After struggling against Alabama, Tennessee's Tyler Bray skips post-game interviews

Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray (8) during first half action against Alabama Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012 in Neyland Stadium in Knoxville. (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Michael Patrick, copyright © 2012

Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray (8) during first half action against Alabama Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012 in Neyland Stadium in Knoxville. (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Tyler Bray's started 2012 started with eye-popping numbers and a hope that this could be a season filled with defining moments that might propel him into the nation's elite quarterbacks.

In four frustrating SEC losses, there have been defining moments, but not the kind Tennessee anticipated.

Bray couldn't shake a "jumpy" start in Tennessee's 44-13 loss to Alabama Saturday night at Neyland Stadium. He finished 13 for 27 for 184 yards and had two interceptions and no touchdowns.

After a long wait, a media relations representative announced that Bray would not be meeting with reporters as he had after every game this year.

"Our quarterback didn't play well," said Tennessee coach Derek Dooley. "I'm not sure why."

In the Vols' four losses, Bray has thrown eight interceptions and completed only 72-of-140 passes (51 percent). In the three wins, his completion percentage is 77 percent (59-of-77)with eight touchdowns and only one interception.

With its defense struggling, Tennessee needs its potent offense to make up the difference. To do that, the Vols need an on-target Bray.

Asked why Bray had struggled on Saturday, Dooley used the phrase "I don't know" three times.

"He didn't look good early. I thought he played his way out of it and hit a couple of good balls," Dooley said. "He was throwing balls early. He got some balls batted — he never gets balls batted ... He's got to play well for us to score points. That's just what it is."

Bray's struggles affected Tennessee's strategy just before halftime, when the Vols elected to run out the clock near midfield with two timeouts rather than take multiple chances down the field.

"I understand why people were upset with me," Dooley said. "We were down 13, which is fine. That's not the end of the world. I didn't want to give the ball back and risk it being 16 or even more. If we were moving the ball well, I would have been more aggressive."

Dooley said he expected the Vols to score more than 13 points.

"I'm disappointed we didn't play better on offense," he said. "That doesn't mean we played well on defense — don't get me wrong. I just thought we would play better for four quarters. I thought we'd execute our pass game a little better."

Attempts to get Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson more involved in the passing game fell short.

"We took five shots to Justin in the first half and went 0-for-5 on it," Dooley said. "We took a couple to CP and got nothing. That's the way it is."

Tight end Mychal Rivera, who caught one pass for 43 yards, said the Vols are a better team than they showed.

"It's disappointing because the offense can be way more explosive than we were today," he said. "I feel like if we would have executed on offense we could have hung in there."

But Tennessee didn't execute, and with Bray absent, his teammates were left to try to explain the struggles.

"There was a lot going on tonight," said Hunter. "We had a lot of MA's (missed assignments). The defense was just really good. And things weren't clicking."

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.

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Comments » 141

Bogytrain writes:

Bray is not a good QB, it's not that hard to see. If it's results you want, Worley, let's go!

Damitman writes:

Just don't know what to say about Tyler. Expected much more maturity and leadreship from him this year. Love the "Big Orange" and always will. This is going to be a very long season. I think Tyler needs to decide if football is in his future and either make the commitment or just be another also ran player.

volfaninbuckeyeland writes:

I sincerely do not want to appear as if I'm piling on because I refuse to do that to young men who choose to play for UT, but this gesture in no way reflects leadership. I realize how frustrating it must be week in and week out to face the music after these losses, but this kind of behavior IMO does not reflect the maturation one would expect from a QB who is in his 3rd year of starting.

luke255#536431 writes:

I don't think Bray is great but having an awful coach who is totally incompetent doesn't help! I don't like Kiffin but do think he is a quality coach and wanted to point out that in one year with Crompton had him playing very well and even went to the NFL after 3 awful years. My point is we have to get another a coach, I've been saying since we hired this loser coming OFF A 4-8 AT LA TECH. Hoping each year I would be proven wrong, great coaches squeeze every once of effort and ability from their players no matter the talent level.

KingDanno (Inactive) writes:

I think Bray has the potential to be a great QB. He is not motivated at all. When he is not doing well, he gets frustrated and it gets worse. He needs to learn to give 100% effort every play regardless of what is happening. Then he may end up being a professional. We should have a good team with most if not all of our players returning. We will also have a new coach that can light a fire under their a!@ and make them understand that this NFL contract isn't just going to be handed to them. They have to earn it and quit pouting. Forget all the hype Bray and just give us effort. Do what you can do for the team and don't worry about bad play calls, dropped balls, fans, coaches, whatever. Dooley is gone and hopefully we can get someone who can prepare you mentally for the NFL. You got the tools now cowboy the f up!

snafu14u#241639 writes:

enough said.....BonzaiVol

gbirchfiel writes:

Sad thing is, I don't even get upset anymore. I just sit and watch because thats what I've done for over 50 years. It's not the same as it was.

Gmoney58 writes:

Keep CDD, and he is in a lame duck position in his last yr of his contract.
He wont be able to recruit players that can make the impact needed to make us competitive quickly.
AD Hart has been silent and unsupportive which speaks volumes.
We are not going anywhere but down, with the lack of leadership from this group of players and administration.
Very sad.

fearthehound writes:

As far as I'm concerned, he can skip the rest of the year. He has no heart--I'd rather cast my fate with Worley at this point.

VolzsFan writes:

I was the only one telling you all that Bray is the down fall of Dooley. He is horrible.

Gmoney58 writes:

QB didn't play well, and i don't know why?
3 times he responds with " I don't know why"
If DD dosen't know why then that's all I need to know.
Mr. Hart,were you listening, or do you not know why either?

JonGrudensAgent writes:

Go ahead and skip the rest of the season Tyler. You may have a great arm but you don't deserve that uniform.

smokies_old_soul writes:

Tyler Bray is the ultimate front-runner. if things are going well in a game, Tennessee is ahead and Bray is completing passes, then he plays like he is All_World. But put him in a tough game where the offense has to grind out completions and first downs, then Bray folds like an oily beach chair.

one other thing - if i hear one more player or coach talk about "missed assignments", i'm going over to the football offices and punch somebody.

missed assignments = bad coaching !!!

VolinCalif writes:

I think this no post interviews is a clear sign that Bray is just quiting. He appears to feel that things have to go his way or he won't play. Just depressed I would think. I am not a coach so don't know what to think. Bama could have ran it up another 21 points without any trouble. That my friends was all secondary.

rclarkvols#224537 writes:

Can you please just once run for a first down to keep a drive going. Maybe your mindset is more suited for the NFL. College quarterbacks go all out for the team. No shame in wanting to be a pro, I hope you give it a try after this season

byrd writes:

Don`t blame the players. They need coaching. We have enough talent, just need better leadership on the field and on the sideline.

RodneyHopper writes:

in response to notfunanymore:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

you are both right!

gatorhator4eva writes:

bray is not looking good. i think i know why. its called just your skills alone are not going to win. this kid does not know how to read a defense. plain and simple. it seems to me he has no effort to try and figure out what defense is doing. in his interviews u see he is layed back, i think this is his problem. he thinks skills alone will win. NEWSFLASH!!! in the sec that will not work!

gatorhator4eva writes:

ANOTHER THING. WHEN YOUR COACH IS SAYIN "I DONT KNOW WHY". ITS TIME TO FIND A NEW COACH. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH HART. WAKE UP AND SMELL THE ROSES!!!!!!!!!!

longroadbackT writes:

This guy is killing UT football. Talk about HYPE! He had a decent sophomore season, loads of promise for the future. He absolutely LOCKS on ONE receiver(turn your dvr on and key on his head, it never moves) and gives his team no chance to do anything but hope he gets better or gets his head on straight and we can score all these points everybody keeps talking about. Hunter didn't do a whole lot to help things last night. Send these prima donna's on to the next level where they will both get a big reality check.
What happened to the days when we got these blue collar players in who actually MADE plays before they were declared TOP NFL PROSPECTS and forgot they needed to do something to earn their power T scholarships?
Is DD afraid to bench him or would that cause him more issues with his ego?

gatorhator4eva writes:

ONE MORE COMMENT. AT THIS POINT IT LOOKS LIKE THIS IS A CONSPIRACY INVOLVING CHEEKS AND HART. BOTH BAMA AND FLORIDA ALMA MATTER. I WOULD NOT BE SURPRISED ONE BIT IF ALABAMA AND FLORIDA ARE TRYING TO RUN THIS PROGRAM INTO THE GROUND.

TooDlems writes:

In the picture it looks like there are two potential holding penalties. Did either one get a flag?

TooDlems writes:

in response to TooDlems:

In the picture it looks like there are two potential holding penalties. Did either one get a flag?

Heck let him throw it, no telling where it's going.

RockVegas writes:

in response to Gmoney58:

QB didn't play well, and i don't know why?
3 times he responds with " I don't know why"
If DD dosen't know why then that's all I need to know.
Mr. Hart,were you listening, or do you not know why either?

Like I said before Dooley should have never got this job.This is the results when you settle for less.We started going down hill when Tyler threw his first pick.I still don't know who he was throwing too.Bama just might win it again,Damn.I can't believe I just said that.I luv good football,and Saban lets those guys play and fly around all over the field.Tennessee settled for a small time coach,that hadn't won anything,that's U.T for you,when is it going to end....GBO.

1939flyingwedge writes:

If Bray ignores criticisim it does'nt make him a better QB, he needs to man up and admit he su**s at times and work to improve, but in this day and time I don't think that is how things work.....aka everyone gets a trophy....

volinlm writes:

On Bray's interception of his short over the middle pass to Marlin Lane, did Bray throw the wrong way or did Lane turn the wrong way? Lane turned left and Bray had released it to the right unfortunately throwing it right to the Tide linebacker. Wonder who missed the route?? The analyst who said that Bray, CP, and Hunter should stay around is right. They all still need work.

volinlm writes:

in response to JonGrudensAgent:

Go ahead and skip the rest of the season Tyler. You may have a great arm but you don't deserve that uniform.

That's real helpful.

OldNumber7 writes:

in response to luke255#536431:

I don't think Bray is great but having an awful coach who is totally incompetent doesn't help! I don't like Kiffin but do think he is a quality coach and wanted to point out that in one year with Crompton had him playing very well and even went to the NFL after 3 awful years. My point is we have to get another a coach, I've been saying since we hired this loser coming OFF A 4-8 AT LA TECH. Hoping each year I would be proven wrong, great coaches squeeze every once of effort and ability from their players no matter the talent level.

You nailed it! Great coaching hires do more with less. Period.

Look at Saban beating Tennessee in the SEC title game with a backup QB (2001). Saban has always been competitive with less..LSU knew it when they hired him. Brian Kelly is doing a good job..he won with less at Cincinnati. When Meyer was at Utah..he won with less..Florida hit jackpot with him. Until Tennessee recognizes this IS the formula for building a program it will NOT get better. When UF hired Spurrier way back when...Spurrier was a proven winner at Duke! DUKE! More with less! Gambling coaches is just that...a lot more losing than winning.

Tennessee has the talent it should be very competitive by now and beating some of these teams. We missed out on Kelly, now at ND, they look really good. This is not about making a splash..it's about finding that upcoming, not necessarily well known yet, coaching staff that wins with middle of the road talent. So the question is: what coaching staff out there is doing more with less right now?

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

I do not blame Tyler Bray for not wanting to talk with the media. Also, I have never called for Derek Dooley's head, but after the following quote...I might.

KNS quoted him as explaining the pitiful clock mis-management near the end of the 1st half by saying: "I understand why people were upset with me," Dooley said. "We were down 13, which is fine. That's not the end of the world. I didn't want to give the ball back and risk it being 16 or even more. If we were moving the ball well, I would have been more aggressive."

Horse hockey.

So now...we're playing not to lose big? Guess what? You lost big anyway.

Go for it. You won't get it if you don't.

ClassicVol (Inactive) writes:

I've been telling everyone since the slash incident that Bray is a loser.

Vol70 writes:

in response to byrd:

Don`t blame the players. They need coaching. We have enough talent, just need better leadership on the field and on the sideline.

Agreed. I think the administration is just quietly preparing for what we all know is coming.

ralphie writes:

Cincinnati bray, what a joke.

BubbaTN writes:

Bray appears to take the glory with the QB position but struggles to take the blame. Any good leader can manage both. A QB always takes too much blame for the loss and too much glory for the victory. I'm not a Bray fan but this year the TEAM has lost as a TEAM. This TEAM is really bad and it starts with the coaching staff.

VolNavy writes:

I'm beginning to believe this team is exactly what they look like... You might be better in practice when you're playing yourself, but on Saturday you're average at best. I'm tired of excuses, I'm tired of MAs, I'm tired of losing..

BubbaTN writes:

VolNavy, I'm with you. It's a sad day when the fan base has more passion than the UT Leaders and UT Football Team.

Doves writes:

in response to Fall_Creek_Vols:

I do not blame Tyler Bray for not wanting to talk with the media. Also, I have never called for Derek Dooley's head, but after the following quote...I might.

KNS quoted him as explaining the pitiful clock mis-management near the end of the 1st half by saying: "I understand why people were upset with me," Dooley said. "We were down 13, which is fine. That's not the end of the world. I didn't want to give the ball back and risk it being 16 or even more. If we were moving the ball well, I would have been more aggressive."

Horse hockey.

So now...we're playing not to lose big? Guess what? You lost big anyway.

Go for it. You won't get it if you don't.

I caught that in the post-game interview, too. I don't think that being down by 13 at halftime is "fine". Poor mindset. Don't mean to blast the coach, but when you hire someone whose best line on his resume is that he had a losing record at Louisiana Tech, then this is what you get.

123forVOLS writes:

When this "new coach" thing happens, I just hope you whiners are satisfied. I saw someone post somewhere Kirby Smart should just stay in Knoxville. What a joke, Kirby Smart Is in no way a proven head coach. So rememeber whiners, if we get a new person, you asked for it. So it better be a good one for sure. Otherwise, you all have to go hire the next one(haha)!
Tyler Bray needs work and it is NOT all bad coaching.

BubbaTN writes:

123forVOLS, if you do not suggest a coaching change then what will make the VOLS better? What statistics are you using to justify Dooley to remain the head coach? At the end of the day, that is the basis of any good decision.

ChickenFarmerVol writes:

I would like to see more effort. Bray does not appear to put his heart into winning at all. I am not sure whether he simply needs better coaching or if he simply refuses to be coached. Maybe he thinks he knows more than the staff. I doubt if Tyler studies film like Peyton did. It is easy to criticize Dooley, but the only talent I see comes from Patterson. We have second tier players,with a lot of potential, that are not putting heart and soul into becoming better. Vince Dooley said it best, nearly 30 years ago "the definition of potential means you have not done a d*mn thang yet!" Tyler and Justin have a load of potential.

cloudodust writes:

As a collective unit, the Tennessee secondary had a worse night than Bray...

john0david writes:

" don't think Bray is great but having an awful coach who is totally incompetent doesn't help! I don't like Kiffin but do think he is a quality coach and wanted to point out that in one year with Crompton had him playing very well" YEP.
I remember watching 2 qbs for these 2 teams 2 years ago, and neither were very good. But AL's QB has been playing against AL's defense and Bray has been playing against UT's defense. Bray has talent, talent, talent...it has not been developed. The 1st several runs on offense plus the 5 yard dunks at the beginning showed everyone the staff had little confidence that he could get it done. He plays, like UT, to the level of competition. Do high scholl coaches no longer teach kids how to tackle?

ALWAYS_ORANGE writes:

Tyler Bray put a poster of Peyton Manning on your wall and when you have spare time to throw beer bottles or duck reporters or Tweet anything ask What Would Peyton Do? If you want to be a quarterback next Saturdday much less omn Sindays it is time to get serious about focus and the menatal aspects of the game. Be a leader settle for nothing less than success from yourself and demand it from your team mates by example.

ColdBlackWind writes:

in response to gbirchfiel:

Sad thing is, I don't even get upset anymore. I just sit and watch because thats what I've done for over 50 years. It's not the same as it was.

X2

ivyvol writes:

in response to OldNumber7:

You nailed it! Great coaching hires do more with less. Period.

Look at Saban beating Tennessee in the SEC title game with a backup QB (2001). Saban has always been competitive with less..LSU knew it when they hired him. Brian Kelly is doing a good job..he won with less at Cincinnati. When Meyer was at Utah..he won with less..Florida hit jackpot with him. Until Tennessee recognizes this IS the formula for building a program it will NOT get better. When UF hired Spurrier way back when...Spurrier was a proven winner at Duke! DUKE! More with less! Gambling coaches is just that...a lot more losing than winning.

Tennessee has the talent it should be very competitive by now and beating some of these teams. We missed out on Kelly, now at ND, they look really good. This is not about making a splash..it's about finding that upcoming, not necessarily well known yet, coaching staff that wins with middle of the road talent. So the question is: what coaching staff out there is doing more with less right now?

Snyder at Kansas State.

straightshooter writes:

Yeah, bench Bray. He only has one more year anyway. And then the new head coach for 2014 will have a QB with 1.5 years experience coming in.
In reality we know they aren't going to eat Dooley's contract. He will get another year unless they go 4-8 which isn't impossible. Bray can't run a lick.
And when will head coaches every learn, pure pro style QB's that can't run don't come out on top in college football. It's a different game than the pros. There are examples too numerous to count out there. (UT history, T. Martin vs. Manning, who won the NC.) Look what Driskell has done with UF this year. He is the main reason they are #2 and not bottom of the top 20. His legs.

tennisvol writes:

Is Tyler Bray coaching the team? This should have been Dooley's decision because he is the coach and leader.

lomas98 writes:

Good thing the players had the player only meeting last week to get things right. Now they will do another one and say okay now we really mean it. Based on some of the quotes from players coming out of that meeting, the whole secondary will not be able to play next week. I have never seen a secondary take such bad angles to running backs and they get burned in pass coverage. They are really slow too. Another week of the opposing team having some career days from their players.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

On the one hand, who HASN'T struggled against Alabama's defense? They really could enter the NFL as the 33rd team and probably do quite well.
Bray's not ready for the NFL. He simply can't get it done against SEC Defenses. Who knows, next year he may figure it all out.
But I think the big reason he may enter the draft has little to do with where he thinks he is talent-wise, and everything to do with the atmosphere in Knoxville. Coming home from Knoxville to see the rock painted (okay, ADD moment---I admit i got a little chuckle out of it, but purely because it WAS creative); I mean, I look at that, and the ever increasing hostility from the fan base, and think to myself, "Do I REALLY want to be here?" I really feel for the guy, because I KNOW he can be better. But if he can bear it, the smart thing would be to come back for your senior year. JMHO

CrankE writes:

"Asked why Bray had struggled on Saturday, Dooley used the phrase "I don't know" three times."

If Dooley don't know, then he must go. (Yes, you may use that and print T-shirts with it Johnnie Cochran style.)

Bray is a kid trying to be The Man. Problem is, there's nobody on this coaching staff to mature him or sharpen him on the finer points. Allowed to continually remain the kid, he'll do stuff like the vandalism, the beer bottles, the jet ski business, the tweeting about the bandwagon fans, and skipping the post game press conference. All kid stuff.

Bray seems to have checked out. Which shouldn't surprise anybody. He-and this whole team are being set up for frustration by abysmally bad coaching. Why should we be surprised when he or anybody else gets frustrated?

This is sad to watch-not just as a fan wanting my team to win, but watching another person go through such a rough time.

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

"He's got to play well for us to score points. That's just what it is."

NO S**T, SHERLOCK. Bray is not getting it done. A Head Coach is supposed to be able to tell when his QB is stinking up the stadium and PULL HIS BUTT. Worley should have been put in 1/2 through the 3rd qtr but CDD just kept riding Bray.

If Bray starts against SC, I won't even bother to watch the game. He will get rattled and quit just like he always does. When you don't even bother showing up for the after game press conference and leave your teammates hanging...that says it all.

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