FOUR BITS: Haden shining, Leak wins Grey Cup

1 » Cleveland Browns rookie cornerback Joe Haden has really turned it on in recent weeks, nabbing an interception in each of his last three games. Haden, who is technically a back-up but started his first game on Sunday in place of the injured Eric Wright (knee), is set to start once again this week. “Joe has done really well,” head coach Eric Mangini said of Haden. “He’s getting better as we go. He’s making a strong, strong case for continued playing time.”

2 » The Montreal Alouettes of the CFL won the 2010 Grey Cup on Sunday and two members of the team have ties to Florida. Former Gators National Championship-winning quarterback Chris Leak, the team’s back-up, and head coach Marc Trestman, who worked with former Florida QB Tim Tebow on his throwing motion and mechanics prior to and after NFL combine workouts, both picked up their second Grey Cup rings. The duo also participated in the 2008 Grey Cup but failed to be victorious.

Extra BIT » Former Florida running back DeShawn Wynn, a member of the San Francisco 49ers practice squad this season, was promoted to the active roster on Tuesday as a replacement for Pro Bowler Frank Gore, who fractured his hip during the team’s Monday Night Football game yesterday. Wynn is a four-year NFL veteran who saw his most action with the Green Bay Packers (203 yards and four touchdowns) in his rookie season (2007).

Photo Credit: Todd Korol/Reuters

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

TWO BITS: Logo crackdown, Leak’s performance

1 » The University of Florida continues its crackdown on its intellectual property being used by other schools without consent and has recently forced Palm Beach Gardens High School in South Florida to rid themselves of the Florida Gators logo, just as they did to the Two Rivers School District in Russellville, AR, in early July. Below is a news report from CBS 12 detailing the situation.

2 » Marking his first start as a quarterback in the CFL last Friday, former Gators signal caller Chris Leak had a rough showing for the Montreal Alouettes. Leak, who went 15-of-27 for 135 yards and threw two interceptions in his debut, also rushed once but fumbled the ball. He was eventually replaced by Ricky Santos, who outshined Leak with a 10-of-12 performance for 93 yards and two touchdowns. Nevertheless, head coach Mark Trestman remains confident in his backup and refused to put the loss on his shoulders. “Chris is going to own up for the mistakes he made [Friday], but we lost this game as a team and that starts with me,” Trestman said. “I wanted to make sure that every guy left here tonight not thinking that the reason we lost is because we didn’t have the right quarterback in there.” Leak still felt the responsibility. “We didn’t execute offensively, anytime you turn the ball over and have a lack of focus it’s never going to be an easy thing, especially against a good team,” he said.

Tags: , , , , ,

TWO BITS: Tebow, James stand out; Leak ready

1 » A number of former Florida Gators turned NFL rookies were taking part in their final 2010 preseason game Thursday, but two in particular – Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow and Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Brandon James – stood out from the pack. After fumbling a bad snap in his first series (which was returned for a touchdown), Tebow went 12-of-16 for 167 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He had a QB rating of 102.9 and also carried the ball four times for 21 yards. James was the star of his team’s game, catching four balls for 56 yards and three touchdowns and even converting the two-point conversion on his own second score. OGGOA will have a more complete and detailed rookie post later.

2 » As OGGOA reported a few days ago, former Gators QB Chris Leak will be making his first CFL start Friday night filling in for Montreal Alouettes starter Anthony Calvillo. For the first time in his career, Leak practiced as the team’s starter for the week rather than being thrown into the game in a back-up role. “This is a game I’ve played my entire life, since I was 8. I want to go out and have fun,” Leak told The Montreal Gazette. “I’m going to play the game and be myself. Whatever that is, you’ll see it. But I know there’ll be adversity. Someone’s still got to throw, run, catch and kick. That’s the game of football. I’m always anxious to play; I guess you could say nervous. I’m focusing on my responsibilities. I want to be accountable, protect the ball, stay on course and play through adversity.”

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

TWO BITS: Soccer wins again, Leak to start

1 » Moving up two spots after an opening week in which they went 2-0, No. 9 Florida Gators soccer (3-0) remained undefeated after taking down the Florida Atlantic Owls (0-2) 3-0 Friday night at James G. Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, FL. Redshirt sophomore midfielder McKenzie Barney (4’), junior MF/forward Tahnai Annis (7’) and sophomore F/MF Natalia Torosian (14’) all scored for the Gators within the first 14 minutes, forcing the Owls to concentrate on defense the remainder of the match. Florida looks to continue their winning streak on Sunday against San Diego State at home.

2 » Former Gators quarterback Chris Leak will be making his first CFL start next Friday, filling in for Montreal Alouettes starting quarterback Anthony Calvillo. For the first time in his career, Leak will be able to practice as the team’s starter for a week rather than be thrown into the game in a back-up role. “It’s good. It gives the coaches a chance to tweak things to my strengths and see what things we can do offensively to help us win the game,” Leak said in a media availability. “It’s going to be a fun week and we’re going to work hard and get the game plan in and just go out there and execute.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Gator Bites for Friday, August 20th

From time to time, OGGOA will come across a plethora of news and notes that we wish to share with our readers. In those instances, we present a special post: Gator Bites. Enjoy.

» The University of Florida’s 2010-11 athletic season officially begins Friday as No. 11 Florida Gators soccer takes on the Miami Hurricanes at 7 p.m. at James G. Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, FL. Admission is free, and the match will air live on Sun Sports.

» New England Patriots rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez scored his first career professional touchdown on Thursday, catching a four-yard pass from quarterback Tom Brady in the second quarter of the team’s preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons. Hernandez, who lead the team with four receptions and 46 yards, had to turn around to complete the reception in the back of the end zone. Also shining for the Patriots on Thursday was running back Fred Taylor (team-high 11 carries for 54 yards and a TD). Linebacker Brandon Spikes racked up three solo tackles, while defensive tackle Gerard Warren added one assisted.

Eight more Gator Bites on Tim Tebow, Major Wright, Cornelius Ingram, Maurkice Pouncey, Joe Haden, Chris Leak, Ryan Lochte and Urban Meyer…after the jump!
Continue Reading » Gator Bites for Friday, August 20th

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Tags: , , , , , ,

LB Earl Everett: “I’m ready to get back out there”

A true freshman starter, former Florida Gators linebacker Earl Everett was unable to complete his degree in four years. He left for the NFL but was once again met with roadblocks as he suffered injuries while in training camp with the Cincinnati Bengals and later as a member of the Atlanta Falcons’ practice squad. Soon after, he had a successful tryout with the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL but broke two bones in his leg just days after returning from the workout, stalling his career for the short-term. On schedule to complete his degree at the University of Florida and graduate this summer, Everett is all healed up and ready to head up to Canada for a second chance on a professional football career. Before he returned to Gainesville, FL, Everett spent almost 20 minutes speaking with OGGOA about his career and life up until this point.

ADAM SILVERSTEIN: What are you up to now? I know you are back at UF getting your degree. How is it hanging out with the Gators and seeing head coach Urban Meyer?
EARL EVERETT: “It’s always good to go back. Coach Meyer told a lot of us seniors, he always said, ‘Once a Gator, Always a Gator.’ We will always be tied to the hip. And it’s the truth. Every time I go back and see him, he [tells me] that if I need anything – any advice, a reference for a job – you can always call the coaches and they are there for us guys. Even though you are done, you might be done playing football or done with school, they’re still there. It is a family first program – that’s what it is.”

AS: Are you saying that you feel you are done at this point after your injury during tryouts with Montreal last year?
EE: “No, I actually might have a chance to play over in Canada next year with Chris Leak. I’m kind of looking forward to that. I had a few road bumps – like you said, you know – I got injured and got released from a few teams. Then I decided the next best thing was to go back and finish my degree since I’m so close. I’m taking my last two classes now, Summer A, and I graduate in August.”

Read the rest of our exclusive interview with Earl Everett…after the break!
Continue Reading » LB Earl Everett: “I’m ready to get back out there”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

FOUR BITS: Marshall and Tebow, Leak, Cooper

1 » With the 2010 NFL Draft closing in, former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow is making his final in-house trip today to the Denver Broncos. Coming the same day as the team has traded wide receiver Brandon Marshall to the Miami Dolphins, Tebow’s visit has raised questions about the possibility of Denver packaging some picks to move back into the first round and draft him. The Broncos now have the No. 11, No. 43 and No. 45 overall picks (as well as an extra second-rounder from Miami in 2011) and could very well take Oklahoma State WR Dez Bryant early and Tebow later in this year’s first-round. Just food for thought. By the way, Marshall’s No. 15 is now vacant…and their uniforms are orange and blue. Just a thought.

2 » Speaking of Florida quarterbacks, the Palm Beach Post caught up with Montreal Alouettes back-up Chris Leak while he was in town for the 2010 Orange & Blue Debut last weekend. Leak spoke on a variety of subjects but, most importantly, touched on why he was there – to work with redshirt junior John Brantley on the player’s request. “I’m going to be a coach after I’m done playing, which is many, many years away from now,” Leak said. “Me and John have been talking for a while now. He wanted me to come out and watch him, and I just came out here to support him and watch him grow as a quarterback. He did an awesome job [Saturday]. His feet looked great, his decision-making is excellent, he really showed a lot today.”

3 » According to The Florida Times-Union, the Jacksonville Jaguars “have shown some interest” in former Gators wide receiver Riley Cooper, who could be a target for them in the second or third round (should he fall). Cooper would fit in nicely with Jacksonville, which needs a compliment for Mike Sims-Walker.

4 » Former Florida cornerback Lito Sheppard, most recently with the New York Jets after spending most of his career with the Philadelphia Eagles, has scheduled a workout with the Detroit Lions for the next two days, according to Pro Football Talk.

Photo Credit: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 Page 2 of 3 « 1  2  3 »