Tag:tim tebow
Posted on: March 25, 2010 1:41 pm

Urban Meyer Stands Up For His Team

Written by James Brown, Co-Founder of Gatorsfirst.com

The big story from spring practice is that Urban Meyer went off on the Orlando Sentinel's Jeremy Fowler.  We had the story here , but this thing has become such a sensation, nationally, I decided to chime in with a full blog.

Big surprise here that media folk have been blasting Meyer for this.

As a fan, student, alum, player, coach, etc. don't you want your head coach to stand up for players, and to prevent any sort of perceived locker room rifts?

Considering I've lived in Dallas for a while now, I've seen this happen with the Cowboys (esp. during the TO era) when the media runs with a new story about TO v. a QB every week.

Meyer is absolutely right to eliminate distractions like this (the focus is now on him, not on Thompson) and to de-emphasize any sort of Brantley v. Tebow comparisons.

Sure, Brantley might throw a better ball, have mechanics even Todd McShay could love, etc. etc.... but he's going to lose in most comparisons to Tebow.  Anyone would.  I expect Meyer will discourage any and all storylines regarding said comparisons.

So really, there are two reasons I think he is completely justified in blasting a reporter who's trying to drum up a story in the offseason.  It's a long way to August, and on a much smaller scale G1 will go through the same thing.  There's less news with less games, and if you're in a situation where you have to publish something every day (newspaper) you have to find stories where you can.  As a website, we run all the latest (up to the second) Gator news here , but we're not going to force any sort of storyline in our original content.  We're trying to give you something entertaining, an original take, and an honest reaction to read with our content- I don't ever want to be in a position where I turn something into a bigger story than it should be.  But then, I'm not a journalist, and don't pretend to be.  I'm an engineer.

It has come out that Thompson was embarassed by the way he was quoted- it may be verbatim, but it doesn't mean Deonte really thought through how it sounded- and that there was no ill will here.

The best thing about Urban as a HC- what has made him so successful everywhere he's been- is his complete control over every aspect of his program.  This may seem like a small thing, but he has a history of really emphasizing these things that most coaches ignore- or at least don't react strongly toward.  He talks about special teams, about field position, about turnovers- things that seem like common sense- but things that less successful coaches don't emphasize.  I want a coach who is taking every slight against his team seriously, not one who wants to be friends with the media.

Jeremy Fowler- he made an example out of you.  Be glad, it got you some national recognition in media circles.  But we all can see the way he attacked your weak response 'all I was doing was quoting the guy'... you took the quote and ran it into a whole story.  Do you really expect us to buy your naivete?  That you didn't write the story with the hopes of it blowing up into a national story? Hey, we're all just trying to get page hits, reads, etc.  But you did so by spinning something negative.  Urban knows it, and you know it.  That's why he came after you.  You certainly seem to stand up for your story here .  Do so when Meyer confronts you, don't try to play it off as just 'quoting the guy'.  From the video , Meyer made the leap to calling you a 'bad guy' when you try to weasel out of responsibility for your story.

Back to my main point: don't you want Urban Meyer to squash any sort of controversy (perceived or real) within the locker room immediately?  And if he sees the cause of that turmoil as an external influence, he can and should cut it off.  Because if this story snow balled, and somehow affected our win-loss total next year, we're all going to be looking at Urban Meyer, his staff, and his players for answers- not Mr. Fowler.

You can read the original article here: http://gatorsfirst.com/index.php/fl

Posted on: February 28, 2010 6:16 pm

Tim Tebow's NFL Draft Destination


Written by James Brown, Co-Founder of Gatorsfirst.com

Let's get something straight: Tim Tebow will be drafted. Earlier than you think. Or Todd McShay thinks, for that matter. As a quarterback. And all that stands in the way of success is how he develops the NFL-ish skills he is lacking. Which can be said of almost every prospect, ever. A huge factor, which will help his NFL career be as successful as possible, is his initial destination.

The franchise which chooses Tebow will impact his long-term career by the expectations placed on him for 2010, the patience of the franchise with a young QB, and the quality of coaching he will receive.

So where will he go? How could he best adapt to the NFL game? Which franchises are a good mix of 'likely to draft Tebow', and 'could develop Tebow into an NFL star'?

After all, the Tim Tebow experiment is inevitable...

The truth is, we won't know where Tim Tebow is going. Every team is going to speak highly of him in the press, and play mind games to get whoever is going to draft him to take him as high as possible. Tim Tebow is the brand amongst brands- scoring higher, already, in endorsement appeal (in various categories) than Brett Favre, Tony Romo, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady.

The Train Wrecks

Quite simply, whether these are likely situations or not, they represent the worst-case destinations for Tim Tebow. He needs to go to a franchise where he will NOT be viewed as a savior, and pushed into playing before he is ready. I have little doubt he will turn into a player that could carry a franchise like this. But, for his long-term NFL goals, he needs to take some time adjusting to the NFL game. It's not that I think early playing time will somehow hurt his growth as a quarterback, it's that impatience is the enemy of player development.

Sorry, Jim Kelly, but the Buffalo Bills are one of these teams (Kelly recently stated that the Bills need a franchise QB, and spoke in support of Tebow). They reek of desperation: Buffalo is a success-starved city trying to keep the team in town. The Chan Gailey-Florida connection makes this somewhat likely, as does the fact that they are a team without a QB. I hope for Tim Tebow's sake they try something else.

Is any explanation necessary for the Oakland Raiders falling into this category? You laugh, but Al Davis is seeming like the sane one in his interactions with Lane Kiffin. I'm thinking Tim Tebow's decision not to do any workouts whatsoever at the combine is his way of avoiding being picked by the Raiders. And of course there have been many sarcastic links between Tim Tebow and the Raiders all over the place. Anyway, it could happen, but I really hope it does not.

What to say about the St. Louis Rams? While I love me the Steven Jackson, this team is more than a QB away. Being a franchise savior and pushed into early duty is exactly the type of situation I hope Tebow avoids. Most Rams QB speculation has them taking one early in the first (and not Tebow), and/or signing Michael Vick. But I did at least find someone in St Louis who called Tebow his 'new favorite quarterback'.

The Carolina Panthers are also far from ideal. Though anyone at this point would probably be an upgrade over Jake Delhomme (incompletions at least don't directly result in points for the other team), this team is pretty much a disaster. Have we seen anything out of the franchise that says they'd be able to develop a young prospect? Many of their fans already want Matt Moore, drafting a QB like Tebow is just inviting a controversy... I'll pass. The Charlotte Observer did this piece on Tebow's fit in Carolina. They also met with him during the Senior Bowl week.

The Cleveland Browns have two (or none, as the saying goes) young QBs in Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn. Both of these guys- neither of whom appears ready to be a franchise QB- have been there a while, and there's since been a change in management and the coaching staff. This makes it at least somewhat likely they could blow the whole thing up and start over. But who would mentor Tim Tebow in this scenario? Would a depressed city, which could lose LeBron James, look to Tim Tebow as their savior? For Tim Tebow's sake, I hope the Browns stay away. Even if Tom Heckert is impressed by Tebow. ESPN's NFC North blog seems to think the Tebow love out of Browns camp could be nothing more than a smokescreen to cause other teams to draft him higher.

Florida Gators Heisman winner, National Champion heads to the Washington Redskins... I've heard that before. Twice. Yuck. Dan Snyder is pretty much the poster child of a dysfunctional NFL franchise (non-Oakland division). The idea did spark a 13-page thread in this Redskins forum. Please don't ruin Tebow for me, Dan. You've done enough to the players and coaches I hold dear.

The Least Likelies

Some of these teams (Baltimore, Atlanta, etc.) have a young QB who has had success, and is young enough for a Tebow pick to make no sense. Others (Tampa Bay, Detroit) have a young QB we're still waiting on, but it'd be an odd (and unlikely) sequence of events to end up with Tim Tebow on their roster. Basically, this category is anyone who drafted a potential (in their eyes) 'franchise' QB in the last 2 years. However, note the 2007 draft class is full of QBs either getting bailed on (JaMarcus Russell, potentially Brady Quinn) or being likely will be pressed into action (Kevin Kolb) as teams begin to seek a return on that investment, or pursue alternatives.

The Atlanta Falcons have Matt Ryan. And the fewest mentions of Tim Tebow on their websites of any team in the NFL. Maybe because Georgians prefer their QBs to throw interceptions more frequently (extended way of zinging Stafford)?

I openly cackled when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted Josh Freeman last year. I was with G1 NFL Draft guru Krutch at Dallas' Crawl for Cancer (drink beer? fight cancer? YES!), and he was depressed. But even he began to talk himself into Freeman by the end of the year (narrowly avoiding a winless season will do that, I guess). Anyway, my point is, as much as Tim Tebow would win a Florida-based NFL team fan support... this one isn't happening. Though some, at least, are entertaining the idea.

The New York Jets are another team that took a QB last season. Of course, I can't imagine a scenario where they would make a surprise run to the AFC Championship Game and then fire 5 assistant coaches, but that just happened.

The Detroit Lions think they got their franchise QB last year. I guess in a franchise QB, they value interceptions over anything else. Yep, second time to rip Stafford in this section. Anyway, after taking a QB #1 overall a year ago, there is no way they draft a QB this year.

I'm thinking the Chicago Bears break with recent history (Rex Grossman, Chris Leak) and avoid drafting this Florida Gators quarterback. Even if Jay Cutler is not a franchise quarterback, the Bears can't afford to devote so many resources to chasing a QB. The high pick this year would be on top of all they gave up for Cutler a year ago. Cutler is still young enough they won't give up on him, either. This isn't happening.

At least one Green Bay Packers fan is praying for Tebow to come to Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers is 26. They're not drafting a QB, though when they got Rodgers it was great value after he fell past so many other teams. The only way they draft Tebow is if they think they can then trade him.

The Baltimore Ravens are Wacco for Flacco (as Matthew Berry would say). Joe Flacco is their franchise QB, and they have Troy Smith behind him. While it's likely they take a QB in a lower round in the draft, Tim Tebow will be gone before they are ready to pull the trigger.

Questionable Destinations

How's this for a Gator connection to the Houston Texans: Rex Grossman is the backup QB. I doubt anyone still thinks Sexy Rexy will develop into a star down the road, so they could be looking for a backup for (first time Pro-Bowler) Matt Schaub. Schaub, however, is 28, and grooming a replacement would not be a high priority. I wouldn't be surprised if they take a QB, but I would be surprised if they do it early enough to get Tebow. I also am not sold on their ability to groom young QBs- Schaub was a highly-regarded backup with Atlanta before he was traded to Houston. This Texans blog has some arguments for and against his fit in Houston, while these fans chose instead to make up a fake trade scenario with division-rival Jags andthese fans want Tebow in Houston as a change-of-pace QB.

I am not sure if Eli Manning is a elite quarterback, but I am sure that the New York Giants have many other needs to address. Eli has at least won a Super Bowl, so they will look elsewhere during the draft. Manning the Younger also isn't as widely recognized for his football acumen, so I am skeptical of referring to him as a 'mentor' for a young QB such as Tim Tebow. With Rhett Bomar and David Carr as their other roster QBs, they could use a better backup. But Eli is the man for the present, and enough into the future for this franchise to draft other needs. I'd also describe this destination as 'questionable' because of the likelihood of a negative reaction by Giants fans at the draft, and because the franchise has not given me any indication of being a good place to come of age as a QB.

The Minnesota Vikings were one of the teams that talked with Tim Tebow at the Senior Bowl. They'll likely be held hostage by Brett Favre all summer as well. This article lists Tim Tebow as an option should Favre leave.

The Cincinnati Bengals could certainly use some good guys in their locker room. And I'm not sure Carson Palmer is as good as fantasy owners think he is, so maybe they could use a QB to groom for the near future. But this is another situation where Tebow would lack a mentor. I think the Bengals are enough of a mess that they won't address QB until much later in the draft that Tebow goes. But it is interesting to note the tie between Tim Tebow, Sam Wyche, and the Bengals. Cincy residents also witnessed first-hand his prolific passing game in the Sugar Bowl.

Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News, at least, had heard enough ''Tim Tebow to the Dallas Cowboys'' talk that he felt inclined to write about it. I think it's a bad fit for a reason he doesn't talk about: Texans HATE Tebow. Don't forget, when he should have won the Heisman in 2008, many in the Big XII region purposely left him off their ballot so that Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford would have a much better chance. Jerry Jones has also always shown an affinity for Big XII and Arkansas stars... so I don't think he'd do it. I'm also not sure of the fit, as ''Jerry Jones'' and ''Dallas Cowboys fan base'' are not words I'd lump together with ''sanity'' or ''patience''. Tony Romo is, however, a sneaky 30, and the immortal Jon Kitna can't be his backup forever. Finally, ex-Arkansas Razorbacks and ex-Dallas Cowboys assistant David Lee worked with Tebow during the Senior Bowl. He and (former Cowboy, now Miami Dolphins head coach) Tony Sparano mean that there's at least some link between Tebow and Dallas, but I just don't see this happening.

The Philadelphia Eagles already have a QB controversy. They have Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, and Kevin Kolb. Vick is almost definitely gone, and most around the NFL seem to think McNabb is gone as well. If that were to happen, this would be a good situation (as far as coaching) in that the franchise seems to develop QBs well, and they mixed in Michael Vick fairly well- meaning they'd be creative enough to work on integrating Tebow's unique skill set. However, having the young Kolb and the younger Tebow can't be a good long-term strategy. Being the 4th QB in a mix of QBs means Philly is less a 'wild card' and more of a 'questionable destination' for Tim Tebow. Despite this piecethis piece and this piece linking Tebow with the Eagles. And some fans, at least, want him there.

Potentially Great Situations, Not Likely

The New Orleans Saints are the NFL's flagship for offensive firepower. They also have an established QB (on top of the world, right now) who would not be threatened by a young newcomer. I think Sean Payton would be innovative enough to find a use for Tim Tebow's unique skill set. However, he's a little young (31) to worry about training a replacement, and even on a Super Bowl-winning team there are needs to be addressed. This Fox Sports mock, however, does show Tebow to the Saints in the 2nd round, which could represent good value, if he's as high as some think on some other team's draft boards.

What about the Pittsburgh Steelers? Ben Roethlisberger has to be considered an elite quarterback.Comparisons to Big Ben (probably has something to do with the fact that Tebow is probably bigger than 'Big Ben') have already been made. The franchise is a model of stability, and he'd represent an upgrade over Dennis Dixon. So as a situation for a young QB to learn, this is close to ideal. But Big Ben is only 27, and the Steelers missed the playoffs- they have other team needs. This just isn't happening, but I did want to take the time to point out how this is one of the better franchises to be drafted into for any player.

Wild Cards

I've been moving teams around in these categories for weeks. Also, I spent the last few days monitoring random NFL team-centric message boards. So while some of these seemed crazy to me intially, they are less crazy to me now. I'm going to go with calling all of these 'wild cards', but understand some of them are wilder cards than others. Consider it the difference between suicide kings, one-eyed jacks, and bow-legged queens. Didn't play poker with bow-legged queens? Well, obviously you didn't have to play my grandfather in 7 card stud for your elementary school allowance...

The Arizona Cardinals are losing Kurt Warner to retirement. They have Matt Leinart in place, but is anyone convinced he's the answer there? The immediate playing time- and the recent success- mean there could be a lot of pressure for a young QB to be NFL-ready immediately. However, I bet anyone would want to play with that supporting cast, and the offensive pedigree of Ken Whisenhunt speaks to a strong coaching staff. About the only connection to the Cardinals (other than an SI mock draft) I could google for Timmy were sarcastic references to his faith and analogies to that of Kurt Warner. Unless you come up with a theory that we traded him for Teryl Austin. I don't yet know Mr. Austin, but I'm positive I'd rather have another year of Tebow eligibility.

The Seattle Seahawks have a new staff in place, led by Pete Carroll. Would he be more or less likely to break from conventional NFL wisdom and take a college star? Do Jeremy Bates' connections to UF make it more likely still? Unlike many nationally, it would seem, I think Matt Hasselbeck is still capable of performing as a top ten QB in the NFL- but he is 34. He's also frequently injured. Would the organization there pull the trigger on Tebow? A Puget Sound blogger makes the case for Tebow in Seattle.

I'm fairly positive the San Francisco 49ers like the progress of Alex Smith enough to give him some more time. He is sort of the Beta version of Tim Tebow, without all the athleticism, high school/recruiting hype, nor as extensive a track record of college success. However, Mike Singletary wants winners! And as that 49ers forum points out, Tim Tebow is certainly that... and could end up in SF.

The Miami Dolphins staff got an up-close look at Tebow in Mobile. And the Dolphins fan base stretches throughout Florida, as they are the oldest (and most successful) NFL franchise in the state. Who knows what Bill Parcells thinks of drafting a project-type QB at this point, and if they are satisfied enough with whatever combination of Chads (Henne, Pennington) and Pat White to address other needs. The tie to Florida and the lack of a definite 'franchise QB' is enough to make me think this scenario could happen, with some other moves.

It may be wishful thinking that I could one day own one of those powder-blue, lightning bolt-emblazoned jerseys, but I consider the San Diego Chargers a wildcard here. As an organization, they have a history of (1) taking a young QB even though a more established, also young QB is in place; (2) taking a QB with a funky throwing motion; and (3) handling the draft in an intelligent fashion, handling the salary cap well, and otherwise evaluating personnel on their own terms. If they feel they are getting fantastic value for Tim Tebow (consider comparisons to high-end first rounders Vince Young, Alex Smith, etc., then consider that Tebow will likely drop out of the first round entirely), this is definitely an organization I could see drafting Tim Tebow. How they then handle their two QBs- and if they then do another deal- I have no idea. I just know that if I were watching the draft pick by pick (I don't)... I'd be on Tebow watch every time the Chargers came up.

I consider the Tennessee Titans a wildcard as well. They took Vince Young in an attempt to drum up interest in the franchise. If they really wanted to work in some option plays, the common theory is that the NFL game would require several option-oriented QBs to spread out the violent collisions. I think Tebow and Young could work together that way, and Nashville is an SEC town that would embrace Tebow. I think you have to consider them a wildcard just based on their history of taking Young so highly, despite concerns over the passing game, and intelligence to adapt to the next level. The situation isn't ideal as far as giving Tebow a veteran mentor, but Kerry Collins and Jeff Fisher could be enough. They certainly have gotten more out of Young (character issues aside) than some NFL talking heads thought they would. More on the similarities between Young and Tebow here.

The Wildest of Wild Cards

Is there any other way to describe the way everyone will feel every time the Jacksonville Jaguars are on the clock with Tim Tebow still available? We know the situation with attendance. We know the situation with season ticket holders. We know that Jacksonville is the smallest market in the NFL, and that keeping a team there could be an issue without changes. We also know that Tim Tebow playing in his hometown would instantly sell a large number of jerseys and give national exposure to a struggling franchise. Despite what at least one current Jaguars player thinks of the likelihood, it could happen.

On the football side, I don't see this happening without David Garrard getting traded- which would be bad news as those people buying tickets to see Tim Tebow would want to see him on the field. The best way this works from a football standpoint is for the Jags to get a veteran to tutor Tebow, or to use Garrard as that tutor. I can't see how it would benefit the entire roster to spend that many resources (acquiring a Donovan McNabb-type free agent PLUS committing the high draft pick to Tim Tebow) on one position. However, desperation is a crazy thing. And there are at least 481 fans of this page on facebook. Plus, you know, itcould be a done deal.

Getting Warmer

Kansas City Chiefs personnel man Scott Pioli is upset Tebow's not doing the workouts at the combine, and I think he's questioning Tebow's competitive side? That doesn't seem smart to me. Pioli has the link to the Patriots, who have the link to Urban Meyer... but is Matt Cassel anything more that a stop-gap? He's not a franchise QB. Tebow could be that guy, and there's a lot of material linking Tebow and the Chiefs as a good idea. He's on their radar. They are also one of the teams that met with him during the Senior Bowl. Perhaps Pioli's comments were his way of trying to depress the value for Tim Tebow in the NFL Draft.

I was going to include the Denver Broncos in the wildcard section. I have been thinking about this match since the Jay Cutler trade, because of the connection between Urban Meyer and Bill Belichick, and the likelihood some of the Gator-love may have rubbed off on Josh McDaniels. The idea has gained considerable steam since then, so I can no longer consider it 'wild'. Here you can read Broncos fans talking about why Tebow should be their choice

The Cream of the Crop

These are the absolute best situations for Tim Tebow. Aging QBs in situations where Tebow could learn in what amounts to a QB Doctoral program, but situations that need a young understudy to take over the franchise in a few years. Additionally, I think there could be a small role for Tim Tebow immediately, similar to the 2006 season, but more on the mop-up duty side than a real commitment to a set number of snaps per game.

During the AFC Championship Game, Peyton Manning got stuffed on the goal line, and the Indianapolis Colts settled for a field goal. I immediately sent a text message to several people, as it dawned on me that Tim Tebow would be a great fit for the Colts. Tebow is familiar with Manning (he attended Manning passing camp), and the people of Indiana would love everything about him. Peyton would not be threatened to have a famous understudy. Tebow could provide an immediate help in situations like the one above, and- if he were to develop into a franchise QB- would be ready to go by the time Peyton's ready to hang it up. Anyway, I came to the conclusion independently, but it's hardly original. Here is one piece and another on Tebow to the Colts.

We know about the connection between Bill Belichick and Urban Meyer (the connection is so close,Tebow listened to Belichick's advice to go back to school). We know the New England Patriotsevaluate football players differently than most NFL minds. We also know the Pats have 3 second round picks in this year's draft. They also have a history of turning backup QBs (Matt Cassel) into stars. Learning behind Brady would be great for Tebow. The Pats have had enough problems in the running game to make me think they could creatively find a way to work Tebow in as well. This is easily one of the top two places Tebow could end up, for his sake.

You can view the original article here: http://gatorsfirst.com/index.php/fl


Posted on: January 31, 2010 2:02 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2010 2:06 pm

Why Senior Bowl Shouldn't Effect Tebow's Stock

Written by James Brown, Co-Founder of Gatorsfirst.com

I have never and will never understand the NFL talking heads.  They are so sure about their draft analysis, and yet you get guys like Tom Brady- not exactly an under-the-radar prospect, considering he came from Michigan.

Since Tim Tebow has left Florida, the anti-Tebow (as an NFL QB) sentiment has grown louder- and probably will continue to grow louder over the next several years.

Critics point to his mishandling of snaps during Senior Bowl practices, and his elongated delivery.  Let's explore what we really learned from the Senior Bowl, and how it should effect Tim Tebow's NFL Draft Stock.

Here's a small list of some things we knew about Tim Tebow as a quarterback:

  1. Unparalleled leadership skils, work ethic, and "intangibles".
  2. Elongated throwing motion and otherwise non-traditional throwing mechanics.
  3. Inexperience playing under center- meaning footwork and snap-handling needs work.
  4. Inexperience throwing NFL routes, as Florida's (efficient, dominant, pick your word) offensive system is not used in the NFL.

And here's what we know about Tim Tebow as a quarterback after a week of practice at the Senior Bowl, and after the game yesterday:

  1. Work ethic: ESPN's Todd McShay- among others- have suggested that Tebow would have been better served NOT taking this opportunity to work with an NFL snap, and to improve his game.  Anyone who has followed Tebow over the last 4 years knows that this was not an option.  The argument for drafting Tebow has been, and continues to be, that the skills he possesses are things these other quarterbacks will never get, while your projection of Tebow as an NFL washout is a bet against his work ethic.  Put simply: if you're familiar at all with this player, this is not a bet you would make.
  2. Throwing mechanics: My goodness, did you see that throwing motion?  It was long! It was sort of sidearm! It was NO FUCKING SURPRISE as it was exactly what we've seen for the last several years.  At least until you view this video of Tebow throwing in high school.  Some have taken that video and pointed to it as a regression- not an improvement.  I look at it and say it means there is something there for an NFL coach to work with.  If they are worth anything as a coach, and really think the throwing is an issue, is this really all that uncorrectable?  This isn't a diminutive college player that's faced questionable defenses.  This is 240 lbs. of concrete cyanide- plenty of size and mobility to find a way to make either this motion work, or to improve it some but STILL MAKE IT WORK.
  3. Playing under center: Tebow exhibited problems with footwork, etc. playing under center.  He played in the shotgun almost exclusively at Florida.  This was news?  Mike Leach thinks NFL guys ought to be able to teach quarterbacks to run backwards .  He went on to call it "the most pitiful NFL cop-out of all".  As an aside, I need someone smarter than me in regard to this non-innovative NFL offense everyone must be running to explain something: what's the argument against the shotgun?  Look at this play-by-play , Peyton Manning seems to be in the shotgun fairly often- against a "dominating" defense that many of you NFL fans thought would carry the Jets to the Super Bowl.  In fact the (shotgun) designation appears quite often in this play-by-play as well.  And these were the most important games involving (in Minny, Indy, and N'awlins) a few of the best offenses in the No Fun League.  Seriously, what gives?
  4. Inexperience with NFL routes: Again, something we saw this week, which was IN NO WAY UNEXPECTED.  How this could negatively impact a draft stock is beyond me.  I may be a huge Gator homer, but I know Tebow doesn't always hit guys in stride, or is not 100% accurate- though I will stand up for him and note his completion percentages, and the way he has been able to complete ridiculous numbers of passes in a row when locked in.  Anyway, I know this wasn't the best aspect of this game- but I saw improvement in this over his time at Florida!  The Alabama game, when it got away from us early, was in no way his fault.  He was nailing guys in the chest (notably Jeff Demps, on a play I am convinced would have gone for a TD), and otherwise came out on fire.  It seems the rest of the guys weren't up for that huge stage (or, weren't feeling the all-white look.  I still blame the unis.)  And again in the Sugar Bowl, his accuracy- in the NFL tight-window sense, not in the merely completing-the-pass sense- got better.  Something to work with, something we've known, and not something the Senior Bowl should have negatively impacted.

So where does all this leave us in regard to Tim Tebow's NFL Draft Stock, post-Senior Bowl?  Right where it was, pre-Senior Bowl.  If ANYONE who has ever cashed a check evaluating NFL talent saw something from the Senior Bowl they DID NOT ALREADY EXPECT, they should immediately be forced to find a new career.  That sort of ineptitude wouldn't be accepted in a business outside of the sports world, why should the scouts and draft gurus be held to a lower standard?

I am also furious at the NFL, in general, for their disregard of things that work in the college game- until they are adopted and we all get beaten over the head with this "new" offensive philosophy (see: Wildcat (noun) ).... but I'll save that vitriol for another time.  I've touched on it before around these parts.  The reason it's relevant here? I'm also, from a &we're supposed to be running our sports teams as the multi-billion enterprises they are& stand point, angry about the way NFL teams evaluate QBs in general.

I tried to make the central argument here : If your job (being a "franchise QB") is so difficult that only 12-15 guys out of thousands (how many draft-eligible QBs a year, for the last 15 years or so?) can complete this job- and that job is so intimately tied with the success of your team/business... well, you something has to give.  The executives (and coaches) of these teams should be held to a higher standard, and be able to generate a consistent, winning product independent of whether or not they hit the lotto with one of these "few in a decade"-type QBs that fit into their prototype.  Note to NFL guys: if Tim Tebow, the ultimate winner/leader, with the ultimate work ethic, is a square peg in a round hole... well, I'd start making my hole a square.

I tried to make that last point several different ways without leaving you an opening to crack jokes about my hole.  Oh well.

You can find the original article here: http://gatorsfirst.com/index.php/fl

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: January 20, 2010 3:30 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2010 4:23 pm

Gator Nation Sports Page Wednesday, January 20


Written by James Brown, Co-Founder of Gatorsfirst.com

While most of the recent Florida Gators news surrounds the football and basketball team (check out the first in a series of 3 recruiting pieces here), there have been many stories that I didn't feel necessary to cover in their own blog, but you might find interesting nonetheless.

You can always get Florida Gators news from all over the internet, up-to-the-minute right here.  There's no reason to waste valuable time during your lunch break loading a bunch of pages, when bookmarking that link will allow you to browse all the news at once.

On to what's been happening this week...

Tim Tebow is a professional now, and he and his mother, Pam, filmed a Super Bowl ad for Focus on the Family.  CBS rejects "controversial" ads every year- and the fact that the ad centers on abortion qualifies this ad as such- so it remains to be seen if this ad will be, well, seen.  Regardless of your stance on abortion, I love the story of how doctors wanted Pam to get an abortion due to her sickness... she didn't, took steroids.. and Timmy grows up to be 250 lbs. of concrete cyanide.

Wondy Pierre-Louis, who last week rejoiced at the news his parents survived the Haiti earthquake, this week has been in legal trouble for an alleged altercation between himself and a woman.  He posted bail this morning.  The woman testified that Wondy is not a danger.

In other legal news, Steve Babik of the Gators radio network was fired after being arrested on charges of child pornography.

If you've cared about Florida basketball at all in the last decade, you're doing yourself a disservice by not reading this AOL Fanhouse piece on Teddy Dupay.  The article talks about his current work to legalize marijuana, and gives some tidbits about his post-UF basketball career.  I loved the story of his hitting 11 of 14 3-pointers against Louisville in an exhibition game, where Pitino ended up benching Taquan Dean so that Teddy wouldn't totally destroy his defensive confidence by "90 points".  Dupay hardly breaks news by stating that all he knew about marijuana in college was that "Jason Williams smoked a lot of it".  By the way, Jason Williams is still in the NBA, playing for the Magic- and in their recent 3 game losing streak, he's struggled- but scored 12 and 14 points in the two wins before that.  As goes J-Will, so go the Magic?

Don't miss the Florida Gators v. Arkansas Razorbacks basketball game tomorrow night on ESPN at 9pm ET.  And post-game analysis right here on GatorsFirst.com!

You can view the original article here: http://gatorsfirst.com/index.php/fl


Posted on: October 10, 2009 4:54 pm

High Hopes & Hindsight: Florida vs LSU Preview

Written by Jesse Colston, Gatorsfirst.com Co-Founder

What an exciting day for Gator fans… Tonight Florida gets to prove why they’re # 1 and Gator Nation can have something concrete to back up our endless confidence as we march towards Pasadena. Going into the season, tonight’s game was the one widely thought to be Florida’s toughest regular season matchup and the circumstances surrounding the game has hyped it up even more; Will Tebow play or not? Will Jordan Jefferson be able to step up against the #1 defense in the country? Can LSU’s defensive front handle a Florida rushing attack that is averaging over 300 yards per game?

The latter should be the difference in this ball game. While LSU’s defensive secondary has played decent this year, their play in the trenches has been dreadful and should look even worse against the Gators’ #1 rushing offense in the country. Expect to see Moody, Demps and Rainey each get plenty of touches en-route to another 300+ yard ground game for the Gators. I would expect Tebow to play but not contribute to that rushing yard total as much as he has in the past… at least for this game.

Florida will be very careful with Tebow tonight and we’ll probably see Brantley in the game as soon as Tebow takes a hit and doesn’t bounce up as quick as he goes down. We’ll then get to witness what we have all been waiting for: John Brantley throwing the ball in a game against a good secondary when it counts. Given that opportunity Brantley will confirm that as a backup he is still one of the elite quarterbacks in the country. In addition to the 300+ rushing yards expect to see more through the air than usual as our offensive line gives the quarterback (whoever that may be) plenty of time against LSU’s D to step back and throw the ball at will.   Look for Brandon James to quiet Death Valley early with a big time kick return that gives Florida momentum that they keep most of the game. The Gators will slip at times due to the tremendous night time atmosphere in Baton Rouge but will never let LSU gain too much steam to really put the pressure on. Florida will go in to half-time with a two possession lead then pull away even more from the Tigers in the second half.   Tip for Florida fans: Get your post-season tickets now… After Florida’s performance tonight the prices will skyrocket…

Half Time Score: Florida 28 – LSU 17

Final Score: Florida 48 – LSU 20

View the original article here: http://gatorsfirst.com/index.php/fl

Posted on: September 4, 2009 9:34 am

High Hopes & Hindsight: UF v CSU Preview

Written by Gatorsfirst.com Co-Founder Jesse Colston

I can’t believe it’s already here. Football Season. College Football Season. Florida Gators dominating EVERYBODY season.

I know we all have high hopes this year and it starts with a little warm-up game at 7 o’clock this Saturday night. Charleston Southern (7-5 last year; 0-16 all-time against FBS schools) comes to the Swamp with a little extra money in their pockets and a little extra padding on their shoulders. The Gators are looking for someone else to hit and Tim Tebow says he’s 100% going into the season for the first time in his career...

Florida is 340 point favorite but I don’t expect them to cover. Expect to see a great scrimmage type game, only this time the defense is allowed to flatten the QB into the turf. Florida will come out firing early with a quick score on the first drive. Charleston Southern will gain a first down on the first series as our defense gets settled in but will punt soon after. There isn’t much reason to think Florida won’t score on every possession but let’s chalk a couple of punts up to losing field position on some “opening day jitter” penalties.

Florida will put up half a hundred in the first half but will slow a little in the second as Meyer & Co. will  use the big lead to see some of the youngsters test their skills against a team with different colors. All in all, everyone will look impressive but it will mostly be attributed to the lack of opposition from the competition.

Final Score: Florida 74 – Charleston Southern 3


You can view the original post here: http://gatorsfirst.com/index.php/fl

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com