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Derek Dooley has a message for QB Bray: throw INTs and get benched

Tyler Bray AP

Nick Saban‘s opinion aside, Derek Dooley probably needs to start winning some big games at Tennessee to keep his job. He’s apparently willing to do that by any means necessary, including introducing starting quarterback Tyler Bray the bench. Bray threw a pair of interceptions and was eventually removed late in Saturday’s loss to Alabama in favor of backup Justin Worley — once the game had been decided, that is.

What isn’t decided, at least according to Dooley, is if Bray will continue to be the team’s first-string quarterback.

“If he’s loose with the football, he’s coming out of the game and we’re going to play Justin,” Dooley said Monday. “I told him that.”

Bray has been picked off nine times this season, but that could easily be contributed to the fact that the Vols have trailed often in games. In three wins, albeit against lesser competition, Bray has 10 touchdowns and one INT; in four losses, he has six touchdowns and eight INTs. But there’s no denying that one of Bray’s weaknesses is decision-making. The general frustration with Bray is that he has all the physical tools and can spin the football with the best of them, but isn’t as mature in other aspects of the game as you would want from a quarterback who has started or seen significant time in 22 games.

Including knowing how to handle himself after a loss. Bray did not meet with media members after Saturday’s game, causing Dooley to say his quarterback needed to “man up.”

“That’s unacceptable in our program,” Dooley said. “There’s no defense for that type of behavior.”

To Bray’s credit, he did so Monday and admitted he let his emotions get the better of him.

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

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25 Responses to “Derek Dooley has a message for QB Bray: throw INTs and get benched”
  1. pricecube says: Oct 22, 2012 5:29 PM

    While I have not been overly impressed with Tyler Bray, it seems like Dooley is feeling the heat and lashing out at his players.

  2. drozman says: Oct 22, 2012 5:37 PM

    Dooley knows how to handle this and is a good coach, just look at what happened to LA Tech after he left. That team has fallen apart three years after he departed…oh wait, scratch that.

  3. Deb says: Oct 22, 2012 5:40 PM

    pricecube, I had the same impression while reading the article. Decisionmaking is an important quarterbacking skill–one that’s difficult to teach but will improve with practice. He’s a junior, and I don’t know whether he intends to play next year. Given these stats, he probably should take more time to develop before coming out. And in that case, it would be better for the team and for Bray long-term if Dooley left him in and worked with him on his decisionmaking skills rather than just pulling him.

  4. hor2012 says: Oct 22, 2012 5:57 PM

    It may be could for Bray and the team but I don’t know how good it will be for Dooley. I don’t think he’s going to get the time to let Bray develope

  5. blitz4848 says: Oct 22, 2012 7:43 PM

    UT ‘s AD issued this statement….

    Dooley win some games or “you will be fired!!!”

  6. WingT says: Oct 22, 2012 9:06 PM

    Dooley is not deflecting blame to Bray – he’s not Steve Spurrier. Bray is immature and it must be frustrating to Dooley to see all of that talent being wasted. Bray has shown flashes of brilliance. He has a cannon of an arm. It will be interesting to see how Bray responds next week – I bet he gets his head straight and has a good game.

    Tennessee will not fire Dooley this year . If they are smart they will give him a couple of more years and some strong alumni support – time will tell

    roll tide

  7. vols84 says: Oct 22, 2012 9:17 PM

    Wing T- I believe Tennessee is considering removing Dooley. We all know that everyone enjoys whipping the Vols right now, but its clear, he is not the guy.

  8. Deb says: Oct 22, 2012 9:21 PM

    @WingT …

    As a diehard Steelers fan, I can empathize a little with Dooley. Ben Roethlisberger has shown flashes of brilliance, too. Enough to account for three championships and two Super Bowls. But last night he threw the ball straight into double coverage as though it would magically disappear. No tipped ball, no poorly run route, no one in his face. Every now and then he just decides to put the ball where it clearly cannot go. Given his overall performance, I shouldn’t complain … but it is a bit frustrating.

    Roll Tide.

  9. houndofthebaskervols says: Oct 22, 2012 9:42 PM

    What in the friggin hell has Roethlisberger got to do with anything? Sheez!

    Dooley is not throwing anybody under the bus. Bray is an immature selfish punk, and he is not the leader UT needs. He should have been yanked in the 3rd quarter the other night when he was laughing and carrying on on the sideline while the defense was getting their teeth kicked in. He’s an All World talent, was a projected 1st rounder, but has been a total bust in 4 SEC games playing behind what is arguably the best OL in the country, read: 3 sacks all season and ZERO vs. Bama!

  10. Deb says: Oct 22, 2012 10:21 PM

    @hound …

    The topic was a very talented quarterback and his poor decisionmaking. It didn’t seem far-fetched to talk about how another very talented, championship QB in his eighth year still demonstrates exactly the same type of poor decisionmaking a little too often at this stage of his career. Of course, I could have just called him a punk because he was laughing during the game, but then what would you have posted?

  11. houndofthebaskervols says: Oct 23, 2012 3:13 AM

    Sorry, there are zero parallels between Tyler Bray and Ben Roethlisberger. OK well they’re both tall, thats it.

  12. v2the4 says: Oct 23, 2012 6:58 AM

    Dooley is currently 0-11 vs Alabama, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina since he has been wearing the orange pants in Knoxville…once the Vols get dug up by South Carolina on Saturday, where the Gamcocks come in as 14 point favorites, then he will be 0-12 vs the Vols biggest rivals in the sec…

    a few seasons ago, Tennessee could go into darn near any area of the country and get recruits..UT competed for SEC titles and went to big time bowl games, but that was yesteryear…..Dooley is probably a good football coach, but he is probably more suited to the school(s) where he came from like LaTech than a big program like Tennessee..

    my guess on UT’s next coach should they get rid of Dooley:

    1) Bobby Patreno (will fight with Auburn for his services)
    2) Phil Fulmer (yeah, if K-state can bring back a 72 yr old Bill Synder, then why not bring back Phil?)

  13. normtide says: Oct 23, 2012 7:51 AM

    From what I have read, UT has a cash shortage. Heavy debt and a small $2mill reserve. Can they afford to buy him and his staff out, then buy another coach out of his contract, plus pay him and all new staff? Can’t blame all this on Lane either, although he certainly didn’t help the situation. I live close to the Tennessee line, have friends there, and I know they are sick of losing. Best of luck, cause even with a new coach, will be a couple years.

  14. WingT says: Oct 23, 2012 7:56 AM

    I think it would be a mistake to fire Dooley after this year, but we all know that alumni pressure has a big say in these situations. The new AD at Tennessee is a really smart guy. He has some big problems right now at Tennessee , especially from the financial stand point. I will be surprised if he fires Dooley this year – I just think he gives him one more year. Tennessee will get back to competing for the SEC championship , it just might take a couple of more years

    I watched the TN Florida game and especially watched Bray. TN was in that game playing the gators hard up until the mid 3rd quarter and then Bray seemed to come unraveled – Bray has the talent , he just needs the discipline and Dooley is addressing it.

  15. v2the4 says: Oct 23, 2012 12:00 PM

    Tenn did post a loss in 2011-2012…the athlethic dept is RESPONSIBLE for giving $6 million back to the university…as a “gift” every year…..The University of Texas gfited $15M to their school the last two years and that wasnt even 10% of their revenue

    they also owed buyouts to four former athlethic dept officials, former AD Mike Halmiton, football coach Phil Fulmer($6M over 4yrs), basketball coach Bruce Pearl($948k), baseball coachTodd Raliegh ($1.3M over 3 yrs)…

    Tennessee also has more than $200 million in outstanding debt related to the construction and renovation of various athletic facilities on campus.
    like Neyland Stadium, Thompson Boiling arena, the baseball and softball complexes, track and field complex and the main athlethic buidling..

    looks like Tennessee will be able to turn a profit for 2012-2013 because they only owe Fulmer one more year, but forcing the athlethic dept to give up $6M of their revenue handcuffs them seriously..

  16. normtide says: Oct 23, 2012 12:20 PM

    V2the4- That was not a flame of any kind, just relayed what I have read. It puts Hart in a tough spot with Dooley tho. Firing him just prolongs the payouts to people who no longer work for the school. But, how would keeping him affect ticket sales and all that goes with it? Add in the report that Dooley offered to accept a buy out last year, and it is complicated to say the least. This would the time for vol nation to let their voice be heard, cause I really think UT is at an important crossroads.

  17. Deb says: Oct 23, 2012 1:04 PM

    @hound …

    I wasn’t trying to compare the talents, just the fact that decisionmaking is a complex issue that some QBs never completely master. But apparently no one gets that. And that’s okay.

  18. Deb says: Oct 23, 2012 1:06 PM

    @WingT …

    Would you agree that he should address it by pulling Bray? How will that give the kid more confidence to follow through when game stress increases? Sounds like he’s got to learn to stand up under fire.

  19. WingT says: Oct 23, 2012 2:34 PM

    Deb, no, I wouldn’t necessarily agree that he should be pulled. I believe that Dooley has to decide how best to deal with it. I do trust that Dooley knows what he is doing and he obviously thinks pulling him is the way to go at this time.

    We have no idea what is going on behind the scenes and to what extent Dooley has tried to deal with Bray issues.

  20. thecrazyasianinseccountry says: Oct 23, 2012 4:41 PM

    I’ve been watching UT football for the last two years very closely, more so then previous years, this is because I’m a Dooley fan (my son is currently enroll in LaTech) then I’m also a JimBo Fisher’s fan… Maybe it has something to do with LSU success lately (that’s including Bo Pelini)…
    Anyway, it seems like Tenn is heading toward the right direction, yes this year is a little disappointing, because I really thought they would compete much better..
    I still remember telling my wife, watch out for UT bc they have a possible future NFL 1st round draft and two possible 1st round NFL receivers ..,
    Give the man a couple more years before throwing him under the bus, at least it’s heading toward the right direction and he’s building a solid foundation, which is much more important than winning now kind of attitude, look how that turned out for Auburn.

  21. Deb says: Oct 23, 2012 5:19 PM

    @WingT …

    You’re right. I’m not a fan of pulling the starting QB unless he just doesn’t have it, and Bray is a talented guy. But we don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes.

    @thecrazyasian …

    Your son is in Bradshaw country!! Hope you’re right and Dooley can turn it around. Our rivalry with Tennessee is more fun when both teams are competitive.

  22. thecrazyasianinseccountry says: Oct 23, 2012 7:52 PM

    Yep my son is definitely in Bradshaw country, soon to be Dykes and Cameron’s country also.
    .. It was just yesterday he was getting his diapers changed, they’re are growing up way too fast.
    … Anyway good luck to your Tides next week, and I know Saban, unlike others in the media, is not down playing how tough Miss St. is.
    And thank you for tuning to watch LSU’s game last weekend, we needed something to change and I think with you watching LSU was managed to score two TDs in less than a minute.
    .. LSU vs Bama III in two weeks, can’t wait! Once again Good Luck to you and your Tides.

  23. gotampabay52 says: Oct 23, 2012 9:46 PM

    I have had season tickets now three yrs since moving from Dunedin,FL I love Knoxville we either need Bray gone or Dooley Look at the Bucs new coach same players and now they are beating themselves well if Dooleys xant get this team fight but also how dedicated is Bray I wont renew my season tickets until this team figures it out

  24. Deb says: Oct 24, 2012 1:03 PM

    @thecrazyasian …

    Yes, it’s amazing how the kids grow up so fast while we all stay so young LOL

    I have great friends who are Miss St. grads so this will be a fun weekend. They are flying under the radar with the national press, but make me very nervous. Looking forward to our game with LSU as always, though last week’s game should have shown everyone you can never count out these Tigers! It was funny how it all turned around as soon as I tuned in :)

    Good luck to you and yours as well. Bet you are glad for a week off! If you want a laugh, here’s what my Steelers will be wearing on the field Sunday. No, I’m not kidding LOL

  25. magnustroi says: Oct 28, 2012 11:34 PM

    Its such a shame !!!! I have seen sooo many Very good QB’s Who might have been Elite if only they had true Training as a QB, Playing QB is soooo complicated that if you Look at your Elite QB’s 95% of All of them have been taught fundamentals from the Day they picked up a Football,and then during Jr. and Sr. high school days perfected what they learned in Pop Warner.
    College or Pro ? A QB needs to be taught how to harness Their skills so they can become Elite QB’s 3-4 yrs College is not going to cut it !!!

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