|No. 9 – Chicago Bears|
December 27, 1991|
|Height:||6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)|
|Weight:||215 lb (98 kg)|
|High school:||Kingsburg (CA)|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2017|
Tyler Ian Bray (born December 27, 1991) is an American football quarterback for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL). After playing his college football at the University of Tennessee, he declared himself eligible for the 2013 NFL Draft, where he went undrafted.
Bray attended Kingsburg High School in Kingsburg, California. As a senior, he led his team to a perfect 13–0 season while throwing for 3,321 yards with 41 touchdowns. While being recruited, he was considered the seventh best pro-style quarterback recruit by Rivals.com and 26th best by Scout.com. Bray chose to accept Tennessee's offer after he had already verbally committed to San Diego State. In addition to Tennessee and San Diego State, Bray had offers from Fresno State and Louisville.
In his freshman season at the University of Tennessee under head coach Derek Dooley in 2010, Bray appeared in nine games. On September 4, 2010, Bray made his first appearance for the Volunteers in the season-opening victory at Neyland Stadium, which is where the Tennessee Volunteers play their home games, over Tennessee-Martin. He came into the game late to relive Matt Simms in the 50–0 victory. After relief appearances against Georgia in a 41–14 loss at Sanford Stadium and #7 Alabama in a 41–10 loss at home, Bray had a solid appearance against South Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium. Simms was benched in the third quarter for Bray. Against the Gamecocks, Bray threw his first two collegiate touchdowns in the 38–24 defeat. Bray started his first career game on November 6 against the Memphis Tigers. The Vols earned their first victory in five tries, 50–14, while Bray went 19–33 for 325 yards, five touchdowns, and no interceptions and set Tennessee football records for most yards (308) and touchdowns (5) in a half. The next week against Ole Miss at home, Bray finished 18–of-34 for 323 yards with five touchdowns as the Vols defeated the Rebels by a score of 52–14. In his first SEC start on the road, Bray completed 16–27 passes for 232 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in a win over the Vanderbilt Commodores by a score of 24–10 at Vanderbilt Stadium. During the final home game of the season against Kentucky, Bray led Tennessee to a 24–14 victory while going 20–38 for 354 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. Bray led the Vols to a 4–0 record in November, making them bowl eligible at 6–6. Tennessee was selected to play in the Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tennessee where Bray completed 27-of-45 passes for 312 yards, four touchdowns, and three interceptions in a 27–30 2OT loss against the North Carolina Tar Heels. He finished the season 125-of-224 for 1,849 passing yards and 18 touchdowns, all Tennessee freshman records while also throwing 10 interceptions. Among freshman Division I quarterbacks in 2010, he ranked third in quarterback rating (142.73), tied for fourth in touchdowns, sixth in passing yards per game (205.4), and 10th in total yards.
In his sophomore year, Bray began the 2011 season as the starter for the Volunteers. In the season opener at home, Bray completed 17–of-24 passes while throwing for 293 yards and three touchdowns against Montana in a 42–16 victory. The next week against Cincinnati and their head coach Butch Jones, who would end up coaching the Tennessee Volunteers starting in the 2013 season. Bray completed 34-of-41 passes for 405 yards and four touchdowns as the Vols won by a score 45–23 at home. In the victory over the Bearcats, Bray broke former Tennessee All-American quarterback Peyton Manning's record by throwing at least two touchdown passes in eight consecutive games. In the Cincinnati game, Bray had the second highest completion percentage ever recorded in a game by a Tennessee quarterback of 82.9%, second to Tee Martin's 95.8% against South Carolina in 1998. For the third game of the season, Bray and the Volunteers faced off against the Florida Gators, a rival Tennessee had not beaten since 2004. On Tennessee's opening drive, sophomore wide receiver Justin Hunter went down with a torn ACL. The attitude of the team was noticeably different due to the absence of Hunter and the Vols ended up losing to Florida by a score of 33–23 in The Swamp. Bray finished the day 26-of-48 for 288 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions. The Vols' next game was a 41–10 victory over Buffalo as Bray threw for 342 yards and four touchdowns. After the victory over the Bulls, the next week would bring a setback for Bray. Against the Georgia Bulldogs at home, Bray broke his thumb late in the game and would be sidelined for several weeks. The Vols lost to the Bulldogs by a score of 20–12 as Bray threw for 251 yards, with Matt Simms reliving Bray late in the game. Because of his injury, Bray would not play in the next five games (against LSU, Alabama, South Carolina, Middle Tennessee, and Arkansas). The Volunteers went 1–4 during Bray's absence, but the team remained alive for bowl eligibility. Bray came back during the Vanderbilt game and led the Vols to a much-needed home victory against the Commodores. Bray finished the game 16-of-33 for 189 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions in the 27–21 overtime victory. In the final game of the season, the Vols lost to the Kentucky Wildcats by a score of 10–7 at Commonwealth Stadium. The result was the program's first loss to Kentucky in 26 years. Bray had 215 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions in the loss. The Volunteers ended the season with a 5–7 record and were not bowl eligible for the first time since 2008.
Going into his junior season, Bray and the rest of the Volunteers entered the 2012 season with very high expectations, but those expectations never panned out on the field. The 2012 season was Bray's only season where he started all 12 games for the Volunteers. The season started off promising in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta against NC State. The Volunteers defeated the Wolfpack by a score of 35–21. In the victory, Bray had 333 passing yards and two touchdowns. After a 51–13 blowout win over Georgia State, Tennessee entered the conference slate looking to finally achieve long-awaited victory over some conference rivals. However, against Florida, the season began to fade. In the 37–20 defeat, Bray performed well in the first half but had a lethargic second half. In the loss, he passed for 257 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. The loss against the Gators, which was the program's eighth consecutive in the rivalry, exposed a serious problem with the Volunteers in the 2012 season, which was their defense. Over the course of the rest of the season, Bray mostly played well but mainly because it was a necessity to offset the mediocre defense. The next week, the Vols defeated Akron by a score of 47–26 with Bray passing for 401 yards, four touchdowns, and an interception. The next week, against Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium, Bray passed for 281 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions in the 51–44 loss. Two weeks later, the Vols faced Mississippi State at Davis Wade Stadium and lose by a score of 41–31. In the loss, Bray had 148 passing yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. The next week, against Alabama, Bray did not fare well against the eventual national champions. He had 184 passing yards and two interceptions in the 44–13 home loss. The following game was against South Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium. Bray performed statistically well in the 38–35 loss. He recorded 368 passing yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. The next week against the Troy Trojans at home marked a career day for Bray but a very ominous reality for the Tennessee football team as a whole. In the 55–48 victory, Bray set a school-record with 530 passing yards and five touchdowns. Bray's performance was needed though as the Tennessee defense gave up a school-record 721 total yards to the Trojans. Peyton Manning previously held the school record with a 523-yard performance against Kentucky in 1997. The next week, the Vols, still in contention for bowl eligibility, faced the Missouri Tigers at home. The Tigers ended up outlasting the Vols in 4OT by a score of 51–48. Bray had 404 passing yards and four touchdowns in the loss. In the following game against Vanderbilt at Vanderbilt Stadium, Bray had his worst game of the season. Bray had 103 passing yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions in the 41–18 loss. He was benched in the game for Justin Worley in a move by head coach Derek Dooley. The loss eliminated Tennessee from bowl eligibility and Dooley was fired after the game. In the final game of his Tennessee career, Bray performed well against the Kentucky Wildcats at home. In the 37–17 victory, Bray had 293 passing yards and four touchdowns.
On the year, Bray went 268-of-451 for 3,612 yards with 34 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Bray's 3,612 passing yards rank as 11th in a single-season in SEC history. With 34 touchdown passes, he posted the seventh-most touchdown passes in a season in SEC history.
For Bray's career of 28 games, he landed on several Tennessee all-time career lists:
On January 9, 2013, Bray, along with college teammates Cordarrelle Patterson, Justin Hunter, and Darrington Sentimore, announced his intention to leave college early and declare for the 2013 NFL Draft.
|Ht||Wt||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad|
|6 ft 6 in
|5.05 s||4.51 s||7.20 s||8 ft 4 in|
|All values from NFL Scouting Combine|
During the 2013 preseason, Bray played in three of the four games. The majority of his play came in the final preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. He completed 14-of-25 passing attempts and threw for 169 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception and played a key role in the Chiefs 30–8 win. Following the preseason, Bray made the final 53-man roster. Bray was inactive most of the season, until the Chiefs final regular season game against the San Diego Chargers when Bray was active for the first time in his career. Bray, however, did not play in the game.
In Week 17 of the 2017 season, Bray made his NFL debut against the Denver Broncos. Late in the 27–24 victory, he came in to relieve Patrick Mahomes II. His first career snap resulted in a failed handoff, which in turn resulted in a fumble return for a touchdown for the Broncos. Later, he had two successful handoffs and one incomplete pass before Mahomes returned to the game.
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