FOUR BITS: Former Gators safeties Matt Elam, Will Hill fighting for Ravens starting job

1 » The Baltimore Ravens pulled former first-round draft choice Matt Elam out of their starting rotation after Elam began disappointing with his play on the field. Elam shifting out allowed fellow former Florida Gators safety Will Hill to fill the void and has subsequently created a high-intensity training camp competition between the two teammates.

Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh, who stuck by Hill despite him being suspended for the first six games of the 2014 campaign due to a third NFL drug policy violation, is impressed with what he’s seen from the undrafted free agent. “I almost say [he’s] light-years ahead of where he was last year,” Harbaugh told the Baltimore Sun. “He has been here every single day in the offseason that I’m aware of. Heck, he brought his family in here to work out with him when he was on his own. … I just think he has really dug in to have a great season, and we’ll see how it goes for him. But right now, he looks the part.” Elam is taking the competition in stride and remains confident he will be able to regain the job. “All I can say is, I can’t wait until September. I’m ready,” Elam said.

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FOUR BITS: Winston reminds Murphy of Tebow

1 » Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Louis Murphy is already enamored with his new quarterback, Jameis Winston. How much? Murphy said on a SiriusXM NFL Radio interview that Winston reminds him of his former signal caller with the Florida Gators, Tim Tebow. “I just saw how much of a competitor he is. He competes. he doesn’t like losing. He wants to win and that’s a guy I want to play with. He’s young, kind of similar to Tim Tebow in a way, he just wants to win. He’ll do anything it takes to win. But he’s young, everyone makes mistakes … I’m just really excited to be with a guy who is passionate about playing this game.”

2 » Early observations from Philadelphia Eagles camp, at least according to the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Jeff McLane, are that Tebow’s throwing motion is not as improved as everyone was led to believe by his throwing coach. Here’s the report:

There have been reports that Tebow’s throwing motion and release had improved after his work with Tom House, but there didn’t appear to be much difference than how he looked two years ago,” wrote McLane. “I haven’t watched Tebow up close for his entire career, but it still takes a long time for him to cock, load and throw. There’s an unnatural dip in his windup. Tebow has never been a good practice quarterback and he’s obviously still learning a completely new offense, so there shouldn’t be too much stock taken in how he threw on one non-contact day in May. But the guess here is that it will be difficult for Tebow to beat out [Matt] Barkley for the third spot, even if you include his intangibles. He struggled to throw the ball downfield. He was working with a bunch of young receivers, but he often held the ball too long or would check down with a short pass. At one point late in practice, he had a throw tipped at the line that fell into the arms of 6-foot-9 rookie defensive end Brian Mihalik.

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Former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow to sign with Philadelphia Eagles

Former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow will sign a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday, according to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports.

According to Glazer, the “Eagles [are] looking for a fourth [quarterback] for their offseason program, but it’s Tebow’s best chance to get back in the league.” Furthermore, Philadelphia is “convinced [Tebow has] improved a lot” after discussing his development with quarterback guru Tom House.

ESPN‘s Adam Schefter reports that Tebow and the Eagles will finalize an agreement on Monday, “the framework of which was put into place when he worked out for the team last month.” Signing him to a one-year contract Monday will allow Tebow to start working with Philadelphia at the start of its offseason workouts.

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Former Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 16 & 17

The 2014 NFL regular season concluded this week with 36 former Florida Gators spread out over 20 of the 32 teams in the league.

Twelve teams had multiple Florida players on their rosters including Miami (four); Philadelphia and Tampa Bay (three each); and Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh and St. Louis (two each).

Below are full game statistics for all 26 players (16 starters^) that saw action along with select status and injury updates on some Gators during the 16th week of the regular season as well as the same information for all 29 players (15 starters^) that were active in Week 17.

Eight former Gators advanced to the postseason. Florida is represented on seven of the 12 teams that moved on to the 2014 NFL Playoffs.

^ Kickers and returners not counted as starters.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK (16)
WR RILEY COOPER, Philadelphia Eagles: Started | five receptions for 53 yards (target: 7, long: 16), two touchdowns

PLAYS OF THE WEEK (16)

PLAYER OF THE WEEK (17)
S REGGIE NELSON, Cincinnati Bengals: Started | three solo tackles, pass defense, interception (-4 yard return)

PLAYS OF THE WEEK (17)

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed…after the break!

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 9

The 2014 NFL regular season continued this week with 39 former Florida Gators spread out over 22 of the 32 teams in the league.

Eleven teams had multiple Florida players on their rosters including Miami (four); Indianapolis and Philadelphia (three each); and Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, Kansas City, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Tampa Bay (two each).

Below are full game statistics for all 30 players (20 starters^) that saw action along with select status and injury updates on some Gators during the ninth week of the regular season.

^ Kickers and returners not counted as starters.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
CB JOE HADEN, Cleveland Browns: Started | three tackles (two solo), three pass defenses
» One of Haden’s pass defenses was a purposeful tipping of the ball to a teammate, who grabbed an interception.
WR PERCY HARVIN, New York Jets: Started | 11 receptions for 129 yards (targets: 13, long: 42) [team-highs]; carry for eight yards; two kick returns for 88 yards (long: 65)

PLAYS OF THE WEEK

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed…after the break!

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 6

The 2014 NFL regular season continued this week with 38 former Florida Gators spread out over 22 of the 32 teams in the league.

Eleven teams had multiple Florida players on their rosters including Miami (four); Philadelphia and Tampa Bay (three each); and Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh and St. Louis (two each).

Below are full game statistics for all 27 players (19 starters^) that saw action along with select status and injury updates on some Gators during the sixth week of the regular season.

Three players were on their bye week.

^ Kickers and returners not counted as starters.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
S REGGIE NELSON, Cincinnati Bengals: Started | 11 tackles (nine solo, one for loss), two pass defenses, interception (31-yard return)

PLAYS OF THE WEEK

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed…after the break!

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 3

The 2014 NFL regular season continued this week with 37 former Florida Gators spread out over 22 of the 32 teams in the league.

Eleven teams had multiple Florida players on their rosters including Miami (four); Philadelphia (three); and Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Tampa Bay (two each).

Below are full game statistics for all 30 players (13 starters^) that saw action along with select status and injury updates on some Gators during the second week of the regular season.

^ Kickers and returners not counted as starters.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
LB JELANI JENKINS, Miami Dolphins: Started | 15 tackles (11 solo, one for loss), 1.5 sacks, two QB hits, safety [all team-highs]

PLAYS OF THE WEEK

There is auto-start video near the end of this post.

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed…after the break!

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Healthy Percy Harvin runs wild Thursday for Seahawks; Gators NFL depth chart

Hoping to play a full regular season for the first time since 2011, a healthy and rejuvenated Percy Harvin opened eyes on Thursday as a game-breaking wide receiver, ball-carrier and returner for the Seattle Seahawks, which hosted the Green Bay Packers in the 2014 NFL Kickoff game.

Helping Seattle trounce Green Bay 36-16, the former Florida Gators standout racked up 160 all-purpose yards for the Seahawks, 100 of which were from scrimmage. Harvin led his team in receiving with seven catches for 59 yards (including a 33-yard reception, his longest since Oct. 7, 2012) and finished second in rushing with four carries for 41 yards, adding 60 return yards on three kickoffs just for good measure.

Harvin’s game-breaking ability should be a boon for Seattle all season. The 2009 NFL Rookie of the Year is arguably the most electric player in the league, a characteristic many forgot but were reminded of last season when he opened the second half of Super Bowl XLVIII by bringing a kickoff back for a touchdown.

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