Derek Dooley takes aim at Tyler Bray: How will Tennessee’s quarterback respond?

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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Derek Dooley says Tyler Bray needs to “man up.”

On that point, the Tennessee quarterback agrees.

The fact that Bray and his head coach used identical language to describe his decision to skip Saturday’s post-game media session suggests there was probably a forceful conversation on Sunday about Bray’s absence.

“There’s a level of responsibility you have to the team and to the fans and to the media,” Dooley said. “If you don’t like it, don’t play quarterback.”

As for facing the tough questions after a loss? “That’s life. Man up!”

Reporters waited for about 10 minutes after everyone else had left Saturday night before a media relations official announced that Bray would not be doing interviews. I wrote earlier that I didn’t think it was a huge deal, but many disagreed. Dooley was one of them.

“I was mad,” Bray said. “I should have manned up and faced the consequences.”

In Bray’s defense, he has never skipped out on media obligations before and he’s not the type who loves the praise but hates the criticism. If he had his way, he wouldn’t speak to us at all.

Of course, as Dooley said, talking to the media is part of the bargain that comes with playing quarterback. But if well-paid coaches sometimes struggle with that responsibility, shouldn’t we be willing to cut a break to an amateur athlete?

As for Bray’s play ON the field, that’s a concern too. More about that later on GoVolsXtra.

(Photo credit: Adam Brimer, News Sentinel)