Broncos plan to make Tebow an active rookie

Now that former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow has apparently received his initiation into the Denver Broncos organization and is steadily gaining the trust, acceptance and respect of his veteran teammates, attention turns to what he will – and will not – be permitted to do on the field in 2010.

ESPN‘s Chris Mortensen visited Broncos training camp recently and had the opportunity to speak with Tebow and some of his teammates about his NFL progression:

Tackling the issue of the “Tebow factor,” ESPN’s Bill Williamson discussed Wednesday how he is being folded into Denver’s offense this season:

The question is how his work in camp will affect the team on the field. The former Florida star quarterback has operated in short-yardage situations and he will likely be used in the Wildcat formation and in the red zone. That likely means Denver will keep quarterbacks Kyle Orton, Brady Quinn and Tebow on the 45-man roster on game days. In June, [head coach Josh] McDaniels said he was leaning away from that.

But it is clear that Tebow is being groomed to be active as a rookie. Unless Tebow completely leapfrogs Quinn in training camp and in the preseason, Denver could be using three quarterbacks on game days, which will take away from another position.

Another option for the Broncos, which Williamson failed to mention, is that McDaniels could simply assign Tebow the No. 2 quarterback role and make Quinn the emergency signal caller on game days. Should Orton be injured during the game and McDaniels choose to replace him with his true No. 2 in Quinn, Tebow simply would not be able to re-enter the game. The Miami Dolphins used a similar tactic last season with Chad Henne as the starter, Pat White as the game day No. 2 and Tyler Thigpen as the emergency quarterback.

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FOUR BITS: …on Gators set to enter the NFL Draft

1 » Numerous NFL analysts are questioning former Florida Gators defensive end Carlos Dunlap – not his athleticism or talent, simply his desire and leadership. “Bottom line is if you can get him to play hard every snap,” Mike Mayock of NFL Network told The Gainesville Sun. “You compound that by giving him a lot of money if you take him in the first round, which makes it even harder to get a kid to play every snap. I still think a team will take him in the first round, but trust me, there are a bunch of teams right now saying that they just don’t feel confident enough that his motor runs strong enough.”

ESPN’s Todd McShay, on the other hand, questions Dunlap’s leadership. “There’s a perception in the league right now that he’s more of a follower than a leader,” McShay said. “Ultimately, I still think he goes in the first round because he’s too athletic and too gifted physically. I hope he realizes what he has and that the light comes on and he surrounds himself with the right people, because he has a chance to be special. He can be a super player in the NFL if he dedicates himself to it.”

2 » Explaining why the league invited quarterback Tim Tebow to the 2010 NFL Draft is ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who calls the league “smart and shrewd.” “It’s inviting Tebow on the merits of what he has done and the merits of what he can do – for TV ratings,” Schefter explained. “The NFL has a ratings magnet built in for the second night of the draft, during Friday night prime time. Fans will be tuning in all Thursday night, all Friday night and even Saturday if he is still on the board, just to see where Tebow is going to go. Where Tebow will go, and when he will go, will be one of the biggest stories.”

More from Chad Henne on Tim Tebow and press conference videos of Joe Haden and Carlos Dunlap from Pro Day after the break!
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: …on Gators set to enter the NFL Draft

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FOUR BITS: Henne, Grossman, Augenstein, wins

1 » Miami Dolphins and former Michigan Wolverines quarterback Chad Henne, who defeated former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow in his final college game – the 2008 Capital One Bowl – claims the two-time National Champion and Heisman Trophy winner will not be successful in the NFL. “My judgment is that he’s not an NFL quarterback,” Henne said during an interview on WQAM in Miami, FL. “I’ll leave it at that.” As a Dolphins fan it pains me to say this, but some would argue whether or not Henne fits that distinction himself. You can listen to the interview here.

2 » Two roster moves affecting former Gators occurred Wednesday as QB Rex Grossman signed a free-agent contract with the Washington Redskins and Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Bryan Augenstein was optioned by his team to Triple-A Reno. Grossman will team up with new Redskins head coach and former Florida offensive coordinator Mike Shanahan as well as his son, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who coached Grossman last season with the Houston Texans.

3 » Still rolling through the 2010 season is the No. 6/13 Gators softball team (20-3, 4-1 SEC), which defeated the Auburn Tigers (15-9, 2-3 SEC) 7-0 and 5-4 in a doubleheader Wednesday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Junior Stephanie Brombacher tossed both games, extending her record to 16-3 by picking up two victories. Junior outfielder Kelsey Bruder supported her with a combined 3-6 performance including two home runs and a game-winning double in the second game – a come-from-behind victory.

4 » Led by a six-goal and four-assist performance by freshman attacker Ashley Bruns, Florida lacrosse (4-3) took down the Marist Red Foxes (2-3) 22-3 Wednesday evening at Donald R. Dizney Stadium. The Gators outshot their opponent 37-10, only allowing three shots the entire second half.

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Is Loeffler to blame for Tebow’s struggles?

There are a lot of factors that determine the success of a college quarterback. The most prominent of all is whether or not he wins games – and Florida Gators senior Tim Tebow wins games. So tossing that fact, his 2007 Heisman Trophy and back-to-back Maxwell Awards aside, I wanted to take an look at what has been going on with Tebow this season. Especially one day after discussing offensive coordinator Steve Addazio.

If you don’t think Tebow is struggling, think again. While his completion percentage is consistent with career numbers, his passer rating is down almost 19 points from 2007 and 2008. He has as many interceptions in 10 games (4) as he did through the entire 2008 season and is on pace to be sacked more times in 2009 than he has been in his first three seasons – combined. After throwing for 2,746 yards in 2008, he is projected to finish with 500 less in 2009. And finally, after passing for 30 or more touchdowns in each of the last two years, he only has 10 right now.

There have been issues this year. Play calling, especially in the red zone, has been a problem as head coach Urban Meyer has admitted. The offense as a whole lacks an explosive playmaker like now-Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin. (Freshman Andre Debose was supposed to fill some of that role.) Perhaps the bigger issue at hand is the tinkering done to Tebow by new quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler.

Loeffler was hired to improve Tebow’s skills, but has he? After the jump…
Continue Reading » Is Loeffler to blame for Tebow’s struggles?

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