

How much attention do the Vols pay to a quarterback recruit's running ability?

"Not much," Chaney said. "If they have deficiencies in other areas, we will consider it. It doesn't bother me that we don't run a 4.5 (40) at quarterback."

The way Chaney explains a quarterback's running role, a 5.5 probably would do as long as the player could avoid being tripped by a blade of grass.

"If it's third and 5, they're in man coverage, and a big lane pops open, there's no doubt in my mind (Bray) can run for a first down," Chaney said confidently.

I flash back to last season and wonder: "Is he faster?"

"I don't know," Chaney said. "He's got to run 5 yards for a first down in man coverage and nobody standing there. Yeah, hopefully he can scramble his big (backside) for 5 yards."

Although his coaches might be no more concerned about their quarterback's speed than their mascot's, Bray says he has picked up his pace since last season. And he's not referring to his release.

Imagine that. Everyone is so obsessed with how much weight the slender quarterback has gained, Bray's increased foot speed has gone unnoticed.

"I've shaved a few tenths off my 40 time," Bray said with his usual deadpan delivery.

And that drops him to what? 5.2?

"4.9," he said.

He credits UT's strength and conditioning program for his improved 40 time. He credits the new shoes with his enhanced athletic self-esteem.

"I love them," he said. "They make me look more athletic."

Nonetheless, UT fans will cringe when Bray ventures beyond the line of scrimmage — even in the sleeker new shoes. As a runner, the faster Bray still ranks 12th in the SEC among starting quarterbacks.

But his coaches aren't asking him to win a race. Just convert on third-and-5 when no defenders are in the vicinity.

"I take two strides and we've pretty much got a first down," he said. "When you've got big strides, it kind of helps."

Two strides for 5 yards: That's UT's idea of a running quarterback.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns.

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Comments » 43

LJS1984 writes:

I agree with Bray, the white shoes always make you look more athletic. I've thought that for years. Also, I'm pretty sure that Chaney's best QB pupil so far (Drew Brees) knew and still knows how to run a little bit.

dvhill100 writes:

Run only when you have to - be careful you don't get smashed.

Huttdawg100 writes:

That was pretty funny...

Caspian writes:

Speaking of shoes... I've always preferred the old-fashioned black shoes and white socks look. Absolutely hate black socks.

LJS1984 writes:

in response to Caspian:

Speaking of shoes... I've always preferred the old-fashioned black shoes and white socks look. Absolutely hate black socks.

To keep it traditional, I've always liked the black shoes as well. However, we have worn white shoes in the past. Most recently, I'm thinking was in 2003. I'm pretty sure we beat Miami in the Orange Bowl to end their 26 game home winning streak that year with the white cleats.

LJS1984 writes:

in response to LJS1984:

To keep it traditional, I've always liked the black shoes as well. However, we have worn white shoes in the past. Most recently, I'm thinking was in 2003. I'm pretty sure we beat Miami in the Orange Bowl to end their 26 game home winning streak that year with the white cleats.

I can remember years on Doug's rug (Dickey's astroturf) that we wore white "cleats" as well. Only remember that from watching video. I can't remember much before the 1990 Florida game (my first in person).

allvol32 writes:

"I've shaved a few tenths off my 40 time," Bray said with his usual deadpan delivery.

And that drops him to what? 5.2?

"4.9," he said.

He credits UT's strength and conditioning program for his improved 40 time. He credits the new shoes with his enhanced athletic self-esteem.

"I love them," he said. "They make me look more athletic."

I'm wearing the new trampoline shoes myself and it's shaved 15 seconds off the beer run to the refrigerator time for me plus I look like Peerless Price on the route! All in all it's going to be a great season for UT football!!!

MidTennVol writes:

Nice piece, Adams. Bray's a gambler and he'll go for it if he sees an opening. Just hope he can take some hits.

DannyVol writes:

Why would Bray be anything other than "deadpan" in an interview with a dolt who's been running the program down for years? Especially considering the fact that Bray was being interviewed about the last priority of his game...which only resulted in: "And that drops him to what? 5.2?" Typical of Adams to focus on the supposed deficiencies of our quarterback a few days after he was named to several watch lists --which he never mentioned by the way.

You people can be amused or entertained by this buffoon if you want to, but I think the KNS does a dispicable job covering the home team; take a look at any other newspaper across the SEC and you wouldn't see this type of undermining garbage. Unlike the KNS, you wouldn't see them publish super-negative stories on gamedays when scores of recruits are in town.

DannyVol writes:

One more thing, you can tell me to lighten up all you want to and that Adams is just doing his job. But once again, I'll tell you to go back and look at all of Adams' stories over the past four years and together they form a negative campaign. Can you imagine these types of stories being published in Tuscaloosa or Baton Rouge? Wouldn't happen. Meanwhile in Arkansas, a reporter showed up at a presser wearing a Florida hat and she was fired.

Outdated writes:

Trying to create interest is tough for any sports writer until the real action starts..if you look at the current situation at UT and read the past JA stories he may have seen it coming..not very reasonable he is trying to down UT..just reporting what he sees...

Go_Big_O writes:

Great article John. I'm still laughing!

The_Real_Orange writes:

in response to DannyVol:

One more thing, you can tell me to lighten up all you want to and that Adams is just doing his job. But once again, I'll tell you to go back and look at all of Adams' stories over the past four years and together they form a negative campaign. Can you imagine these types of stories being published in Tuscaloosa or Baton Rouge? Wouldn't happen. Meanwhile in Arkansas, a reporter showed up at a presser wearing a Florida hat and she was fired.

DV, if you go back and look at the last 4 years with an unbiased view, it would be hard to write a positive campaign about UT football. Columnists are simply paid to write their opinions about what is going on. You seem to forget that Adams isn't a reporter for KNS, they have beat writers that are supposed to write stories about practices and such, but because of the way coaches close practices to the fans and media now, the only thing they can report is whatever information the coaches give them after practice.

movol77 writes:

in response to slaw_way:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

JA is not a UT fan. The sum of his work tells it. He is a LSU fan that makes his living writing about UT. Take it, bare it and grin?

MilitaryBrat writes:

in response to The_Real_Orange:

DV, if you go back and look at the last 4 years with an unbiased view, it would be hard to write a positive campaign about UT football. Columnists are simply paid to write their opinions about what is going on. You seem to forget that Adams isn't a reporter for KNS, they have beat writers that are supposed to write stories about practices and such, but because of the way coaches close practices to the fans and media now, the only thing they can report is whatever information the coaches give them after practice.

If you continue to bite the hand that feeds you, then you don't get fed.

Maybe if KNS wasn't so negative, they would be given more access to the Vols.

It hasn't been all negative the last four years.
There has been good things happen in the last year.

Adams didn't write one word about the new baseball coach. A writer who only writes positive things about the Vols is just as bad as a somone (like Adams) who only writes about the negative things.

In his own Bio, he states that he is an LSU fan, and wants to live in Southern California. But Sadly for us, he isn't good enough to get a job there.

movol77 writes:

in response to DannyVol:

One more thing, you can tell me to lighten up all you want to and that Adams is just doing his job. But once again, I'll tell you to go back and look at all of Adams' stories over the past four years and together they form a negative campaign. Can you imagine these types of stories being published in Tuscaloosa or Baton Rouge? Wouldn't happen. Meanwhile in Arkansas, a reporter showed up at a presser wearing a Florida hat and she was fired.

Speak your mind DV. JA tends to see the accident, victim, perpetrator, scar and handicap over the rescue and recovery. His cumulative UT writings trend toward the fallow/shallow or blame/shame game.

Jakevol writes:

Holloway had the whole package. He could drop back, throw on the run, or run. I recall him like it was yesterday. He did take a beating.

volaholic45 writes:

Bray's running is still prettier than Casey Clausen's, who looked like he was running in a wading pool, or maybe like his shoestrings were tied together. Tee could get it done alright, but Condredge's darting and dashing (he practically made John Ward) was a thing of beauty.

UTVOL2001 writes:

I like most of JA's articles. I get his sense of humor and understand he is not a UT fan. That's fine with me. He is just a journalist, folks! It is not like his writings change the world. It is just words on a page!

devo-evol writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

When you have something remotely intelligent to say come back join in. In the meantime, take your childish digs and go stick your head in the swamp somewhere. you never have anything to say that has any validity or shows any sports knowledge. you come off looking like a 10 year old hurling insults. so pipe down and let the adults converse.

lyafarre writes:

"Throw when you can, run when you must"

Volunatic writes:

in response to LJS1984:

I can remember years on Doug's rug (Dickey's astroturf) that we wore white "cleats" as well. Only remember that from watching video. I can't remember much before the 1990 Florida game (my first in person).

The 1990 game vs uf was a good one to have for your first game.
I had friends with me at that game who wanted to leave early once it was clear that the Vols would win. I refused-- I was enjoying every moment of that 45-3 demolition. I have hated the gators since a very young age. That hatred has only grown over the years.

keviningeorgia writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Blahhh blahh bablahh blahh UT bad, Dooley bad. Blahhh bablahh, Fulmer, blahhh UT bad blahhh blahhhhhhh….

Volunatic writes:

in response to allvol32:

"I've shaved a few tenths off my 40 time," Bray said with his usual deadpan delivery.

And that drops him to what? 5.2?

"4.9," he said.

He credits UT's strength and conditioning program for his improved 40 time. He credits the new shoes with his enhanced athletic self-esteem.

"I love them," he said. "They make me look more athletic."

I'm wearing the new trampoline shoes myself and it's shaved 15 seconds off the beer run to the refrigerator time for me plus I look like Peerless Price on the route! All in all it's going to be a great season for UT football!!!

That's the spirit, but the trampoline shoes could be dangerous after several beers, so be careful.
GO VOLS!!!

Volunatic writes:

in response to movol77:

JA is not a UT fan. The sum of his work tells it. He is a LSU fan that makes his living writing about UT. Take it, bare it and grin?

True. Also noteworthy-- during the Gerry DiNardo years, he always referred to LSU as his "punk school". I don't think he is biased against any team, he just enjoys nitpicking.
(His love for Tim Tebow was a little grotesque, though.)

Volunatic writes:

in response to MilitaryBrat:

If you continue to bite the hand that feeds you, then you don't get fed.

Maybe if KNS wasn't so negative, they would be given more access to the Vols.

It hasn't been all negative the last four years.
There has been good things happen in the last year.

Adams didn't write one word about the new baseball coach. A writer who only writes positive things about the Vols is just as bad as a somone (like Adams) who only writes about the negative things.

In his own Bio, he states that he is an LSU fan, and wants to live in Southern California. But Sadly for us, he isn't good enough to get a job there.

That "Southern California" thing was a joke. John Adams was closely paraphrasing the lane kiffin exit speech.

Volunatic writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Now, now. Don't be ridiculous. It was 7 pounds, not just 5.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch Doctor say Peyton was skinny as a frosh/soph. But Witch Doctor say Brays legs look thin. Witch Doctor look at Snickers bar and put on 3 pounds.
Bones never lie.

volfan73120#211815 writes:

in response to Caspian:

Speaking of shoes... I've always preferred the old-fashioned black shoes and white socks look. Absolutely hate black socks.

I agree with you Caspian.

VolsUpsetYetAnother writes:

I'm a Bray fan. The kids got an arm and I love his competitive agression. But... Being a vol fan my whole life and LOVE college FB I have come to realize one thing. If your going to have an non-running Pro style QB AND want to win the NC; you better have the following:

1. Top 10 rated defense in the country
2. Top 10 rated O-Line
3. 2 - 1,000 yard Running Backs
4. 2 - All American WR's
5. QB with at least a 65% completion average

Now the above isn't meant to be a true formula, but hopefully you get my drift. WHY NOT go after a 6-3/6-4 Dual threat QB? In this day and age with the defenses in the SEC you need a few QB run designed plays to not only keep the defenses in check, but to also get first downs. We've got a long way to go to completely overhaul the Vols program, and hopefully by Brays Sr. year we will have built a NC caliber team around him. But think about all the high caliber specialty players you have to build around a Pro Style QB that cant run... Why not build that same team around a dual threat QB? They are a nightmare for defenses! And they get 1st downs (eg. watch a replay of UT's 98 championship game) without several KEY 1st down scrambles from Tee... no NC for us that year. I could go on and on about this, but thought I would throw it out there to see if any other fellow UT diehards agreed. And maybe someone can tell me why we didnt grab Chad Kelly. How did he end up at Clemson with his UT connects? It doesnt appear that we even offered. He was a Manning type BUT COULD RUN... Oh well, i'll get back to my lazyboy and do some more armchair coaching. lol.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch Doctor say the day I cannot digest them is the day they have to cut it out of my dead cold stomach! lol
Bones never lie.

Vol_in_GA writes:

Off topic, but Gerald Jones had two TD catches in the Eagles/Steelers preseason game last night. The Eagles have some depth at WR, so not sure if he'll make their active roster, but he should be able to catch on somewhere. Go Gerald! (and stay healthy, young man)

chattavfl86 writes:

in response to DannyVol:

Why would Bray be anything other than "deadpan" in an interview with a dolt who's been running the program down for years? Especially considering the fact that Bray was being interviewed about the last priority of his game...which only resulted in: "And that drops him to what? 5.2?" Typical of Adams to focus on the supposed deficiencies of our quarterback a few days after he was named to several watch lists --which he never mentioned by the way.

You people can be amused or entertained by this buffoon if you want to, but I think the KNS does a dispicable job covering the home team; take a look at any other newspaper across the SEC and you wouldn't see this type of undermining garbage. Unlike the KNS, you wouldn't see them publish super-negative stories on gamedays when scores of recruits are in town.

What do you mean, "you people?" As a 1/16th cherokee indian I find your comment to be very offensive.

Volunatic writes:

in response to chattavfl86:

What do you mean, "you people?" As a 1/16th cherokee indian I find your comment to be very offensive.

I found it offensive because he didn't use "y'all". ("Y'uns" would have been acceptable, also, if he grew up in the Plateau region.)

SavTnVol writes:

Hey, first Peyton, then The Iceman, and now TB..I'm Ok with TB not being a runner. Peyton nor Iceman were runners either. He's in pretty good company IMHO.

MilitaryBrat writes:

That "Southern California" thing was a joke. John Adams was closely paraphrasing the lane kiffin exit speech.
...

They ran mini Bio's for all the KNS writers. And it showed the he would like to move to California.
The so-called Joke press conference when he said he was leaving for Southern California was something different. He thought it was funny, but to me it was very disrespectful. Some fans were excited, because they actually believed Adams was leaving.

62vol writes:

John said "UT has changed football coaches repeatedly in the past few years" UT changed from Fulmer to Kiffin. Kiffin changed to USC. UT hired a replacement. The total number of changes initiated by UT is one.

Egnaro_Lavan writes:

I believe Tyler Bray is doing good and with a great Coach like Derek Dooley coaching him he will be an All American

ncvol17 writes:

I've always enyoyed the writings of Sam Adams better than John Adams. I like his beer better as well.

Bigger_Al writes:

I'd trade John Adams for Sam Adams any day. If only that "losertic" was mine to give away (or throw in the river, like the goalpost from the 98 Florida game).

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

so is your life

Londonjohn writes:

I have to give JA credit this time. Nice article. I agree with several of the posters who suggest we look towards a more mobile qb. It certainly worked for Auburn and Florida (twice). In fact, for a school that has as many recruiting disadvantages as we have geographically, it might make sense for us to go down this route.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to MerlOT_GoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Not sure I agree here. I thought Simms did a fairly creditable job, considering that much of the time he was running for his life behind a brand-spanking-new O-line against some of the better defenses in the country. Just as many of us expect that Bray will benefit from a much more experienced O-line this season, so should Simms if he has to replace Bray. Having Simms as an experienced backup puts the Vols way ahead of many opponents who are not only breaking in a new starter, they have no experience at backup. The overall team is much stronger and deeper than they were last year. How many extra wins this will lead to is still to be determined, but I feel better about UT's overall situation at QB than I have in years.

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