Leading up to Tennessee’s match-up with Alabama in week eight, Vols coach Derek Dooley said he would incorporate freshman quarterback Tyler Bray into some meaningful playing time. As it turned out, Dooley was a man of his word and Bray played a portion of the Vols’ 41-10 loss at the hands of Alabama.
As it also turns out, Tennessee’s
other primary quarterback — junior and starter Matt Simms — wasn’t real thrilled about sharing time on the field.
“They [the coaches] stayed true to their plan, and I respect that, and I thank them for being honest with me, but at the same time those drives right there, I feel like I need to be out there, because I feel like I’m missing out on plays that could have been made or penalties that could have been avoided,” remarked the JUCO transfer.
“Those drives”, in which Bray commanded the offense, included penalties and little positive yardage. Bray finished the game 5-14 for 39 yards and an interception.
You certainly can’t fault Simms for his competitive spirit, but with Tennessee struggling on (and off) the field and a first-year head coach, there’s also little fault in experimenting with two quarterbacks.
It’s not as though Simms has been the guy for Tennessee, anyway. During spring practice, Simms and Bray both competed for the starting job after disgruntled QB Nick Stephens left the program. During the loss to the Crimson Tide, Simms was 12-of-22 with one interception and no touchdowns.
On the year, the junior has thrown for 7 touchdowns, but 5 interceptions.
Additionally, Simms’ recent comments slightly contradict his statement a week ago about possibly sharing time with Bray.
“It’s actually pushing me to practice harder and prepare more just for that little added competition going on. I love competition and I’m going to battle with whoever tries to take my job,” said Simms.
Apparently, Simms doesn’t love competition that much. Go figure.