Tim Tebow is bald, thanks to Broncos teammates

Whether you enjoy rookie hazing or think it is a juvenile practice, you have to appreciate what the Denver Broncos‘ veterans did to rookie quarterback Tim Tebow on Saturday. Looks like Jockey and Nike will have to wait a few months before using the former Florida Gators star for any endorsement photos. Welcome to the NFL, kid.

The goal, according to The Denver Post was to make Tebow look like the Statue of Liberty. “It was my vision,” linebacker Wesley Woodyard (a Kentucky alum) said.

As expected, Tebow took the hazing in stride. “I just took it, tried to be a good sport with it,” Tebow said. “It was fun, you know? I think all the rookies had a good time with it. It was something to give everybody a laugh, something also to build chemistry.”

Top picture courtesy of running back LenDale White. “Most people thought T2 wore a halo anyway, and now it’s just official,” White said via Twitter.

Other Photo Credits: Karl Gehring/The Denver Post

FOUR BITS: Patriots, Cooper, McCray, McGarity

1 » Perhaps none of the former Florida Gators who are now rookies in the NFL are having more success than the trio drafted by the New Engalnd Patriots – defensive end/linebacker Jermaine Cunningham, LB Brandon Spikes and tight end Aaron Hernandez. Word out of Patriots camp is that all three are shining and will get on the field plenty. Cunningham and Spikes continue to work with the first-team defense and could be penciled in as starters when the season begins. “Jermaine has picked up things very well,” head coach Bill Belichick said. “I think each day you can definitely see him getting better, more confident, understanding things that happened the day before and being able to process that.” ESPNBoston.com‘s Mike Reiss broke down their progress:

Read more about the Patriots’ rookies and three additional BITS on Riley Cooper, Bobby McCray and Greg McGarity…after the break!
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Patriots, Cooper, McCray, McGarity

Emmitt Smith to be enshrined in NFL Hall of Fame

Former Florida Gators running back and the NFL‘s all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith leads the 2010 class that will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH, on Aug. 7. Smith, who spent the majority of his 15-year professional career with the Dallas Cowboys, will be enshrined along with wide receiver Jerry Rice, defensive tackle John Randle, guard Russ Grimm, linebacker Rickey Jackson, RB Floyd Little and defensive back/coach Dick LeBeau. A rarity, Smith was elected in his first year of eligibility.

He holds NFL career records for rushing yards (18,355), rushing touchdowns (164) and 100+ yard rushing games (78), is an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, four-time rushing champion (1991, 1992, 1993, 1995), four-time All-Pro first-team choice, three-time Super Bowl champion (XXVII, XXVIII, XXX), offensive rookie of the year, 1993 NFL most valuable player, Super Bowl XXVII MVP and member of the Ring of Honor for both the Gators and Cowboys.

“This is almost perfect,” Smith said upon learning of the honor back in Feb. “I don’t think even Steven Spielberg could have written a script this nice. [Rice and I] were rewarded on this day.”

In his first full game at Florida, Smith broke the Gators’ all-time single game rushing record (224 yards); he would go on to smash that record with a 316-yard game in 1989. He also set school records for rushing yards in a season (1,599 yards), longest rushing play (96 yards), career rushing yards (3,928) and career rushing touchdowns (36). In all, Smith was responsible for 58 Gators records in only three seasons on the field, many of which still stand today. Upon leaving for the NFL, he received a place in the school’s exclusive Ring of Honor and the College Football Hall of Fame.

Smith retired from football in Feb. 2005 after signing a one-day contract with the Cowboys. He will be the second Florida player to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame; former defensive end Jack Youngblood was inducted in 2001.

OGGOA will update this story after the ceremony with additional material. Portions of the above article were originally published here in Feb. 2010.

SIX BITS: Addazio, White, Nelson, Moss, Beisel

1 » With most of the players and head coach Urban Meyer making time for the media Thursday, it was offensive coordinator Steve Addazio’s turn to represent the Florida Gators early Friday. He provided a little insight into what is in store this season. “Will you see QB runs? Unequivocally yes from a Wildcat offense,” Addazio said. “Will you see five wides on the field? You know you will. Will you see tight ends and fullback sets? Yes. You’re going to see a lot. We’re not going away from that. It’s just judiciously choosing what styles and plays you’re going to use within those sets.” Addazio also noted that wide receivers redshirt junior Chris Rainey and redshirt freshman Andre Debose can add a lot to the offense. “Rainey brings that whole other dimension in here, as does Debose,” Addazio said. “We have those hybrid guys and we have an interesting dynamic in there to cause some stress.”

2 » Tight ends coach Brian White also leaked some brain droppings about his position players. “What’s evident in the first two days is Jordan Reed and Gerald Christian really improved themselves this summer,” White said. “They did a great job of becoming a better football player. All the work they did with [strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti] and his staff has paid tremendous dividends. They’re very confident. They’re much improved. [...] Jordan has had tremendous recall from spring ball. It’s very evident he worked his ass off this summer. He’s a tremendously improved football player and he’s going to be really fun to watch this year. He’s going to do some special things.”

Four more BITS on Nelson, Moss, Wilbur and swimmer Beisel…after the jump!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: Addazio, White, Nelson, Moss, Beisel

Tim Tebow’s first promotional video with Jockey

Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Tim Tebow and the clothing brand Jockey announced on July 27 that the two sides agreed to a multi-year endorsement deal. The former Florida Gators star was signed to serve as a company spokesperson and the face of the brand beginning last month. Set to be featured in television, print and online advertisements, Tebow’s first promotional video was published to YouTube on Aug. 3.

TWO BITS: Tebow doused, can read defenses

1 » The hazing for Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Tim Tebow began on Aug. 2, but it continued yesterday as two of his teammates – tight end Daniel Graham and wide receiver Brandon Lloyd – decided to provide the former Heisman Trophy winner with an ice cold shower on the practice field Thursday. At least he was able to cool off in that harsh Colorado heat. Here is the caption from the The Denver Post:

[Tebow gets drenched with buckets of water] as he kneels in the mud after diving for a football during the rookies initiation at the afternoon practice August 5, 2010 at Dove Valley. Each rookie had to do the slip n slide for a loose ball in in the grass that was soaked with water prior to practice. Players came up from the slide all muddy and dripping in water.

2 » On a more serious note, Woody Paige tackles a reader’s question about the rumor that Tebow struggles with reading defenses and processing information quickly.

Josh McDaniels told me months ago that one of the major attributes Tebow possessed that impressed the coach was his ability to read defensive linemen and linebackers. Scott Loeffler, the quarterbacks coach at Florida (who formerly was in the NFL), agreed with that assessment.

McDaniels said he questioned Tebow about various alignments and defenses, and Tebow unquestionably knew how to read defenses. The coach also said he had quizzed another famous quarterback (drafted by another team this year), and he had no clue about reading defenses.

“When I asked him why, he said the coaches at (his college) never taught him how to read defenses,” McDaniels said.

When McDaniels asked why, on his own or with help, he hadn’t studied defenses between the end of the season and before the draft and gotten a better understanding of defenses, the quarterback replied that he intended to do that once he got to the pros.

I genuinely believe McDaniels in this case. He wouldn’t have put so much stock in Tebow if he didn’t believe the rookie was capable of recognizing defenses at the snap of the ball.

Photo Credit: John Leyba/The Denver Post

Gators at No. 3 in USA Today preseason poll

The defending National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide earned the No. 1 spot in the USA Today preseason coaches’ poll released Friday with the Florida Gators coming in just two slots behind at No. 3.

In between the two is the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes, which received four first-place votes; Alabama was awarded 55 of 59 possible votes.

Other Southeastern Conference teams ranked by USA Today this preseason include LSU (No. 16), Arkansas (No. 19), Georgia (No. 21) and Auburn (No. 23).

Florida finished last season listed No. 3 in the USA Today and Associated Press polls.

8/5: Meyer speaks to media after fall practice

Concluding the Florida Gators‘ first day of fall practice for the 2010-11 season, head coach Urban Meyer sat with reporters for quite some time to discuss a number of topics including his outlook on the team, players leaving the program and why exactly camp has been closed to both the media and fans. OGGOA has compiled some of the key points:

PERSONNEL

» Meyer announced that seniors center Mike Pouncey and defensive end Justin Trattou are the team’s two fall captains. Senior safety Ahmad Black and redshirt senior defensive tackle Lawrence Marsh may be added to the group at a later date.

» Doing some housekeeping, Meyer told reporters that redshirt sophomroe wide receiver T.J. Lawrence and the team mutually agreed to part ways. More on this here.

» He also explained that redshirt freshman tight end Desmond Parks will likely be out 2-3 weeks after previously injuring his wrist and undergoing a procedure to fix the issue.

» Meyer noted that five-star linebacker transfer Chris Martin is already working with the team in camp even though he must sit out a year due to NCAA transfer eligibility rules.

QUOTES

» Explaining to reporters that his motivation for closing practice was not about restricting their access but rather curbing the distractions that agents and autograph hounds cause his players every day, Meyer touched on two subjects in particular…

On the growing concern regarding agents: “With all that agent [stuff], and I’m hearing about parties and all this, my gosh. We just want to do the best job we can. We’re going to have a lot of discussions around here and continue non-stop education because it’s an epidemic. You hear people talking about this school and this school. That’s nuts. The good thing is the other side of it [the agents] wants to help. When I say they really want to help, there are going to be some positive things come out of this. Real positive.”

On others trying to take advantage of the players’ generosity: “We’ve had a great discussion with a group of us that got together and we’re trying to make some changes. Anything from signing balls to getting them sold on the Internet to practice, where people are showing up. In the fall, we’re going to shut it down. There are people showing up, ‘Why are you here?’ We can’t control our players’ lives, but we certainly can do the best we can. You should have the right as a player to walk from here to there without being bothered. That’s my fault for five years. That’s crazy. I tell that to my colleagues, people just mauling you and bothering you and Internet people grabbing helmets and signing this and all this, and we don’t have security saying, ‘Get the heck out of here.’ You’ll see a lot of ‘get the heck out of here’ from now on and let the kids go practice and concentrate on football. Big-time rules. I’m concerned about stuff where you get NCAA violations and scumbags that are involved that shouldn’t be involved. One way to control it is, get out.”

» On the team’s goal for the 2010-11 season: “This is a year of accountability and development. If that happens, we’ll have a good team.”

» When told about redshirt junior running back Chris Rainey‘s “prima donna” comments in the morning, Meyer quipped that it was the team’s “fault for letting him speak” while noting that Rainey’s comments were “absolutely wrong.” “Rainey said that? Chris Rainey won’t speak to the media again this year,” Meyer added in a joke-serious tone.

“I can name some other things he said to the media that were absolutely inappropriate, and that goes in the same category, believe it or not. So, take that for nothing. Inappropriate, wrong, non-thought out, which he does quite often. I love Chris Rainey, but when I ask him a question, I give him a whole day to think about it and write it down 100 times.”

Special thanks to The Gainesville Sun and the Miami Herald for some of the above quotes.

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