Tyler Bray's father says NFL draft was 'brutal'

QB signs 3-year deal with Chiefs

Associated press
Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray works out during the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis on Feb. 24.

Photo by Dave Martin

Associated press Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray works out during the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis on Feb. 24.

The father of Tyler Bray said his son is “very excited’’ about signing a free agent contract with the Kansas City Chiefs, but Jeff Bray couldn’t mask his disappointed over the former Tennessee quarterback going undrafted when he was projected to be picked as high as the second round by some draft analysts.

“It was brutal,’’ Jeff Bray said in a phone interview to The Sports Animal, of watching the draft from his home in California with Tyler.

“I personally think with that kind of talent, to sit through something like that, it just amazes me.’’

Tyler Bray sometimes did some amazing things as Tennessee’s quarterback, throwing for 3,612 yards and 34 touchdowns last season and ranking among UT’s top four all-time in TD passes and passing yards. He has the school record for most 400-yard games (four) and passed for 530 against Troy, second most in SEC history.

But he never beat a ranked team, won just two SEC games in his last two seasons at Tennessee, endured some off-the-field issues and didn’t display the leadership qualities NFL scouts desire from a quarterback.

Jeff Bray said Tyler signed a three-year free agent contract with Kansas City with bonuses for making the roster and the practice squad. He said Chiefs coach Andy Reid called before the draft ended, expressing an interest in Bray.

“Nobody wants him (in the draft), then for two hours the phone does not stop ringing from different teams,’’ Jeff Bray said. “As a parent, you say: ‘You want him now, but you didn’t want him in the draft?’ ’’

Jeff Bray said two teams, including the Pittsburgh Steelers and coach Mike Tomlin, said they would draft Bray. But the Steelers instead took Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones in the fourth round.

Eleven quarterbacks were selected in the draft, including a guy from Southern Utah and Duke’s Sean Renfree.

“I know I’m his parent, but I don’t see how 11 quarterbacks get picked, and the best quarterback physically is not picked,’’ Jeff Bray said.

ESPN analyst Bill Polian, former general manager of the Indianapolis Colts, said Tyler Bray had an inconsistent release point which affected his accuracy and he questioned Bray’s decision making.

Tyler Bray might have hurt himself during his Quarterback Camp session on ESPN with Jon Gruden, saying on a 1-to-10 scale his game preparation was a seven or eight and that some of his off-the-field antics were due to a lack of maturity.

Jeff Bray said if a player isn’t picked by the sixth or seventh round, it’s almost better to sign as a free agent so you can pick the best team fit.

“We’re happy,’’ Jeff Bray said. “He’s where he wanted to be (in Kansas City).’’

Chase Daniel, the Chiefs’ backup quarterback, was a counselor at an Elite 11 camp in Los Angeles in which Tyler Bray participated.

Bray will join the Chiefs’ eight-member draft class for a three-day rookie minicamp that begins May 10.

Jimmy Hyams is a freelance contributor.

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Comments » 111

Ironcity writes:

Good luck Tyler. make the most of this opportunity.

PHAT_VOL writes:

Jeff said "The best Q/B physically" refering to Tyler wasn't chosen. Of what significance is the best quarterback physically and I don't think he is? You notice his dad didn't say the best Q/B mentally. I really do wish Tyler the best and hope he is very sucessful. But he just hasn't played very much football and the NFL is a hard league to grow up in.
GO VOLS!!!

rusty_shackleford writes:

Watching Bray act like a spoiled brat rather than the leader of an SEC football team was brutal, too. Good luck!

borovol1956 writes:

I do not think Bray could overcome the problems created by two words: Derek Dooley. The situation was a mess the entire time Bray played.

voloffaith writes:

in response to borovol1956:

I do not think Bray could overcome the problems created by two words: Derek Dooley. The situation was a mess the entire time Bray played.

get over it........Dooley didn't fumble..throw interception...etc...one who won't give up the past and its twist and turns...........

Ironcity writes:

in response to voloffaith:

get over it........Dooley didn't fumble..throw interception...etc...one who won't give up the past and its twist and turns...........

Get over it. Voloffaith is just listing the obvious. Dooley damaged a lot of careers except his own. he managed to leave with an additional 5 million in his pocket. I feel sorry for all the players, coaches and UT and La. Tech fans that had to endure Dooley and his ineptness.

burpee_von_rotweiler_IV writes:

in response to borovol1956:

I do not think Bray could overcome the problems created by two words: Derek Dooley. The situation was a mess the entire time Bray played.

I do not think Bray could overcome the problems created by two words: Tyler Bray.

bUTch_please writes:

Brutal? Not really, dang near everyone who was halfway paying attention last few months saw it coming. Maybe not a 7 round stiff, but no one expected a bidding war.

If you want true brutality Mr Jeff, imagine yourself a tat artist paid to ink your sons' tramp stamp. Oh..the humanity.

antonio14313 writes:

at least bray wasn't invited to new york for the draft. ;) go vols!

t

VolnTex writes:

in response to borovol1956:

I do not think Bray could overcome the problems created by two words: Derek Dooley. The situation was a mess the entire time Bray played.

My guess would be that none of the teams who didn't chose him did so because of Derek Dooley's influence on him. To blame Derek Dooley is just silly. The NFL obviously thought more of Dooley than they did Bray.

Caspian writes:

in response to PHAT_VOL:

Jeff said "The best Q/B physically" refering to Tyler wasn't chosen. Of what significance is the best quarterback physically and I don't think he is? You notice his dad didn't say the best Q/B mentally. I really do wish Tyler the best and hope he is very sucessful. But he just hasn't played very much football and the NFL is a hard league to grow up in.
GO VOLS!!!

I think a big part of the cause behind Tyler's maturity/leadership/mental issues is revealed in his father's quote. Tyler needs to learn to take personal responsibility and face the consequences of his own decisions. Without dad around.

aardvarkpower writes:

Tyler will grow into a successful quarterback and more importantly, person.

jack4444 writes:

in response to Ironcity:

Get over it. Voloffaith is just listing the obvious. Dooley damaged a lot of careers except his own. he managed to leave with an additional 5 million in his pocket. I feel sorry for all the players, coaches and UT and La. Tech fans that had to endure Dooley and his ineptness.

The whole thing comes down to Hamilton's hire of Kiffin.

Hamilton had months to make that decision and he couldn't have made a worse one. The Dooley hire was in like a 2 week window.

Quit complaining about Dooley and complain about how Hammy set UT football back 5 years with his lil Lane hire.

lemme_axya_this writes:

in response to Ironcity:

Get over it. Voloffaith is just listing the obvious. Dooley damaged a lot of careers except his own. he managed to leave with an additional 5 million in his pocket. I feel sorry for all the players, coaches and UT and La. Tech fans that had to endure Dooley and his ineptness.

Derek Dooley went from Head coach in the SEC to tight ends coach for the worst owner in the NFL and most likely a lame duck head coach. Safe to say his career has been damaged for a while. If you want to talk about damaged careers and UT, consider the last three years for Bruce Pearl compared to Steve Forbes, Tony Jones, and Jason Shay.

givehim6 writes:

Worst thing Bray did to himself was bypass his SR season. Because CBJ Coaches by makeing his teams think while playing, Bray really needed this. I do not think UT was hurt real bad buy him leaving. Now UT will get a thinking QB next season.

antonio14313 writes:

wait...

"Eleven quarterbacks were selected in the draft, including a guy from Southern Utah and Duke’s Sean Renfree."

"...including a guy from southern utah"?? "a guy"??? c'mon now! what kind of writing is this? can't even mention the "guy"'s name?? hmph.

go vols.

t

keithgibson writes:

almost all of you people ripped Foster when he did not get drafted, now you praise him. just wish the kid good luck and let it go.

Henley-Street-Bridge writes:

I’m his parent, but I don’t see how 11 quarterbacks get picked, and the best quarterback physically is not picked,’’ Jeff Bray said.;

Bro, it's simple, he doesn't have the rest of the package not limited to smarts between the ears, ability to listen and respond, willing to work hard(er) to learn a new system and prepare for games, personally maturity which still rates him in Jr. High.. other than that Dad?

He's a pretty good arm I'll agree with that..

Rel2400 writes:

Can't blame Dooley when we had the crew of receivers drafted early. Bray's problem was himself...plain and simple. I believe he realized this too late and once the decision was made he couldn't turn back. The Chiefs will be happy with what they got and happier at the cost for the next 3 years. He will make the roster and he will be a solid backup. He's the type of player who can come in on a hot streak and score a few quick TDs. We've seen it happen a lot in the NFL. Hopefully one of these days we will see him on a few highlight reels showing his raw talent. In the meantime partner him with someone who can help him grow up.

Best of luck Tyler!

PennVol writes:

When the going got tough in the SEC, Bray disappeared. He wasn't worth any team giving up a draft choice, but at least he's getting a chance to prove himself. Unfortunately, the competition is now much tougher.

barefoot43 writes:

If I am not mistaken, Ryan Leaf was said to be the most physically gifted quarterback in the draft when Peyton was picked number one.

Mr. Bray and Tyler also should have been using that history as a learning point. Not that Leaf was drafted after a "lesser physically talented" quarterback, but that Leaf was out of the league in 3 or 4 years. NFL teams are not about to invest large amounts of money for quarterbacks with questionable mental and emotional characteristics. I saw that Tyler seemed most happy about putting on 30 pounds since he left college. While that is admirable if it is the right kind of weight, it seems that he should have been able to answer questions on coverages, hot reads and mistakes that he made while here.

It is so disappointing to see someone with great physical talent not understanding what it takes to succeed. I was watching his time with Gruden and thinking that he really does not have a clue to what he should have been doing. I felt almost as disappointed as I did when Tony Robinson got busted for drugs. How can someone be so stupid to waste that talent or just not care?

SevenT writes:

The Chiefs must have the dumbest front office in the NFL

First they pick up Eric Berry now they pick up Tyler Bray.

Just Saying

Ironcity writes:

in response to jack4444:

The whole thing comes down to Hamilton's hire of Kiffin.

Hamilton had months to make that decision and he couldn't have made a worse one. The Dooley hire was in like a 2 week window.

Quit complaining about Dooley and complain about how Hammy set UT football back 5 years with his lil Lane hire.

I do agree that hammy damaged this athletic department more then Professionalhandicaper could have dreamed of.

Wayfarer writes:

Tyler Bray is only 21 and still has a lot of maturing to do on and off the football field. He has the physical tools to succeed in the NFL but the black mark is the maturity. He will need to buckle down and work. He will need to learn that the physical gifts will only get him one shot. He has to become a student of the game. He will need to avoid any stupid mistakes off the field like DUIs, drugs or arrests of any kind.

On the Hammy front Lane Kiffen was a Haslam hire...Daddy H wanted him and Hammy kissed Pilot behind and hired him.

CCLC writes:

Speaking of draft day busts......I sure am glad Duh'Rick passed on Georgia.
Just sayin'

lemme_axya_this writes:

in response to SevenT:

The Chiefs must have the dumbest front office in the NFL

First they pick up Eric Berry now they pick up Tyler Bray.

Just Saying

Dumber than the Brown's front office that drafted Couch? Not even close. Eric Berry, two Pro Bowls in three years. Between Tim Couch and Sam bowie, kintucky can claim the two biggest flops in the history of the two biggest sports in America today. LOL

CCLC writes:

in response to SevenT:

The Chiefs must have the dumbest front office in the NFL

First they pick up Eric Berry now they pick up Tyler Bray.

Just Saying

Please. No horsing around. ;-)
"Aw, hell nah, there goes that horse. I don't f--- with that horse. That horse," Berry told Chiefs teammates. "I gotta wait 'til that horse pass. I don't mess with horses bro, straight up. He might come over and throw a tantrum."

just sayin'

voloffaith writes:

in response to SevenT:

The Chiefs must have the dumbest front office in the NFL

First they pick up Eric Berry now they pick up Tyler Bray.

Just Saying

Yep Eric Berry pro bowler........don't even try again to put these two in the same category. One was drafted on purpose..the other signed free agent with minimum risk and no draft pick wasted. How is Tim Couch doing? Does his mother still work for a state institution?

etu_vol_fan writes:

Gruden supposedly said that a 12 year-old could read a defense better than Tyler. I know daddy thinks sonny boy is the best. He has all the physical tools but he had better get to work.

Slats writes:

in response to aardvarkpower:

Tyler will grow into a successful quarterback and more importantly, person.

As an avid TN fan I sincerely hope your right! I think maybe Tyler was immature and another year at UT with Butch Jones would have helped him tremendously! Wish him the best and he will be a VFL!

GerryOP writes:

I suggest that Tyler go into the bathroom, close the door, and have a long heart-to-heart talk with the guy looking back at him in the mirror.

lemme_axya_this writes:

in response to CCLC:

Speaking of draft day busts......I sure am glad Duh'Rick passed on Georgia.
Just sayin'

Aaron Murray = Eric Zeier.

ArmyDad writes:

If only empty long neck tossing had been a skills test at the combine, what might have been for Bray.

Playsomeorange writes:

BRUTAL=having Kentucky beat you with a wide receiver at QB.

WetumpkaThumpa writes:

Brutal was watching his son waste his talent for three years. The Bray's just don't get it. Dumb.

Galaxie500XL writes:

One can hardly blame the NFL...

NO team is interested in using a draft choice on someone with a tendency to throw interceptions when the heat is on...

...That's what "free agents" on the practice team are for...far less expensive, and they don't lose games for your team.

Sounds like the NFL figured out something UT fans figured out long ago. Bray has POTENTIAL to be a great quarterback, but he's got a long way to go. Hopefully, he'll mature--because the NFL isn't likely to be terribly patient, waiting for him to grow up, and learn to make better decisions on and off the field.

VolnTex writes:

in response to lemme_axya_this:

Derek Dooley went from Head coach in the SEC to tight ends coach for the worst owner in the NFL and most likely a lame duck head coach. Safe to say his career has been damaged for a while. If you want to talk about damaged careers and UT, consider the last three years for Bruce Pearl compared to Steve Forbes, Tony Jones, and Jason Shay.

I guess if you put it that way it sounds pretty bad. But if you just say he went from Louisiana Tech to the Dallas Cowboys, then it sounds pretty good. :)

MooseandSquirrelVol writes:

in response to Johnny_Aint_No_Del_Shofner:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No, what must be horribly painful for Tyler's father is to contemplate how he willingly allowed his very gifted son to grow up believing that talent was enough without putting in the work to develope it.

tovolny writes:

I just don't know what to say. I never met the kid. I never met Derek Dooley either. But one thing for sure, nobody posting thus far knows or knew anything. It is hard to draw accurate conclusions based on opinions of people who know very little of the situation.
The person with the most credibility would no doubt be Jeff Bray. However, one would naturally expect a little bias from his projections.

I think it goes something like this: "If you play college football and you are a great player, then you can expect to be drafted in the early rounds and have a good career in the NFL. If you play college football and are pretty darn good at it, you can expect an NFL team to draft you and give you a shot."

let's see, there are 32 teams in the NFL. 32 times 7 equals 224. From this number, I believe Bray got screwed. Should we really be asking why? Most likely, at least three or four people from each team knows more about Tyler Bray than we casual posters. So, now it is clear as water from the Tennessee River, Tyler must PLAY his way onto the roster. A little turbidity is present, but I bet nobody will keep him on the roster because they enjoy his cavalier antics and his body language from the sidelines. In spite of all that has been said, I hope, and even pray, that he is as successful as the efforts he puts forth from this point forward. I love you son, good luck, you're gonna need it.

voloffaith writes:

in response to Playsomeorange:

BRUTAL=having Kentucky beat you with a wide receiver at QB.

Of your three posts this is the most striking one to date........Ashley Judd and Paul Finebaum run close second and third..............BTW that game was in 2011...in 2012 we went back to winning with Coach ????? ya know the offensive coordinator at Arkysaw.........

eVOLved writes:

in response to bUTch_please:

Brutal? Not really, dang near everyone who was halfway paying attention last few months saw it coming. Maybe not a 7 round stiff, but no one expected a bidding war.

If you want true brutality Mr Jeff, imagine yourself a tat artist paid to ink your sons' tramp stamp. Oh..the humanity.

bUT please note TB's tat is shoulder level. I know you don't want to hear it, but your lower back tat is a stamp.

TB's dad's assessment is true. In two years, they'll be talking about Bray every time we turn on sportscenter.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to SevenT:

The Chiefs must have the dumbest front office in the NFL

First they pick up Eric Berry now they pick up Tyler Bray.

Just Saying

Ewe have the dumbest front orifice in tucky, your mouth.
jUsT said it..

The_Power_T writes:

I'm torn on the Bray issue. One part of me knows his lack of development and maturity was his own fault. I know his seemingly lackadaisical and somewhat careless attitude towards the game was a big factor in his not improving. It's obvious that he is not a student of the game, and relied on physical ability to play the game. That being said, a lot of his problems could've been addressed through decent coaching, and leadership. I mean, the guy had to deal with Dooley and the coaches that Dooley hired. Was there really any way to truly improve with the coaches he had teaching him? Did he ever have a coach that really took an interest in him, both on and off the field? It kind of reminds me of the Erik Ainge situation. He had a ton of talent, but had some maturity and off the field issues. Those issues all but disappeared when Coach Cut got back in KTown. He took real interest in not only improving Erik as a player, but as a person. Heck, two of the best qbs in the game(Peyton and Eli) still work out with the man. I would be willing to bet Bray has not spoken to a single UT coach since leaving school. Bray has all the physical abilities to make it in the NFL. Hopefully this whole draft experience humbled him, and changed his mentality to his approach to the game. He needs to find someone he looks up to in the profession, show some humility, and just ask for help. If I were him, I'd call Coach Cut or Peyton and just beg for assistance. UT is a proud family, and has no problem helping one of their own who wants and needs it. It does not do our school any good for our players to go the the NFL and become failures. I wish Bray all the best, and hope he has a great NFL career. I'm proud to be a Tennessee Vol, and I hope he is too. Go Vols!

CCLC writes:

in response to lemme_axya_this:

Aaron Murray = Eric Zeier.

Ya think?
Murray against the Vols..
Won 41-14
Won 20-12
Won 51-44.......
just sayin'I'll take that. Thank you very much.

CCLC writes:

in response to CCLC:

Ya think?
Murray against the Vols..
Won 41-14
Won 20-12
Won 51-44.......
just sayin'I'll take that. Thank you very much.

You might be right... Could Murray go before the 3rd round? He certainly had a better career against the Vols than Eric did.

QB Eric Zeier out of Georgia was drafted in 1995 by the Browns in round 3 (#84 overall)

rockytopwestone writes:

in response to borovol1956:

I do not think Bray could overcome the problems created by two words: Derek Dooley. The situation was a mess the entire time Bray played.

Love it ! You are correct Sir !

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to GerryOP:

I suggest that Tyler go into the bathroom, close the door, and have a long heart-to-heart talk with the guy looking back at him in the mirror.

Agreed, the only thing brutal about TB was his brutal play against good competition.

Orange_Power_T writes:

Tyler had no work ethic. That had nothing to do with Dooley (even though I can't imagine anything good about working with the man). Work ethic is brought about by only three things; upbringing, despair, or willingness to do what it takes to reach a goal. From the interview with Tyler's dad, my guess is most everything was handed to him- including God-given talent. Unfortunately, those who play on Sundays don't rely on talent alone. My advice to Tyler.... it seems you have one last chance. Don't squander it. What may have worked for you before will NOT work for you now. Wake up - get busy - and work your butt off. And.... good luck.

10SE writes:

I would like to comment, but I don't think that it would do anyone any good.

jt45 writes:

in response to The_Power_T:

I'm torn on the Bray issue. One part of me knows his lack of development and maturity was his own fault. I know his seemingly lackadaisical and somewhat careless attitude towards the game was a big factor in his not improving. It's obvious that he is not a student of the game, and relied on physical ability to play the game. That being said, a lot of his problems could've been addressed through decent coaching, and leadership. I mean, the guy had to deal with Dooley and the coaches that Dooley hired. Was there really any way to truly improve with the coaches he had teaching him? Did he ever have a coach that really took an interest in him, both on and off the field? It kind of reminds me of the Erik Ainge situation. He had a ton of talent, but had some maturity and off the field issues. Those issues all but disappeared when Coach Cut got back in KTown. He took real interest in not only improving Erik as a player, but as a person. Heck, two of the best qbs in the game(Peyton and Eli) still work out with the man. I would be willing to bet Bray has not spoken to a single UT coach since leaving school. Bray has all the physical abilities to make it in the NFL. Hopefully this whole draft experience humbled him, and changed his mentality to his approach to the game. He needs to find someone he looks up to in the profession, show some humility, and just ask for help. If I were him, I'd call Coach Cut or Peyton and just beg for assistance. UT is a proud family, and has no problem helping one of their own who wants and needs it. It does not do our school any good for our players to go the the NFL and become failures. I wish Bray all the best, and hope he has a great NFL career. I'm proud to be a Tennessee Vol, and I hope he is too. Go Vols!

Excellent post. I was beginning to think no one on this board even considers the fact that TB came in to UT green and basically had no decent upperclassmen QBs to mentor him, and seeing as hindsight is always 20/20 not very good coaches either from what I saw the last three years. I wish the best for young TB and hope he has better support in KC than he got in knoxville.

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