Tennessee Football: Why Tyler Bray's Behavioral Issues Are Cause for Concern

Ryan Reed@@rareedBRCorrespondent IIAugust 20, 2012

Tennessee Football: Why Tyler Bray's Behavioral Issues Are Cause for Concern

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    This year could prove to be a great one for Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray.

    Bray managed to throw for almost 2,000 yards last season while adding 17 touchdowns and only six interceptions despite missing five games in the middle of the season and returning with a still-injured thumb for the final two.

    He also finished the year with a passer rating of 144.8, even better than Heisman hopeful Landry Jones, who ended up with a 141.6 rating.

    The one thing that could derail Tyler’s season is his off-the-field issues. Unfortunately for the junior quarterback, there is a good possibility that that could happen.

    Up to this point in his young career, Bray has not shown good decision making ability away from the field, despite his performances with the football in his hand. This article will explain just why Tyler Bray’s behavioral issues are a cause for concern for Tennessee fans.

Tennessee Cannot Afford to Lose Bray to Suspension

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    Last season, the Volunteers were forced to play five games without Tyler Bray running the show. In those five games, Tennessee lost four and only managed to score 23 points total.

    While Justin Worley has been playing better in practice, and has been given first-team reps in an attempt to prepare the team for an injury, the Vols need Bray to play.

    If Bray keeps up his poor decision making, he very well could be suspended for a few games. While his last issue, the jet ski debacle, managed to be settled out of court, any further court appearance may possibly warrant a suspension of a game or two.

    The Volunteers simply cannot afford to lose Bray for any games next season, but a suspension seems so close that Tennessee fans can only hope he gets his act together.

They Could Distract the Team from Their Main Goal

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    Undoubtedly, controversy affects teams. While something little like the jet ski incident will likely not break a college football team apart, it certainly won’t help.

    Most serious teammates of Bray’s must not appreciate having negative press brought to their program when people should be focused on the potential that Tennessee has this year.

    Bray’s actions also scream that he is not a capable leader for this football team, since he cannot even manage to handle his own business off the field. How can players listen to Bray and keep out of trouble themselves when he is constantly in the news for doing something foolish.

    Finally, how broken would this team become if Bray was suspended for another idiotic act. There is no way the entire squad would forgive him, especially since the team has struggled so much with him on the sideline.

    Tyler’s repeated failure to fly under the radar will not have a good effect on Tennessee’s locker-room chemistry. Hopefully, he will still be able to pull the team together and act as a good leader.

They May Also Distract Bray from His Own Play

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    While Bray’s actions could upset the Volunteers' chemistry, there is no doubt that they will also affect his own play.

    Many people think of athletes as robots, but time after time, athletes in trouble off the field perform terribly on it. Think Tiger Woods after his wife, and the rest of the world, found out about his multiple indiscretions.

    Obviously, the Tiger example is much more extreme than Tyler’s, but it still serves a purpose.

    Bray will likely see his play affected by having to settle a court case and visit three schools to promote boat safety.

    It will simply mess with his focus, something that all athletes must have in order to play their best.

They May Eventually Get Him Hurt

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    One thing overlooked by most people when discussing the jet ski incident is just how dangerous his actions were.

    There is no reason to believe that Bray’s next stunt won’t be more dangerous than his last. That brings up an important point to think about when considering the impact of Tyler’s boneheaded decision making.

    Tyler Bray has made consistently poor choices and could easily hurt himself doing something like what he did on the jet ski. That is why there is a law in place saying he can’t do that, because people have previously hurt or killed themselves with the same act.

    Obviously, Tennessee needs Tyler Bray to play if they want to have a successful season. Bray’s repeated mistakes, however, show that he may end up taking himself out for the season, which is something Volunteer fans should be worried about.