Tebow better but can’t escape criticism on Day 3

By Adam Silverstein
January 28, 2010

Responding to questions about his health Wednesday, former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow answered without hesitation. “Let’s just say I needed to see some doctors for a little bit,” he quipped. “I’m feeling a lot better now. But you don’t want to touch me, I’ve got strep throat.”

Though he is sick, Tebow has progressed each day he has practiced with the Miami Dolphins coaching staff in Mobile, AL, while preparing for the 2010 Under Armour Senior Bowl. Reports from the practices have Tebow getting more comfortable taking snaps from under center and showing increased fluidity in his drop-backs. He only lost one snap Wednesday and has been throwing a nice deep ball.

“I’ve been impressed with what he’s done,” Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano, said of Tebow’s performance during South team practices. “He’s getting better and better. Has a real good handle of the offense right now, the package going into this ball game.”
“I think his fundamentals and mechanics are really good, really solid,” Sparano continued. “They do a great job of coaching them at Florida, without a doubt. I think he’s done some really good things and his delivery is fine. Our job is to help these kids as much as we possibly can during the course of the week, give them the tools in their tool box to go forward. Anyway we can help him fundamentally this week, we will.”

VIDEO: NFL Network’s scouting report of Tebow at the Senior Bowl

Everyone seems to have an opinion about Tebow and plenty of general managers, head coaches, college scouts and “experts” have said one thing or another about his future in the NFL after evaluating him over the last few days: […read all 13 after the jump!]

ESPN’s director of college scouting Todd McShay, from the Boston Globe: “He can’t play quarterback in the NFL, I’m convinced of it. From his delivery to his footwork to his accuracy, you have to absolutely strip him down and build him back up. And it’s too late.’’

NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock: “To me, he is arguably the greatest college football player that ever played the game. I think he deserves the right to get an opportunity to try to play quarterback at the next level. […] I keep trying to tell people it’s a process. Just understand there will be ups and downs. The kid is what he is. He’s going to work on mechanics.”

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, from The Gainesville Sun:. “I know all I need to know about the kid. He’s a winner. Obviously, he’s a great competitor. He doesn’t have to prove anything here. The fact he’s out here is great. He’s a winner. That’s what you want as the No. 1 thing as a quarterback, so I think he’s going to have a great future.” “Yeah, absolutely [he can be a quarterback in the NFL]. […] Hell, you look at his track record, the way he competes, and his win-loss record speaks volumes about him. He’s probably the top competitor that I’ve really seen around in a long time. He doesn’t have to be perfect. All he has to do is play quarterback. He’ll be just fine.”

Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Gene Smith, from The Gainesville Sun: “You talk about Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, coming out of college they were so passionate about competing at the very highest level. No one worked harder than those two. It’s not like they had just God-given ability and just stepped out on the field and performed. The honed their skills. That’s one thing Tim has. He has the mindset of Peyton Manning and Drew Brees from a preparation standpoint. He’ll put in the time. How good he becomes, I don’t know. I don’t have a crystal ball. I do know he’s a tremendous competitor who has played quarterback in a great program and he’s won national championships. He’s certainly showed the ability to lead, and that’s the No. 1 thing you have to have in a quarterback. I think Tim will tell you he’s certainly got some things he can improve on. He’s got some things like most quarterbacks have that he can improve upon. I read where he’s got a long release. I’ve seen him shorten it. If you’re cognizant of things you need to improve on, great players work to improve in those areas. Tim gets that.”

Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio, from The Gainesville Sun: “This is just the beginning. From here, you’ll have the workouts and the combine and all those things, the interview process. Like a lot of young men, we’re trying to get a good feel for how they’re going to fit in on our level. It’s way too early in the process to get into those kind of discussions (about how Tebow’s mechanics might influence the Jags’ draft). I like to get a feel for players. I’ll work at it and have an opinion. I’ll have one on Tim at some point, but I won’t give it to you any time soon.”

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley, from The Gainesville Sun: “He’s a good football player, and it’s important to find good football players. I just haven’t seen enough of him.”

High-ranking college scout for an NFC team, from the Boston Globe: “I actually don’t think he’s that hard to evaluate at all. To me, he’s just not a very good quarterback prospect. Now, if you want to rework his mechanics, his release, try to improve his accuracy, then you see a guy with this big frame that can throw. He’s a big-time project, no doubt.’’

AFC college scouting director, from the Boston Globe: “With a guy like him, you can’t say he can’t do it. He’s got a strong arm, he can throw a spiral. But he’s going to take time. With his mechanics, with his long delivery, he’ll have to shorten things up. He may never be a top quarterback, but you don’t know. With his type of character and the way he approaches things, you can’t put it out of the question. But it will take some time. If you put him at another position, he wouldn’t be an elite athlete. As a quarterback, he’s a really good athlete and strong and physical. But if you say, ‘OK, how’s he compared to the running backs out there?’ He’s not more athletic than any of the running backs out there and he’s certainly not more athletic than a lot of great tight ends.’’

San Diego Chargers scout, from The Gainesville Sun: “I know Tim is a great football player and he’ll be a heck of a player in the NFL,” said a scout with the San Diego Chargers who asked to remain anonymous. “I just don’t know what position that will be at.”

Pittsburgh Steelers scout, from The Gainesville Sun: “He’s a tremendous athlete, a great competitor and a winner. There’s no doubt he’ll have a career in the NFL. He’s a football player. But I think you’ll see him playing another position and getting a few plays a game as a Wildcat quarterback. He’ll be more of a situational quarterback. You watch him throw the ball and he’s got that long throwing motion. He doesn’t get the ball out quick enough. As a former (NFL) defensive back, I loved going against quarterbacks like that because you could really zero in on their passes. Tebow’s a great player, but I question whether he can be an every-down quarterback at the next level.”

Mississippi State Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen, from the Mobile Press-Register: “You know, he wins. Everybody keeps challenging him and challenging him of what he can’t do, and he seems to continually prove everybody wrong. I think he’s out here to show and prove everyone wrong again. […] I would have been shocked if he wasn’t (playing in the Senior Bowl). If there is a game to be played, he wants to be playing in it. I bet if you put on another one next week, he’d come back and play again.”

Former Alabama Crimson Tide tight end and South teammate Colin Peek, from the Mobile Press-Register: “I think he’s doing a phenomenal job, especially thrown into a situation where he has a million eyes on him. It’s kind of a sad situation because so many people are trying to judge him as a player off of this week when he’s produced such great numbers in the past four years.”

Former Florida Gators wide receiver and South teammate Riley Cooper, from the Mobile Press-Register: “Everything you see in media and on TV, it’s the truth based on the type of person he is. When we played Cincinnati, he proved to everyone that he is an NFL quarterback. He is the most competitive person I have ever been around and he works harder than anybody I know. When he gets drafted, he’s going to be successful.”

Photo Credit: Dave Martin/Associated Press

14 Comments

  1. Brittany says:

    Nice read Adam, it’s going to be a very interesting draft. I’m looking forward to the Combine. And honestly I don’t know why people listen to Todd McShay.

  2. Mr2Bits says:

    No surprise from Todd McShay and the Globe. Both have been bashing him for months now and say he’s no better than a 3rd rounder and at 5th best QB at the senior game at best. Someone has to hate him so why not be McShay to make a bigger name for himself.

    If I saw him, I’d just like to ask him how many QB’s he has actually been correct on in the last 10 years? I think all these assholes don’t know if a QB is going to be a stud more than you or I. Most of them come out and make bold predictions but never have to hold their balls to the fire when they are wrong 90 percent of the time. Just ask the Bucs front office and all their first rounders that have tanked.

    I for one will be emailing McShay 5 years from now to call him an arrogant prick who should do everyone a favor and quit his job that he clearly isn’t qualified for.
    Kiper can suck it too as hes as equally moronic as McShay and Desmond Howard whom I have labeled the Florida racist.

  3. Mel Kiper, Jr. says:

    Hey Adam, I’ve been drooling over college boys since you were in diapers, so don’t put quotes around experts when you refer to me. And I know you were referring to me…

  4. G8rGrl says:

    100% agree with Mr2Bits. Weathermen and sportscasters are the only jobs where you get paid to be wrong most of the time.

  5. Mel Kiper, Jr. says:

    I can’t help but agreeing with Brittany, why would anyone listen to McShay when they can listen to the wealth knowledge I have developed while watching these boys compete for years and years. And Mr2Bits, you better watch who you tell to suck it, or else I might have to head butt you with my lucious mane.

  6. LOL! Mel, you are so sensitive. Maybe it is the hair gel.

  7. npgator says:

    Sparano is a good coach and class act. I think his assesment is very important since his job is not just coaching but evaluating talent.

  8. Aligator says:

    Mel Kiper and Todd McShay are douche bags. Tebow will have an impact, it may take some time, but there are a lot of QB’s in the NFL that just suck, really suck .. Patrick Ramsey, JP Lohsmen, Byron Leftwich, Jason Campbel and blah blah blah. He will get drafted high and maybe he will opnly be a situational guy who it takes a couple of years to get together, but hey, he will make more than these tools andhe really doesn’t care about what they think. I know that his dream was to do what he did at Florida, Share his faith and honor God. The rest is gravy for him.

    do not be surpried if a team that is a great team with a great bunch of athletes takes him and he shines. I do not think he will get drafted to a sorry team like Stafford did, to turn things around. Idiots.

  9. Drew 4 Orange and Blue says:

    Projecting QB’s at the next level is about like hitting Pedro in his prime….a total crap shoot….that all being said McShay is the same tool bag who said Jamarcus Russell was a solid pick at #1 overall…HAAAAA……even Cane Sileo was saying Tebow reminded him of Kosar…terrible form but a winner and he took his terrible form and became a very good NFL QB……we don’t know for sure how good he will be in the NFL but I would never bet against someone with the heart and character of Timmy T

  10. O-town Gator says:

    Adam., it’s all in Kiper’s pompadour hairstyle (LOL).

    Joking aside, while McShay and Brian Griese have been overly crtitical in their assessment of Tebow, Kordell “Slash” Stewart was more realistic and even complimentary to a degree when I listened to what he had to say on ESPNNews – and this guy ought to know what he’s talking about.

  11. Mr2Bits says:

    Drew “Cane Sileo”
    Buwhahahah. That dude talks more about how many chicks want him and how great he and the 80’s Cane squads was.

  12. Aligator says:

    vice young … hello … tebow is a better athlete and vice young is dumb as a brick and a whiner!!!

  13. Escambia94 says:

    All I can say is that Tebow deserves a chance to prove his naysayers right or wrong. My crystal ball says he will not transition to the NFL as quickly and effectively as Peyton Manning, but that he will not be a total bust in the NFL. My super-crystal ball says that he may not start immediately on an NFL team, and that some time on the sideline learning the NFL will do him some good. Once he gets going, he will surprise the naysayers.

  14. BiGeGator says:

    Mel Kiper says Tebow can’t be a QB in the NFL…and his resume speaks for itself. Check out the link.

    http://www.dickipedia.org/dick.php?title=Mel_Kiper%2C_Jr

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