Jim Chaney says Tennessee backup QB Justin Worley 'ready to play' if needed

Backup QB has prepared like a starter

Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley looks for an open receiver during the fourth quarter against Georgia State at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012. Tennessee 51-13 over Georgia State. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley looks for an open receiver during the fourth quarter against Georgia State at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012. Tennessee 51-13 over Georgia State. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Dooley on systemic issues with the Vols

When Derek Dooley floated the idea of backup quarterback Justin Worley replacing starter Tyler Bray if Bray continued to struggle, was it just a bluff?

Or does the Tennessee coaching staff really envision the possibility of benching the main cog in its offense more than halfway into the season?

Tennessee offensive coordinator Jim Chaney, with a bemused look, stopped the question before it's finished.

"Yes," he said, "there's a scenario we could envision about anything."

He is, after all, a coach.

Rhetoric aside, the chances of Bray being benched when Tennessee (3-4, 0-4 SEC) plays at No. 17 South Carolina (6-2, 4-2) on Saturday (TV: ESPN, noon) are probably slim.

But for the first time this season, Worley now has a path to playing time that doesn't include an injury to Bray.

"I would love to play, but it's in the coach's hands right now," Worley said this week.

Chaney brushed aside the importance of the quarterback battle, saying it's the same as any position on the field.

"I think Coach (Dooley) has addressed that issue. We're looking for performance out of all our positions," Chaney said. "If we're not getting it, we're willing to make changes."

Worley is from Rock Hill, S.C., although culturally he probably identifies more closely with

the state to his north. Rock Hill is essentially a suburb of Charlotte. Both his parents went to North Carolina. He didn't grow up either a South Carolina or Clemson fan, and he was never recruited by the Gamecocks.

He played for a powerhouse high school program at Northwestern High (where he was teammates with UT receiver Cordarrelle Patterson) and has made three trips to Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia for postseason games.

"It is exciting. I know a lot of folks who will be there," he said.

Worley was tossed into action as a true freshman last year. He completed 48 of 87 passes for 604 yards in four games, but threw three interceptions and only one touchdown. He's played a handful of snaps late in three games this year, including the fourth quarter of last week's loss to Alabama.

"He handled himself responsibility and did a nice job when he was out on the field," Chaney said.

There were some rocky moments in Worley's freshman season, but Chaney said he's better for having the experience.

"(Experience) is important at any position, but it might be even more profound at quarterback," Chaney said. "I think his confidence level is a lot higher and I think he understands the offense better now than he did a year ago. He's seen all the teams in the league. He understands what he has to do to get ready to play games. I think Justin has been in a good place all year and I look forward to him to be ready to play if we need him to play."

Worley finds himself in the dilemma faced by every backup quarterback in the country. He wants to play, but doesn't wish any ill on the guy in front of him.

"Every week it is just another week, and we have to prepare like we're the starter," he said. "Right now Tyler is still the starter, but every week we have to be prepared."

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

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 » 51

lstbodeanvol writes:

Worley started against USC last year. If he is ready to lead then make it happen...Go Vols stop Clowney !!!!!

OLROCKYTOP writes:

If we see Worley playing Saturday it will be because we are down three touchdowns. Lets hope it doesn't come to that.

dvols writes:

he will be, he wasn't arrested any this summer..

maybe he was studying the playbook??

123forVOLS writes:

It is not complicated, Have him ready and if Bray continues to stink it up, send Worley in. All the hub-bub about qb controversies is out the window now. He can't do much worse than we have seen in Bray in the big SEC games. So let's make sure he gets a chance before the game is out of hand if the Brayster is not on track. But I will be surprised if they put him in even with what is said by coaches unless there are turnovers early attributed to bad decisions from Bray. But let's see, let's let it play out. BE READY JUSTIN!

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

Frankly, I would put Bray's bony butt on the bench and let Worley get the start against the Roosters. Bray has shown time and time again, he is not a leader and wilts under pressure.

Millisa writes:

Start Worley Bench Bray and Fire Dooley

clvolfan writes:

I say bring him on.I have a feeling the team will respond to his leadership.Get him in now and save the system.We at UT have already seen losing because they farted around with Schaffer/Ainge.Get Worley in and see how well he can play,the receivers probably will get open for him.

poppatock writes:

New poll for KNS - Who should be holding the clipboard Saturday and who should be starting QB?

My Vote - Worley

By the way, what's up with Tom Smith? Haven't seen him this year?

GreerVol22 writes:

"Worley finds himself in the dilemma faced by every backup quarterback in the country. He wants to play, but doesn't wish any ill on the guy in front of him."

the guy in front of him is playing about as ill as it gets.

farmdog (Inactive) writes:

Run the spread with Patterson at QB. Best player touches the ball every play.

rockypop writes:

Ah, the backup QB. Always, the fan favorite. You need to remember why the backup QB is the backup QB. Almost always, he's the only one who thinks he's better than the starter. But, there's only one way to find out....

frblalack writes:

Be ready Justin! It looks as though Mr. Bray's not going to be allowed any temper tantrums Saturday.

Wish the best for ALL the Vols!!!

Vol for Life

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

After watching the total chaos USC's front 7 caused a pretty good GA offense; I don't have much faith we will fair much better.Especially with Chaney's total predictable play calling..The gators beat USC but I don't think they even had 200 yards total offense..It took some really crafty play calls by Pease to get into the endzone..Bray or Worley won't matter if USC is living in our backfield

JonGrudensAgent writes:

What the h-ll was the point of Dooley's rant again?

From this article, we gleaned the back up QB is ready and Bray is taking the first snap without a shred of confidence left.

pcorange writes:

I'm not sure why Dooley and a lot of our fans have suddenly joined forces against Tyler Bray. I admit that his off-field antics need to be reigned in, but Bray is not why we're losing. We've scored enough points in every game but Bama that we should be sitting pretty at 6-1 right now. Quitting in the Florida game is really the only time this season that he totally blew it.

Orangeblood13 writes:

the most popular player on a losing team is the backup, play makers have to make plays, rb's have to pound the rock, defense has to pressure shaw, then we have a chance. Our best chance lies with Bray, IMO

MitchelCrass writes:

in response to pcorange:

I'm not sure why Dooley and a lot of our fans have suddenly joined forces against Tyler Bray. I admit that his off-field antics need to be reigned in, but Bray is not why we're losing. We've scored enough points in every game but Bama that we should be sitting pretty at 6-1 right now. Quitting in the Florida game is really the only time this season that he totally blew it.

Agreed, it's not bray, he hasn't thrown 7 pick sixes a game, the defense is that bad

frblalack writes:

in response to KremsersWaywardWallop:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You Are Disgusting!

The fact that you are even allowed to post on this website lends credence to the theory proposed by many that your thoughts emanate from your colon. In other words, you have s... for brains!

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to KremsersWaywardWallop:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

you couldn't hold Karl Kremser's jock

H_I_McDonough (Inactive) writes:

"Doolooser?" Seriously?
Isn't there an age or education requirement on this site? You embarrass yourself.

H_I_McDonough (Inactive) writes:

From where Old H.I. sits, It goes like this..

Bray starts of course, and is assaulted by SC defense, forcing 2 picks and putting Bray on the turf several times. Knocked around, Bray manages to completes 6/14 for 59 yds. Not good, but not entirely his fault.
Down 17-6 half. Surprisingly still in the game.

Enter Worley 2nd half. Sparse UT crowd cheers.

SC promptly resumes its assault on our backfield, coming at Worley like a, well, like a mid-season 2nd string Tennessee QB! Leaving in an extra TE or FB cant seem to stop them, and oh yes, they find him. Even with time, the WRs are only giving about 75% for him. Worley hits the ground more than he hits his receivers. White jersey covered in green & brown.
Worley's 2nd half : 9/25, 3 more pics and a lost fumble. Not entirely his fault.
Final USC-37-13.

OK, some "big picture." Whose fault is it?

As bad as Bray has been lately, the OL has greatly improved, and we've even climbed to the top 3 in the SEC in rushing. Miracle from 3 yrs ago.
We should be lighting our torches & pitchforks and charging directly at Sal Sunseri! This NOBODY spent a year al a LB coach at Bama so that qualifies him to coordinate a Tennessee defense? Our defense, as of this week, is ranked over 100 in yards allowed and passing yards. And we're WAY back in the pack against the run .

SeriouslySal! Is it a 3-4, or 4-3 this week? Did you tell the players? Did you teach the differences? Florida barely needed to pass to run right by your lineman, easily-sealed LB's and forget the secondary, they're slow and scared! Other SEC Opponents have taken the less tiring route. A simple 2-step drop and then just pick and choose which receiver needs the yards. UT defenders may have one receiver covered (by 3 confused men). Both methods have the same result: YOUR DEFENSE gives up around 50 points a game.

Thanks for instilling that killer mentality, Mr. "I coached at Bama" a**hole.

YOU, SIR, ARE THE BIGGEST PROBLEM IN THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SYSTEM.

Prepare your resume, and do NOT expect a reference.
--------------------------------

Thanks everyone for allowing me to vent. Sometimes I have a thing or 2 to say! Replies are encouraged.

H.I. McDonough will now step down from the orange soapbox he's used for 42 years.
God Bless and, AS ALWAYS, Go Vols!

atnvol#283282 writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

After watching the total chaos USC's front 7 caused a pretty good GA offense; I don't have much faith we will fair much better.Especially with Chaney's total predictable play calling..The gators beat USC but I don't think they even had 200 yards total offense..It took some really crafty play calls by Pease to get into the endzone..Bray or Worley won't matter if USC is living in our backfield

Did Florida not beat SC 44-11 ?

OldNumber7 writes:

If it gives the team a legit play action...I'm all for it

crappieking writes:

Where have all the Doolaid drinkers gone?

H_I_McDonough (Inactive) writes:

Are there no opinions on Sinseri's total and complete failure on defense?

senatorgip#470888 writes:

in response to H_I_McDonough:

Are there no opinions on Sinseri's total and complete failure on defense?

Apparently not ! Seems Coach Dooley has called out Tyler Bray as the reason Vols lost to Alabama, Mississippi State, Georgia, and Florida. Apparently the Defense giving up an average of 44 points and 575 yards in those four games doesn't matter. It's still Tylers fault.

gillblog writes:

in response to farmdog:

Run the spread with Patterson at QB. Best player touches the ball every play.

This Vols coaching staff is not that creative. Or, perceptive.

SpecialTeams writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yea Coach really helped the QB get ready in the last game; less then 30 seconds; down by 20+ points and he brings out the field goal team. Great Coaching Dooley

gillblog writes:

Incidentally, the banal, annoying, but sometimes accurate Memphis radio sports talk shows were reporting yesterday that Gruden has already met with some UT players and Hart wants to have the next HC (whomever it is) under contract before he releases Dooley at the end of the regular season.

jobrando#216494 writes:

Fire DOOLEY and Bray. Let Worley coachem and play QB. My season has been ruined by the clown in orange pants. Enough is enough. Time to spend the money if this program is ever to return. Hopefully my grandchildren will have a decent program.

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to senatorgip#470888:

Apparently not ! Seems Coach Dooley has called out Tyler Bray as the reason Vols lost to Alabama, Mississippi State, Georgia, and Florida. Apparently the Defense giving up an average of 44 points and 575 yards in those four games doesn't matter. It's still Tylers fault.

Put tyler under the bus and win out with Worley and he gets another year. He's a laywer what else can be said. It's obvious TYler had zero help and if he did he ignored it. Either way at this point he needs to go to bench. He quits and panics in a tough game.

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to gillblog:

Incidentally, the banal, annoying, but sometimes accurate Memphis radio sports talk shows were reporting yesterday that Gruden has already met with some UT players and Hart wants to have the next HC (whomever it is) under contract before he releases Dooley at the end of the regular season.

and Randy Shannon is going to be Gruden's DC

leedsvol2007 writes:

in response to H_I_McDonough:

From where Old H.I. sits, It goes like this..

Bray starts of course, and is assaulted by SC defense, forcing 2 picks and putting Bray on the turf several times. Knocked around, Bray manages to completes 6/14 for 59 yds. Not good, but not entirely his fault.
Down 17-6 half. Surprisingly still in the game.

Enter Worley 2nd half. Sparse UT crowd cheers.

SC promptly resumes its assault on our backfield, coming at Worley like a, well, like a mid-season 2nd string Tennessee QB! Leaving in an extra TE or FB cant seem to stop them, and oh yes, they find him. Even with time, the WRs are only giving about 75% for him. Worley hits the ground more than he hits his receivers. White jersey covered in green & brown.
Worley's 2nd half : 9/25, 3 more pics and a lost fumble. Not entirely his fault.
Final USC-37-13.

OK, some "big picture." Whose fault is it?

As bad as Bray has been lately, the OL has greatly improved, and we've even climbed to the top 3 in the SEC in rushing. Miracle from 3 yrs ago.
We should be lighting our torches & pitchforks and charging directly at Sal Sunseri! This NOBODY spent a year al a LB coach at Bama so that qualifies him to coordinate a Tennessee defense? Our defense, as of this week, is ranked over 100 in yards allowed and passing yards. And we're WAY back in the pack against the run .

SeriouslySal! Is it a 3-4, or 4-3 this week? Did you tell the players? Did you teach the differences? Florida barely needed to pass to run right by your lineman, easily-sealed LB's and forget the secondary, they're slow and scared! Other SEC Opponents have taken the less tiring route. A simple 2-step drop and then just pick and choose which receiver needs the yards. UT defenders may have one receiver covered (by 3 confused men). Both methods have the same result: YOUR DEFENSE gives up around 50 points a game.

Thanks for instilling that killer mentality, Mr. "I coached at Bama" a**hole.

YOU, SIR, ARE THE BIGGEST PROBLEM IN THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SYSTEM.

Prepare your resume, and do NOT expect a reference.
--------------------------------

Thanks everyone for allowing me to vent. Sometimes I have a thing or 2 to say! Replies are encouraged.

H.I. McDonough will now step down from the orange soapbox he's used for 42 years.
God Bless and, AS ALWAYS, Go Vols!

Let's all be a little realistic about Sunseri.

Go back and look at Saban's first year at Alabama. Team's did a lot of the same thing to them. The 2nd year they became and have remained one of the best defenses in college football. Arkansas with a running quarterback hung 37 on them in Tuscaloosa.

We are rebuilding we are simply not a championship level team and we have players out there learning a new system, some not really suited to the roles they playing in this system, and others playing due to injuries and Kiffin's recruiting of guys who lacked the judgement and character to be big time college football players. Remember Darren Myles hiding under the car?

Everyone needs to let this season play out. Alabama was better than us and USC likely is as well. After that we have some winnable games where we can show some progress.

What we need now is solid recruiting and a team that comes back with a chip on their shoulder to prove they are better than this year's record.

And the 2nd year into this defense we will see whether Sunseri is a coordinator or needs to be a position coach.

GoVols!

MGVOL22 writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

After watching the total chaos USC's front 7 caused a pretty good GA offense; I don't have much faith we will fair much better.Especially with Chaney's total predictable play calling..The gators beat USC but I don't think they even had 200 yards total offense..It took some really crafty play calls by Pease to get into the endzone..Bray or Worley won't matter if USC is living in our backfield

USC didn't play Georgia or Florida yet this year...USC = Southern Cal ..... South Carolina = South Carolina...

Also, why does everyone want Gruden so badly?

Razzle writes:

“The second team quarterback is always the most popular guy on the team” ~ Archie Manning 1982.

Sir_Spanky writes:

I admire Jim Chaney for taking the high road in dealing with the unfortunate position he's been put in by the HC. I would suspect that, had it been up to Jim Chaney, Justin Worley would have been his starter weeks ago. Unfortunately, the HC is more interested in managing the ACTIVITIES of his OC, not the RESULTS - a violation of Management 101. That being said, why even have an OC? I also admire Justin Worley for his classy comments when asked about the matter, seeing that he also is fully aware of Tyler Bray's unmanageable status, as are numerous other players and coaches, and that coach Chaney is not only powerless in being able to do anything about it, but being blamed by many for what's happening on the field. It's really sad.

Vol_in_Mich writes:

in response to H_I_McDonough:

Are there no opinions on Sinseri's total and complete failure on defense?

Hi HI: Dooley threw the defense under the bus in another post. Why try to put in a 3-4 when all you have is players for a 4-3? I know they should handle both with proper coaching, but there's the problem. What coaching? Plus the secondary is S L O W.
As far as Worley, I wish him luck if he gets to play. I hate to see a young man get what Clowney & his mates will do to the kid.
"Didn't get offered by the Gamecocks" says a lot. Ole Ball Coach knows a thing or two about QB's.
This is getting sad.

Vol_in_Mich writes:

in response to gillblog:

Incidentally, the banal, annoying, but sometimes accurate Memphis radio sports talk shows were reporting yesterday that Gruden has already met with some UT players and Hart wants to have the next HC (whomever it is) under contract before he releases Dooley at the end of the regular season.

I think that would be some kind of major NCAA violation.

Tru138 writes:

in response to VolFanInTheBoro:

you couldn't hold Karl Kremser's jock

...but he'd probably like to sniff it.

volunteerfan98 writes:

in response to pcorange:

I'm not sure why Dooley and a lot of our fans have suddenly joined forces against Tyler Bray. I admit that his off-field antics need to be reigned in, but Bray is not why we're losing. We've scored enough points in every game but Bama that we should be sitting pretty at 6-1 right now. Quitting in the Florida game is really the only time this season that he totally blew it.

Only the Florida game??? I dont know what sec games youve been watching or what youve been smoking(hangin out in Da'Rick's Tennessee Tech dorm room), but Bray has quit during multiple SEC games...in case you need to be enlightened, Bray stunk it up against Georgia...uhmm, two interceptions and a fumble on final drive of the game....Mississippi game he had interceptions and Devrin Young had a costly fumble to boot....and he also gave up in the Alabama game very early in the first half....this qb was suppose to be one of the best in all of the SEC and he looks like a mediocre qb in the sun belt....

navarrebeachvol writes:

in response to H_I_McDonough:

From where Old H.I. sits, It goes like this..

Bray starts of course, and is assaulted by SC defense, forcing 2 picks and putting Bray on the turf several times. Knocked around, Bray manages to completes 6/14 for 59 yds. Not good, but not entirely his fault.
Down 17-6 half. Surprisingly still in the game.

Enter Worley 2nd half. Sparse UT crowd cheers.

SC promptly resumes its assault on our backfield, coming at Worley like a, well, like a mid-season 2nd string Tennessee QB! Leaving in an extra TE or FB cant seem to stop them, and oh yes, they find him. Even with time, the WRs are only giving about 75% for him. Worley hits the ground more than he hits his receivers. White jersey covered in green & brown.
Worley's 2nd half : 9/25, 3 more pics and a lost fumble. Not entirely his fault.
Final USC-37-13.

OK, some "big picture." Whose fault is it?

As bad as Bray has been lately, the OL has greatly improved, and we've even climbed to the top 3 in the SEC in rushing. Miracle from 3 yrs ago.
We should be lighting our torches & pitchforks and charging directly at Sal Sunseri! This NOBODY spent a year al a LB coach at Bama so that qualifies him to coordinate a Tennessee defense? Our defense, as of this week, is ranked over 100 in yards allowed and passing yards. And we're WAY back in the pack against the run .

SeriouslySal! Is it a 3-4, or 4-3 this week? Did you tell the players? Did you teach the differences? Florida barely needed to pass to run right by your lineman, easily-sealed LB's and forget the secondary, they're slow and scared! Other SEC Opponents have taken the less tiring route. A simple 2-step drop and then just pick and choose which receiver needs the yards. UT defenders may have one receiver covered (by 3 confused men). Both methods have the same result: YOUR DEFENSE gives up around 50 points a game.

Thanks for instilling that killer mentality, Mr. "I coached at Bama" a**hole.

YOU, SIR, ARE THE BIGGEST PROBLEM IN THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SYSTEM.

Prepare your resume, and do NOT expect a reference.
--------------------------------

Thanks everyone for allowing me to vent. Sometimes I have a thing or 2 to say! Replies are encouraged.

H.I. McDonough will now step down from the orange soapbox he's used for 42 years.
God Bless and, AS ALWAYS, Go Vols!

Actually read all of this and enjoyed it. Agree on the D. Also killing me is the 3rd and short launches down field…bad time outs, too many players on the field, general clock management, false starts, taking a knee before halftime last week, etc, etc. That is coaching, not a lack of talent. I talked to an MSU grad yesterday for quite a bit. Two things—he was shocked at how few Vol fans were at the game. And the talent level between UT and MSU is pretty much the same.

Big_Orange_Aide writes:

in response to KremsersWaywardWallop:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think you have definately made your point; now please go get that medication. Your family and the world in general would greatly appreciate a calmer you. Good day.

illinoisvolfan writes:

I have no idea how Worley will do if he get into Saturday's game, but he should have had one more TD pass last season. In the SC game during the 2nd quarter, Worley put a pass right between the 2 and 1 of Da'Rick Rogers for an apparent TD and a 10-7 Vols lead. One problem...Rogers dropped the ball. For a young QB making his first start, a catch there gives him a tremendous confidence boost and might have gotten him over the hump in that game.

martinvol34 writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

After watching the total chaos USC's front 7 caused a pretty good GA offense; I don't have much faith we will fair much better.Especially with Chaney's total predictable play calling..The gators beat USC but I don't think they even had 200 yards total offense..It took some really crafty play calls by Pease to get into the endzone..Bray or Worley won't matter if USC is living in our backfield

Our offensive front is much better than Georgia's.

JDX47 writes:

in response to atnvol#283282:

Did Florida not beat SC 44-11 ?

Florida did beat SC, but they only had 183 yards total offense (94 passing, and 89 rushing). That doesn't bode well for us. Not sure we can count on getting 4 turnovers inside their own territory like Florida did.

Flyfisherman writes:

Mr Bray, meet Mr Clowney. Mr Worley, you're up...

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to Flyfisherman:

Mr Bray, meet Mr Clowney. Mr Worley, you're up...

Bray will have one eye out for clowney so he'll just use one eye to find receivers. I expect Worley in after one pancake.

DavidB writes:

I would think that Worley has been prepared to be the starter even before the season started. Kind of the back up QB's job after all.

Like many I dont think Bray is the only problem here. Play calling is horrible at best. Receivers are dropping catches they should be making. Didnt hear zack rogers name once in the bama game, not sure why. Patterson is still a beast but we dont get him the ball enough in a game. Running game has improved 1000 times over last year.

Defense is the biggest concern we have right now.

As for so many people saying Hart has already met with Gruden where are you getting your facts from? Hart has yet to say a word on record about any plans for coaching changes.

For all we know there is drama going on between Bray and some of the players and that is why receivers are dropping the ball and the coaches want to change things up a bit. Who really knows what is going on with the team. As fans we just dont get to see behind the scenes of what is going on and that causes too many fans to sit and make guesses.

dvols writes:

where is Matt Simms when you need him....

OrangeMike writes:

I think even more entertaining than actually beating SC would be reading the explanation for it on this board.

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