Gator Bites for Feb. 27 – NFL Combine Edition

By Adam Silverstein
February 27, 2010

From time to time, OGGOA will come across a plethora of news and notes that we wish to share with our readers. In those instances, we present a special post: Gator Bites. Enjoy.

» Former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow stepped to the podium Friday at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine for media interviews. Though OGGOA has the full audio version, here are some individual notes from his press conference:

  • A writer handed Tebow a pad and pen as a joke, to which he signed it and gave it back to him. Apparently this was unexpected by said writer.
  • “People don’t realize there have been a lot of hurdles in my life. Scrutiny is something you have to deal with. I just have a little more motivation added on top. For so many people to care, I look at it as a blessing.”
  • Tebow once again mentioned that he only wishes to play quarterback in the NFL.
  • On changing his throwing motion at Florida; “It was something we talked about, but we had some success there the first two years. I worked on it for sure with the great coaching I had at Florida. But we were running a different system. It doesn’t correlate to what I’m doing now.”
  • “I’ll do whatever you ask me to do. And I’ll do it with all my heart. And I’ll do it over and over again.”
  • On his new throwing motion: “I’m just trying not to have that long loop in my delivery. The release point is no different. I talked to a lot of quarterback coaches, and some of them told me I should wait until after the draft or the combine. But I’m someone who is raring to go. I’m not scared about what anybody has to say.”

Much more on Tebow, Cooper, James, Pouncey and Hernandez after the break!

» Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan on Tebow: “He’s probably the greatest player in college football history so of course he’s going to get dissected. Everyone wants a guy right now. Can he play in the NFL right away? Who cares? Time will tell about his NFL career. I know this – he’ll help you win some games.”

» New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin on Tebow changing his motion: “He’s doing the right thing. He’s looking at the fact that he’s primarily been a shotgun guy. He’s trying to do something about that. He’s working on his delivery, his drops, etc. He’s working on the things he needs tow ork on. We’ll see how it goes, but he’s doing the right thing.”

» Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson on Tebow: “I will say this about young Tebow: There’s been a lot of discussion and commenting about him and his release or his ability to play in the National Football League. He’s been playing at a pretty high level for quite some time. Has to go down as one of the great college football players of all time, so let’s don’t sell him short just yet.”

» Cleveland Browns president Mike Holmgren on Tebow: “I’ve read he’s got a number of guys coaching him up on that, and he’s trying to change it. But it’s really hard to do, I think, particularly in pressure situations. Do you want Tim Tebow on your football team? I think — absolutely — you need guys like that. That’s an ongoing study that will go right up to the draft for us.”

» Former pro quarterback Rich Gannon on watching Tebow footage: “He was dropping back and was real stiff, like a high school kid would drop back. He’s got some good people working with him, but I’ve seen some of the things they’ve been doing where I’m not sure if it’s the best thing. I’m just concerned that so many people are in his ear, to tweak this and fix that and do that. I really think he just needs to get to a situation and get some good coaching. It’s a process for many of these guys. But this might be the best thing for him, because he’s got a lot of things you look for. He’s got leadership, toughness, the physical skills. Some of the throwing mechanics have to be ironed out a little bit, but it won’t be for lack of effort. The kid wants to be great.”

» Former NFL GM Charley Casserly on teams’ opinions of Tebow: “Most have a major question about the guy’s ability to play pro quarterback. I did have a couple of teams rate him in the first round. But the vast majority have questions about accuracy, throwing mechanics, the quickness factor and athletic ability. Nobody questions the character, the work habits … this guy will be off the charts in the interviews.”

» Former Gators center Maurkice Pouncey on snapping from under center: “I actually do them early in practice. It’s not as hard as shotgun snapping.”

» NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock on Pouncey: “It’s difficult to get a first-round grade out of me for an interior lineman. But he’s big enough and strong enough to anchor against big 3-4 nose tackles. And he’s got good feet. He can snap and pull and get to the next level.”

» Former Florida tight end Aaron Hernandez on guard Mike Pouncey staying at UF: “Michael knows he has first-round talent. But he felt he wasn’t going to be one this year. That’s why he came back.”

» Hernandez on not doing combine workouts: “I tweaked my back at the beginning of training, so I’ve only been going hard the last two weeks. So I’m going to do everything at Pro Day. It still has been tiring. All of the MRIs and physicals and meetings. But it’s an honor to be here.”

» Former Florida wide receivers Riley Cooper and Brandon James each spoke to Minnesota Vikings WR Percy Harvin and Oakland Raiders WR Louis Murphy about the combine and upcoming draft.

  • James: “They told us, ‘You played at Florida for four years. You’re ready for this.’ They told us that we were used to the media and used to the best athletes because we played in the SEC. So just relax. When Percy is telling you that and he was the Rookie of the Year, it makes you feel comfortable.”
  • Cooper: “They were telling me what it was like here. They said it would be crazy. They told me to just keep my head and enjoy it. It’s something that is only going to happen once in your life. It has been different. It has been crazy. I’m just taking it all in.”

» South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier spoke about Tebow during an interview at ESPN the Weekend in Orlando, FL:

Gators at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine – Day 3 (Tebow, Cooper, James)
Gators at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine – Day 2 (Pouncey, Hernandez)

Special thanks to The Gainesville Sun and Palm Beach Post for some of the quotes.

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