FOUR NFL BITS: Tebow, Pouncey, Henry, Harvin

1 » A New York Daily News report late Wednesday, citing an anonymous source, notes that former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow is expected to request a trade from the New York Jets if he remains the team’s back-up heading into the 2013 season. Citing Tebow’s competitiveness and love for football, the source is not stating fact but rather opinion, making the NYDN report not newsworthy but rather pure speculation. “I think he will be a good solider,” the source said. “At the end of the year, I think he will express those concerns to the Jets. He will want to move on. The one thing about Tebow is he’s the quintessential team player. He would never do anything that is going to undermine the team. But he’s football-aholic. It’s in his blood.”

2 » In his second year with the Miami Dolphins, center Mike Pouncey is making his brand new coaching staff feel completely confident in his abilities to lead and direct the team’s offensive line for years to come. “I thought Pouncey played an excellent football game,” new head coach Joe Philbin said of his actions on Sunday in Miami’s season-opener. “I thought he did some things that I haven’t seen a lineman do in this league in a long time. I thought he played well.” Pouncey not only makes all of the calls and calls out the protections for the line but is also becoming arguably its most trustworthy player aside from left tackle Jake Long. “He’s an intense player and every single play he’s finishing guys 10, 15 or 20 yards downfield,” Long told the team’s website. “He tries to pancake a guy whenever he can and he does a great job of facilitating.” Pouncey noted that his ability to be dominant on the second level makes up for some of what he lacks in overall size. [Click here to bet on the Miami Dolphins]

3 » Punter Chas Henry nearly lost out on his starting job this offseason just a year after being signed by the Philadelphia Eagles to an undrafted free agent contract. Henry told Comcast SportsNet this week that Philadelphia signing two-time Pro Bowl punter Mat McBriar was a move that gave him an immediate sense of dread. “When they brought him in, I saw the writing on the wall,” he said. “He’s a two-time Pro Bowler. I figured, ‘OK, that’s it for me here.’” Instead of getting down on himself, however, Henry used McBriar’s addition to the roster as motivation and spent the entire offseason either equaling or besting him in practice and preseason appearances. The Eagles wound up keeping Henry as he has an equal leg and is a better holder on field goals. He rewarded them by setting a franchise record for highest punting average in a single game, booting three balls over 60 yards and finishing with a 55.0 yard average. “I just needed to learn how to become an NFL punter,” Henry explained. “It’s a totally different game from college.”

4 » Since some offseason theatrics that included missing practice and demanding a trade, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin has once again become a beloved and valued member of the team. The St. Paul Pioneer Press (and former Gators beat writer Jeremy Fowler) pointed out last weekend that Harvin “has a chance to rewrite his legacy – and possibly land a long-term contract extension in the process” by having a healthy and dominant season, something he has been trying to accomplish since his rookie year. Minnesota turned to him on Sunday when they needed a boost to their slow-moving first-half offense. Harvin finished the game with six receptions for 84 yards and five carries for 20 yards as well as three kickoff returns for 88 yards. His productivity in the NFL has never been a question but being able to do it over at least a 16-game season is what the Vikings will want to see from Harvin before handing over the dough.

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