Derek Dooley takes aim at Tyler Bray's performance, says QB will be benched if not improved

Coach says loose play will earn benching

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley chats with quarterback Tyler Bray (8) on the sideline in the fourth quarter against Alabama at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley chats with quarterback Tyler Bray (8) on the sideline in the fourth quarter against Alabama at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Dooley critical of Bray: QB needs to "man up"

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Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray was out of breath as he fielded questions from reporters after practice Monday. This was one interview for which he wasn't going to arrive late.

Bray's jog across the indoor practice field to the waiting horde of media contrasted with Saturday night, when he chose not to meet with the press after Tennessee's 44-13 loss to Alabama.

The no-show infuriated Tennessee coach Derek Dooley, who has been staunch defender of Bray this year. On Monday, Dooley not only told his quarterback to "man-up" after tough losses, he suggested that Bray could be benched if his performance didn't improve.

Bray will start when the Vols (3-4, 0-4 SEC) play at No. 17 South Carolina (6-2, 4-2) on Saturday (TV: ESPN, noon), but his leash could be considerably shorter than usual.

"If he is loose with the ball, he's coming out of the game and we're going to play (Justin) Worley," Dooley said. "And I told him that."

Dooley pinpointed two areas that are preventing the Vols from beating top competition — turnover margin and the disparity between big plays allowed and big plays created.

Eight of the 10 turnovers in conference play are squarely on Bray.

"He's too loose with the football and he's been too loose," Dooley said. "That's the way it is. We can't beat these teams turning the ball over. There are going to be inevitable turnovers in the game, so when there is one, let's make them make a great play to get it, not serve it up to them."

Bray threw two interceptions on Saturday against Alabama. On the first, Bray said he tried to pull back a pass to Justin Hunter to give more time for the route to develop. The ball slipped out of his hands.

Bray said the second interception in the end zone on a pass intended for Pig Howard was one he should have thrown sooner. He knew it was a bad pass as soon as he released it.

Bray said he understood Dooley's admonition that the offense can't be successful without him.

"The quarterback has the ball in his hands every play," said Bray. "If he's throwing it well, the team's playing good. If he's not, the team's going to play bad."

As for skipping out of postgame interviews, Bray was contrite.

"I was mad," he said. "I should have manned up and faced the consequences."

That was the same message delivered by Dooley, both directly to Bray and to media on Monday.

"I was very disappointed and I told him that," Dooley said. "I have no defense for that kind of behavior. He's the quarterback, and there's a level of responsibility that you have to the team, to the fans and to the media. If you don't like it, don't play quarterback. That is how it is."

Dooley called Bray's actions "unacceptable."

"Man up. That's what you have to do," Dooley said. "That's life. You can't have it both ways. You can't get upset at the fans because they are angry. What do you want them to be? Happy? They all want to get cheered but nobody wants the criticism when you don't perform. That's not how life is."

Bray said the message was received, and he knows exactly what it would take to erase the memories of Saturday's rough day.

"A win, period, would be great right now," he said.

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

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Comments » 98

volsgirl writes:

Get the job done Tyler or some one else will.

sameolvolalum writes:

UT Volunteers never give up. GBO!

RaineyVol writes:

bout time Dooley stands up and says something.

VolGrad writes:

Bray, this is the time to shine or take a sabbatical. I'm still hoping for the former.

CP needs to play both ways. Let him play a little at safety. The guy is a freak.

Go Vols! Beat SC!!!

vol75 writes:

I don't make many comments on this site. But I said several games ago that Bray is no leader. Never will be one. He is not a winner. Unfortunately, the Vols will never win with him at qb. From his first "throat slash" gesture until now, he has not changed. Worley may not have the arm and ability. But he deserves a chance to prove himself.

pcshowtime writes:

A lot of his play is because he has never had any coaching. We do not have a QB coach on staff. But his play maybe better if his defense was not giving up 45 pts. a game. He is immature because he has never had in player development.

born2ride writes:

I will be glad when Dooley and Bray are both gone.

pcshowtime writes:

Our defense is giving up 45 pts a game. this is not all on the offense.
The Die was cast this season with the switch to the 3-4 defense. even the dooley supporters agree that it is a difficult process and you practically give a year away on defense in the process.

I personally do not believe it is a good move for any college team. GA is back to getting gashed in their 3rd year in 3-4 system. Kids are familiar with the 4-3 defense from High School. Bottom line if your name is not Saban do not try it.

Back to the Die being cast on the season. More than likely our defense under a competent 4-3 coordinator would have stayed in the top 25. We could have come into the bama game 6-0. Would we have beat bama no. We would be 6-1 and in the drivers seat in the east. The offense would have more confidence and also be playing better.

But the decision was made and it is really not fair to the players who struggled through the last 2 seasons and were poised to finally be competitive in the SEC. Only to have a coach change rafts mid stream. I said it at the beginning of the year and I stand by it today the 3-4 disaster is the most stupid career move of Dooley time at Tennessee and will cost him his job.

volthrunthru#658770 writes:

This is an amazing report:

Horrible coaching performance for four years.

Horrible quarterbacking against anybody but the
boogaloo tech type teams for the same period.

Horrible reporting from horrible sports
journalism site.

They fired Fulmer for this.
They messed over Nick Stephens for this.
They fired good reporters to get this.

And then they pushed Hamilton out, who was as bad as bad can get, to get Hart, who is almost as bad as bad can get.

No wonder the guys I know who have been for years going to Knoxville or following the Vols are now saying the H*** with it all.

One of the best known of all the Vol fans, across multiple message boards, who has followed them for decades, and lives a couple of hours away from the site of Saturday's game,

is not going. His spouse says, "Why go? They are going to lose anyway..."

Thanks for the memories, General, Johnny, Phil, Tee, Peyton, Casey, Al Dunning, Fred Russell, and the rest of the Nashville/Knoxville/ Tennessee media.

Amateur hour has arrived...

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to pcshowtime:

A lot of his play is because he has never had any coaching. We do not have a QB coach on staff. But his play maybe better if his defense was not giving up 45 pts. a game. He is immature because he has never had in player development.

Bray is Doolies nephew

bob.bigorange#605842 writes:

too little too late............Dooley should have had that idea planted in Bray's head long ago - Worley is ready to go if Tyler isn't getting it done. Could have used him in a couple games already to see what he could do with the 1st team in a game. I know, the coaches see the players in practice - we don't. But you have to give it a shot if nothings working.

fearthehound writes:

People need to ease up on Bray. 1) He has a great arm and has shown plenty of talent and he could just turn it right around next game, and 2) He's a 23 year old young man with plenty of maturing and learning to do. He'll be fine.

DavidB writes:

Is Dooley reading the boards now? Lot of fans mad over interview thing and just as many fans feel like bray has been a big part of our struggles. Of course when he does throw a good ball the receivers need to catch it.

jobrando#216494 writes:

It would be a great opportunity for CDD to push Bray under the bus and go with Worley. Get the win and four more and he's in for one more year.

pcshowtime writes:

All you folks on bray need to remember without him or even hunter. we have the same record we had last year. I feel it is coaching All of this should have been taken care last year. It too late dooley when you lost 4 sec games what an idiot.

Prostar writes:

No more California quarterbacks, we need mobile dual-threat guys (see Taj Boyd at Clemson) to divert a defense from focusing only on a receiver or running back. Go back to the 4-3 defense, we've got DL's and LB's. Last year we couldn't score but we could keep other teams from scoring, other than AL, LSU and Ark. This year we can score but can't stop or even slow down the other team. I really don't give us much of a chance against SC and we can lose just as well with Worley as we can with Bray. When faced with a 3rd and 1, can we try something other than a 20-yard sideline pattern? Put a new jersey on McCullers and give it to him to run into the line.

VolGrad writes:

...and Hunter needs to stop dropping passes.

C'mon man! Go Vols!!!

Vol_in_Mich writes:

Maybe if Dooley or somebody could coach Bray up he would be better, What makes you all think this same POS coaching staff can coach Worley up? Never mind calling plays. The Vols have become the joke of the SEC. Damn!

Sir_Spanky writes:

It's a real disappointment to have to say it, but, with the possible exception of the NC State game, TB has produced little evidence, if any, that he's as good as he was when he began playing as a true freshman.

thevoice writes:

1. Bray hasn't matured since he arrived at UT.
2. Hopefully this will be that last time Dooley disparages his own player publicly, especially the leader of the offense. I wonder what Bray would have to say about Dooley.
3. Better play Worley a lot Saturday.

Thumper72 writes:

Okay, here’s the thing. The QB and the receivers are not on the same page and even when they are, they can’t come up with big plays at critical times - inexcusable at this point in the season. And Bray seems to be even less mature this year than last. Even so and with the exception of the AL game, they score points.
Defense wins ball games. Calling the Vol secondary Swiss cheese is an insult to the cheese. And the rest is middling at best. When Coach Dickey took over an ailing program in the early 60’s, he said 11 of the best against all the rest and put them on defense. Whether you’re in a 3 – 4 or a 4 – 3, everybody should know their assignment. But we are over halfway through the season and they seem to be getting worse. Every QB we play seems to be putting up personal bests or near so. This is where the bleeding has to stop or we may only win one or two of what’s left at best.

BigOrangeSports writes:

in response to fearthehound:

People need to ease up on Bray. 1) He has a great arm and has shown plenty of talent and he could just turn it right around next game, and 2) He's a 23 year old young man with plenty of maturing and learning to do. He'll be fine.

Agree. It's not all on Bray though. He can only hit a receiver in the chest so many times. Sometimes the receiver needs to make the catch. (JH)

Go Vols

underthehill writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

It would be a great opportunity for CDD to push Bray under the bus and go with Worley. Get the win and four more and he's in for one more year.

You're a 14 point underdog..go with Worley and if you lose ..so what..the Vandy game is far more important..this might wake Bray up and he might want to play in the Vandy game..it is the make or break game for Dooley..

vfl76 writes:

in response to pcshowtime:

Our defense is giving up 45 pts a game. this is not all on the offense.
The Die was cast this season with the switch to the 3-4 defense. even the dooley supporters agree that it is a difficult process and you practically give a year away on defense in the process.

I personally do not believe it is a good move for any college team. GA is back to getting gashed in their 3rd year in 3-4 system. Kids are familiar with the 4-3 defense from High School. Bottom line if your name is not Saban do not try it.

Back to the Die being cast on the season. More than likely our defense under a competent 4-3 coordinator would have stayed in the top 25. We could have come into the bama game 6-0. Would we have beat bama no. We would be 6-1 and in the drivers seat in the east. The offense would have more confidence and also be playing better.

But the decision was made and it is really not fair to the players who struggled through the last 2 seasons and were poised to finally be competitive in the SEC. Only to have a coach change rafts mid stream. I said it at the beginning of the year and I stand by it today the 3-4 disaster is the most stupid career move of Dooley time at Tennessee and will cost him his job.

3 and out doesn't help the Defense at all...how many 3 and outs did we have? The first one took 59 seconds, we took the ball to begin the game and then went 3 and out in 59 seconds. They took the ball at the beginning of the second half and what did they do? Now again tell me why this is not on the offense. The best defense sometimes is a Good Offense.

thevoice writes:

in response to Vol_in_Mich:

Maybe if Dooley or somebody could coach Bray up he would be better, What makes you all think this same POS coaching staff can coach Worley up? Never mind calling plays. The Vols have become the joke of the SEC. Damn!

I think Worley likely has a better "give-it-my-all" attitude compared to Bray. Bray's from Cali and couldn't care less about the Vol program. When's the last time we saw a Cali/west coast QB have that sort of attitude for a championship contender in the SEC? It would serve the Vols well to pluck a QB from the south or just a decent one from the State of TN... ideally one that has grown up loving the Vols.

vol98champ writes:

Would Clemson trade Boyd for Bray? How many 2nd and 1's and 3rd and 1's have we not converted in the last 3 years? I'm guessing somewhere between 20 and 30. It doesn't seem to matter whether we run into the line or throw short or long, because the same thing happens almost all the time---4th and 1or more. I told my wife 4 times Saturday night that something bad was going to happen. I was right each time. If I know it watching TV surely the coaches know it.

thevoice writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

It would be a great opportunity for CDD to push Bray under the bus and go with Worley. Get the win and four more and he's in for one more year.

Joe, it's a done deal. I think Hart's already looking.

hooverd283#563729 writes:

Good job coach Dooley. Win,lose or draw in football it starts with the QB. First rounders lead by example and find ways to win. We haven't done that yet but we can. GO VOLS!

pcshowtime writes:

in response to vfl76:

3 and out doesn't help the Defense at all...how many 3 and outs did we have? The first one took 59 seconds, we took the ball to begin the game and then went 3 and out in 59 seconds. They took the ball at the beginning of the second half and what did they do? Now again tell me why this is not on the offense. The best defense sometimes is a Good Offense.

I am talcking for the over all season. We are giving up 45 pts a game there is plenty of blame to go around.

sly_stone99#434111 writes:

I see a wag the dog story line happening here. Dooley is not getting off this easy. It's your job to coach up key players like the QB position.

guitarch882000#661629 writes:

It seems the Vols are better known for firing their coaches more than they are for good football....Majors,Fulmer (who had a national championship and a great record), couldn't keep Kiffin,now we hear "Fire Dooley"....not a very attractive place for a coach to want to come and feel stability ....and Think of how this negativity affects prospective players.....Remember the ugliness here experienced by players like Arian Foster when Fulmer was fired? Foster and subsequent players don't have very fond memories of the UT experience ......and don't think that these pro players experiences here don't filter down to younger high school recruits.....Right now UT doesn't sound like a fun place to play ball with fan support......Maybe constant negativity from fans here is as much to blame as the coaching for the schools current status.

TitanBlueGoVols writes:

Wow good for Bray he finally got tired of answering questions about how bad this team is he decided not to answer anymore.How can Bray expect to win ballgames when the Defense cant tackle.The Secondary cant Cover. And the coach cant coach.Good for him now Dooley is gonna use Brays so called bad performance and leadership to bench him.Dooley has ran out of excuses this is his last.He gets fired as soon as Bowl Season starts.Those that dont think he will are clueless.

62vol writes:

in response to vol75:

I don't make many comments on this site. But I said several games ago that Bray is no leader. Never will be one. He is not a winner. Unfortunately, the Vols will never win with him at qb. From his first "throat slash" gesture until now, he has not changed. Worley may not have the arm and ability. But he deserves a chance to prove himself.

I fully agree that Bray has failed to lead but am extremely puzzled as to how you can see into the future and know that Bray will never have an experience in life that changes him.
Most men continue to age after age 20.
.......Just sayin

GerryOP writes:

in response to volthrunthru#658770:

This is an amazing report:

Horrible coaching performance for four years.

Horrible quarterbacking against anybody but the
boogaloo tech type teams for the same period.

Horrible reporting from horrible sports
journalism site.

They fired Fulmer for this.
They messed over Nick Stephens for this.
They fired good reporters to get this.

And then they pushed Hamilton out, who was as bad as bad can get, to get Hart, who is almost as bad as bad can get.

No wonder the guys I know who have been for years going to Knoxville or following the Vols are now saying the H*** with it all.

One of the best known of all the Vol fans, across multiple message boards, who has followed them for decades, and lives a couple of hours away from the site of Saturday's game,

is not going. His spouse says, "Why go? They are going to lose anyway..."

Thanks for the memories, General, Johnny, Phil, Tee, Peyton, Casey, Al Dunning, Fred Russell, and the rest of the Nashville/Knoxville/ Tennessee media.

Amateur hour has arrived...

Yes, amateur hour is here ... and thank you for joining us. We saved a seat for you.

CrankE writes:

If this coaching staff couldn't improve or mature Bray (and all the evidence seems to point in that direction), then that means that they are relying solely upon Bray's talent to carry the team.

And that is probably true of every other player on the team as well-including Worley. It's just pure talent and that's all you're going to get.

Which means that benching Bray won't work. (Won't improve UT, won't improve Bray, won't improve his backup.) Worley is less talented than Bray (otherwise he'd be starting) and may be ill-prepared to take over.

It is folly to think that things will get better under such a coach.

I recall Dooley's quip about his team's offense not being held hostage after NCST. Perhaps he spoke too soon.

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to pcshowtime:

Our defense is giving up 45 pts a game. this is not all on the offense.
The Die was cast this season with the switch to the 3-4 defense. even the dooley supporters agree that it is a difficult process and you practically give a year away on defense in the process.

I personally do not believe it is a good move for any college team. GA is back to getting gashed in their 3rd year in 3-4 system. Kids are familiar with the 4-3 defense from High School. Bottom line if your name is not Saban do not try it.

Back to the Die being cast on the season. More than likely our defense under a competent 4-3 coordinator would have stayed in the top 25. We could have come into the bama game 6-0. Would we have beat bama no. We would be 6-1 and in the drivers seat in the east. The offense would have more confidence and also be playing better.

But the decision was made and it is really not fair to the players who struggled through the last 2 seasons and were poised to finally be competitive in the SEC. Only to have a coach change rafts mid stream. I said it at the beginning of the year and I stand by it today the 3-4 disaster is the most stupid career move of Dooley time at Tennessee and will cost him his job.

Our defense was not in the Top 25 last year, or any year since maybe our last SEC CG appearance, which seems like an eternity ago. And I'm still not convinced we would have beaten Florida but the other two? Absolutely. The 3-4 works in the NFL and it can work in college. However, it is true that it is a BIG adjustment for a HS kid to make, especially when you are playing freshmen and sophs like we are. Saban's teams struggled with it for two years as well, going 6-6 his first year and getting blasted by Utah's spread in the Sugar Bowl in year two. Now of course it's a different story. Bama's upper class-men have all grown up in the system and know it to perfection: they don't have to think, they simply react and it's devastating. IF Dooley survives this season, look for the D to make a huge leap next year. And I agree, even though we all knew the switch would be tough, I don't think any of us (including Hart, Dooley, or Sunseri) suspected we would be this clueless, especially in the secondary. They have cut down the monster plays but good Lord, how can guys be that open on a simple post route? We'll see but I'd imagine the evil offensive genius in Columbia has plenty of surprises up his sleeve as well. And if DD gets canned, he can probably look to that one decision as the match that lit the powder keg...Go Vols!!!

asleep#212036 writes:

This won't be popular and I am quite unhappy with the thrashing we took in Neyland on Saturday BUT we have lost to 4 of the Top 12 (?) BCS teams, two of them on the road. Folks, I hate to break it to you but we are not, and were never, a Top 12 team this year. Every single pundit had us at 7-5 with losses to the 4 teams that have already beaten us plus South Carolina and winning the rest. All those folks do is watch football, check recruits, look at schedules, and make predictions. So far it looks like they are spot on...Do I think Dooley has done a great job? No. Was the switch to the 3-4 a good idea while we are struggling to win half our games as it is? Probably not. Is our program getting measurably better relative to our SEC brethren? If so, only slightly. But we are exactly where the experts predicted us to be at this point. However, I would agree that just meeting expectations shouldn't be enough and if DD wants to solidify his status, he's better exceed them. This Saturday in Columbia will be his last, best chance. Go Vols!!!

fearthehound writes:

in response to 62vol:

I fully agree that Bray has failed to lead but am extremely puzzled as to how you can see into the future and know that Bray will never have an experience in life that changes him.
Most men continue to age after age 20.
.......Just sayin

Yep, you're right 62. A lot of guys post on this site who stake their whole self-value on these 19 to 23 year old guys. People gotta realize, these guys are pretty young, and a lot of them have been pretty sheltered. It's really not fair to go after them so hard because they're not 'mature leaders'.

I don't mind if people want to call for Dooley's job, since he can't beat four top ten teams the third year in his rebuilding project. He earns a bunch of money, and I guess that goes with the territory. But let's ease up on the young men. Maybe some of you haven't had 20 year old sons.

fearthehound writes:

in response to asleep#212036:

This won't be popular and I am quite unhappy with the thrashing we took in Neyland on Saturday BUT we have lost to 4 of the Top 12 (?) BCS teams, two of them on the road. Folks, I hate to break it to you but we are not, and were never, a Top 12 team this year. Every single pundit had us at 7-5 with losses to the 4 teams that have already beaten us plus South Carolina and winning the rest. All those folks do is watch football, check recruits, look at schedules, and make predictions. So far it looks like they are spot on...Do I think Dooley has done a great job? No. Was the switch to the 3-4 a good idea while we are struggling to win half our games as it is? Probably not. Is our program getting measurably better relative to our SEC brethren? If so, only slightly. But we are exactly where the experts predicted us to be at this point. However, I would agree that just meeting expectations shouldn't be enough and if DD wants to solidify his status, he's better exceed them. This Saturday in Columbia will be his last, best chance. Go Vols!!!

Good post!!

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

I'll go ahead and predict how this is going to play out: Since this is Dooley's first real attempt to discipline Bray...probably not well. I imagine that Bray probably isn't real fond of Dooley and honest, he isn't the mature leader that we all hoped he would be this year. So Dooley's charge to "man up" probably won't go over very well, especially since Bray is probably thinking "If we lose, you lose your job and I get to keep my scholarship you a-hole."

Bray is Bray and it's a little late in the day for Dooley to suddenly develop a backbone.

fearthehound writes:

in response to asleep#212036:

Our defense was not in the Top 25 last year, or any year since maybe our last SEC CG appearance, which seems like an eternity ago. And I'm still not convinced we would have beaten Florida but the other two? Absolutely. The 3-4 works in the NFL and it can work in college. However, it is true that it is a BIG adjustment for a HS kid to make, especially when you are playing freshmen and sophs like we are. Saban's teams struggled with it for two years as well, going 6-6 his first year and getting blasted by Utah's spread in the Sugar Bowl in year two. Now of course it's a different story. Bama's upper class-men have all grown up in the system and know it to perfection: they don't have to think, they simply react and it's devastating. IF Dooley survives this season, look for the D to make a huge leap next year. And I agree, even though we all knew the switch would be tough, I don't think any of us (including Hart, Dooley, or Sunseri) suspected we would be this clueless, especially in the secondary. They have cut down the monster plays but good Lord, how can guys be that open on a simple post route? We'll see but I'd imagine the evil offensive genius in Columbia has plenty of surprises up his sleeve as well. And if DD gets canned, he can probably look to that one decision as the match that lit the powder keg...Go Vols!!!

Asleep, you're on fire!!

fearthehound writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

I'll go ahead and predict how this is going to play out: Since this is Dooley's first real attempt to discipline Bray...probably not well. I imagine that Bray probably isn't real fond of Dooley and honest, he isn't the mature leader that we all hoped he would be this year. So Dooley's charge to "man up" probably won't go over very well, especially since Bray is probably thinking "If we lose, you lose your job and I get to keep my scholarship you a-hole."

Bray is Bray and it's a little late in the day for Dooley to suddenly develop a backbone.

Sounds like you may have some personal experience in this type scenario. Which were you, Bray or Dooley?

Fryinpansvols writes:

in response to vol75:

I don't make many comments on this site. But I said several games ago that Bray is no leader. Never will be one. He is not a winner. Unfortunately, the Vols will never win with him at qb. From his first "throat slash" gesture until now, he has not changed. Worley may not have the arm and ability. But he deserves a chance to prove himself.

Amen! I have said this for a while as well. I called in to sports talk radio here in Nashville Friday and made the point that Bray was not a leader. And quiet frankly, UT has missed leadership from the QB position since Eric Ainge. But to be honest, I don't think CDD and his staff have led our team through the trials and tribulations that most good coaches do. GBO!

Fryinpansvols writes:

in response to pcshowtime:

Our defense is giving up 45 pts a game. this is not all on the offense.
The Die was cast this season with the switch to the 3-4 defense. even the dooley supporters agree that it is a difficult process and you practically give a year away on defense in the process.

I personally do not believe it is a good move for any college team. GA is back to getting gashed in their 3rd year in 3-4 system. Kids are familiar with the 4-3 defense from High School. Bottom line if your name is not Saban do not try it.

Back to the Die being cast on the season. More than likely our defense under a competent 4-3 coordinator would have stayed in the top 25. We could have come into the bama game 6-0. Would we have beat bama no. We would be 6-1 and in the drivers seat in the east. The offense would have more confidence and also be playing better.

But the decision was made and it is really not fair to the players who struggled through the last 2 seasons and were poised to finally be competitive in the SEC. Only to have a coach change rafts mid stream. I said it at the beginning of the year and I stand by it today the 3-4 disaster is the most stupid career move of Dooley time at Tennessee and will cost him his job.

I don't blame Saturday's loss solely on the defense. I'm not giving them a pass, but just hear me out. I was at the game and what I saw for the first 2 and a half quarters was a bad defense rallying to the football and making enough plays to put our offense in position to score points. But Tyler Bray and Company failed miserably! It could have easily been 23-17 at the half, but instead it was 23-10. Justin Hunter dropped a sure touchdown before the half. Also, Tyler was out of sync for most of the first half missing receivers on crossing routes and out routes. In big games against top opponents you only have so many opportunities and Tennessee simply didn't convert those. Now about our defense, yeah they're not very good. Our defensive line controlled the line of scrimmage pretty well, but linebackers didn't scrape to the ball on running plays like they should and didn't cover backs and tight ends, but thats the norm for this group. Our Secondary, can't play zone coverage and would probably be better in man just because of the confusion. Oh and by the way, most of our back 7 or 8 wouldn't start on most defenses in SEC. GBO!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Fryinpansvols:

I don't blame Saturday's loss solely on the defense. I'm not giving them a pass, but just hear me out. I was at the game and what I saw for the first 2 and a half quarters was a bad defense rallying to the football and making enough plays to put our offense in position to score points. But Tyler Bray and Company failed miserably! It could have easily been 23-17 at the half, but instead it was 23-10. Justin Hunter dropped a sure touchdown before the half. Also, Tyler was out of sync for most of the first half missing receivers on crossing routes and out routes. In big games against top opponents you only have so many opportunities and Tennessee simply didn't convert those. Now about our defense, yeah they're not very good. Our defensive line controlled the line of scrimmage pretty well, but linebackers didn't scrape to the ball on running plays like they should and didn't cover backs and tight ends, but thats the norm for this group. Our Secondary, can't play zone coverage and would probably be better in man just because of the confusion. Oh and by the way, most of our back 7 or 8 wouldn't start on most defenses in SEC. GBO!

Good point, the defense was more intense against bama than I've seen them all year..Yes, they blew assignments as usual (they're bad in the secondary) but the effort was there. Sentimore had a fire in his play that I had not seen before..May be Sunseri is getting through to these players. Also, whatever happened to Chuck Stobart of Memphis??..That guy knew how to put a defense together, and as little talent as they had played everybody off their feet..Just a thought.

Fryinpansvols writes:

in response to fearthehound:

People need to ease up on Bray. 1) He has a great arm and has shown plenty of talent and he could just turn it right around next game, and 2) He's a 23 year old young man with plenty of maturing and learning to do. He'll be fine.

Ease up on Bray? Why surely not! I'm as big of Tennessee fan as you can find in the Mid-State, but his immaturity is simply unacceptable! Its good Dooley is finally trying to hold him accountable now in his Junior season. My players would have known my expectations on Day #1. Bray not showing up for post-game media questions simply inexcusable! Bray tweeting out that Tennessee fans that are angry are band-wagon, just childish. By the way, you have to win before you can become band-wagon Mr. Tyler Bray. We as Tennessee fans have the right to be mad. I like others, spend my hard earned money buying Tennessee apparell, tickets to games, gas to go to games, hotels to stay in for road games, etc. Since when did Mediocrity become acceptable? Did people forget that this is the University of Tennessee and football used to be sort of a big thing? There is reason why UT has 6 National Titles, and stadium that sits 102,000 plus. I'm just so tired of losing and the way we are losing them to top it off not having any leadership. GBO!

manniesghost1903 writes:

There were many people smiling this past Sunday morning. Nick Saban was smiling because his team remained undefeated. David Cutcliff was smiling because Duke University was bowl eligible for the first time since 1985. James Franklin was smiling because his Vanderbilt has victories over 2 SEC teams. Kentucky fans were smiling because their school played a very competitive game against Georgia. Will Muschamp was smiling because Florida had taken Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks to the woodshed in “The Swamp.” Yes many smiles were among this lot.
On the other hand, I don’t think Dave Hart was smiling. UT was drubbed at home by 31 points in front of Phil Fulmer, Peyton Manning , several big contributors and UT Board members, and several big name recruits which UT was hosting. To say that Derek Dooley job security was adversely affected might be an understatement. However, the season is not officially over and there is still the chance for Coach Dooley to right the UT ship.

manniesghost1903 writes:

Unfortunately, it is not going to be easy. An upset of South Carolina on their home field could take the “monkey of a losing streak against ranked opponents’ off UT’s back. Although South Carolina was soundly beaten, 3 early turnovers that led to 3 Gator touchdowns pretty much wrapped up the win for Florida. In spite of the quickly forming deficit, Gamecock defense continue hit the Gator offense with some vicious tackling. I suspect the Old Ball Coach may have the Gamecocks breathing fire this coming Saturday.
As some have posted, even with a 3-5 record entering November, UT could still win out and finish with a 7-5 regular season record, win a bowl game and finish the season with a respectable 8-5 record going into next season which means Coach Dooley retains his job. Some of those last four games, however, have some pitfalls which could cause the Vols to further stumble. The Missouri team is having a rough time in its initial SEC season and they lost to Vandy at home. Home Field has not proved to be an advantage this year. Consequently, the Tigers from Missouri will come to Knoxville to try and prove they belong in the SEC. The game against Vandy is in Nashville and the James Franklin led Commodores want to avenge last year’s defeat in Knoxville. The Kentucky game will probably be the last game for their current head coach. The Wildcats (aka Mildcats) may want to win one for their outgoing coach. Additionally, Randy Sanders, current UK assistant coach, does not have fond memories of Knoxville when he was offensive coordinator. Throw in the fragile egos of some key UT players and you could see the possibility of things getting ugly.

manniesghost1903 writes:

Derek Dooley can be master of his fate. We all know he was dealt a bad hand when he took over but you now have to consider the situation Coach O’Brien walked into at Penn State. Key players transferred to other schools and Penn State opened the season with a loss to a MAC team. Yet Coach O’Brien is leading the Nittany Lions to a winning season with absolutely no prospect of a bowl game as a reward. Additionally, he will face recruiting limits next year and beyond. He too was dealt a bad hand.
At any rate Derek Dooley could have prevented this situation with better preparation for the game in Starkville. A win at that time, would have solved many current problems but he could not make it happen. Now the pressure is on Coach Dooley, his staff and AD Hart. This is the time for Derek Dooley to pull an “October Surprise.”

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to manniesghost1903:

There were many people smiling this past Sunday morning. Nick Saban was smiling because his team remained undefeated. David Cutcliff was smiling because Duke University was bowl eligible for the first time since 1985. James Franklin was smiling because his Vanderbilt has victories over 2 SEC teams. Kentucky fans were smiling because their school played a very competitive game against Georgia. Will Muschamp was smiling because Florida had taken Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks to the woodshed in “The Swamp.” Yes many smiles were among this lot.
On the other hand, I don’t think Dave Hart was smiling. UT was drubbed at home by 31 points in front of Phil Fulmer, Peyton Manning , several big contributors and UT Board members, and several big name recruits which UT was hosting. To say that Derek Dooley job security was adversely affected might be an understatement. However, the season is not officially over and there is still the chance for Coach Dooley to right the UT ship.

Uhhh, Duke went bowling back in the mid-90's..But, by all means continue ranting.

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