What exactly is wrong with Tim Tebow’s release?

By Adam Silverstein
January 29, 2010

Analysts, commentators and NFL Draft experts have been critical of former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow‘s release for the last year, and the evaluations have been even tougher over the last week. But what is it exactly that is wrong with Tebow’s release? Fans have heard that it is “too low” and “too slow. ESPN‘s Todd McShay recently had this to say in his Tebow progress report: “[It] takes [him] entirely too long getting the ball out. It will be difficult to succeed in the NFL with the elongated, three-quarters delivery he has shown during his career at Florida.”

During the 2010 Sugar Bowl against the Cincinnati Bearcats, color man and former Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick broke down Tebow’s throwing motion.

What is even more interesting is the fact that Tebow’s arm action did not always look like this. Back in high school, he kept the ball up near his shoulder and had a more “professional” follow-through. Take a look at his release over time. (h/t SmartFootball)

The positive? If he’s done it before, he can likely do it again.

12 Comments

  1. O-town Gator says:

    If Todd McShay thinks he could do a better job than Tim Tebow, then let him haul his sorry ass out onto the field and prove it.

    It seems everybody else has given Timmy good reviews so far, but McShay’s being such a stinker.

    He’ll likely be a work-in-progress once he gets to the NFL, but he’s not doing anything right now that can’t be smoothed over and fine-tuned. With the right coaching, he’ll do just fine whereever he goes.

  2. Mr2Bits says:

    You know, I have been watching football for a LONG time. I think allot of people make the NFL to be some next level that is 10x above the college level and I just don’t buy it. Sure the NFL has quick, aggressive players but shit, so do allot of college teams. Call me crazy but I think the transition of greats come from the players around them, their dedication to the game and personal development and how good the team is in general. Go to a shitty team like the Lions or Bucs and your bound to fail. Stafford will be washed up in 5 years and you’ll hear nothing from him anymore. Go to the Pats or a new up and coming team and you’ll play for 15 years.

    Just my two cents, call me crazy if you want.

  3. Mr2Bits says:

    Interesting video with how his delivery has changed. The only thought that comes to mind is injury/muscle growth to completely change the way he’s throwing the ball. Its like Pedro walking off the mound one season to come back as a side-armed pitcher the next, very odd. I guess it could be a progression over time of him not developing enough arm strength and using his body momentum to compensate as well.

    Is there any video of him as an underclassman and how his throwing style was then?

  4. JvilleJohnny says:

    Everybody(NFL scouts and coaches) besides McShay and Kiper, have given Tebow a positive evaluation this week ..His release has shortened a bit from what I saw on NFL network, and he seems to be improving everyday. I have NO DOUBT that he will be able to convert back to his HS days of throwing by the time August rolls around, and I know that Sparano(Dolphins HC), and many other NFL team scouts and coaches have seen this. He will go in the first round.

  5. I agree with most of what Johnny just said. Especially the last sentence – Tebow WILL be a first-round pick.

  6. Basshole says:

    Sorry that my first post here has to be somewhat argumentative, but I disagree with a one of the statements above.

    “I think allot of people make the NFL to be some next level that is 10x above the college level and I just don’t buy it.”

    Less than 1% of college players are drafted (224 each year), and many of those players never even play since they have to beat out vets that can play for over a decade. So while I couldn’t put a number on how much better the level of play is in the NFL, it is significantly greater.

    To get to the subject of this post, I don’t think anybody can predict what Tebow will do in the next level. Sure, he has some mechanical issues with his throws, but he does bring a lot to the table. Over the years, we have seen can’t miss prospects (Akili Smith, Leaf, etc.) go on to do terrible and QBs with major flaws or unknowns (Rivers, VY, Warner, Brady, etc.) go on to excel. The good thing is one team will give Tebow a shot, and it will likely be a team that won’t rush him on the field and give him time to prepare.

  7. No reason to apologize, you are entitled to your opinion. Good comment.

  8. Denver Gator says:

    These guys are just entertainers just like sports talk radio hosts. Their opinions are meant to draw ire from people in order to increase ratings, etc. I have seen stories that take these mock drafts and evaluations and match them against the actual draft and it comes out to 5-6 percent correct. Granted trades and what not do have an effect on these numbers but these guys are paid to establish what NFL teams need and how that matches to the available draft class. McShay predicted early on that Jake Locker would be the 1st pick in the draft but his grade from the advisory committee did not come back as a 1st-rounder, let along a top 10 pick.

    Rant over on the “experts”. I agree with Bass that I cannot predict how Tim is going to do in the NFL but I would want him on my team. Given time he can become a solid player, my fear is dropping him into the fire too quickly. Does he need to change his throwing motion – most likely. But for McShay to say that a 22-year old is unable to adapt is a little silly IMO.

  9. Mel Kiper, Jr. says:

    Hey Denver Gator, my draft boards are always right, it’s these coaches and GMs that are wrong. But I gotta agree with your last statement, anything McShay says is complete and utter shit.

  10. Mr2Bits says:

    “Adam Silverstein says:
    January 29, 2010 at 5:33 pm
    No reason to apologize, you are entitled to your opinion. Good comment.”

    I call shenanigans, you’re hiring people to just disagree with me now.

  11. KB_Gators says:

    Tebow will be fine. Leaders win.

  12. Drew 4 Orange and Blue says:

    I think the top 3 things to look at are Work ethic, Leadership & Arm Strength and Tebow is fine in all those categories….I remember in high school he threw the ball about 70 yards in one video clip…..if you look at most bust and there are plenty I think most could be contributed to one of those three areas….I will say I think Tebow bulked up a bit too much…it will be interesting to see if the team that drafts him ask him to drop some of the weight….I remember his frosh year he was quicker….I thought maybe in years 2&3 he was a step slow because he was battling so many injuries but this year we were told he was healthy and no real change.

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