I may have already tipped my hand as far as where I stand on the Tyler Bray vs. Matt Simms question. At the time, I was pretty much just editorializing. But if I wanted to express that opinion now, I wouldn't need to editorialize. I could do that trick that journalists do where they insert quotes from other people saying what they want to say, but since it comes from other people, they aren't expressing their own opinion but are merely reporting the opinions of others. (I'm allowed to poke fun at journalists because my brother is actually a journalist. And it appears he might be the only journalist on the East frickin' Coast who didn't write an article in praise of Tyler Bray in the last 36 or so hours). Seriously, I could link you eleventy hundred articles that basically all say the same thing. I won't do that, but I could. Here is a sampler:
Vols have a quarterback controversy - SEC Blog - ESPN: Chris Low's article is brief and mainly includes the quotes from Simms that kinda make a reasonable observer conclude that perhaps the Junior signal-caller isn't handling the situation with the upmost class.
"Nothing much I can do about getting hit in the back and the guy stripping the ball from me," Simms said. "That's one of the better defensive lines in the conference and you know ... hey, if you get hit a lot, sometimes the ball comes out. Other than that, I thought I played really well. Didn't turn the ball over besides those. It wasn't like I dropped back and threw it to the other team."
"I wish I could say that I'm definitely the starting quarterback," Simms said. "It's unfortunate they took me out. I felt like I played really well. I feel like I could have made all those throws, because we had guys wide open down the middle of the field. I feel like I'm a good enough quarterback to make those plays, and I'm just still upset that I got taken out like that."
Despite quick pick, Bray era may be beginning at Tennessee | Chattanooga Times Free Press: Mark Wiedmer includes some quotes from players that make you think they think highly of Mr. Bray and his ability to lead the team:
[Bray] knew enough to walk up to his teammates after the intermission and say, "Let’s go. It’s time to get back in this ballgame." Said Jones: "Tyler’s a funny guy. He’s a little more loose [than Simms]." Added Bray: "I was laughing in the huddle. I wanted everybody to relax. I was just trying to get the job done."
- Ron Higgins: Tennessee finds comfort in losing " The Commercial Appeal: This is the last article I'll link on this subject. This is less of an argument-by-way-of-quotes and more of just an argument. Mr. Higgins writes that "the fact that Bray actually rallied the Vols after halftime is stop-the-presses stuff." When do they stop the presses, by the way? Does anybody know the rules on that?
- Coach Dooley is going to be speaking with both quarterbacks today, so perhaps tomorrow our Rocky Top Talk will include a lot less Rocky Top Speculation. Also included in the link is full injury round-up that speaks of the Justin Hunter absence in a vague manner. I want answers! I think I am entitled to answers!
- Both coaches and players alike appear to be on board with the Justin Wilcox move up to the press box during the games ($). Also, Malik Jackson is basically playing as a tackle, even though he is probably more suited to play end given his size, and the article discusses his improvements in making the transition.
"I'm trying to add weight. I like it. It gets me a lot more time to get on camera (for film study) and fix myself and work on my technique and it gives me a lot of exposure. I like it," said Jackson, a natural defensive end. "I've just got to keep working and keep practicing and bring the guys with me."
- And, finally, the defense played the first three quarters against South Carolina, which is an improvement over previous games where they were only playing the first two quarters. Baby steps.