Painful memory

Tyler Bray threw a lot of great passes during the 2010 season but his final pass wasn't one of them. It was so bad, in fact, that it haunts him to this day.

"I could pretty much tell you the whole play," Tennessee's sophomore quarterback recalled recently. "It was a play-action pass ... (Channing) Fugate out in the flat, Gerald (Jones) and D-Mo (Denarius Moore) coming on the backside, and I threw it right to No. 42."

No. 42, in case you've forgotten, was North Carolina linebacker Quan Sturdivant. His interception foiled the Vols' double-overtime possession, enabling the Tar Heels to post a 30-27 victory, despite being outplayed for much of the evening.

"I try to forget it," Tyler Bray said. "It's kind of hard to forget that one but I try to move on."

In a way, Tennessee quarterback coach Darin Hinshaw is glad the critical pick continues to gnaw at Bray eight months later.

"I hope it does burn in his heart, what happened last year," the Vol aide said following Thursday's afternoon workout. "I want him to learn from it, then get ready to move forward into next season."

In another way, however, Hinshaw wants Bray to forget about his last throw of 2010 and start focusing on his first game throw of the 2011 season.

Tennessee quarterbacks coach Darrin Hinshaw.
(Danny Parker/InsideTennessee.com)

"You can't live in the past," the Vol aide said. "You've got to be able to live for your next throw. We always talk about (each snap being) a clean piece of paper. Every play you're starting over. Erase the negatives. Learn from 'em but erase the negatives and let's get ready for the next play because the next play can change the game. The next play.

"It hurts when you make mistakes and things don't go your way, and that's good. It should hurt. But on the same boat, we've got to be able to move forward with it and learn from it."

Bray's costly interception versus Carolina came on an attempt to hit fullback Channing Fugate coming out of the backfield. The problem: Fugate wasn't open but Bray threw the ball anyway.

"I want him to be able to make the right read, the right decision, based on what the defense is doing," Hinshaw said of Bray. "Under that circumstance, he should never have thrown that football. He made a poor decision ..."

As poor as the decision might have been, though, the Vol aide says Bray cannot dwell on one play — even one as costly as that one proved to be.

"Again, I'm about learning from the past and moving forward," Hinshaw said. "You can't sit there and worry about the past because you can't change it. If it affects you in the future, you can't (afford to) be affected.

"You've got to be able to move forward to the next play. Unfortunately, that was Tyler's last play from last year."


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