John Adams: UT quarterback tradition has taken odd twist

John Adams
New York Giants defensive end Justin Trattou (69) chases New York Jets quarterback Matt Simms (5) during overtime of a preseason NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, in East Rutherford N.J. The Jets won the game 24-21. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Photo by Julio Cortez

New York Giants defensive end Justin Trattou (69) chases New York Jets quarterback Matt Simms (5) during overtime of a preseason NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, in East Rutherford N.J. The Jets won the game 24-21. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

In a baffling twist, quarterbacks that struggled at times at Tennessee are having their moments in the pros this preseason.

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Comments » 20

vut5686#1405392 writes:

Not much insightful here. College and the pros are two different animals. Adam's point would seem to infer UT errs on player development. Should we be surprised that he takes that tack?

He undercuts that case, however, with his comparison of McElroy, QB of a NC Alabama; college experience can be, but is not always the sure-fire path to the pro Hall of Fame.

So, his talking of all the inconsistencies of UT QBs in their pro career is just that: talk. No conclusions drawn.

OrangePride writes:

Come on JA.....you know the problem with these QB's and offensive production as well as everyone. It can be given in two succinct statements. 1) Cutcliff leaves the program for Duke. The offense and QB's were never the same. 2)Dooley, et. al. arrives and NOBODY gets coached up. In fact to a person they all either stay the same or regress. Not very complicated and I invite anyone to argue with my post!

slb1zellwood#1421797 writes:

in response to vut5686#1405392:

Not much insightful here. College and the pros are two different animals. Adam's point would seem to infer UT errs on player development. Should we be surprised that he takes that tack?

He undercuts that case, however, with his comparison of McElroy, QB of a NC Alabama; college experience can be, but is not always the sure-fire path to the pro Hall of Fame.

So, his talking of all the inconsistencies of UT QBs in their pro career is just that: talk. No conclusions drawn.

I agree with your assessment sir.

Poor John he tries but every column he writes he continually steps on his ding-dang. Wonder if there is any hope for him or is it mission impossible?

wigmeister writes:

in response to slb1zellwood#1421797:

I agree with your assessment sir.

Poor John he tries but every column he writes he continually steps on his ding-dang. Wonder if there is any hope for him or is it mission impossible?

Mission Impossible

abnerPeabody writes:

Now,now guys. We all know that skilled position players since 2000 have never been Coached to their potential. Too many players have made NFL rosters but never stood out while at Tennessee. I will agree with Adams on this article.Coaching has and does make a huge difference in players. We have not had a head Coach worth the salt it takes to salt an egg since Fulmer, as some say,became Fat and lazy. He failed to replace quality Coaches with other Quality coaches. There has been lots of talent in recent years and that talent has not been coached to their potential.Maybe Butch Jones will get the job done.The saying is "the third time is the charm. This is the third head coach since Fulmer and I believe the third time will pay dividends.

I believe in Coach Jones.Go Vols.

TommyJack writes:

Adams made some good points.

FWBVol writes:

Bray wasn't the main problem in the seven losses last year. Our defense, under the direction of Sal Sunseri, couldn't stop a Division III team.

h8FLORIDA writes:

Adams should stick to writing articles about Jamarcus Russell, Matt Mauck, Josh Booty, and Rohan Davey.

fannotsheep writes:

The problem John has is that he always writes with an agenda.

Tyler Bray became a favorite target of fans and the media because he was immature. Of course none of us ever did anything childish or dumb when we were 19 or 20, did we John?

Of course Bray is fearless and has a cannon arm. We all saw that. I attended the Montana and Cincinnati games and wondered if he might be better throwing the long ball than Peyton. And if Cutcliffe had stayed Bray might have been a Heisman candidate. Now he knows he has to grow up to make his NFL dream a reality and he will have coaches a lot better than Dooley to help him.

Uh, John, did you ever think the Simms boys might get favorable NFL treatment because of their daddy?

Ever think Foster might have been the victim of horrible luck and worse timing? Did you notice his huge fumbles at the worst possible moments blinded everybody to what a strong, durable runner he was?

Did you ever think that these guys might dig deeper when they have a chance to make money for themselves and their family instead of the big football school they signed on with?

And sometimes the talents just don't transfer from one level to the next. Tebow was one of the best college players around -- just look how well his skill set fit with the NFL.

C'mon John, who are you kidding? Your readers or yourself?

johnlg00 writes:

in response to fannotsheep:

The problem John has is that he always writes with an agenda.

Tyler Bray became a favorite target of fans and the media because he was immature. Of course none of us ever did anything childish or dumb when we were 19 or 20, did we John?

Of course Bray is fearless and has a cannon arm. We all saw that. I attended the Montana and Cincinnati games and wondered if he might be better throwing the long ball than Peyton. And if Cutcliffe had stayed Bray might have been a Heisman candidate. Now he knows he has to grow up to make his NFL dream a reality and he will have coaches a lot better than Dooley to help him.

Uh, John, did you ever think the Simms boys might get favorable NFL treatment because of their daddy?

Ever think Foster might have been the victim of horrible luck and worse timing? Did you notice his huge fumbles at the worst possible moments blinded everybody to what a strong, durable runner he was?

Did you ever think that these guys might dig deeper when they have a chance to make money for themselves and their family instead of the big football school they signed on with?

And sometimes the talents just don't transfer from one level to the next. Tebow was one of the best college players around -- just look how well his skill set fit with the NFL.

C'mon John, who are you kidding? Your readers or yourself?

Some good comments here by you and some of the other posters. There are so many factors that go into an individual's success or lack of it at a given level. We see this phenomenon all the time. Highly-touted stars at one level fail at the next; end-of-the-bench scrubs at one level become stars at the next.

I am continually fascinated by the HBO series "Hard Knocks" even if I don't care at all about the featured team. It does about as good a job as possible at showing the inner workings of an NFL team to a general audience. It is clear from the coaches' deliberations that the differences in "talent" at a given level are so minute that the most seemingly insignificant factors can determine a player's whole future, at least with that franchise. There are always compelling individual stories that show how deeply invested the players and coaches are in the whole process of making and fielding a team, and how excruciatingly difficult it is on an emotional level for everybody involved.

No doubt the same kinds of factors influence playing careers at every level; just substitute professional pay for scholarships and/or playing time, and the same dynamics are at work. This is part of what makes sports such a fertile field for exploring human interaction. This is the reason why many of us find so much more to care about regarding sports than mere stats and won/lost records.

fannotsheep writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Some good comments here by you and some of the other posters. There are so many factors that go into an individual's success or lack of it at a given level. We see this phenomenon all the time. Highly-touted stars at one level fail at the next; end-of-the-bench scrubs at one level become stars at the next.

I am continually fascinated by the HBO series "Hard Knocks" even if I don't care at all about the featured team. It does about as good a job as possible at showing the inner workings of an NFL team to a general audience. It is clear from the coaches' deliberations that the differences in "talent" at a given level are so minute that the most seemingly insignificant factors can determine a player's whole future, at least with that franchise. There are always compelling individual stories that show how deeply invested the players and coaches are in the whole process of making and fielding a team, and how excruciatingly difficult it is on an emotional level for everybody involved.

No doubt the same kinds of factors influence playing careers at every level; just substitute professional pay for scholarships and/or playing time, and the same dynamics are at work. This is part of what makes sports such a fertile field for exploring human interaction. This is the reason why many of us find so much more to care about regarding sports than mere stats and won/lost records.

A former Vol defensive starter that I know very nearly made the roster of an NFL team. He says that his teammates thought he was in and were surprised when he got cut. He may never get another chance to see the field in a real NFL game but based on his play at UT he seems to be a guy who could surprise if given the opportunity. It is a fine line.

I think Bray could be a star in the NFL. His arm looks to me to be in the top half of the starters in the league. Sure he needs to work on every aspect of his game but so does every rookie to ever take a snap, even the ones named Manning. I wish Tyler the best. Every fan should, because former Vols who have success at the next level attract more young eyes to the program.

underthehill writes:

in response to fannotsheep:

The problem John has is that he always writes with an agenda.

Tyler Bray became a favorite target of fans and the media because he was immature. Of course none of us ever did anything childish or dumb when we were 19 or 20, did we John?

Of course Bray is fearless and has a cannon arm. We all saw that. I attended the Montana and Cincinnati games and wondered if he might be better throwing the long ball than Peyton. And if Cutcliffe had stayed Bray might have been a Heisman candidate. Now he knows he has to grow up to make his NFL dream a reality and he will have coaches a lot better than Dooley to help him.

Uh, John, did you ever think the Simms boys might get favorable NFL treatment because of their daddy?

Ever think Foster might have been the victim of horrible luck and worse timing? Did you notice his huge fumbles at the worst possible moments blinded everybody to what a strong, durable runner he was?

Did you ever think that these guys might dig deeper when they have a chance to make money for themselves and their family instead of the big football school they signed on with?

And sometimes the talents just don't transfer from one level to the next. Tebow was one of the best college players around -- just look how well his skill set fit with the NFL.

C'mon John, who are you kidding? Your readers or yourself?

Bray was a target of fans and media because he was immature ..to be correct you would need to add..on the field and off..and you forgot to mention..he wasn't drafted..so it was not just the media and fans who saw his cone head junk that may have cost his team wins..who are you kidding..Bray was more about himself than the team..football is a team sport..I hope he grows up and learns how to be a team player..he didn't do that at UT..

fannotsheep writes:

in response to underthehill:

Bray was a target of fans and media because he was immature ..to be correct you would need to add..on the field and off..and you forgot to mention..he wasn't drafted..so it was not just the media and fans who saw his cone head junk that may have cost his team wins..who are you kidding..Bray was more about himself than the team..football is a team sport..I hope he grows up and learns how to be a team player..he didn't do that at UT..

I agree that Bray did some dumb things and I can understand the reluctance of some teams to draft him. But I am willing to bet that if he gets a shot he will do well in the NFL. He just has too good of an arm -- and he is not afraid to use it.

I am not saying he is ever going to be a heady player. But I don't think he is a bad guy. Just needs to take the game lots more seriously than he ever has. And I think he will. Not being drafted had to be a huge wake-up call. According to all the reports he ain't a genius. Unless he wants to bag groceries or whatever the rest of his life, he should try his best to do what his coaches tell him to do.

I think lots of people are self righteous and judge young athletes as if they were fully grown adults. UT has had its share of thugs and "hey look at me" egos and some of them have made it on sheer talent. I'll be pulling for Bray. I don't really care who else does.

underthehill writes:

in response to fannotsheep:

I agree that Bray did some dumb things and I can understand the reluctance of some teams to draft him. But I am willing to bet that if he gets a shot he will do well in the NFL. He just has too good of an arm -- and he is not afraid to use it.

I am not saying he is ever going to be a heady player. But I don't think he is a bad guy. Just needs to take the game lots more seriously than he ever has. And I think he will. Not being drafted had to be a huge wake-up call. According to all the reports he ain't a genius. Unless he wants to bag groceries or whatever the rest of his life, he should try his best to do what his coaches tell him to do.

I think lots of people are self righteous and judge young athletes as if they were fully grown adults. UT has had its share of thugs and "hey look at me" egos and some of them have made it on sheer talent. I'll be pulling for Bray. I don't really care who else does.

I hope Bray does get his shot in the NFL and I hope you are correct in thinking he will do well..I was at the UT -Cinn game and saw first hand his arm talent..but I think you are way off base to think people are self righteous who judge people for their actions..Bray was not treated unfairly by fans or media for his actions at UT..he was his own worst enemy..I do think he would have been better off to have had a better coach who demanded his players play and act in the best way to help the team win...may be wrong..but Jones appears to be that kind of person..

fannotsheep writes:

in response to underthehill:

I hope Bray does get his shot in the NFL and I hope you are correct in thinking he will do well..I was at the UT -Cinn game and saw first hand his arm talent..but I think you are way off base to think people are self righteous who judge people for their actions..Bray was not treated unfairly by fans or media for his actions at UT..he was his own worst enemy..I do think he would have been better off to have had a better coach who demanded his players play and act in the best way to help the team win...may be wrong..but Jones appears to be that kind of person..

I just don't think it's fair to expect amateur athletes who are 18-21 years old to always act in an appropriate way, and I don't know of any of Bray's actions that warranted the kind of criticism he received. If he was a paid professional then OK, but lots of NFL players do worse things: DUI's, vehicular homicides, dozens of paternity suits, assault and battery charges, murder, etc.

Heck, Peyton allegedly behaved in a very crude and raunchy way towards a female staffer while he was at UT.

I wouldn't have fared well under that microscope when I was his age. But I grew up and changed my behavior. If Bray was on a winning team at UT, most fans would have given him a break. But the teams lost and everyone wanted someone to blame. Imagine Tennessee's offense without Tyler Bray the last two seasons -- I'll bet they'd have lost 9 games in 2012. And if their offense was as bad as their defense the stands would have been empty.

Tao_of_Tennessee writes:

Some good comments above but I do not think NFL money, which was cited as one of possible difference makers, was a difference maker in any of these cases.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Tao_of_Tennessee:

Some good comments above but I do not think NFL money, which was cited as one of possible difference makers, was a difference maker in any of these cases.

Agree about the interesting discussion of Bray by FNS and UTH. I think both accurately portray significant bodies of opinion on Bray and the nature of young athletes in general. I also agree with you that NFL money as such is not a total explanation for the behavior of some athletes, especially in the pros. However, the sense of entitlement that goes along with the excessive adulation often heaped on young star athletes contributes to the delayed onset of maturity in many of them, and for some that happens too late.

Being able to capitalize socially on their fame can inhibit the development of other social skills and interests and brings them into contact with people who seek to exploit them. Because of their limited interaction with their peers EXCEPT on the basis of their sports fame, they may be blinded to the dangers of associating with all the fawners and flatterers. People who ply them with gifts and favors are only fulfilling their sense of what they are due, and people who warn them against such relationships are seen as "dream-stealers" and are too often disregarded. They may never have learned the value of being told "NO!" on occasion. They may have never learned that things that might seem good or at least OK in the short run may not be good for them in the long run.

Obviously there is a LOT of generalization in all of this, and the ultimate responsibility for their actions is THEIRS, whether they realize it or not. The marvel is that so many young athletes DO turn out to be decent human beings, despite all the pitfalls of their fame--AND money.

johnlg00 writes:

After I posted the above, an old country gag song popped into my mind. With the obvious addition, it goes, "Oh Lord, it's hard to be humble when [everybody around you tells you that] you're perfect in every way." A certain humility, however acquired or imposed, is a vital necessity for learning--if you think you already know everything, then clearly there is nothing anybody can teach you. That is a step toward maturity very few of us would be able to accomplish in their place.

fannotsheep writes:

I find it interesting that we are discussing athletes being late to mature, but have you looked around at society in general? Maybe it's a universal sense of entitlement not unlike what johnig00 refers to in star athletes.

Not trying to bash young people here. I realize that each generation has its own pressures. Today's college grads face a scary economy and a lack of good jobs. I am not as mature as my parents were at my age, and lots of folks my age still act like teenagers.

How many people do you observe behaving badly while driving? How many go off on cashiers at the store because of some silly problem? How many people go out of their minds over a call against their team at a ball game? How many berate amateur athletes at college or even high school games?

I think we expect way too much from college football and basketball players. Many of them are talented, but they are still kids. They have lives beyond the playing arena. They have girlfriends and professors, bad days and major stresses inside and outside the lines.

Some fans live or die by UT football for decades. Some players may care more about their teammates than the history of the program. They may be sick and tired of their coaches, and don't really feel compelled to bleed orange when it's freezing cold, and the team is having a bad day. And while they have more impact on the game's outcome than the coaches, stadium concessionaires or business owners on the strip, they are the only ones not making any money on the deal.

So I do think it's self-righteous when fans berate young amateur players, who risk life-altering injuries every time the ball is snapped. Maybe there are some days Bray just didn't feel like giving his all for Tennessee. Especially near the end of another bad year playing for a coach who threw him to the lions in the local media and then did his best to make sure he didn't get drafted by telling all his NFL connections Bray was the reason for all his (Dooley's) troubles. If you ask me, Bray was the main reason I turned on the TV in 2012, and I hate to think how bad -- and utterly boring -- the team would have been without him.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to fannotsheep:

I find it interesting that we are discussing athletes being late to mature, but have you looked around at society in general? Maybe it's a universal sense of entitlement not unlike what johnig00 refers to in star athletes.

Not trying to bash young people here. I realize that each generation has its own pressures. Today's college grads face a scary economy and a lack of good jobs. I am not as mature as my parents were at my age, and lots of folks my age still act like teenagers.

How many people do you observe behaving badly while driving? How many go off on cashiers at the store because of some silly problem? How many people go out of their minds over a call against their team at a ball game? How many berate amateur athletes at college or even high school games?

I think we expect way too much from college football and basketball players. Many of them are talented, but they are still kids. They have lives beyond the playing arena. They have girlfriends and professors, bad days and major stresses inside and outside the lines.

Some fans live or die by UT football for decades. Some players may care more about their teammates than the history of the program. They may be sick and tired of their coaches, and don't really feel compelled to bleed orange when it's freezing cold, and the team is having a bad day. And while they have more impact on the game's outcome than the coaches, stadium concessionaires or business owners on the strip, they are the only ones not making any money on the deal.

So I do think it's self-righteous when fans berate young amateur players, who risk life-altering injuries every time the ball is snapped. Maybe there are some days Bray just didn't feel like giving his all for Tennessee. Especially near the end of another bad year playing for a coach who threw him to the lions in the local media and then did his best to make sure he didn't get drafted by telling all his NFL connections Bray was the reason for all his (Dooley's) troubles. If you ask me, Bray was the main reason I turned on the TV in 2012, and I hate to think how bad -- and utterly boring -- the team would have been without him.

Wow! GREAT post! This is exactly what I was getting at, on several levels, when I mentioned human and social factors beyond mere stats and records as a basis for serious interest in sports. In many ways, sports are both a mirror and a metaphor for life as a whole. Well done!

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