SIX BITS: USA, Tebow, Spikes, Pouncey, Sturgis

By Adam Silverstein
June 12, 2013

1 » Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal and Houston Rockets forward Chandler Parsons are two of 27 players that have accepted invitations to participate in the 2013 USA Basketball Men’s National Team Mini-Camp from July 22-25 in Las Vegas, NV. Though Parsons does not have much experience competing internationally, Beal was involved with USA Basketball as a high schooler and has represented his country before. Both men will have the opportunity to impress head coach Mike Krzyzewski during the mini-camp in hopes of earning placement on the 2013-16 U.S. Men’s National Team that will participate in international competitions, qualifiers and eventually the 2016 Rio Olympics. Eight of the players that participated in USA Basketball’s mini-camp in 2009 went on to make the 2009-12 team and eventually win gold in the 2012 London Olympics.

2 » Quarterback Tim Tebow is not the only member of the New England Patriots making waves in minicamp. Linebacker Brandon Spikes, who missed all of the team’s organized team activities while training on his own in Florida, arrived on Monday and began working with his New England teammates on Tuesday. “Honestly, I just felt like I was trying to put myself in the best position to compete for a spot on the team and also help this team win a championship,” Spikes told the Boston Globe. “I mean, you guys know me. I frequently do things a little bit different from everybody else. I don’t think they’re bad, or a shocker. Honestly, if everybody in the world was a conformist, it would be a boring place.” Spikes offered a “no comment” when asked about being in the last year of his rookie contract and also addressed the team bringing in Tebow.

“I was happy for him [when I heard he’d been signed],” Spikes said. “He got to get his job back and come out here and compete. So that’s good to see him smile, you know that big smile I’m used to seeing for the last few years down in Florida. … He’s a hard worker, a competitor, and he loves the game and you need guys like that.”

Check out four more BITS of Florida Gators news…after the break!

3 » Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey, who has three other Florida Gators on his roster but will also be going up against the four Gators on the Patriots this season, was asked Wednesday after practice about Tebow being signed by the Dolphins’ AFC East division rival. “I love Timmy. I’m proud of him. I think it’s a great opportunity for him,” Pouncey said. “He’s a guy that deserves it. He’s a guy that goes out and practices hard every day. He’s a natural-born leader, so I think it’s good for him.”

4 » Speaking of Miami, rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis has been impressing Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin thus far through offseason workouts. “He looks good. I like the way he handles his business,” Philbin said on Tuesday. “He seems to be very professional, even though he has only been in the profession since April 15th for about two months. I like the way he moves about the building; he is quiet. He seems to be a hard worker, and he seems to have a pretty strong leg.” Sturgis looked good during minicamp on Wednesday, booming some long kicks while Miami filled its practice bubble with loud crowd noise. He missed a few kicks as well but does appear to be the favorite in the Dolphins’ kicking competition against eight-year veteran Dan Carpenter.

5 » New England head coach Bill Belichick addressed six questions before the media finally asked about Tebow on Wednesday. When Tebow was finally brought up again, Belichick was asked five times about the fourth-year signal caller.

Reporter: How did Tim Tebow look yesterday?
Belichick: “I think everybody out there is pretty much in the same boat: just trying to get better day by day. Some guys are starting at different points; he’s obviously starting at a point different than where other players were. They’re all moving along. Guys that are out there are making progress. Guys that aren’t are doing what they can do and they’re falling behind.”

Reporter: You did a lot of work on him coming out in the draft. Was the limited snapshot you saw yesterday consistent with your evaluation of him?
Belichick: “I don’t think evaluating players on a couple plays is really a good practice. We’ll wait until we have a little bit more information and make our evaluations as a staff, talk about players after a chunk of time, after we’ve had a chance to see things. Any player you put out there, the first day is a learning experience. As you do it the second, third, fourth time, just like when we all do anything multiple times we get better at it hopefully, get more experience, get more comfortable and do it better. I don’t think that’s any different than any football player at any position.”

Reporter: With a guy like Tim Tebow who has versatility and flexibility, would you want to try him at one position and then move him around and see what he can do, or would that vary from player to player?
Belichick: “Each player is different.”

Reporter: So there’s no formulaic way to start with him? You just say ‘We want you to learn this spot first and then after that, go from there.’
Belichick: “You have to start somewhere. Where the starting point is, is what it is and then you grow to wherever you grow to.”

Reporter: Have you been able to see anything in Tim Tebow’s mechanics or throwing that looks better or different?
Belichick: “Like I said, we’re not going to get into a minute-by-minute evaluation of a player. I don’t think that’s the way to go, especially at this time of year.”

6 » Among other things, Tebow did this (see below) just two seasons ago. Yet he did not have a job in the NFL prior to Monday.

5 Comments

  1. Zulueta says:

    I loved watching that game. Best of luck to all the Gators on the Patriots this season.

  2. Ken (CA) says:

    best joke of the day from Leno :

    The good news is Tim Tebow finally got another chance in the NFL.

    The bad news is that since the team has Patriot in the name he is now getting audited by the IRS……

  3. Michael Jones says:

    Man it was good seeing that video. . the plays Tim made. . the throws. I’d like to hear Hoge break that one down, as opposed to the loops they run ad nauseam of every bad throw Tim ever made.

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