SIX BITS: Dungy on Tebow, Jaguars, weekend

By Adam Silverstein
February 1, 2010

1 » Former Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach and current NFL analyst for NBC Tony Dungy continues to stand behind former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow and believes he will succeed at the next level. “I know a lot of people are saying he will play another position and he might, but I think he’s going to be a great leader, a winner, and I think some team is going to take him and tailor their offense to the special qualities he has,” Dungy told George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel. “I think he’s going to be a fantastic player in the NFL. If I am a coach, I say to myself: ‘I’ve got a special, unique talent and I am going to structure my team a little differently to take advantage of that.’ People are starting to do that. Tennessee did that with Vince Young and was very successful. I think somebody is going to do it. […] Tim won a lot of games in high school, a lot of games at the University of Florida and my belief is that he will win if he gets with the right team in the NFL.”

2 » Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Gene Smith told The Florida Times-Union that his team’s experiment with the 3-4 defense is over. Part of the reason for the change is a belief of Smith in former Gators defensive end Derrick Harvey, who only had two sacks in 2009. “The third year is usually a defining year for what you’re going to become,” Smith said as he indicated that Harvey will begin camp as the starting left end. Former Florida safety Reggie Nelson, who had an outstanding rookie campaign but has since floundered with the Jaguars, may be cut if he does not show significant improvement throughout training camp.

Women’s basketball, lacrosse and men’s & women’s tennis after the jump!

3 » Though the men lost in the waning seconds of their contest, the Gators women’s basketball team (12-9, 4-3 SEC) pulled out a close 67-64 victory over the Ole Miss Rebels (14-7, 5-3 SEC) at C.M. Tad Smith Coliseum in Oxford, MS on Sunday. Senior guard Steffi Sorensen scored a team-high 18 points by going 6-for-7 from downtown. Seniors forward Sharielle Smith and G Lonnika Thompson each posted 11 points; Smith added five rebounds while Thompson contributed five assists and three steals. Florida returns to Gainseville, FL, for a three-game homestand that begins with a game against the Vanderbilt Commodores at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

4 » Florida lacrosse played its first game in team history, albeit an exhibition, against the U.S. National Developmental team on Saturday at the Disney Wide World of Sports in Orlando, FL. The Gators fell 17-8 against their more experienced opponent and let a close 7-4 score to get out of reach by allowing the U.S. team to score five straight goals early in the second half. Florida starts its first regular season against the Jacksonville Dolphins on Feb. 20 but must first face the Princeton Tigers on the road in a final exhibition game on Feb. 14.

5 » The No. 11 Florida men’s tennis team (2-1) advanced to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships after finishing ITA Kick-Off Weekend with a 7-0 shutout victory over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Sunday at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex. redshirt senior Antoine Benneteau and junior Alexandre Lacroix, the No. 10-ranked doubles pair in the country, once again pulled out an impressive victory. The team’s final match of the season, before competing in the indoor championships, is against the Florida Atlantic Owls on Feb. 6

6 » While the men are on their way to the championships, the No. 8 Gators women’s team (4-0) has already advanced to the round of 16 after sweeping the Florida International Golden Panthers 4-0 in second-round action in Gainesville, FL, on Sunday. Florida will next compete in the tournament’s third round from Feb. 12-15 at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison, WS.

14 Comments

  1. O-town Gator says:

    At least Tony Dungy is being sensible, unlike Todd McShay and the denizens of Bleacher Report when it comes to assessing Tim Tebow’s possibilities to succeed in the NFL. One experience can’t make or break him, and so many are being quick on the trigger to call him a flop after his Senior Bowl play (and not stopping to consider that he was ill at the time).

  2. brlgator says:

    Big ups to OGGOA for giving some “ink” lacrosse.

  3. ReptilesRule says:

    brigator…I can tell you, that from day one OGGOA is the best Gator website going. Best place for complete Gator breaking news and great info on various UF sports. The Lynden Trail interview was one of the best I have ever read on recruiting.

  4. Thanks guys. Flattery will get you everywhere.

  5. Gatorfan33 says:

    If the Jags cut Nelson the ink will not be dry on the papers before another team picks him up. The Jags’ whole team sucks and I think Reggie will make a come back if he goes to the right team.

  6. Not sure if you watched him play this year…was consistently pretty bad.

  7. Gatorfan33 says:

    That defense as a whole was consistently bad. I am just saying that he didn’t just lose the talent he had as a rookie. Some team will pick him up and surround him with other talented players that will help him get his confidence back.

  8. dp says:

    Not to change the subject Adam but I wasn’t sure how to ask. What do you know about this Stephen Alli kid from last years class? I am assuming he was red-shirted…he seems to have the intangibles to be a beast…6’6″ 205 with 4.4 speed?! Should have a shot to be a big target for brantley besides debose, if healthy…who else do you see being targets in the passing game considering we lost our top two receivers?

  9. No problem. You can always e-mail me also.

    Alli is a very smart young man, actually had to choose between Florida and Harvard. Obviously he wanted to play football so he chose Florida. If I remember correctly, he was actually “supposed” to be a part of the 2010 class but was able to graduate early and count toward last year’s scholarships. Good size but they wanted him to bulk up a little. That, and the fact that he is not every experienced and only played about two years of ball, were the reasons they wanted him in early.

    Next year your starters are Thompson and Moore (who is now healthy) with Debose in the slot and Hammond, Jr. and Hines getting plenty of playing time. This can all change, obviously, depending on who does what in camp. Also, Dunkley could make an early impact. Meyer is not going to keep a talented player down just because he is a freshman.

    Hope that answers your question.

  10. dp says:

    Thanks! Great as usual as I am continuously impressed by your knowledge. I was curious about Moore and if they were going to give him another year. Hopefully thompson will do something this year!

  11. As long as Moore’s back holds up, he’ll be playing. Very talented.

  12. Drew 4 Orange and Blue says:

    Adam…when you break down the players at WR you start to realize we could actually have a really strong group…especially if Debose is even close to being as good as advertised…it might actually be good for him being a year removed from Percy so the expectations are not too high…the other thing I like about this group of WR’s is the variety in types…I see Moore and Hines as possession types and DT, Debose & Dunkley as your burners…and hopefully Debose as your shifty playmaker…..they are going to need to be really good to fill the hole left by #81!!!

  13. The Gators have a nice group, but all are unproven. Can Thompson hold onto the ball earlier in the year and catch Brantley’s eye? Moore, in limited action in 2008, showed flashes but was not a very productive receiver; he also sat out all of 2009 – he’s a question mark. Debose is going to be very good but fans cannot expect a Harvin-like career even though that is what he’s being billed as. But Hines, Hammond and the guys that Florida is bringing in have plenty of promise, so it will be a matter of gelling everything together, IMO.

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