"I feel like he has played with a measured amount of discipline," Chaney said Wednesday. "There's always two or three plays in the last couple of weeks that we would have liked to have back. But it's better than six or seven. I feel like he's played with more discipline or calm in the last few weeks."Bray has thrown for 898 passing yards, nine touchdowns and one interception in the past two games against South Carolina and Troy.
Linebacker Curt Maggitt is "getting there," but is still limited from the effects of toe and shoulder injuries, defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri said.
Both injuries are unlikely to be 100 percent until after the season.
After an impressive freshman season, Maggitt has struggled at times in 2012.
"Curt has been battling some injuries — a shoulder and everything else — and it's been hard on him," Sunseri said. "The kid does a great job. He goes out there and practices, but until it becomes clockwork, until it becomes second nature to get your hands on somebody, snapping them off and going to make a play, that becomes an issue."
Tennessee coach Derek Dooley made a brief appearance on Wednesday's SEC coaches' teleconference and again promised "significant changes" in the defense for Saturday's game against Missouri at Neyland Stadium. He said the Vols' focus is the same as it was last week, getting a win "any way we could do it."
"This is obviously an important game for us and there's a lot at stake," he said. "We're trying to get our first SEC win. We have played well in this league but haven't gotten the W. We're playing a team who is playing really well now.
"Our team has kept their focus pretty good. The reality is they know what's at stake and certainly going to the bowl game is a big deal. It's still out there and it's our opportunity to take advantage of it."
Rajion Neal might not be ready to reclaim his old job as every-down tailback, but he's closer than he was a week ago.
Neal came off the bench and played in limited action last week against Troy after missing two weeks with an ankle injury.
"He looks better than last week," said running backs coach Jay Graham. "That's the thing: It's a steady improvement. You'd like for him to improve really fast, but with ankle injuries it takes a while. But he's feeling a lot better this week and he's practiced well."
Offensive tackle Antonio "Tiny" Richardson tweeted Wednesday that he had his knee drained. "Lots of fluid," he said.
Richardson told reporters earlier in the week that he was playing through a meniscus injury.
Missouri's Marcus Murphy has a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and three punt returns for touchdowns, making him one of the nation's most dangerous returners.
Tennessee special teams coach Charlie Coiner has watched Murphy's highlights with trepidation.
"You all talk about how good our coverage units are. As a coach, I think we're only as good as our last cover," Coiner said. "If we let this No. 6 (Murphy) starts changing up directions on us and we don't get down there, you're not going to be talking to me about how good our coverage teams are. That's the life you live in the SEC."
Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.