SIX BITS: Beal, Tebow, Spikes, Leak, Francis

By Adam Silverstein
May 20, 2013

1 » If Chicago point guard Derrick Rose did not have enough motivation to come back and play well next year, comments from Washington Wizards rookie guard Bradley Beal may give him that extra kick in the butt. Beal this week told 106.7 The Fan that he might lose respect for a teammate who was cleared by doctors but chose to sit out and not try and help his team in the playoffs. “He might have to give it a go,” he said. “If you’re practicing for two months, and then everybody in practice is saying you’re practicing well, I mean, I think you have to give it a shot in the game. Look at David Lee. You don’t have to play significant minutes, but the fact that you’re out there and that you’re actually giving it a go, I think people will respect that.” He continued: “Because I know the type of player he is, and the mentality and the competitiveness that he has, I think he would have gave it a go.”

2 » Quarterback Tim Tebow was back in Jacksonville for the weekend – not for a tryout with his hometown’s NFL team but rather to speak at New Life Christian Fellowship. During his speaking engagement, a fan asked Tebow to pinpoint his most memorable moment was from his breakout 2011 season. Tebow self-deprecatingly replied: “One of my favorite stories, ironically, was against the New York Jets…and probably my greatest Jets highlight, I guess.” Tebow was also on NBC’s All-Star Celebrity Apprentice finale over the weekend as he donated $300,000 to charity on behalf of Trace Adkins, one of the two finalists competing to win the show.

3 » New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes is entering the final year of his rookie contract and undoubtedly hopes to remain with his team long-term. Not only does Spikes have a tremendous personal relationship with Patriots owner Robert Kraft, head coach Bill Belichick also values the player’s contributions on defense. Nevertheless, Spikes is only set to earn $630,000 in salary in 2013 (along with $240,000 as part of a prorated signing bonus) and undoubtedly feels like he deserves to get paid. New England has a history of getting its players to sign below-market-value contracts before they hit free agency, so keep an eye out for Spikes to get something done soon. According to ESPNBoston.com, he “hasn’t been seen much at Gillette Stadium since the offseason program begin in mid-April,” an approach that could be productive in letting the team know he is wanting to get a deal done before the season.


4 » As was announced last week by Florida head coach Will Muschamp, former Gators quarterback Chris Leak has rejoined the team as a quality control assistant. Leak, who will be working on the defensive side of the ball in order to expand his knowledge base, recently spoke with Florida’s website (OGGOA thrice reached out to him for comment but our messages were not returned) about his new position. “I knew that just from being a football player that eventually one day I was going to want to be a coach,” he said. “The impact coaches have on a player’s life long-term is unbelievable. A lot goes into that. That is kind of one of the reasons I wanted to get into it as well. I would definitely love to be a head coach in college football. That’s obviously down the road and long-term. I want to work my way up the right way and that is where this is just such an awesome opportunity. I can’t thank Coach Muschamp enough because this is a tough profession to get in. You have to put the work in to get good at it.” Leak previously told OGGOA that former Florida coach Ron Zook had a huge impact in his life and the two still speak quite often. He is also fond of Urban Meyer, of course.

5 » Late-week reports from CBS Sports and ESPN noted that 2014 three-star guard Brandone Francis (Jacksonville, FL), one of the fastest-rising prospects in the nation, has the Gators at the top of his offer list and is seriously considering committing to a program before the summer is out. “I will commit soon,” he told CBSSports.com’s Jeff Borzello. “I’m thinking about the situation, and see who else is going to offer me.” Francis currently holds offers from prominent programs like Florida, Indiana and UConn along with a dozen other Division I schools. A source close to the Gators program told OGGOA last week that Francis is a key target for head coach Billy Donovan and a player that Florida feels confident it will eventually land. The Gators received their first 2014 commitment on Tuesday from four-star point guard Chris Chiozza (Memphis, TN).

6 » Tebow may not be doing much on the field these days, but he is still having an impact off of it. Check out this video about sports artist John Prince, who has suddenly made a career out of painting, quitting his day job after a painting he made of Tebow got major attention, selling for $20,000 as a fundraiser at a charitable event.

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