Gator Bites for Feb. 28 – NFL Combine Edition II

By Adam Silverstein
February 28, 2010

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.

» VIDEO: NFL Network pre-interview with Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow.

» VIDEO: NFL Network interview with Tebow on the set after his workout. (This video includes clips of all of the drills he participated in Sunday.)

  • On the experience: “The last three days have been a time that I will always remember. […] Being here was special.”
  • On how much football was discussed in interviews: “It was probably 50/50 with teams. Half the teams would really talk a lot of football – you would get on the board, draw up Xs and Os, talk defenses, talk philosophy, talk scheme.”
  • On his comfort level coming out of Florida: “The best thing here at the combine was talking football, talking schemes, talking the love of the game and understanding defenses, protections.”
  • On criticisms about the Gators not preparing him: “[The SEC] can just worry about trying to come back and beat Florida – that’s what they need to worry about. To defend coach Meyer and to defend Florida – he has taught his players over the last six-eight years the best of any coach in the country. You look at his players once they actually get on a team – they know football. We teach football. We teach schemes. We teach concepts that relate to the next level. […] He does a great job of teaching guys to learn football, learn concepts and be able to translate when they get to the next level.”
  • On Florida Pro Day: “I’m excited about that. […] I’ll have some guys to throw to. […] Do whatever you want with me on that day. […] Put a receiver anywhere, tell me to do anything, and I’ll be willing to do whatever for them.”
  • On if he ever wants to throw his accomplishments in his critics’ faces: “I’m a very self-motivated guy. I just look at all the criticism as another blessing, it will just add fuel to the fire and make me work that much harder.”

Much more on Tebow, Pouncey, Meyer and other Gators after the jump!

» VIDEO: NFL Network interview with center Maurkice Pouncey after his workout.

  • On how he performed his drills: “We worked out a lot at the Univesrity of Florida with our coach Steve Addazio. He really helped us out for the next level. I feel like I was really prepared for this day, and it was probably one of the greatest moments of my life.”
  • On Tebow: “I played with one of the greatest football players ever to play the college oevel of football – Tim Tebow. It was a great experience for me. I love that guy to death. He wants to prove everybody wrong. I’m behind him 100 percent.”
  • On questions he has been asked: “They want to get close to you. They want to know about your family, where you come from, what kind of background [you have], what kind of kid you was growing up and through college.”
  • On being the top center: “I’m competing right now. I don’t look at myself as No. 1, I just want to keep working myself up in the draft. I just want to go out there, compete and get on a team.”

» Representatives from several teams told Gil Brandt that Tebow “conducted some of the best interviews of all-time. His positivity, composure and passion were on full display.”

» NFL Network analyst Charles Davis said on Sunday that he knows “for a fact” that Gators head coach Urban Meyer tried to change Tebow’s throwing motion early in his college career. “They tried to work on that two years ago when Dan Mullen was the quarterbacks coach,” Davis said. “They had Tim in there […] and they tried to work it, work it, and then everything reverted back when you got to game speed. Florida’s trying to win football games. Do we mess him up now or do we continue to go on? That becomes the question. You continue to go on because for Urban Meyer and his staff, the bottom line is winning the football game.”

» Most scouts contend that Tebow needs two years of development before he could start in the NFL. Main analyst Mike Mayock said Tebow needs to throw 10,000 passes to go along with his intangibles in order to be a success in the league. Here is a seven-minutes video of a discussion about whether or not he can transition.

» Tebow’s 38.5-inch vertical leap tied the best for a quarterback since 2000 (Josh McCown). By comparison, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick jumped 38 inches during his combine.

» Meyer, while on vacation with his wife in Hawaii, was evacuated from his hotel early Saturday morning due to threats of a tsunami caused by the earthquake in Chile. Urban and Shelley arrived back in the continental United States early Sunday when they flew into Atlanta, GA.

» ESPN analyst and former quarterback Ron Jaworski on Tebow: “It’s going to be difficult [for him to make it]. His skill set, in my opinion, at this point doesn’t project to being a consistent NFL quarterback. That’s not to say he can’t get better and improve and do all the things that we know a Tim Tebow-character kind of guy will do. He will bust his tail and work as hard as anyone to improve his skill set. But the release is a little bit slow, the stride is a little bit long and he’s never really run a pro-style offense, so that will hurt him. To me, he’s going to need to get into a situation where he can sit back, he can learn.”

» Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco on Tebow: “I think he’ll be fine. He’ll be fine. He made plays in college. He’s a big playmaker. I’m sure he can fit in someone’s offense regardless.”

» Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt told Pat Dooley of The Gainesville Sun that new Gators defensive coordinator Teryl Austin almost wound up with the same job for the Cardinals. “Teryl came very close to getting the job. He’s a good football coach. We didn’t want to lose Teryl. But I’m also excited for him to get this opportunity. He’ll do a great job with the players as far as scheming and teaching. He’ll be successful.”

» The Twitter account for the Miami Dolphins reported that safety Major Wright was told he will not go any later than the third round in the 2010 NFL Draft.

» ESPN analyst Todd McShay on Pouncey: “[He] is making a strong push to become the top-rated interior lineman on our board. He looked balanced and fluid and moved his feet well during drills, and while Pouncey is not an elite athlete, he is very smooth.”

Gators at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine – Day 5 (Haden, Wright)
Gators at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine – Day 4 (Spikes, Dunlap, Cunn.)
Gators at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine – Day 3 (Tebow, Cooper, James)
Gators at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine – Day 2 (Pouncey, Hernandez)

Special thanks to NFL Network and the Orlando Sentinel for some of the quotes.

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