SIX BITS: Golf in fifth, spread, softball, NFL, trivia

1 » After two days of action at the 2010 NCAA Championship in Ooltewah, TN, Florida Gators men’s golf is tied for fifth place with an even par score of 576. Florida is 14 shots off of the leader (Florida State, 562) and will compete in the final round on Thursday.

2 » CBS college football analyst Gary Danielson questions whether or not the Gators will remain successful running the spread offense without former quarterback Tim Tebow (now with the Denver Broncos) at the helm. “I’m still not sure any other spread will work in this conference,” he told Jeremy Fowler of the Orlando Sentinel. “They cannot have John Brantley getting hit 12-15 times per game. He’s too valuable. […] It was tough for [Tebow] to take the punishment of [the SEC]. This conference is more and more simulating the NFL, with sophisticated defense to put hits on people.”

Four more BITS including a softball preview, updates on Aaron Hernandez and Brandon Spikes and a Florida Gators *trivia* question…after the break!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: Golf in fifth, spread, softball, NFL, trivia

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NFL Matchup creator “could never” draft Tebow

Sports Illustrated’s Ross Tucker sat down with Greg Cosell, the creator of ESPN’s popular NFL Matchup program, to discuss a number of NFL topics including former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow’s future with the Denver Broncos.

Below is a portion of Tucker’s column, featuring Cosell’s thoughts on Tebow:

What did you see from Tim Tebow on tape and were you surprised the Broncos made the bold move to get back into the first round to snag him?

“On film, there is very little in Tebow’s game that projects well at this point to the NFL. I could never draft a quarterback in the first round who does not show on tape the skill set and physical attributes that are demanded in the NFL.

“Number one, he has questionable and limited arm strength with a slow and ponderous delivery. Number two, in college he did not throw with timing or anticipation because the offense that he was in did not require it. In the NFL, there are certain throws in certain situations that necessitate that the ball is delivered before his receiver makes his break. He wasn’t asked to do that at Florida. Thirdly, pocket movement in the NFL is far more important than running. Pocket movement is the ability to move within the confines of an area about the size of a boxing ring while at the same time maintaining your downfield focus so you can deliver the football. Tebow did not exhibit that trait in college, probably because he was a runner. Nobody is a great NFL quarterback because of the way that they run.”

Cosell, who also works for NFL Films, is the creator and has been executive producer of NFL Matchup since its inception in 1993.

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FOUR BITS: Graham, basketball, Tebow, Brantley

1 » Former Florida Gators running back Earnest Graham has had an up-and-down career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. From leading the team in rushing yards in 2007 to barely carrying the ball last season, many fans wondered if he would even be on the team for the 2010 season. Not only will Graham be on the team, he will once again be the starter – this time at fullback. “Right now, I’m a starter at fullback. As long as I’m on the field I’m good,” Graham told PewterReport.com. “I’m shooting to be a Pro Bowl fullback. I really believe every time I catch the ball in the flat it can be a first down. I think I can break a few [tackles]. I’m focusing on being a fullback and catching 60 passes. I think I can really do that. Once Josh [Freeman] gets really comfortable and I’m running routes outside the backfield. I think we can do some damage out there.”

2 » One basketball tidbit coming out of the 2010 Southeastern Conference Spring Meetings on Tuesday is that strong consideration is being paid to adjusting conference alignment either throughout the season or for the SEC Tournament. Commissioner Mike Slive mentioned that the SEC may (1) remove the East and West divisions during the season, or (2) seed the postseason No. 1-12 rather than No. 1-6 for each division. As The Gainesville Sun’s Robbie Andreu points out, the motivation behind the potential change is likely due to the East’s recent domination in the sport (24-2 last year). With teams like Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee normally leading the way each season, a change like this may come sooner than later.

3 » Don’t tell ESPN’s AFC West blogger Bill Williamson that former Gators quarterback Tim Tebow will not be starting for the Denver Broncos next year. In his latest post, Williamson makes his stance very apparent with the following statement: “I think it is clear [Kyle] Orton will not be in Denver next year. The Broncos want Tebow to play as soon as he is ready. It will be a shock if Tebow is not the opening-day starter in 2011.”

4 » Also weighing in on a Florida quarterback Tuesday was ESPN’s SEC blogger Chris Low, who called redshirt junior John Brantley the team’s most irreplaceable player. Not really going out on a limb… “He’s the purest passer Urban Meyer has had at Florida and looked terrific this spring throwing the football. He still has to prove himself against SEC defenses, but the Gators are confident in what he’ll be able to do,” Low writes.

Gillette Fusion ProGlide razor giveaway

The good folks at Gillette decided to help us reward OGGOA‘s loyal readers by providing us with 20 promo codes for a FREE sample of their BRAND NEW product, the Fusion ProGlide razor! Debuting June 6, it features thinner, finer blades that glide effortlessly through hair for less tug and pull as well as larger lubrication and padding surfaces.

OGGOA will give away 10 today. However, in order to win, you must shoot an e-mail over to contest@onlygators.com with the correct answer to the trivia question below! We will update this page when 10 correct answers have been received.

Q: Who are the only three running backs in University of Florida football history with more career rushing attempts than Earnest Graham?

No more entries for Tuesday.

Photo Credit: Daniel Wallace/St. Petersburg Times

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TWO BITS: Tebow up to No. 3, Hall on Williams

1 » During mini camp at the Dove Valley facility, Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Tim Tebow was elevated to the No. 3 position on the team’s depth chart – ahead of Tom Brandstater – but still behind starter Kyle Orton and back-up Brady Quinn. The former Florida Gators star took a few reps, though “Tebow’s throwing motion, by the way, is still a tad long. But he does fire with decent zip and accuracy,” said beat writer Mike Klis of The Denver Post.
- VIDEO: Tebow speaks with Fox Sports about NFL career.

2 » A few former Gators chimed in on the passing of safety Jarvis Williams on Wednesday. The Orlando Sentinel‘s Jeremy Fowler was able to catch up with ex-Florida head coach Galen Hall (1984-89), who spoke just as highly about Williams as his former teammates. “He was just a joy to coach,” Hall said. “He was a very quiet person who went about his business, but he was one of the toughest people I’ve been around in his nice, quiet way. He loved contact, was a good athlete and never tried to be an outstanding hero, just a player doing his job.”

Photo Credit: Associated Press

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SIX BITS: W-tennis advances, Tebow’s tracker, Slive’s contract, Emmitt’s homecoming

1 » Advancing to the 2010 NCAA Tournament semifinals for the 20th time in the last 24 years, the No. 3 Florida Gators women’s tennis team (28-2) swept the No. 11 Miami Hurricanes (20-6) 4-0 on Saturday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, GA. The No. 5 doubles pair of senior Marrit Boonstra and freshman Allie Will defeated the No. 6 Miami pairing 7-6 DNF; both No. 65 Boonstra and No. 8 Will also won their singles matches. No. 9 freshman Lauren Embree was impressive in her victory over No. 7 Laura Vallverdu, winning in straight sets 6-4, 6-2. Florida will face no. 2 North Carolina (30-4) on Monday at 1 p.m. for a chance to advance to the championship game.

2 » As if the media’s obsession with Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Tim Tebow had not previously reached a peak – it has now. ESPN.com has just unveiled a “Tim Tebow Tracker” for its unique Tebow Watch page. It is not yet filled with much content (mostly things you have read elsewhere – cough, cough), but as the offseason progresses it should get filled up quite nicely. You can check it out by clicking here.

Four more BITS on the SEC commissioner’s contract, a honor for Emmitt Smith, golf advancing and baseball losing its regular season finale…after the jump!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: W-tennis advances, Tebow’s tracker, Slive’s contract, Emmitt’s homecoming

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TWO BITS: Pouncey listed, counterfeit jerseys

1 » Senior center Mike Pouncey will be filling in for his brother next season in the middle of the Florida Gators offensive line – a position he has yet to play on the college level. Nevertheless, he has already been named to the 2010 Rimington Trophy spring watch list. The trophy, which is awarded to the best center in college football, was won by now Pittsburgh Steelers center/guard Maurkice Pouncey last season, providing a rare opportunity for brothers to win it in back-to-back years.

2 » Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow‘s No. 15 jersey is so popular that it has already set numerous NFL sales records. It is in such high demand, in fact, that Chinese counterfeiters rolled out some fake ones almost immediately. According to the Tampa Tribune, “U.S. Customs & Border Protection in Tampa seized $8,175 in counterfeit sports jerseys” last week. Though there were others included in the package, “several” were “good quality” counterfeits of Tebow’s jersey.

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TWO BITS: Driskel’s adjustments, Foley on Meyer

1 » As he finishes his junior baseball season and gets ready for his senior year of football at Hagerty High School, four-star 2011 Florida Gators quarterback commitment Jeff Driskel (Oviedo, FL) knows the comparisons to Denver Broncos signal caller Tim Tebow will be coming sooner than later. “I’d love to continue the standards he set on the field and off the field,” Driskel told ESPN. “But at the same time, I have to make my own impact and be my own person.” Driskel is also aware that extra attention will be paid to him throughout the upcoming season due to his commitment to Florida. “Whenever you are linked to the football program at the University of Florida, all eyes are going to be on you,” he said. “I know there will be people that have never seen me play [who will] develop a new interest in us and how well we play this season.” Driskel is receiving plenty of praise and support from his coaches who realize that he will be a good fit with the Gators. “I had visited a few schools but every time I went to Florida it felt right,” Driskel admitted. “I wanted to be in the SEC because that’s where the best football in the country is played. Florida is competing for national titles every year and they run an offense suited around the quarterback. I love everything about that program.”

2 » Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley was in Jacksonville, FL, on Wednesday night, speaking to a bunch of fans at the Jax Beach Gator Club’s annual Gator Gathering. WJXX ABC 25 was on hand to cover the event, where Foley spoke about head coach Urban Meyer, redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley and a number of other topics.

On Meyer: “He’s doing well. He’s really doing well. He’s worked very hard – worked on some things that will help him be a better coach in terms of obligation. Very excited about the upcoming year. I can see the energy back. I can see the color in his face back.”

On Brantley: “I think his a heck of a talent. I know what our coaches think about him. I know how hard he’s worked. I know how hard he’s worked this spring. Johnny Brantley is a quality kid, a quality quarterback. Does he have the same reps as Tim Tebow? No. Will there be a learning curve for him? Certainly, but I think he’s got a chance to be a big time player. We’re very excited about Johnny Brantley.”

On Florida-Georgia: “It’s a tradition that’s second-to-none, in my opinion, in college football. Probably similar to Texas-Oklahoma. It’s as good as football stadium in the country, and we do have a contract. There’s a few Is to be dotted a few Ts to be crossed. I think that thing will be signed before next fall, and keep it here for another seven years and that certainly excites us all in Gainesville.”

Photo Credit: ESPN

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Tebow’s mechanics “overplayed,” Trestman says

Montreal Alouettes head coach and recently Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow’s personal coach, Marc Trestman, once again defended the former Florida Gators star’s throwing motion and mechanics during a wide-ranging conference call with Canadian reporters Thursday.

“Basically all he’s doing is shortening his throwing motion and getting [the ball] out quicker,” Trestman said per the National Post. “I thought it was much, much overplayed and I think the perception of what it was and the reality of what it is was a lot different.”

Trestman went on to compare Tebow’s formerly elongated but since refined delivery to that of Anthony Calvillo, his team’s current starting quarterback.

“We have a quarterback who has a long delivery and he’s one of the greatest quarterbacks and will finish as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time north or south of the border so he does it with a motion very similar to what Tim Tebow used in college,” explained Trestman. “When you’re an accurate passer and you have the intangibles that go along with that you can figure it out and make it work and whether Tim changed his motion or not I believed he would figure it out and I don’t have any doubt that he’ll be very, very successful.”

Considering how closely Trestman worked with Tebow, his experience as a quarterbacks coach in the NFL and what he has done in the CFL, his opinion holds a lot of water.

However, some will certainly point out that comparing Tebow’s NFL future to the production of a career-long CFL quarterback is not necessarily something that Broncos fans want to hear. Perhaps that parallel should be examined a bit more before one jumps to any rash conclusions.

Calvillo is fourth in all-time professional passing yards (63,322) only behind Damon Allen (CFL – 72,381), Warren Moon (CFL/NFL – 70,553) and Brett Favre (NFL – 69,329) and directly ahead of names like Dan Marino, Doug Flutie, Danny McManus and Denver’s own John Elway. Additionally, Calvillo’s completion percentage (62.4) is higher than 22 of the other 24 signal callers on that list (Peyton Manning, Joe Montana).

Photo Credit: Associated Press

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