“It was just not responding,” Bray said. “We knew we were going to be ones to stop ourselves. We just fell apart … It was the same kind of thing that happened last year.”
Dooley and the Tennessee Vols may have narrowly lost to the Florida Gators last Saturday, but a healing process has begun with his young star quarterback, Tyler Bray.
Dooley seen below “Christian cussing” at QB Tyler Bray. The two had a heated argument after another Bray miscue. “I pretty much airmailed a ball into the stands and he wasn’t happy about it,” Bray said. “There are probably a long line of coaches and players that were pretty pissed at me after that, but Coach Dooley got to me first. He let me have it and I deserved it”. A real sign that Bray is growing up right before our eyes, as leader and a quarterback.
As Bray returned to the sideline, the two had to be separated from each other by other players and coaches, including Dooley’s State Trooper Protection Detail. At one point Dooley ripped off his headset as the two went back and forth.
“We’re both pretty emotional guys,” Bray said. “That’s what I deserve. You make a bad throw, you’re supposed to get yelled at by your coaches. It’s certainly not the first time and it probably won’t be the last. You can’t do it in that situation. It was just a stupid play by me. It’s football, man. It’s emotion. That’s athletics.”
Fans complained on Twitter and talk radio that Bray should be yanked for the upcoming game against Akron and Dooley needed to “strike a match” to Bray’s green #8 practice jersey and let the offensive line play “smear the queer” with Bray.
But some of last season’s problems with the franchise QB lingered into an erratic performance in the SEC opener with Florida. Dooley just isn’t quite ready to pin all the blame on Tyler Bray.
Dooley sounded more like a coach dissecting his team after an ugly loss, rather than his quarterback. He knows Bray, knows his ability to bounce back. So, his concern isn’t aimed at one locker.
“I don’t think it’s thinking,” Dooley said. “There were so many good things that he did in the mix there. I mean, he accumulated a ton of yards and so there were some good things. There were just some breakdowns. We’ve all got to look at that and make sure that we get that right. It was reported that we mismanaged the clock, it was reported that we didn’t trust our quarterback,” he said. “If people don’t like it, that’s fine. But that was probably the most impressive part of the game for me from Tyler”.
“I think the unfair thing is to say he doesn’t care,” Dooley said. “It’s not fair to say that he shuts it down. He doesn’t. But when he gets frustrated and things that are out of his control start bothering him, he doesn’t perform as well. He knows that. He’ll grow from it and learn from it”.
Dooley then addressed the questions of his own leadership abilities, ” My actions as a coach inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, I am the leader of this football program. Tyler will not intimidated by anything from the past because he lives in the present. I know that is something Tennessee fans cannot comprehend, but it is possible”.
This coming Saturday, against MAC powerhouse Akron, expect Tyler Bray to do something amazing and impossible for the overall benefit of for the State of Tennessee, such as carrying victory and “dat shit” for 350 plus passing yards with a sore right arm, crossing the plane, and getting some touchdowns.
Bray and Dooley have already forgotten they even played Florida, like it never happened. Still, there was a private moment when they both acknowledged the Florida game, when everything just sort of came together. Part light bulb and part pep talk, the turning point of the season for a dynamic leader like Dooley and a impressionable young QB. The lights were just too bright and some of our best players simply got their retinas burnt. You have to give the Gators credit, they capitalized on our untimely mistakes. We had our chances to win. We will have our chances to win again and again this season.
- Dooley: I will not be defined by a trophy (loserswithsocks.com)
- The Tennessee Offense: Dooley Will “Pump the Brakes” for Florida (loserswithsocks.com)
- Post Florida Analysis: Dooley’s Explosive Defense (loserswithsocks.com)
- Why Tennessee Does Not Need a Rushing Game (loserswithsocks.com)