Tennessee safety Brent Brewer can show he's starting material

Tennessee defensive back Brent Brewer (17) tackles Florida running back Trey Burton (8) at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee defensive back Brent Brewer (17) tackles Florida running back Trey Burton (8) at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Tennessee junior safety Brent Brewer was a starter until tearing his ACL late last season. After sophomore Brian Randolph suffered the same injury last Saturday against Florida, Brewer has his old job back.

Brewer will start at safety alongside Byron Moore when the Vols (2-1) play Akron (1-2) Saturday (TV: CSS, 7:30 p.m.) at Neyland Stadium.

Tennessee coach Derek Dooley said he has confidence in Brewer, who was beaten out by Randolph in camp and has played only occasionally in the first three games.

"Brent has the capability of playing well," Dooley said Tuesday. "This is a good opportunity for Brent to get in there and show that he is a capable starter. I think he has all the tools to be that."

Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray was so disgusted with his performance against Florida that he watched only the first half of film from the game.

"That wasn't our team (in the second half)," he said.

Some fans criticized his demeanor and body language late in the game, and Bray acknowledged that he allowed frustration to creep in.

"I mean, you go from throwing bombs and the running backs running great and the linemen blocking great to no one's doing anything great," he said. "Yeah, that can get frustrating sometimes."

Dooley said Bray had a "really great" practice Tuesday. The coach also strongly defended his quarterback for the second day in a row, saying Bray cares passionately about winning although he might appear aloof.

"It's a hard position and there's so much glory and so much criticism that comes with it," Dooley said. "That's just how it is. It's one step removed from what my position is. When you are the head coach you get all this praise when everything goes good and when things go bad you're just a disaster. That's just part of it."

Dooley also cited studies that have shown that NFL quarterbacks reach their peak in their sixth or seventh year. His point? It's a position that requires study and learning and some lumps before full potential is reached.

"Tyler's made some great strides, but he's still journeying and learning how to be a complete quarterback," Dooley said. "And he wants to be. And I think he can be. And I think he will be. And he's ready to get in that situation again and respond a little better than he did. I know he is."

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Comments » 10

lomas98 writes:

I think Tyler should watch the second half of the film. Does he just watch when things are going good. How in the world can he see what he was doing wrong and see how to improve? I bet Peyton manning was up late last night and into this morning seeing how he threw 3 picks and what he could have done better. After you watch the film, then move on. This is where bray has lots to learn.

Scoon writes:

in response to lomas98:

I think Tyler should watch the second half of the film. Does he just watch when things are going good. How in the world can he see what he was doing wrong and see how to improve? I bet Peyton manning was up late last night and into this morning seeing how he threw 3 picks and what he could have done better. After you watch the film, then move on. This is where bray has lots to learn.

What Manning could have done better was to throw those 3 picks to Kentucky's #84, Jacob Tammie, and then they wouldn't have been picks.

Good advice, lomas ... move on.

Classof72 writes:

We're very fortunate to have Bray. He's maturing. QBs don't look so good when their offensive buddies are getting whipped. Check out Peyton and Matt Barkley's latest efforts. Bray is not the problem. No running back and lack of quality depth is the problem.

MikeTheTiger writes:

Not going to watch the film? Are you kidding me?
He needs to watch it and write a narrative of how bad he played and what he did wrong. You have to learn from your mistakes, especially if you are a QB. Try telling Saban or a NFL coach you aren't going to watch film of a loss. He would be gone faster than a jet ski on a crowded lake!

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to lomas98:

I think Tyler should watch the second half of the film. Does he just watch when things are going good. How in the world can he see what he was doing wrong and see how to improve? I bet Peyton manning was up late last night and into this morning seeing how he threw 3 picks and what he could have done better. After you watch the film, then move on. This is where bray has lots to learn.

It's a mute point..Bray's played a lot of football and he knows where his mistakes were and half of the problems were bad routes and really bad play calls by Chaney..With QB's like Bray and Manning there isn't a problem with bad mechanics or footwork that old film would reveal..Iam certain guys like manning and Bray quickly move on to the next teams defense..Not much point in watching the tendency's of a CB or Safety they have already played against.. Other position players can learn much from old game film but QB's not so much

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

I'll believe it when I see it from Brewer..There's a reason he lost his job to a soph.; it's called talent!!One good thing is it's a lot easier to replace a safety than a starting CB..Much less pressure and responsibility.My worry is who will be directing assignments on the field which was Randolph's job and a very important one.With Randolph your losing the teams leading tackler and someone who rarely got beat for a big play..On the plus side in 3 years Brewer has played a lot of football and was a former starter but there is some drop off in talent..Sal really has his work cut out for him this week because the defense had tons of blown assignments last week and as we saw it only takes one to lead to a easy TD..The 3-4 defense has a lot of variations and takes time to perfect and on field adjustments and communications break downs are very costly..We have enough talent to make it work well but the defense is probably 4 weeks away from being mistake free..One things for sure!!!Come this time next year this will be one of the best defenses in the SEC especially if we can plug in a beast at Mike Linebacker..Looking forward to seeing McNeil getting increased playing time

hikerdude writes:

Bray is as good as he is going to get. He doesn't have the smarts to get any better. Watching film won't help him.

blaz2102 writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

I'll believe it when I see it from Brewer..There's a reason he lost his job to a soph.; it's called talent!!One good thing is it's a lot easier to replace a safety than a starting CB..Much less pressure and responsibility.My worry is who will be directing assignments on the field which was Randolph's job and a very important one.With Randolph your losing the teams leading tackler and someone who rarely got beat for a big play..On the plus side in 3 years Brewer has played a lot of football and was a former starter but there is some drop off in talent..Sal really has his work cut out for him this week because the defense had tons of blown assignments last week and as we saw it only takes one to lead to a easy TD..The 3-4 defense has a lot of variations and takes time to perfect and on field adjustments and communications break downs are very costly..We have enough talent to make it work well but the defense is probably 4 weeks away from being mistake free..One things for sure!!!Come this time next year this will be one of the best defenses in the SEC especially if we can plug in a beast at Mike Linebacker..Looking forward to seeing McNeil getting increased playing time

I agree. I watched Brewer last year and was amazed at seeing him litteraly standing around on plays. My observation was that he had alot of talent and alot of tools. But he wasnt a "football" player. This year when watching him he is better. More agressive and it seems he actually is enjoying hitting people. Lets hope he picks it up and goes headhunting.

navarrebeachvol writes:

in response to lomas98:

I think Tyler should watch the second half of the film. Does he just watch when things are going good. How in the world can he see what he was doing wrong and see how to improve? I bet Peyton manning was up late last night and into this morning seeing how he threw 3 picks and what he could have done better. After you watch the film, then move on. This is where bray has lots to learn.

and Peyton didn't give up....

volunteerintexas writes:

"Coach Gruden, a Mr. Hart from Tennessee on line one... Shall I patch him through, sir?...?

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