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.”