6 BITS: Matt Elam suffers season-ending injury, Florida QB Will Grier has gained 24 lbs. since 2014

1 » Former Florida Gators safety Matt Elam struggled during his second season with the Baltimore Ravens in 2014. Looking to bounce back and regain his starting role this season, Elam may be faced with an even greater obstacle to overcome. According to The Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson, Elam “may have torn his biceps” and was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Sunday to determine whether he has indeed suffered a season-ending injury. A completely torn biceps would sideline Elam for the season; a partial tear would likely put him on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list for the start of the campaign, though his return would still be questionable. Elam has been fighting with fellow former Florida safety Will Hill for the starting strong safety job; Hill supplanted Elam at the position during the 2014 campaign.

Update: ESPN‘s Ed Werder confirmed Tuesday that Elam’s injury is indeed a full tear of his biceps; Elam will therefore miss the entire 2015 season. He will be placed on the Ravens’ injured reserve and look to rejoin the team in 2016.

Continue Reading » 6 BITS: Matt Elam suffers season-ending injury, Florida QB Will Grier has gained 24 lbs. since 2014

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6 NFL BITS: Tebow’s throwing motion, Haden fights R-word, Jenkins and Mincey negotiating

1 » USA Today went somewhat in-depth on former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow with Josh Peter penning a feature that looks at how his throwing motion and football mind has evolved while fighting to keep his career alive. Below is a highlight quote from the feature, which you can read in full by clicking here.

“I don’t feel like I’m the same player from a passing standpoint and a mechanics standpoint,” Tebow said. “I love the process and I love that I have a chance to get better,” he added. “That’s an important mindset not just for football, just in life. When you have that mindset, then you won’t look back and you won’t regret anything. No matter how much you succeeded, no matter how good you were at something, you can never look back and say, ‘I regret I didn’t go all the way.'”

2 » Though former Florida cornerback Janoris Jenkins missed out on first-round money due to off-field concerns, it appears as if he may be close to striking a substantial contract extension with the St. Louis Rams, which took a chance on him with the No. 39 overall pick in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Jenkins has been a solid starter for the Rams over the last three seasons, making his share of highlight plays and also being on his fair end of offensive highlights for the St. Louis’ opponents. Still, Jenkins will likely command second- or third-tier money, which for a cornerback these days can be a more-than-solid payday. Jenkins picked off seven passes and scored five touchdowns from 2012-14.

Continue Reading » 6 NFL BITS: Tebow’s throwing motion, Haden fights R-word, Jenkins and Mincey negotiating

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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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FOUR BITS: Fowler, Muschamp, Gordon, Mincey

1 » Former Florida Gators defensive end Dante Fowler Jr., who decided to forego his final year of collegiate eligibility and declare for the 2015 NFL Draft, took out an advertisement in The Gainesville Sun on Friday, thanking Gators fans for his time with the program. Fowler is expected to be an early first-round selection in the draft and has been projected as high as No. 3 overall. In case you’re having trouble with the copy, it reads as follows: “Thank you Gator Nation for all the support and love the past three years. We’ve got the best fans in the land. I’ll forever bleed Orange & Blue.”


2 » New Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp – and defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson, for that matter – had shown no love for Florida on the recruiting trail to this point as the duo has not paused in going after players they were recruiting to join the Gators when they were both members of the program. But Muschamp did show his soft side for Florida on Thursday. According to 247Sports.com‘s Luke Stampini, Muschamp praised the Gators to three-star DE G.G. Robinson (Lilburn, GA) after learning Robinson was not interested in playing for the Tigers. “He talked good about Florida the whole time. He told me to have fun and said, ‘It’s nice.’ He said I’d like the weather,” Robinson said. “He also said Jim McElwain is probably about to turn the program around. I expected him to say something bad about them, but he didn’t.” Robinson is visiting UF this weekend, the last of the 2015 recruiting cycle.

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: Divisional

The 2014-15 NFL Playoffs continued this week with the Divisional round and eight former Florida Gators spread out over five of the eight teams remaining in the postseason.

Five Gators were eliminated from the postseason this week with the Conference Championship round set to include three Florida players (one injured) on two of the remaining four teams (both in the AFC).

Below are full game statistics for all five players (three starters) that saw action during the Divisional round.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
DE JEREMY MINCEY, Dallas Cowboys: Started | five tackles (three solo, one for loss), forced fumble, fumble recovery

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 Wild Card

The 2014 NFL Playoffs began this week with the Wild Card round and 13 former Florida Gators spread out over seven of the 12 competing in the postseason.

Four Gators were eliminated from the postseason. The Divisional Round will include eight former Florida players on five teams including all four in the AFC.

Below are full game statistics for all eight players (five starters) that saw action during the Wild Card round.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
DE JEREMY MINCEY, Dallas Cowboys: Started | four tackles (three solo, one for loss), sack, QB hit, pass defense

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

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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!

Continue Reading » Former Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 16 & 17

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 14

The 2014 NFL regular season continued this week with 34 former Florida Gators spread out over 21 of the 32 teams in the league.

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

Below are full game statistics for all 29 players (20 starters^) that saw action along with select status and injury updates on some Gators during the 14th week of the regular season.

^ Kickers and returners not counted as starters.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
WR PERCY HARVIN, New York Jets: Started | six receptions for 124 yards (targets: 9, long: 45) [all team-highs]; two carries for three yards (long: 4), fumble (not lost); four kick returns for 109 yards (long: 47)
» The receiving touchdown was Harvin’s first since Oct. 25, 2012 and just his second offensive touchdown in that same span. The 124 yards were his second-most this season (129, Nov. 2).
» Harvin was feared to be lost for the season with an ankle injury suffered in the game, but the Jets diagnosed it as a low ankle sprain and he is questionable for Sunday.

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

Continue Reading » Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 14

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