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May 7, 2012
Position breakdown: The quarterbacks
A year ago, questions were abounding regarding quarterback Tyler Bray. The California signal-caller was a freezer-like 5-for-30 in the Orange and White game and fans wondered just how serious Bray was about being a big-time quarterback.
Fast forward to this year and Bray's spring numbers were better in a 14-for-26 day. But the junior finds his name littered on mock drafts for 2013 and he leads a quarterback group that has the Vols coaching staff smiling.
As the Vols prepare for the start of the summer off-season program, we start a position-by-position breakdown of the Tennessee roster. Today, it's a position that offensive coordinator Jim Chaney said he wouldn't swap for any other group anywhere - The quarterbacks.
The challenge now for Bray is can he continue to grow as a leader and carry his improved mentality of working daily to be a better quarterback throughout the summer. Bray must not only continue to improve but he must also continue to push those around him to be better.
Justin Worley - Worley's improvement was more physically than anything. After being thrown into play last season and struggling with simply being a true freshman playing college football, Worley admitted that playing last season made him better this spring because he understood the need to mentally prepare better and to improve with some things physically. Worley is stronger and he's improved his mechanics. The sophomore made strides in his footwork coming from under center instead of out of the shotgun.
But the biggest improvement that Worley made this spring is in his throwing motion. Worley has shortened his delivery and has improved his release of the football.
Nathan Peterman - It's unfortunate that Peterman's spring was cut short by the dislocated finger on his throwing hand. The true freshman missed his last scrimmage and the Orange and White game. In his limited work, Peterman impressed with his physical skills. He's clearly the most athletic of the three quarterbacks and physically has a stronger arm than Worley. Peterman knew very little of the Vols offense, but Chaney described him as a sponge and was impressed with how quickly he was learning things this spring. Whether Peterman plays or not this fall likely depends on injury but after last season, every quarterback must be ready. Peterman's summer challenge is to understand the intensity of summer. It's a critical time to improve physically and to learn the offensive system to be better prepared to play in September if called upon.