TWO BITS: Tebow’s future, Spikes’s agent

1 » The New York Jets reportedly spent plenty of time at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine looking for a trade partner so the team can finally split ties with quarterback Tim Tebow. However, in a conference call with season ticket holders on Monday, new general manager John Idzik made it sound as if Tebow may very well get an opportunity to compete for a job in training camp. “Tim, as you know, he’s currently on our roster. What we’re doing is we’re trying to increase competition at that position and positions across the board,” said Idzik, according to the New York Daily News. “So we’re going to let the competition play out. We’re going to see who we’re able to bring on board and let it play out this offseason and into training camp. So I think that’ll be healthy for all concerned, including Tim.”

Should the Jets cut Tebow, like many insiders believe the team plans to do if it does not find a suitor for him, more than $1.5 million of the $2.5 million in pay he is due for 2013 would be dead money against the salary cap. New York also spent fourth- and sixth-round draft choices and paid $2.5 million to Denver to acquire Tebow, assets that the team hopes not to waste on a failed trade. However, should the Jets keep Tebow and potentially cut him late in training camp, the team will only be doing his career an even greater disservice than it already has by avoiding playing him like he was the plague. With a new offensive coordinator (Marty Mornhinweg) in the fold, Tebow’s career with the Jets may not be over just yet, so stay tuned.

2 » New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes has signed with his third agency in as many seasons. According to the Boston Herald, Spikes has signed with Premier Sports & Entertainment and will be represented by Gary Uberstine and Eric Kaufman. With his rookie contract expiring and the 2014 offseason set to be a huge one for Spikes, linking up with an agency he trusts is of utmost importance heading into the process. Though New England will likely want to re-sign him, the Patriots are keen to offering backloaded contracts similar to the one that tight end Aaron Hernandez received prior to the 2012 season. Spikes, who has a great relationship with owner Robert Kraft, may want to avoid that and might feel like he will have better options on the open market. All of this remains to be seen, of course, and New England may even be interested in locking him up prior to the start of the 2013 season. Perhaps that is the reason Spikes felt he needed yet another agent change.

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Urban Meyer on Tim Tebow: “I think he’s going to win a Super Bowl.”

Tim Tebow detractors appear to be multiplying by the day, but his former head coach with the Florida Gators is most certainly not one of them.

In an interview with WOCA 1730 AM on Wednesday, Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer said that he still maintains a strong relationship with the New York Jets quarterback and believes in his abilities on the football field just as much as he did when he was coaching him in Gainesville, FL.

“I think I’m like every Gator fan and anybody that just appreciates great people and great warriors. There’s got to be a team – it all comes down to one team believing in a human being or believing in an athlete or a player. I think I got the same feeling as most everybody that watched him and grew up with him,” he said.

“All they need is to let him get his foot in the door and he’s going to win games, and I think he’s going to win a Super Bowl. I still believe that, probably because I spent as much or more time with him as any other coach. I have that much confidence in him.”

Meyer went on to describe their relationship, saying he and Tebow still converse “very frequently, once a week probably” though they have not spoken in the last few weeks.

The coach and former pupil went to lunch a few months ago when Meyer was in New Jersey recruiting the Tri-State Area. He felt Tebow was still in good spirits despite being traded from the Denver Broncos following the 2011 season and barely stepping foot on the field with the Jets in 2012.

“He’s a positive guy. He wants to win. He’s a winner. He’s always won. This losing thing doesn’t really sit well with him,” Meyer said. “He wants to be on a team that’s…he believes New York is committed to win. He has a lot of respect from Coach [Rex] Ryan. He’s a guy that’s pretty positive all the time, but I could see there was a little bit of worry in his face, concern.”

Recent word nationally (and out of New York) is that the Jets tried to find a trading partner for Tebow at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine. If New York is unable to trade Tebow – a likely scenario because team sources have already let it be known that the player will be cut if a trade partner is not found – he is expected to be released when free agency begins in early March.

As far as Meyer is concerned, NFL teams should definitely be interested in Tebow as long as they are willing to give him a legitimate opportunity to succeed.

“You put Tim Tebow on a team with great players, he’s going to be a great quarterback,” Meyer said.

Photo Credit: John Raoux/Associated Press

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Josh Evans – Path to the 2013 NFL Draft: An amazing experience at the Scouting Combine

Through the 2013 NFL Draft from April 25-27, Florida Gators safety and 2012 leading tackler Josh Evans will be keeping fans up-to-date on his Path to the Draft via a weekly blog entry exclusively here at OGGOA.

Evans’s fourth entry covers his experience at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, IN and his plans over the next week as he gets ready to return to Gainesville, FL in order to prepare for Pro Day on March 12.

My overall experience at the combine over the last few days was amazing. It was an honor and a privilege, first of all, to be in this situation, so I totally took advantage of that. It pretty much was just getting adjusted to meeting all these NFL head coaches and general managers and being comfortable. They want to see how comfortable you are and how confident you are showing off your scheme and defense, being vocal and talking to someone. I felt like I did pretty well throughout the whole process during the four days and had some great interviews while I was there.

The interviews were broken up. I had a couple group interviews where I met with entire staffs and there were some teams where I just met with the position coach and they got a feel for me as far as being a defensive back, drawing up schemes and learning the schemes they run. I had great interviews with the Washington Redskins, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Those interviews went real well, and it was great to talk to all of the coaches and front office executives.

Some of the schemes were similar – even with the Atlanta Falcons and the Arizona Cardinals when I met with the position coaches there – they all showed a lot of interest and liked the type of schemes we played at Florida.

Continue Reading » Josh Evans – Path to the 2013 NFL Draft: An amazing experience at the Scouting Combine

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SIX BITS: combine, Demps, Lee, Donovan, Lochte

1 » The 2013 NFL Scouting Combine is now in the books. Though not all of the 10 Florida Gators invited participated in the full event, a handful did and looked quite good while doing so. Below are links to OGGOA‘s combine wrap-ups. Click the appropriate link to see how your favorite former Florida player performed.

Safeties Matt Elam and Josh EvansTuesday | Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd; linebackers Jon Bostic, Jelani Jenkins and Lerentee McCrayMonday | Running back Mike GillisleeSunday | Offensive tackle Xavier Nixon, kicker Caleb Sturgis, tight end Jordan ReedSaturday

2 » New England Patriots running back and Olympic silver medalist sprinter Jeff Demps wants to return to the track but do so without giving up football. According to agent Daniel Rose of Gridiron Sports, who did not return a request for comment from OGGOA but did send a tweet about the subject on Tuesday, Demps truly hopes that New England gives him permission to pursue both of his passions. “Jeff Demps has no intentions of leaving football. He loves doing both football and track. Representing Team USA in track and field in the Olympics and playing NFL football are an honor and privilege and Jeff Demps loves both,” he wrote. NFL.com‘s Ian Rapoport first reported the story and explained on NFL Network that “he plans to compete in an event in March and that calendar would run through August. They informed the Patriots of that this week. It’s possible the Patriots could work out a deal as Demps does want to play two sports. It’s a little too early to know a resolution on this but we do know he wants to play two sports.” Whether or not New England – or another NFL team – wants to give Demps that opportunity is an unknown at this point.

3 » While at NBA All-Star Weekend in Houston, TX a few weeks ago, Golden State Warriors power forward David Lee approached USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo about playing for Team USA in the upcoming 2014 FIBA World Cup and remaining on the team through the 2016 Rio Olympics. According to FOX Sports’ Chris Tomasson, Colangelo “said nothing is definite yet as far as Lee being among 20 to 24 players” invited to Las Vegas, NV for training camp from July 24-28. Chances are he will have that opportunity, however, as Lee trained with Team USA in preparation for the World Championships in 2010 and probably would have made the team if not for sustaining an injury that forced him to depart early.

Check out three more Gators news BITS…after the break!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: combine, Demps, Lee, Donovan, Lochte

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Florida Gators at the 2013 NFL Combine: Tuesday

For the fourth-straight year, ONLY GATORS Get Out Alive continues our coverage of the 10 former Florida Gators participating in the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine (National Invitational Camp) at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.

The event, which is held for six days from Feb. 20-26, consists of more than 300 players being put through a series of drills, tests and interviews while more than 600 NFL personnel in attendance (including coaching staffs, executives, player personnel and medical staffs) look on and evaluate each of them. It amounts to the final job interview these athletes will participate in before the 2013 NFL Draft commences on April 25.

Safeties Matt Elam (Group: 10 | Camp: DB12) and Josh Evans (Group: 10 | Camp: DB13) concluded their four days at the combine on Tuesday by competing in the full workout (results below).

2013 NFL Combine: Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Monday

Check out Tuesday’s results from the 2013 NFL Combine…after the break!
Continue Reading » Florida Gators at the 2013 NFL Combine: Tuesday

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TWO BITS: Muschamp – Gator Clubs, Floyd – NFL

1 » Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp is set to make 10 appearances at local Gator Clubs (eight in the state of Florida and one in Atlanta, GA) as part of the team’s four-week 2013 Gator Gathering schedule. The events are open to the general public; however, tickets are sold for each speaking engagement with proceeds benefiting the individual Gator Clubs and the university. Below is the full schedule but you can check out Florida’s official release about the speaking engagements here.

April 2 – Gainesville Quarterback Club
May 1 – Titletown Gator Club (Gainesville, FL)
May 2 – Tampa/Pinellas County Gator Clubs
May 7 – Polk County Gator Club (Lakeland)
May 8 – Central Florida Gator Club (Orlando)
May 14 – Gator Club of Jacksonville
May 15 – Atlanta Gator Club
May 20 – Jacksonville Quarterback Club
May 23 – Fighting Gator Touchdown Club (Gainesville)
TBD – Daytona Quarterback Club

The Florida head coach normally speaks at 10 Gator Clubs and a couple other events. This year, four assistants will each be taking care of one Gator Club speaking engagement including three on the same day.

May 7 – defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin – Southwest Florida Gator Club (Fort Myers)
May 7 – defensive line coach Bryant Young – Panhandle Gator Club (Panama City)
May 7 – wide receivers coach Joker Phillips – Palm Beach County Gator Club
May 14 – offensive line coach Tim Davis – Space Coast Gator Club (Brevard County)

2 » Now having completed his four days at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine, Gators defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd has put himself in position to be a top-five overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Unanimously considered the best three-technique tackle in the field, Floyd interviewed with a number of teams at the event and will now visit with teams privately as they determine whether or not to select him. On the second day of his combine trip, Floyd met with the media and provided plenty of honest answers about his childhood and life as a football player up to this point.

Floyd was asked if he believes his game resembles another NFL player’s and revealed that he did not watch professional football growing up but could definitely single out one player. “I haven’t really watched the league in a long time,” he said, “I first started watching it in 2007, but I did get to know Ndamukong Suh in 2010, so we have a good relationship, and I’ve watched him play a couple times.”

He also explained why he has not watched a lot of NFL games. “It wasn’t that there was no interest, I just didn’t know nothing about it, so there was no reason to watch it,” he said. “Even when I started playing there was no interest in watching it because I liked to play it instead of sitting down and being still and watching a game while all my friends were jumping around and getting excited for no reason. It just wasn’t a preference of mine, but now it is so I watch it and play it now.” What was he watching instead? The Disney Channel and Cartoon Network, he said.

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Florida Gators at the 2013 NFL Combine: Monday

For the fourth-straight year, ONLY GATORS Get Out Alive continues our coverage of the 10 former Florida Gators participating in the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine (National Invitational Camp) at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.

The event, which is held for six days from Feb. 20-26, consists of more than 300 players being put through a series of drills, tests and interviews while more than 600 NFL personnel in attendance (including coaching staffs, executives, player personnel and medical staffs) look on and evaluate each of them. It amounts to the final job interview these athletes will participate in before the 2013 NFL Draft commences on April 25.

Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (Group: 7 | Camp: DL11) and linebackers Jon Bostic (Group: 9 | Camp: LB04), Jelani Jenkins (Group: 9 | Camp: LB12) and Lerentee McCray (Group: 9 | Camp: LB20) concluded their four days at the combine on Monday by competing in the full workout (results below).

Safeties Matt Elam (Group: 10 | Camp: DB12) and Josh Evans (Group: 10 | Camp: DB13) completed their tests (results are not officially released) and participated in the bench press (results below). The duo works out and then departs on Tuesday.

2013 NFL Combine: Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Tuesday

Check out Monday’s results from the 2013 NFL Combine…after the break!
Continue Reading » Florida Gators at the 2013 NFL Combine: Monday

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Florida Gators at the 2013 NFL Combine: Sunday

For the fourth-straight year, ONLY GATORS Get Out Alive continues our coverage of the 10 former Florida Gators participating in the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine (National Invitational Camp) at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.

The event, which is held for six days from Feb. 20-26, consists of more than 300 players being put through a series of drills, tests and interviews while more than 600 NFL personnel in attendance (including coaching staffs, executives, player personnel and medical staffs) look on and evaluate each of them. It amounts to the final job interview these athletes will participate in before the 2013 NFL Draft commences on April 25.

Running back Mike Gillislee (Group: 6 | Camp: RB13) concluded his four days at the combine on Sunday by competing in the full workout (results below).

Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (Group: 7 | Camp: DL11) and linebackers Jon Bostic (Group: 9 | Camp: LB04), Jelani Jenkins (Group: 9 | Camp: LB12) and Lerentee McCray (Group: 9 | Camp: LB20) completed their tests (results are not officially released) and participated in the bench press (results below).

Though they arrived Saturday, action began for safeties Matt Elam (Group: 10 | Camp: DB12) and Josh Evans (Group: 10 | Camp: DB13) on Sunday when they were officially measured, completed their medical exams, met with the media and continued the interview process begun the previous day. Elam and Evans will be on the same schedule over the next two days. They continue the interview process on Monday when they also take the Wonderlic and other tests and perform on the bench press.

2013 NFL Combine: Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Monday | Tuesday

Check out Sunday’s results from the 2013 NFL Combine…after the break!
Continue Reading » Florida Gators at the 2013 NFL Combine: Sunday

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