Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Is Tyler Bray trying to re-shape himself in the image of Peyton Manning?

Will young QB's look up to Tyer Bray someday?
Tennessee is a place of  legends and giants . There's General Robert Neyland, soldier, scholar, and one of the most legendary of college football coaches, whose fingerprints on the Volunteer football program go beyond just a the stadium named in his honor.  And then there's Peyton Manning, possibly the most important figure in post-ESPN Tennessee history. It's Manning's image that current Vols' quarterback Tyler Bray is seemingly trying to shape himself into. Whether it's conscious or not, the comparison is being noticed, as the sophomore quarterback tries to prove that he's more than just a back tattoo.


"He's probably also still a tad bit too footloose and carefree for the worrywarts among us, as witness this quote: "Sometimes I don't even realize what I'm doing until the play is done, and then I'm like, 'OK, that worked.'"

But he's clearly trying to look and sound more Peyton-esque.

Concerning his envied struggle to gain weight, Bray said, "I'm pretty much eating constantly. There's probably not an hour that goes by where I'm not eating. I feel stronger, bigger, able to put a little more zip on the ball."

Bray is also doing something Manning is well-known for in spending time in the film room.  

Nor is he letting many hours go by without visiting the film room, not always a Bray strength during his freshman season.

"Coach [Jim] Chaney is always good at -- I don't want to say 'nag' because I don't want to get in trouble," Bray said with a smile about the offensive coordinator. "But kind of just chirping in my ear to go to the film room and watch as much as possible. I have all the games from last year in my dorm. I watch them on my laptop. Watching as much film as possible really helps."

Obviously, if Bray can combine his inner Peyton Manning with his ability to "flatline" his emotions out on the field (the now infamous "loco-gesture" and occasional ill-considered throat-slashing  notwithstanding), the possibility for Tennessee to surprise the college football world with at least an SEC East title is a distinct possibility.

(via The Chattanooga Times-Free Press)

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