John Adams: Tennessee fans might not mind if juniors leave early

John Adams

Seniors will play their final game for Tennessee on Saturday. But fans might be thinking more about the juniors, three in particular.

Quarterback Tyler Bray and wide receivers Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson all might apply for the next NFL draft. In fact, I would be surprised if they didn't go pro early.

Maybe a new coach could sell them on the idea that another year of seasoning and bodybuilding would benefit them all. Former UT quarterback Peyton Manning could vouch for that. Look how much bigger and stronger he became from one season to the next in four years at UT.

Bray looks sturdier than when he arrived, but he's still terrifyingly thin for the hits he will be asked to absorb in the pros. So is Hunter, who already has suffered one season-ending knee injury. And as overmatched as Patterson can make college defenders look, another year in the college weight room might serve him well for the kind of punishment NFL safeties can dole out.

How do you convince guys to turn down money, though?

It's not as though they would be returning to make a run at a national championship. Also, Bray and Hunter already have been through one coaching change. Would they want to endure another one?

But I wonder more about what the fans' reaction would be to their departures?

Never mind how much the trio has contributed to UT's offense this season. Their departures won't be mourned en masse.

If fans could keep one, Patterson surely would be the runaway choice. He's the most exciting Tennessee player since Condredge Holloway, whether he's running from scrimmage, catching passes or returning kickoffs.

Like Patterson, Hunter is tall and fast. And in preseason, he was rated as one of the top NFL prospects at his position.

But Hunter has played this season as though he doesn't want to get hurt, which is hardly surprising after he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the third game. His play is reminiscent of running back Jamal Lewis' last season at UT.

Coming off a knee injury the year before, Lewis didn't look like the same player who dominated defenses when healthy. He ran as though he were saving himself for the NFL. And while that might not have endeared him to fans, the approach worked out wonderfully for his pro career in which he amassed more than 10,000 yards rushing in 10 NFL seasons.

But before his injury, Lewis helped UT win a national championship. Fans remember that.

Fans also will remember that Hunter hasn't helped them win much of anything, as exemplified by his play in last week's 41-18 loss to Vanderbilt during which he was hit in the head by a pass and chose to backpedal after a pass reception, rather than fight forward for a first

down only a yard away.

Bray's play has been more maddening for fans. He can make pro-like throws and make them look easy. He also can make you wonder why anyone would consider drafting him.

On one play, scouts will marvel at the smooth, quick release and the way the ball jumps out of his hand. On another, they will scratch their heads at the breakdown in mechanics and inexplicable decision-making under pressure.

If UT's next coach is also a quarterback guru (think "Bobby Petrino"), Bray could really benefit from another college season. But given how little UT has won with him at quarterback, fans might be as ready for a new quarterback as they are a new coach.

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.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2012 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 94

VolzsFan writes:

They need to get rid of Brey but he will never take an NFL snap. Need a big time RB, Worley and get on with it. We do need a new newspaper editor.

dvhill100 writes:

I really don't care if they leave. I question Bray's attitude, plus he has struggled against good teams. Patterson still can't figure out how to run a correct route. Hunter is playing not to get hurt. We certainly can use them, but no regrets on my part if they go after the money.

6972 writes:

If you are going to start from scratch with a new coaching staff, you may as well, if necessary start from scratch with new players. You have to start somewhere. However, starting from scratch requires ONE THING....PATIENCE.

underthehill writes:

I think they all take the money..if Patterson is not attending class as some have reported..then we are only talking about Bray and Hunter..

absgovols writes:

Sorry, but I am not thinking Petrino at Tennessee for any reason whatsoever...

CrankE writes:

...and take John Adams with you.

SummittsCourt writes:

A lot of words written by JA which was meaningless considering it was a vaguely veiled promotion for Petrino.

JA please go away.

td writes:

The Question: Will the new coach employ an offensive scheme that reflects the skill set of the current players, or will he bring in a system that requires a transition period (i.e. 2-3 seasons).

Tennessee decision makers would be wise to consider the Rich Rodriguez experiment at Michigan -- an absolute disaster! On the other hand, Rich Rod has Arizona ranked, and in 2012 he beat Mike Gundy (badly) and Lane Kiffen!!! The difference is Rich Rod had system compatible players in Tucson which he did not in Ann Arbor.

Whether the juniors stay or go, the Vols need to prepare the fan base for whatever is coming offensively. Do the fans get to anticipate immediate improvement or tighten the seat belt for more "working like heck" to get better.

Successs for the next hire can be summed up: "Fulfillment of expectations."

oldster writes:

If Bray and Hunter do not go pro, they should not be played before others. Bray should not be better than 3rd string next year were he to stay. His leaving would be like D.Rogers, addition by subtraction. Hunter, should he stay, should be played only on passing downs when he can run hooks, because he drops everything else. Patterson could actually use the seasoning to improve his knowledge of the game. However, there is rumbling that his lack of knowledge of his school work would prevent his return next year anyway. So, goodbye and thanks for your dubious contributions.

oldster writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

They need to get rid of Brey but he will never take an NFL snap. Need a big time RB, Worley and get on with it. We do need a new newspaper editor.

He might take some snaps, but no team for whom he starts will ever win 50 percent of their games in a year. The kid is a loser, plain and simple.

oldster writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The UT vs. UK game will be like two drunks fighting - funny and sad at the same time.

1vavolfan writes:

If you look on Mel Kiper's Big Board the cover photo is Patterson who is ranked as the #12 overall player. It would be nuts for him not to go. Hunter was projected to go in the 1st round at the beginning of the season but is no longer there, personally I hope he doesn't get drafted by my team (Carolina). Bray is nowhere to be found, if you have watched any NFL you realize he has neither the body, attitude, or intelligence at this point to be an NFL QB. If Bray doesn't come back he's getting some Scotty Hopson like advice.

rb4346 writes:

in response to dvhill100:

I really don't care if they leave. I question Bray's attitude, plus he has struggled against good teams. Patterson still can't figure out how to run a correct route. Hunter is playing not to get hurt. We certainly can use them, but no regrets on my part if they go after the money.

I agree with your statement. But with a new coach who will not put up with their attitudes, I think a fourth year in college football could possibly have them ready for the NFL. Seems like such a waste of god given talent IMO.

FWBVol writes:

OK, John, technically you could say that Bray has been through one coaching change as he was a Kiffin recruit who enrolled early and was on campus for a few days. But Bray never had one spring practice in the Kiffin system so it's a stretch to say that he has really been through a coaching change like the older guys.

Hunter wasn't even a Kiffin recruit. He was targeted by Dooley and didn't arrive on campus until the summer of 2010 so this will/would be his first coaching change at Tennessee.

NGage writes:

What a great Thanksgiving article!

Stay classy KNS, stay classy.

ambrown64 writes:

These guys are good ball players. They would do well inside of a good system with good discipline. This whole team gets worse as the year goes on -- for three years straight. Let's see you guys keep your head in the game when that happens. I think Bray is a punk, but he was also asked to put up 40+ ppg for his team to have a shot at winning. That is plain stupid. You are telling a guy that you need him to be loose and sling it around like a riverboat gambler, then you slam him when he throws a careless pick. THe coaching staff wa talking out of both sides of their mouth. Not exactly leadership.

TommyJack writes:

It was an ok piece by Adams

Debbieman89 writes:

BYE!!!

budd#207344 writes:

For three years you have had a poor leader as a coach. He lets players (Rodgers) walk all over a top coach, publicly calls out others and allowed the attitude that became the KY loss. No wonder these guys act as they do. Quit blaming 19 and 20 year olds and admit where this team's attitude came from. They learned by example.

cloudodust writes:

The three mentioned bailing for the bucks remind me of those that preceded them after 3 years at the college level who rolled the bones who are now bagging groceries or toting lumber at Home Depot, never to be heard from again. Are they ready for the Big Show..? CP looks to have the skills, the size but lacks common sense when approaching a goal line. That equates to trouble down the road. Hunter it seems, looks logical to be taken by the end of round 3, but he seriously needs to go on the Calvin Johnson training diet. Bray, well, taking an early out is a possibility but still, he lacks the maturity of a 4 year QB in the SEC. With his abilty and savvy behind center, he's not gonna get hurt unless it's from a ricocheting beer bottle....and btw, who in the NFL needs a 3rd string back up with his talent..?

jt45 writes:

I hope all three stick around,and the offense gets even better with a new coach. If anyone needs to go its the terrible secondary. A solid defense and a solid (blue collar) coach who knows how win and never backs down would be a good start.

frblalack writes:

Adios Amigos!

Start Worley!!!

All Vols - And I want players who play all-out, all-the-time for MY UT Vols!!!

orange_eVOLution writes:

in response to TommyJack:

It was an ok piece by Adams

Agree. Pretty much laid it out there. We'll see who the new coach is and who wants to come back and step up.

govols0463 writes:

Mr. Adams, yes, Cordarelle Patterson is an unbelievable talent and we are happy to have him. However, if you think he is the clear cut most electrifying player to wear orange since Condredge, you shouldn't be allowed to write columns for KNS period or you need a history lesson on Big Orange Football. I'll give you a homework assignment. You can start with these dynamic Volunteers in no particular order, but all since Condredge. You can start with Jimmy Streeter, T.D Woods, Joey Kent, Anthony Hancock, Willie Gault, Alvin Harper, Carl Pickens, Charlie Garner, Reggie Cobb, Stanley Morgan, and last but not least, Chuck Webb. You might want to brush up on your Tennessee football because we've had a long legacy of dynamic playmakers. And yes, I understand your point. You were referring to someone that could make things happen in multiple ways. Many of the names I mentioned definitely fit that mold, but if you need more names let me know. Eventhough we all love CP and hope that he comes back to help us out of this funk, I'm not sure it's fair to say he's the "most exciting" since Condredge.

FWBVol writes:

in response to GlennFordsFoible:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Dooley never claimed to be a quarterback coach. Hinshaw and Chaney have handled those duties in the last couple of years. And Chaney is said to be one of the better developers of QBs in the country. Some guy named Drew Brees seems to have done pretty well after being coached by Chaney at Purdue. And there were several other great QBs at Purdue that Chaney coached.

Justin Worley was such a bad quarterback in high school that he was named the Gatorade Player of the Year his senior year. I guess it was more than Doolaide Drinkers that seemed to think he wasn't a bad ball player.

And, please, for the record tell all of us the great quarterbacks you've coached while working as a stock boy at Walmart?

Dooley's gone, too bad your hate isn't. I'm convinced that no matter who Hart hires, whether it is Jon Gruden, Jimbo Fisher, Bob Stoops or some other proven head coach with a great national reputation, you'll find something to gripe about, Mr. Sunshine.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

I'll miss all 3 of these guys if they go pro, but Bray staring down the Vandy bench or slashing his throat just shows lack of discipline from this staff. Patterson in back to back weeks earned unsportsmanlike penalties for taunting and was probably never disciplined by this staff..This kind of behavior would have never been allowed by previous coaches, however under the current regime UT athletes have not learned respect for the game or authority.

MDiv writes:

in response to titletownz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Only one SEC school has hired Ron Zook as a head coach. It isn't Tennessee!

Snapshot writes:

in response to GlennFordsFoible:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Worley was the Gatorade Nat. player of the year, so apparently someone thought he was pretty good. But I guess a veteran coach like you knows better, right? What makes you think you are any kind of a judge of football talent?

I don't know if he can be a starting qb or not, I'm certainly not going to put any stock in an opinion from a tool like you.

Snapshot writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

They need to get rid of Brey but he will never take an NFL snap. Need a big time RB, Worley and get on with it. We do need a new newspaper editor.

Do you even know who the editor is?

Volunatic writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

If you look on Mel Kiper's Big Board the cover photo is Patterson who is ranked as the #12 overall player. It would be nuts for him not to go. Hunter was projected to go in the 1st round at the beginning of the season but is no longer there, personally I hope he doesn't get drafted by my team (Carolina). Bray is nowhere to be found, if you have watched any NFL you realize he has neither the body, attitude, or intelligence at this point to be an NFL QB. If Bray doesn't come back he's getting some Scotty Hopson like advice.

Scotty Hopson is making really good money, he can still develop his game where he is, and his NBA prospects would have been slim even with an extra year of college ball.
I don't see the correlation with Bray at all.
I agree about Cordarrelle looking like a 1st rounder, although some folks on these boards are saying that he's a 2nd rounder-- I don't see that, myself. A scout who sees him play will want him as a 1st rounder, I think.
Some folks on these boards are saying Hunter still is a 1st rounder, but I can't see how that would be. However, I wouldn't have thought that Jamal Lewis was going to be a 1st rounder after his senior season, and he was the fifth pick in the 1st round. It might sound like blasphemy, but I've wondered if he made a deal with Baltimore prior to his senior season.

Volunatic writes:

in response to FWBVol:

OK, John, technically you could say that Bray has been through one coaching change as he was a Kiffin recruit who enrolled early and was on campus for a few days. But Bray never had one spring practice in the Kiffin system so it's a stretch to say that he has really been through a coaching change like the older guys.

Hunter wasn't even a Kiffin recruit. He was targeted by Dooley and didn't arrive on campus until the summer of 2010 so this will/would be his first coaching change at Tennessee.

I was wondering about that, also. I'm guessing JA was talking about the assistant coaches leaving after last season, but the OC stayed, and the QB coach became the receivers coach.

Volunatic writes:

in response to carbonatedmilk:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I would personally guess that CP is the least likely to stay, regardless of who the next coach is.

Volunatic writes:

in response to Snapshot:

Worley was the Gatorade Nat. player of the year, so apparently someone thought he was pretty good. But I guess a veteran coach like you knows better, right? What makes you think you are any kind of a judge of football talent?

I don't know if he can be a starting qb or not, I'm certainly not going to put any stock in an opinion from a tool like you.

Good point. Worley also had offers from uf, LSU, FSU, Stanford, and ND, among others. Tennessee wasn't the only school that saw his potential.

walt2010 writes:

We would not have won more than two games this year without Bray. Did he make mistakes? Of course. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have both thrown interceptions this very year, and they're in their thirties and getting paid millions of dollars a year to play. Manning lost to Memphis his junior year - as in, at the exact same age Bray is now - and he did it with a defense light years better than the one Bray has playing opposite him. Manning put up a whopping seventeen points in that game. UT's defense gave up 185 points that entire season. How many games do you think Bray would have lost this season if our defense only gave up 185 points the whole year? They gave up 216 just in the first five games.

How many teams the caliber of Memphis has Bray lost to in his three years as starter? None. How many games has he played for a coordinator and QB coach the caliber of Cutcliffe, whom Manning had his entire career at UT? Not one. (By the way, whoever posted that Chaney has developed "lots" of other great QBs, please share with us even one - there isn't one.) Anyone who watched our OC repeatedly call long pass plays on third-and-one this year, despite the fact they kept failing, and who still thinks Bray has had great coaching, is simply not being honest.

Ask Saban or Spurrier if either one would not have traded his QB for Bray in a heartbeat. Spurrier would have gone undefeated and won every game in a blowout, including the NC, with our QB.

I read a comment just a day or two ago where a poster was chastising Vol fans for bashing Bray, and he used Arian Foster as an example, how so many Vol fans ruthlessly badmouthed one of the best RBs ever to play at this school while he was here. And, unbelievably, there was a poster who responded that he was right to bash Foster, and that Foster will soon be revealed as a fraud in the NFL - this after he has already won a rushing title and this year has done nothing but lead his team to one of the two best records in the league.

Why not just say, "Man, Bray has a lot of talent, and I realize he has had to endure the worst coaching in the history of this program, but I still think he can reach a higher level of play in clutch situations, and when he does, man will it be awesome to watch." Berating and verbally abusing one of the best QBs ever to play for this school, and a player without whom this dismal season would have been far, far worse, is just repulsive and pathetic.

farmdog (Inactive) writes:

in response to govols0463:

Mr. Adams, yes, Cordarelle Patterson is an unbelievable talent and we are happy to have him. However, if you think he is the clear cut most electrifying player to wear orange since Condredge, you shouldn't be allowed to write columns for KNS period or you need a history lesson on Big Orange Football. I'll give you a homework assignment. You can start with these dynamic Volunteers in no particular order, but all since Condredge. You can start with Jimmy Streeter, T.D Woods, Joey Kent, Anthony Hancock, Willie Gault, Alvin Harper, Carl Pickens, Charlie Garner, Reggie Cobb, Stanley Morgan, and last but not least, Chuck Webb. You might want to brush up on your Tennessee football because we've had a long legacy of dynamic playmakers. And yes, I understand your point. You were referring to someone that could make things happen in multiple ways. Many of the names I mentioned definitely fit that mold, but if you need more names let me know. Eventhough we all love CP and hope that he comes back to help us out of this funk, I'm not sure it's fair to say he's the "most exciting" since Condredge.

I had the same thought. We've had a bunch of electrifiers since Condredge. I like your list - I would add Johnny Jones, Tony Thompson, and James "Little Man" Stewart.

papavol writes:

I'm on the exact same page as John Adams. Its almost like this article was wrote based on what i've been thinking for a few weeks. Even though Worley may not have quite the arm strength that bray possesses, he may have competitiveness and a will to win (unlike what bray has shown). but imagine what a gruden or petrino could do for him.. CP is indeed the best we've had in recent memory. I mean the guy simply doesn't get tackled on the first hit, he's just crazy good raw talent. He could really be the best in the league next year if he stays. Hunter would be a fool not to leave IMO. Basically, all of the same stuff adams wrote.

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to walt2010:

We would not have won more than two games this year without Bray. Did he make mistakes? Of course. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have both thrown interceptions this very year, and they're in their thirties and getting paid millions of dollars a year to play. Manning lost to Memphis his junior year - as in, at the exact same age Bray is now - and he did it with a defense light years better than the one Bray has playing opposite him. Manning put up a whopping seventeen points in that game. UT's defense gave up 185 points that entire season. How many games do you think Bray would have lost this season if our defense only gave up 185 points the whole year? They gave up 216 just in the first five games.

How many teams the caliber of Memphis has Bray lost to in his three years as starter? None. How many games has he played for a coordinator and QB coach the caliber of Cutcliffe, whom Manning had his entire career at UT? Not one. (By the way, whoever posted that Chaney has developed "lots" of other great QBs, please share with us even one - there isn't one.) Anyone who watched our OC repeatedly call long pass plays on third-and-one this year, despite the fact they kept failing, and who still thinks Bray has had great coaching, is simply not being honest.

Ask Saban or Spurrier if either one would not have traded his QB for Bray in a heartbeat. Spurrier would have gone undefeated and won every game in a blowout, including the NC, with our QB.

I read a comment just a day or two ago where a poster was chastising Vol fans for bashing Bray, and he used Arian Foster as an example, how so many Vol fans ruthlessly badmouthed one of the best RBs ever to play at this school while he was here. And, unbelievably, there was a poster who responded that he was right to bash Foster, and that Foster will soon be revealed as a fraud in the NFL - this after he has already won a rushing title and this year has done nothing but lead his team to one of the two best records in the league.

Why not just say, "Man, Bray has a lot of talent, and I realize he has had to endure the worst coaching in the history of this program, but I still think he can reach a higher level of play in clutch situations, and when he does, man will it be awesome to watch." Berating and verbally abusing one of the best QBs ever to play for this school, and a player without whom this dismal season would have been far, far worse, is just repulsive and pathetic.

fantastic post

frblalack writes:

Start Worley!!! Let's start Winning Again!!!

Anyone who doesn't realize that we lost close games to top ten/five teams and we had a qb who mailed it in...idiots!!! We just lost a really good head coach & we have more pinheads on this website than....I have no idea! Coach D's downfall was relying on Bray: Mistake!!! Canyousayhuge!!!

Yeah he'll torch Kentucky for the NFL scouts & I for one hope he goes to the NFL; I want a quarterback who COULD make a tackle or COULD make a scramble for a crucial first down to WIN an SEC game!!!

All Vols

AlexAndersonAAradio writes:

I agree. Bray has threw the season two years in a row.

John_10065 writes:

in response to CrankE:

...and take John Adams with you.

I agree.

John_10065 writes:

in response to John_10065:

I agree.

P.S.

"If UT's next coach is also a quarterback guru (think "Bobby Petrino"), Bray could really benefit from another college season. But given how little UT has won with him at quarterback, fans might be as ready for a new quarterback as they are a new coach."

Some of us wonder if you don't write this tripe just to be provocative. I on the otherhand consider that you are just a pitiful hateful little man who was probably picked last on every team he played with in the school yard and hate athletics and athletes in general. Dragging up Petrino over and over again is just proof of that. If you want a character who might bring UT back or might not but will certainly polarize the fan base to the point of breaking, he is your man.

I'm not talking about a bike wreck/affair in AK either. He has a long history of being a first class douchbag and would probably end up doing more damage to UT football than Kiffin did with his Sherman's march through Knoxville.

chattbud writes:

I hope the juniors stay, all of them. If I was one of them next time they saw you, John, they should break your fingers, for posting such garbage on Thanksgiving. Please Leave John Adams. Your opinions are your own. Please keep them to yourself. KNS FIRE John Adams, allow UT Athletes to succeed again. John is the leader of the miserable! Have a Blessed Thanksgiving.

DeltaCharlie3 writes:

5 wins at best with the trio, 5 wins at best without the trio. They're irrelevant.

wononta writes:

in response to walt2010:

We would not have won more than two games this year without Bray. Did he make mistakes? Of course. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have both thrown interceptions this very year, and they're in their thirties and getting paid millions of dollars a year to play. Manning lost to Memphis his junior year - as in, at the exact same age Bray is now - and he did it with a defense light years better than the one Bray has playing opposite him. Manning put up a whopping seventeen points in that game. UT's defense gave up 185 points that entire season. How many games do you think Bray would have lost this season if our defense only gave up 185 points the whole year? They gave up 216 just in the first five games.

How many teams the caliber of Memphis has Bray lost to in his three years as starter? None. How many games has he played for a coordinator and QB coach the caliber of Cutcliffe, whom Manning had his entire career at UT? Not one. (By the way, whoever posted that Chaney has developed "lots" of other great QBs, please share with us even one - there isn't one.) Anyone who watched our OC repeatedly call long pass plays on third-and-one this year, despite the fact they kept failing, and who still thinks Bray has had great coaching, is simply not being honest.

Ask Saban or Spurrier if either one would not have traded his QB for Bray in a heartbeat. Spurrier would have gone undefeated and won every game in a blowout, including the NC, with our QB.

I read a comment just a day or two ago where a poster was chastising Vol fans for bashing Bray, and he used Arian Foster as an example, how so many Vol fans ruthlessly badmouthed one of the best RBs ever to play at this school while he was here. And, unbelievably, there was a poster who responded that he was right to bash Foster, and that Foster will soon be revealed as a fraud in the NFL - this after he has already won a rushing title and this year has done nothing but lead his team to one of the two best records in the league.

Why not just say, "Man, Bray has a lot of talent, and I realize he has had to endure the worst coaching in the history of this program, but I still think he can reach a higher level of play in clutch situations, and when he does, man will it be awesome to watch." Berating and verbally abusing one of the best QBs ever to play for this school, and a player without whom this dismal season would have been far, far worse, is just repulsive and pathetic.

Agree mostly, if everybody had performed like Bray the Vols would be undefeated.

But 1 thing, and I don't want to bash TB. It just is what it is. A QB has got to realize who his primary reciever is, and who the play is designed to create space for. When you have a TE running a delayed drag route underneath WR clear-outs, it's an inside route designed to pick up short yardage, and the TE is the primary reciever. Or maybe it's the check-down, either way Bray tended to look right past the wide open PR and threw at the clear-out. OC sends in the play, but he doesn't decide who to throw the ball to. People mistakenly blame Chaney for this. It's the downside to having a gunslinger type QB who presses himself to always make the clever play.

The coach's finally got around to addressing this with Tyler, it was in the news. IMO though, it came too late...

volinlm writes:

All three have work to do to be NFL ready. But, Patterson, with all of his talent, looks at times like a guy playing sandlot football. He runs the wrong routes, stops when the play goes away from him, doesn't block that well.He does have a great talent for running through a crowd, so maybe the NFL will draft him as a returner and hopefully train him to be a good receiver. But, that translates into a lower draft position. Another year at UT would help them all. But, that's a life decision that only they can make.

oldster writes:

in response to ambrown64:

These guys are good ball players. They would do well inside of a good system with good discipline. This whole team gets worse as the year goes on -- for three years straight. Let's see you guys keep your head in the game when that happens. I think Bray is a punk, but he was also asked to put up 40+ ppg for his team to have a shot at winning. That is plain stupid. You are telling a guy that you need him to be loose and sling it around like a riverboat gambler, then you slam him when he throws a careless pick. THe coaching staff wa talking out of both sides of their mouth. Not exactly leadership.

Yes, these guys are good players. They are not nearly as good as their physical talent would suggest that they should be. Hunter is simply scared. Patterson is either unmotivated or unable to learn quickly (or at all). Bray is, at best, immature or, more likely, possessed with many of the attributes of a punk.

oldster writes:

in response to budd#207344:

For three years you have had a poor leader as a coach. He lets players (Rodgers) walk all over a top coach, publicly calls out others and allowed the attitude that became the KY loss. No wonder these guys act as they do. Quit blaming 19 and 20 year olds and admit where this team's attitude came from. They learned by example.

Dooley could not cure personality traits that had been developed before they became 18 years old (research child development to see when certain traits develop and become set). The people primarily responsible for these kids personalities and actions are their parents. Try firing all of them.

ps11824 writes:

Those 3 left last Saturday night....Bray quit. Before he was jerked, he layed down. Hunter has missed catches I could haul in. He dances side to side. No toughness. Patterson, clueless yet selfish to taunt and blow a touchdown. He should have been benched too. What was he thinking? Bray will not make it in the big league. He's a prima dona, pretty boy who cannot take a hit. So, let em go. Maybe they'll find work somewhere.

CrankE writes:

I thought Fulmer should have benched Lewis in '99.

There were capable, tested, and tried replacements behind him (Travis Henry, Travis Stephens), and though they carried the team to a 13-0 record the year before, we seldom saw them in the '99 season.

In like manner, perhaps a college player with the NFL on his mind, his replacement, and yea the whole team could benefit from benching such a player, reminding him why he's here, and that he's going to have to give his all if he wants to play.

FanNotSheep writes:

Unbelievable that so-called fans rip a quarterback who, on his best days, is more exciting to watch than any of the Mannings. Did it ever occur to you that his receivers were sometimes at fault for breaking off routes or running the wrong ones? Did you stop to think how many yards and touchdowns he would have without all the dropped balls?

I know all the Jimmy Hyams types who never had a sense of humor have hated on Bray for having one. Too bad. I will bet he will be an NFL quarterback because he has the arm and the guts it requires. Just like any kid coming out of college he needs to get with a decent team and whenever he comes out he probably won't be drafted at the top by a horrible team. Let's wait and see.

If I had to guess, there would have been even more empty seats and even fewer fans inside Neyland Stadium the last couple years without Bray, Hunter and C.P. (this year). Other than the Pride of the Southland Marching Band, they were the only reasons to go to the game.

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.

Features