Tyler Bray couldn’t bear to watch game film of the second half against Florida

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The progression and maturation of a quarterback is a big thing in college football. High school blue-chip prospects go to big universities and play in the SEC to develop their raw skills and gifts to prepare them for – hopefully one day – the NFL.

Tyler Bray has those raw gifts as a quarterback. He’s probably got the strongest arm in the entire country, but so did JaMarcus Russell. The knock on Bray is that he continues to think he knows it all and collapses in big games when any adversity strikes. That happened against Florida this weekend. The “quit” the offense showed in the second half is well documented. But what he said Tuesday was the most surprising…but is it really?

“I didn’t even get to [watch game film] late in the game,” Tennessee’s quarterback said after practice Tuesday morning. “I watched the first half, that was about it.

“That wasn’t our team,” Bray said of Tennessee’s play down the stretch.

“It wasn’t frustration, it was just they kept scoring and we weren’t,” Bray said. “That was it. I get kind of frustrated, get kind of down, feel like I’ve got to make that play.

“You’ve gotta make the plays. I think I went 1-for-10 passing in the fourth quarter … We weren’t making plays. No one was making plays. And we lost.”

So, Tyler Bray didn’t watch the Florida game film in the second half because it was so bad, and “that wasn’t his team”. Well, unfortunately, that is Tennessee’s team right now. The Vols fold in the second half, and they all feed off the quarterback. Quarterbacks watching game film are like doctors going to medical school. They have to do it to be prepared.

Bray also didn’t watch game film after the Kentucky loss last year, either. Maybe he would have seen the similarities between his body language in both games, the way he was moping around the field in the second half when things weren’t going his or the offense’s way.

But is it more alarming that Bray didn’t watch the film, or the coaching staff allowed that to happen? Have Derek Dooley and Jim Chaney created a type of culture where players can do what they want? We don’t know that Bray refused to watch the film, but the fact the coaching staff didn’t make him is questionable.

There seems to be no sense of urgency with #8 right now and the way he plays the game. The NFL loves big-armed quarterbacks, but they won’t draft quarterbacks who have a refusal to be the best they can be at their game. And continually developing as a quarterback means you watch every game film and learn from your mistakes, terrible or not.

This shouldn’t so surprising coming from Bray and the immaturity he’s showed throughout his career, but it is surprising to hear Derek Dooley tell everyone that he and his staff are devoted to turning the Vols’ program around. Part of Bray becoming a true leader and developing into the type of player we all think he can be is learning from his mistakes and shortcomings. Watching game film is a very easy and tangible way to hone your skills as a passer and showing devotion to being the best you can be.

I’m not sure why anyone shouldn’t expect more mediocrity from Tennessee this season.

Update: Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney said he watch the game film with Tyler Bray and doesn’t know why he told the media he didn’t.

And I’m not sure I believe this at all.

COMMENTS

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  • I agree somewhat, but a lot of Coaches after a big loss will completely Throw the game film in the trash. I get what your saying, but many many times coaches trash the game film and move on.

  • I’m sorry. I didn’t know that Derek Dooley and his staff were running a daycare for grown men who just can’t seem to grow up and own to their own mistakes. I’m sure if the going gets tough, Watson Brown will gladly welcome Bray as QB for Tennessee tech and he can spend the rest of his Saturdays throwing passing to former Vol, Da’rick Rogers.
    There is a saying out there that goes “until you learn from your past, you can never move onto your present.” Tyler Bray could do himself some good by writing this one on a “post- it” and then hanging up in the dorm. So could the rest of the team along with the coaches. Yes we are in a transitioning period right now. Yes it’s makes for a difficult situation to have a young crew of men trying to compete with SEC powerhouses.
    But I would like to think that a part of getting better is learning from your mistakes and not continually coming out week after week and now season after season and repeating those same mistakes.
    A great example Bray can learn from is Peyton Manning. Although Manning never beat Florida or even won his final bowl game for that matter, he was what I would call a “student of the game,” watching every piece of film he could to help make him a better player and teammate. That work paid off, as he is to date, the second highest paid quarterback in the NFL.
    If Bray thinks that putting in a first half as a “gunslinger” and then “pouting” through an entire second half is going to get him into the pros, then I’m afraid he is sadly mistaken. Well, there is of course always a need of someone to warm the bench, so there still might be hope for him.
    However it is sad to see this day in age, college football becoming such a “soft” sport. It is no longer about the team, but more of the “I’s” and the “me’s.” It seems to be all about the bottom line and making sure the funds continue to roll in and everyone at the top stays happy. If this is the case, it could work for a while on top of the hill.
    After all, we did win a 1998 National Championship after completing an undefeated season.
    One important side note: It would also behoove Bray to remember the quarterback that led the Vols that years was a second string player named Tee Martin. Martin didn’t go one to make millions in the NFL, but he did put his all into Tennessee and will forever be remembered for it.

    Although the glory days of that championship are now over, it did buy the football program time to make excuses of failed programs while providing their players with those “million dollar necessities.” But thanks to programs such as Penn State we all know that the fun and the buck have to stop somewhere. And although I know that Tennessee’s situation is thankfully nowhere that dire, it goes to show that there is always room for accountability and responsibility. So, here’s to hoping Bray and the rest of team act accordingly. It is a mighty hard fall from that orange pedestal, but is one that must be done.

  • It was said today that Bray DID watch all the Film with Chaney.