John Adams: Hinshaw has big plans for Bray

Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray (8) and coach Darin Hinshaw during the first half Thursday, Dec. 30, 2010 in the Music City Bowl in Nashville at LP Field.

Photo by Michael Patrick

Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray (8) and coach Darin Hinshaw during the first half Thursday, Dec. 30, 2010 in the Music City Bowl in Nashville at LP Field.

Tennessee assistant coach Darin Hinshaw passed for more than 9,000 yards and 82 touchdowns at the University of Central Florida. But the passes don't all run together.

One from his sophomore season still sticks out.

He detected a blitz, checked to a post route, threw a touchdown pass, and thought, "This is pretty cool."

What happened after that was pretty cool, too, if you were a UCF fan. Hinshaw kept progressing, and the offense advanced right along with him.

"By my senior year, I was (checking off at the line of scrimmage) 75 percent of the time," Hinshaw said following a UT bowl practice. "The coach was calling the play but I knew what he wanted versus a defense."

Where Hinshaw has been is where he wants UT freshman quarterback Tyler Bray to go. The coach is confident the quarterback can get there.

Much of what Bray accomplished in five starts as a freshman was more about throwing than thinking.

You saw him throw four touchdown passes in the Music City Bowl against North Carolina on Thursday night. You also saw him throw three interceptions in a 30-27 double-overtime loss.

He has room to grow both physically and figuratively. And his growth could be one of the most intriguing aspects of UT's off-season.

The game plan already is in the works.

"He played at 195 to 200 pounds (this season)," Hinshaw said. "If we're at 210 or 215 next year, I would say that's a pretty good goal.

"Because he's so long at 6-foot-6, he can put on 25 pounds - not next year but over the course of his career. You're not going to see a ton of mass change that will cause a change in his throwing motion.

"He needs to continue to build mass. That will be big for him when he comes back in January."

For a quarterback, mass is armor. Self-protection at that position also is related to self-awareness.

Bray proved this season he could take a hit as well as avoid one.

Such attributes were hardly predictable since he demonstrated no prowess as a runner and looked frighteningly fragile by SEC football standards, but both became apparent under the heat of a pass rush.

Neither an innate sense for defensive pressure nor durability is a substitute for the armor that an off-season workout regimen can provide. Consider it prevent defense, administered to the Vols through the booming, passionate voice of strength and conditioning coach Benny Wylie.

Gaining weight isn't the only goal that Bray hopes to achieve in the weight room.

"Getting quicker would be nice," he said before the Music City Bowl. "Of course, arm strength will come with getting bigger."

He already has seen a difference in arm strength after one year in college. Throws he couldn't make in high school now come easily, he said.

"Strength can only take you so far," he adds, referencing his pursuit of an advanced degree in football.

A weight-room drill sergeant can't assist with that. It's more of a solo mission but no less important.

"He has got to understand defenses better," Hinshaw said. "And he's getting better at it every time he goes out on the field."

Bray won't take the field again until spring practice. There's even more time between spring and preseason camp.

That's a lot of time for homework. That's also a lot of time for UT's promising young quarterback to get stronger and quicker.

And elevate an entire offense in the process.

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

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Comments » 102

SATCHMOE writes:

Muscle him up. He will get it done

Realist writes:

Off season workout for Bray. First, cut the mop. Second, chicken wings lots of wings. Third, no more double sword throat cuts!

volfan4life1998 writes:

I can't wait to see him next year. He should be bigger and his mechanics will be better. He needs to hit the weights, stay in the film room, and hopefully have a big spring. We also need Justin Hunter and Da'Rick to step up.

armyvol22 writes:

in response to Realist:

Off season workout for Bray. First, cut the mop. Second, chicken wings lots of wings. Third, no more double sword throat cuts!

I agree with no more double sword throat cuts, or any signals. My father always told me; "Act like you have been there before."

FWBVol writes:

in response to Realist:

Off season workout for Bray. First, cut the mop. Second, chicken wings lots of wings. Third, no more double sword throat cuts!

I agree with two of your suggestions, but I don't see how cutting his hair will make him a better quarterback. I guess as someone who spent all seven of my teen years in the 1970s the hair isn't that big of a deal to me and I've seen a lot worse.

DooleyWagon22 writes:

in response to Realist:

Off season workout for Bray. First, cut the mop. Second, chicken wings lots of wings. Third, no more double sword throat cuts!

No sir he doesn't need to cut his hair, he looks cool!!! He needs muscle worse than chicken wings. Those will make him look like Mr. Man Boobs that blocked that kick last year!

wags32 writes:

Bray may very well be the best QB to ever play at Tennessee!! I can see something special about this kid....

VolsAllTheWay writes:

I hate it how QBs are blamed for all interceptions. Bray's second pick was right in Stocker's hands and he batted it to the LB. Not at all Bray's fault. Stocker was asleep the 1st half. I can think of 2 plays where Stocker was wide open but never looked for the ball and they went right by him. When Bray gets more game experience to go along with the talent we may be witnesses to a special QB.

Realist writes:

"Those will make him look like Mr. Man Boobs that blocked that kick last year!"
______________________________
LMAO. The first and second suggestions were just jokes. Relax fellas!

Realist writes:

http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/2010...

The Manning or Ainge comparison!

realmenwearorange writes:

with a better running game bray will be better he needs to learn how to read the D!!!

dead_vol_foul (Inactive) writes:

Bray has great instincts...and touch.

I agree, though, that in a way all he had to do this year was chunk it.

Next year, his receivers will be younger, his line older, and the expectations greater.

I do wish we had a run/pass QB to complement Tyler...some games, we just need to pound it, and having a strong QB would help.

Urban Meyer was really smart with that.

dead_vol_foul (Inactive) writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

AlphaMan1 writes:

Maybe he'll also learn how silly and juvinile his "loco" gesture really is.

AirForceVol2786 writes:

Why do you guys care if he does the loco motion. Geez, are there only 60 year old Vol Fans on these boards. Im not attempting to insult someone, but its ok to go out there and have a little fun. I won't say anything bad until the kids are doing it when they are down 21 points. Just let it go guys.

go_vols_go writes:

Bray will be great. He has a swagger we haven't seen at QB in a several years. He will obviously benefit from the a college weight program. If nothing else, packing on some muscle will provide some durability from the shots QBs inevitably will take over the course of a season. As far as the previous comments on the "loco" gestures and what not, just remember this guy is only 18 or 19 years old. If I had all my shenanigans televised and scrutinized by media/fans when I was a freshman living in North Carrick I'm sure I wouldn't had made it out alive. Maturity will come with age and experience. So will the wins! Go Vols!

jandjhome#228397 writes:

On a side note. The Big Ten went up in smoke.

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

Tyler has a bright future ahead. Contrary to what I've seen some post here on the board, the guy isn't an egomaniac, he was simply trying to motivate his team. If you watched the whole game, you saw him on the sideline trying to fire up his offense.
I suppose there are people who will find something to pick at no matter what, but give the kid a break, he's a freshman for cryin' out loud.

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

I would love to see what he looks like after about 6 months of protein powder. LOL.

Smokey_Told_Me writes:

Yes, Bray does need to muscle-up and fill out. But he probably will never be as massive as Heath or "Saint Timmy" from UF.

...Smokey knows where the bones are buried.

txsvol#372416 writes:

in response to wags32:

Bray may very well be the best QB to ever play at Tennessee!! I can see something special about this kid....

Uh-blsphemy from a Vol fan! Did you forget our #16 from the mid '90s, who now wears #18 in the pros? You might be able to see him in the second game today on the CBS affiliate in your area. Go Vols! Go #18! (And, Indy, draft some offensive linemen to protect your franchise for next season!) SAVol

johnvol4416 writes:

I think Bray is special.If he dedicates himself to being the best he can be the sky is the limit.He just has a "feel" for the position that few possess.Tyler,it's up to you,work hard and achieve greatness or forever regret what might have been.

kiddtigger#228291 writes:

Bray gave a way better performance in his bowl play than many of the SEC quarterbacks, so far. Defense made a difference in the Florida win, not offense. He outplayed Georgia's and South Carolina's QBs. Even though Bama won, Tyler had more yards and TD's than their QB. MSU's QB played well in their win and I'm sure we'll see a big performance from Newton, so that leaves Kentucky(?) and LSU's QB's. In the end, even with the loss, Bray could end up with one of the top bowl performances. For just playing 5 games, not bad.

vollady writes:

in response to AirForceVol2786:

Why do you guys care if he does the loco motion. Geez, are there only 60 year old Vol Fans on these boards. Im not attempting to insult someone, but its ok to go out there and have a little fun. I won't say anything bad until the kids are doing it when they are down 21 points. Just let it go guys.

I am over 70 and I like the loco motion. It looks like they are having a little fun but I don't like the slashing of the throat. Let the bragging be with the FINAL score in place of that motion.

beachvol1 writes:

in response to FLVOL79:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No place in college for excessive celebration and bringing attention to yourself...Jones should have been penalized, along with D Rogers for those antics...honestly surprised that coach Dooley, being such a disciplinary coach, would tolerate such action...maybe a couple of unsportsmanlike penalties will cure this...just do your job and celebrate with your teammates, not the crowd...and get a KICKER!!

TKO writes:

in response to jandjhome#228397:

On a side note. The Big Ten went up in smoke.

And you can throw Nebraska's loss in there too. Best thing about this year's bowl season. I just hope Arkansas can smack the sh.. out of Ohio State.

VolMoment writes:

in response to wags32:

Bray may very well be the best QB to ever play at Tennessee!! I can see something special about this kid....

Typical lack of understanding sport fan. The smart ones realize that you can not compare players from past to someone now. Example Tiger vs. Nicklaus. Tiger plays with superior clubs and balls. Nicklaus was past his prime when when the first improved shafts came out. He said he was hitting the ball 50 yrds. further than when he was in his prime.
In football you have different teammates and play against different competition.
So I say "man we got a good quarterback or tackle and he is as good as I have seen.:

DaveRamseyRocks writes:

in response to TennVolFan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Everyone will care when those stupid gestures get us an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in a crucial situation!

Biggie writes:

in response to Realist:

Off season workout for Bray. First, cut the mop. Second, chicken wings lots of wings. Third, no more double sword throat cuts!

I'm with you on the sword cuts...It's embarrassing to see Tennessee players acting like thugs from Miami. CDD needs to nip that phooey.

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to kiddtigger#228291:

Bray gave a way better performance in his bowl play than many of the SEC quarterbacks, so far. Defense made a difference in the Florida win, not offense. He outplayed Georgia's and South Carolina's QBs. Even though Bama won, Tyler had more yards and TD's than their QB. MSU's QB played well in their win and I'm sure we'll see a big performance from Newton, so that leaves Kentucky(?) and LSU's QB's. In the end, even with the loss, Bray could end up with one of the top bowl performances. For just playing 5 games, not bad.

what a stupid comment---------he played a decent game but you want to make comparisons based on his TDs and totally ignore the INTs????----are you delusional------no 3 INYs will not end him up as one of the top bowl performances regardless of the other pluses-------hes going to be a good one but you dont look at bowl game comparisons to rank anyone--------the ga QB is a real good one and whos to say which will be the better in the end

Hounddog writes:

in response to AirForceVol2786:

Why do you guys care if he does the loco motion. Geez, are there only 60 year old Vol Fans on these boards. Im not attempting to insult someone, but its ok to go out there and have a little fun. I won't say anything bad until the kids are doing it when they are down 21 points. Just let it go guys.

I'm 62 and I agree with you. However, I could beat you at tennis. Hounddog

kd45music writes:

in response to Realist:

Off season workout for Bray. First, cut the mop. Second, chicken wings lots of wings. Third, no more double sword throat cuts!

Yeah, cut the throat cut out; it could lead to a unsportsmanlike call. But I do like the crazy thing he does. I see nothing wrong with that.

crappieking writes:

in response to beachvol1:

No place in college for excessive celebration and bringing attention to yourself...Jones should have been penalized, along with D Rogers for those antics...honestly surprised that coach Dooley, being such a disciplinary coach, would tolerate such action...maybe a couple of unsportsmanlike penalties will cure this...just do your job and celebrate with your teammates, not the crowd...and get a KICKER!!

Lighten up Francis.

rockytopatl writes:

in response to AirForceVol2786:

Why do you guys care if he does the loco motion. Geez, are there only 60 year old Vol Fans on these boards. Im not attempting to insult someone, but its ok to go out there and have a little fun. I won't say anything bad until the kids are doing it when they are down 21 points. Just let it go guys.

+5

bosscat writes:

The "loco" gesture is the equivalent of a "high five". It's one player congratulating another for a good play. It's not taunting the other team. It's not calling attention to yourself, unless, again, you consider a high five to be calling attention to yourself. It is their way of cheering for each other and for the team like, you know, cheerleaders do on the sidelines. Now if you want a taunt, listen to Alabama's Ramma-Damma yell.

RatherBeDrivingaTitleist writes:

in response to VolMoment:

Typical lack of understanding sport fan. The smart ones realize that you can not compare players from past to someone now. Example Tiger vs. Nicklaus. Tiger plays with superior clubs and balls. Nicklaus was past his prime when when the first improved shafts came out. He said he was hitting the ball 50 yrds. further than when he was in his prime.
In football you have different teammates and play against different competition.
So I say "man we got a good quarterback or tackle and he is as good as I have seen.:

You forgot to add that they make the courses longer now because of that.

givehim6 writes:

in response to TennVolFan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That funny made me laugh. But we want Bray to build mass not fat. [haha] Seriously though, learn to read the D beater and the QB sneak, that 6'6" frame might pick up UT a TD in a tight game.

gohawks1 writes:

Eat Mor Chikin, Tyler.

UTVOLSRROCKN writes:

I knew we had our man after the O/W game. Was so happy when he finally won the starting position!

Did he make mistakes? Yes he did, he was just a freshman for God's sake! He will only improve year after year. I'm not ready to say that he will be better than Manning, but I will say he will be right behind him. I don't think we will see anymore of the throat slashing, but I have no problem with "loco". How many days Gerry Op?

volfan4betterorworse writes:

http://smokiespost.blogspot.com/ Gainesville High School defensive end/outside linebacker Jordan Williams, the son of former Gator Keith Williams, has committed to Tennessee, according to Hurricanes' coach Ryan Smith.

The 6-foot-4, 240-pound Williams will join GHS teammate Trevarris Saulsberry, who committed to the Volunteers last summer, in Knoxville.

givehim6 writes:

Just my opinion on the loco gesture. What the difference in doing this to celebrate a good play vs the flying hip bump UF has done for years?

esarmstrong#231516 writes:

in response to AirForceVol2786:

Why do you guys care if he does the loco motion. Geez, are there only 60 year old Vol Fans on these boards. Im not attempting to insult someone, but its ok to go out there and have a little fun. I won't say anything bad until the kids are doing it when they are down 21 points. Just let it go guys.

I'm a 49 year old fan who could not care less what gestures he makes on the field ... until it gets him an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that costs his team at a crucial moment against someone like Alabama or Georgia next season.

Those gestures are just one oversensitive referee's penalty flag away from getting called that way and costing us. Just ask K. State!

AppreciativeAlum writes:

Maybe next year the whole offense can read the defense, with practices that say: If they align this way, we are going to run This play.

Stocker and Crompton were running that against SC? last year.

arkyvol writes:

i hope one of the 'big plans' for bray is to get him to grow up and start acting with some class. had i been a neutral observer of the music bowl, those gangsta gestures would have put me firmly in the tarheel's corner.

tnsportsman writes:

LOL, some of you ‘holy than now’, homogenize, political correct, wusses are just like what the NFL and NCAA has become THE WUSSE LEAGUES. PA Governor Corbett Nailed It! I’m an Ole School Football Player and IMO college and pro players have earned the right to celebrate anyway they want to without verbally or physically directing it to an opposing player! There is no difference in taking a knee for a prayer, than a salute, beating on the chest, loco sign, chest slice, (even a gator chop, cant believe I said that, LOL but true) ITS ALL EXPRESSION and OK!

Football is a Man Sport played by Men, it’s hard, fast, tough, blood, sweat and pain with the adrenalin flowing at a fever pitch. I LOVED Lawrence Taylor of the Giants standing over a downed RB talking about his mother and The U dancing in the end zone, God, The Good Ole Days!

Football today is about total political correct, officials control and kumbaya. The officials are now part of playing the game and the outcome, instead of monitoring the game and its rules. Let’s just put skirts on the players with matching flags!

That’s why I have pre-purchased my Lingerie Football League Tickets, at least if I’m going to watch girls play, they will be HOT!

GO VOLS!

opatVOL writes:

I can handle the loco gesture.. its their thing. However the cutthroat thing is just classless. If I'm the opposing coach and I see him doing that, he'll be on his back the rest of the game. Overall the kid certainly has potential. I just hope he stays focused off the field and doesn't do anything that would put what he's started to build at risk.

Vol43 writes:

in response to TennVolFan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Funny...

jack_2222#231746 writes:

Have Bray ask his OL how they like his throat slashing and fingerpointing.

But for goodness sakes, don't coach the aggressiveness out of him. Great to see the Vols wing it downfield after years of throwing to the first down marker.

Vol43 writes:

in response to back2z1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The miserable life of a Troll. There he sits at his computer on a VOLS web site. His wife walks in unbeknownst to him and sees what he's doing. She barks at him "What the heck are you doing? That isn't a gator website! Why are you trying to provoke the Tennessee people? That is so stupid. You should be ashamed, idiot!" She walks out. He keeps typing.

cazirkle#615142 writes:

Real proud of the young vols. More than expected. Made some youth mistakes both for coach and players. Have high hopes for the future of big orange country. Banana milkshakes, that's how we fattened up our boys up in Knoxville in the past....have been a BO fan since I put on my UT uniform at the age of five that my folks bought for me....that was sixty years ago....and I get excited every year....and I was checking the bowl schedule and did not see the west coast USC on the list this year....sorry bout that....any how....you go Tyler....the future is yours....the young guns of Tennessee should strengthen the East next year....move over Gamecocks............cz (Mt Pleasant, SC)

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