SIX BITS: Alabama, Spikes, Tebow, Cooper, Black

By Adam Silverstein
June 10, 2013

1 » Multiple reports on Saturday confirmed that the Florida Gators’ football schedule will not be getting easier any time soon. Though future schedule details have yet to be officially released by the Southeastern Conference, Tuscaloosa News reporter Cecil Hurt and ESPN blogger Chris Low respectively noted on Saturday that it has been decided that Florida will face Alabama in 2014 and/or 2015. The standard rotation of SEC West opponents was interrupted in 2012 when Missouri and Texas A&M were added to the league. UF never got a return game against Auburn after hosting AU in 2011, picking up TAMU in 2012 and now UA in 2014 and/or 2015. The Gators and Crimson Tide just finished a rotation in 2010-11. Florida is facing Arkansas this year for the first time since 2009 despite not having taken on Ole Miss since 2008. If Alabama does wind up on the schedule for the next two seasons, the Gators and Rebels will not go head-to-had until at least 2016, a seven-year gap.

2 » New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes missed nearly two months of voluntary workouts with his team, opting instead to train at Bommarito Performance in South Florida in hopes of proving to the coaching staff that he can be a three-down player this season. According to reporters on site, Spikes attended the start of mandatory minicamp Monday morning and will be with the team going forward. He will take a standard physical on Monday before practicing with the team for the first time since the end of the 2012 season from Tuesday-Thursday.

3 » Florida head basketball coach Billy Donovan will be travelling to Colorado Springs, CO within the next week to begin coaching the USA Basketball under-19 team as it prepares to do battle on the world stage. Last week, however, he spent some time in Miami, FL watching three of his former players participate in the 2013 NBA Finals. Below is a picture of the Donovan family – including three named “Billy” – chatting it up with power forward Udonis Haslem after his Game 2 victory.


4 » NFL teams may not give former Gators quarterback Tim Tebow a chance to compete for a job this offseason but more and more of the league’s current players continue to support the former Heisman Trophy winner, telling reporters that they believe he is talented enough to play in the league. Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review spoke with a handful of current players on the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team Tebow beat for his lone playoff victory two seasons ago, each of whom admitted he should have a spot in the league.

– Linebacker Larry Foote, asked if he would welcome Tebow to the Steelers: “If [general manager] Kevin Colbert says so, I’m all for it. Why not? Tebow, just from what I see, is an awesome guy and a talent. He won some games, had some success. We know it first-hand. I think he should be somewhere at least competing for a job. I think he’s earned that. … [The media is] the reason he’s not in the league. It’s your fault.”

– Backup QB Bruce Gradkowski: “The ultimate goal out here is to win, and he won football games, so I’m a little surprised. But I know how it is. It happened to me. I was on the streets for a while. I think something will break for him, but it’s a tough business.”

– Cornerback Ike Taylor: “Tim Tebow is real decent. But [his future] isn’t up to me. You gotta ask the owners, coaches and GMs. As far as being a competitor, he’s one of the best competitors I’ve seen.”

– Defensive end Brett Keisel: “He beat us. You have to give him credit for that. I think he’ll get another shot.”

5 » Guard Chandler Cooper, a member of the Florida women’s basketball team and Riley Cooper’s sister, has decided to transfer to Lipscomb, according to Phil Heilman of The Alligator. Cooper played just three games during the 2012-13 season after suffering a foot injury back in Nov. and took a medical redshirt. “I’m excited for a new opportunity in a smaller environment,” she said. “I’ve learned a lot of great things at Florida from my teammates and coaches that I will look to take with me in the future.”

6 » Former Gators safety Ahmad Black is one of a dozens of Tampa Bay Buccaneers players and staff who recently shaved his head in support of the fight against pediatric cancer.

2 Comments

  1. Michael Jones says:

    Love the pic of Haslem with the Donovans.

    The whole Tebow thing is sickening. Merril Hoge is sickening. Shows how once the media gets on a dude, it’s an uphill battle from there. I remember many times seeing him throw a strike, watching the receiver drop it, and then listening to the clowns broadcasting the game yucking it up about how Tebow couldn’t throw. It was like we were watching two different games.

    Hard to find an original thought or an original thinker in the media.

  2. Oldflyer says:

    The Tim situation just makes me sick. There are many aspects to the discussion, but for me it boils down to a few verifiable truths.

    One, he took over a foundering team, and led it to success in his first opportunity to start.

    Two, Tim’s statistics were clearly superior to those of John Elway at the same point in their careers.

    So, how can you write off a youngster who led his team to success in his first–and only–opportunity in live competition, and who compared favorably to a hall of fame QB at the same point in their development? You cannot do so in a fair assessment.

    The Steeler nailed it. It is on the media, and the spineless management in the NFL.

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