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Tebow Show Hits Combine … Saturday Cup O’Chiefs


From Indianapolis, Indiana

Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy had just taken his spot at the podium inside Lucas Oil Stadium, with approximately 30 or so media types waiting to hear him speak.

As he began speaking, over the public address system in the room came this announcement:

Some guy named Tebow will be at podium C,” announced the NFL type that was manning the microphone in the NFL Combine press room.

More than half of audience got up in the middle of McCarthy’s sentence and hustled to the other side of the room. McCarthy flashed a sly smile at the exodus; it was fine with him because that meant fewer questions to answer.

It was a mob scene as Tebow took to a small stage and walked to the microphone. Nobody that has visited with the media at the Combine – GM, administrator, coach or player – generated the type of reaction that came when the former University of Florida quarterback arrived in the room.

Wearing a red Combine jersey with the No. 19, Tebow was not exactly stunned by the throng standing in front of him. He’s been there many times before and this was just another moment in the life of a college football folk hero who may have a hard time making a place for himself at the next level. 

As the scribblers, yakkers and hairdos shouted over each other attempting to ask questions, Tebow stood back and waited for the media to sort out their lack of civility. Then he fielded every question the way he does, with standard rote answers delivered with a smile and a sense of sincerity.

“I’m working on it, making some adjustments, trying to improve my fundamentals as best I can,” said Tebow. “I think it will improve my game and will help me.”

He was speaking of his much discussed throwing motion, which has been dissected by all draft waters – fans, media, teams – and labeled too slow and too long. Tebow has worked in the last three weeks to change how he handles the ball when he’s throwing.

“It’s not changing my whole motion, it’s just where I’m holding the ball and getting to my motion where I’m throwing it,” Tebow said. “I am holding the ball higher and not dropping (my elbow.) My release point of where I’m throwing the ball is not different at all. It’s how I got to that (point) that you would see the change.”

The NFL types have been talking about Tebow’s throwing motion ever since he became the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy after the 2007 season. Making a change right before the Combine has caused conversation throughout the league.

“I talked to a lot of different QB coaches and some said maybe you should wait until after the Draft and the Combine,” said Tebow. “I’m someone who is ready and raring to go and I wanted to do it now. I’m not scared of what people are going to say. I’m not scared of anything else. Whatever happens happens; if I need to work on something, I’m going to work on something and change it.”

Since his days in Pop Warner football, Tebow has dreamed of playing quarterback in the NFL. There are many naysayers in the league that believe because of that throwing motion and the Florida spread offense where he seldom took a snap under center, he has little chance of achieving his goal.

Tebow isn’t buying that, but he did say on Friday that he’s willing to do whatever his coach asks him to do if it helps the team.

“I want to be a quarterback in the NFL,” Tebow said. “It’s been my dream since I was 6 years old, so I’m going to do what it takes to do that. But if I’m on a team that asks me to help the team in some other way, of course I’m going to do that. It’s team first.”

Speaking on the other side of the room as Tebow was wrapping up was Mike Holmgren, the new man in charge of football for the Cleveland Browns. Holmgren’s background is all about quarterbacks as he helped developed Hall of Famer Steve Young and eventual Hall of Famer Brett Favre.

“I think he’s a wonderful young man and a great football player,” Holmgren said of Tebow. “The question any organization has to answer is whether his greatness in college translates to our game. What we (Cleveland) are looking at now are things like he played in a system offense that used to be unique, and we ask our quarterbacks to do different things.

“His motion has been talked about. It has always been my opinion that’s the most difficult thing to change with any quarterback. That’s hard to do, particularly in pressure situations.

“Do you want a Tim Tebow on your football team? Absolutely, you need players like that. For us, it’s an ongoing study that will probably go right up to the draft for us with him.”

No matter how long the evaluation process lasts with Tebow, there’s one thing for sure: there will be a lot of attention on him, the process, his motion and his dream of playing quarterback in the NFL. That will not stop once he gets drafted, no matter the round of his selection or the team that chooses him.

That type of spotlight could lead at the start to some problems in the locker room with veteran players that have performed in the league and never gotten the kind of attention that falls everyday on Tebow every single day.

“You can’t help the attention, but what you can help is your attitude, you can help your work ethic, and when you go in there, you show that I’m putting the team first, I’m going to do whatever it takes to help you guys succeed.” Tebow said.

“If they know that and they believe that, then they’re going to respect me. And that respect grows into like, and then that like grows into love. And then you get a team. You get a team that’s bonded. And then you get a team that wins championships.”

With that, Tebow’s time with the media horde was over. But before leaving the podium, he spent a minute handing back tape recorders that were sitting on the podium. He was the first player, coach or GM this week that even noticed the hand-held recorders were even there.

Tebow did it all with a smile, thank yous and your welcomes repeated over and over again.

Whether he ever throws a single pass in the NFL, every team could use Tim Tebow. They could use a dozen of him.

THROWING AROUND THE WEIGHTS AND GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS

There was finally some sweating and grunting going on at the NFL Combine on Friday as the offensive linemen and tight ends were pumping iron.

Every player willing to work at the Combine is asked to lift 225 pounds as many times in succession as they can, without stopping. The record is 45 reps and was set in 2000 by Leif Larsen of Utah and matched in 2006 by Ohio State’s Mike Kudla.

They were matched on this Friday by Arkansas’s Mitch Petrus as he got the 225 pounds up 45 times and received a big ovation from those watching the lifting.

What does it mean? Not much. Larsen was selected in the sixth round of the ’00 Draft by Buffalo. He played 16 games in two seasons with the Bills. Kudla was never drafted and did not play an NFL regular season game.

The No. 1 offensive line prospect in this year’s draft is Oklahoma State LT Russell Okung and he benched those 225 pounds a total of 38 times.

Among the tight ends, Clay Harbor of Missouri State was the strongest, pumping out 30 reps.

COMBINE SCHEDULE FOR SATURDAY AT LUCAS OIL STADIUM

The special teamers, offensive line and tight ends will be working through the drills on the field starting Saturday morning. When they wrap things up, they’ll head for the airport.

The quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs will take psychological tests and meet with the NFLPA. The defensive line and linebackers will get medical exams, measurements and psych testing.

And the defensive backs will arrive in Indy where they will undergo physicals and x-rays.

DRAFT COIN FLIPS ESTABLISH FIRST ROUND ORDER

In the lobby of the Westin Hotel in downtown Indianapolis the league held three coin flips to establish the drafting order for the start of the 2010 NFL Draft.

Three coins that were made for the event were tossed, with the logos and helmets of each team on one side of the coin for their tie-breaker. As they were tossed, here’s how they came up:

– Jacksonville over Denver, so the Jaguars draft at No. 10 and the Broncos get No. 11.

– Tennessee over San Francisco, with the Titans getting pick No. 16 and the Niners will have No. 17.

– Atlanta topped Houston, giving the Falcons selection No. 19 and the Texans pick No. 20.

Here’s the first-round order:

  • 1-5 – St. Louis, Detroit, Tampa Bay, Washington and the CHIEFS.
  • 6-10 – Seattle, Cleveland, Oakland, Buffalo and Jacksonville.
  • 11-15 – Denver (from Chicago), Miami, San Francisco, Seattle (From Denver) and the N.Y. Giants.
  • 16-20 – Tennessee, San Francisco (from Carolina), Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Houston.
  • 21-25 – Cincinnati, New England, Green Bay, Philadelphia and Baltimore.
  • 26-30 – Arizona, Dallas, San Diego, N.Y. Jets and Minnesota.
  • 31-32 – Indianapolis and New Orleans.

6 Responses to “Tebow Show Hits Combine … Saturday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • February 27, 2010  - Johnfromfairfax says:

    I don’t think I’ve read anybody saying anything negative about Tebow as a person yet and hearing Bob’s thoughts further bolsters the kid’s credibility as a person. Whether he can make the transition to the next level is another matter but you can’t help but root for a person that is as genuine as he seems to make it. I’m curious to hear others’ thoughts on the draft based on info coming out of the combine.


  • February 27, 2010  - Johnfromfairfax says:

    OOPS! I meant as genuine as he seems to be.


  • February 27, 2010  - Gary in IL says:

    What’s not to like about Tebow. He’s got his head on his shoulders, gonna work his ass off. The most important thing is the team that gets him is getting one hell of a football player.


  • February 27, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    You’ve never heard anything negative about Tebow? Wow…you should get out more. He takes a ton of heat for his religious beliefs.

    I like the kid. Anyone that young with that maturity level, I have to respect. I also respect that he’s not afraid to stand up for what he believes in.

    Will he make it in the NFL? Ha…wish I knew the answer on that one. Lots of “experts” say no. But, I’ll tell you what…you can never count out someone with a strong will. And Tebow has that. Big time. I’d take a guy like that on my team anytime.


  • February 27, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    Hit “submit” too soon…

    I was going to add:

    A lot of people seem to dislike Tebow, because of this strange fixation the media has on him. I don’t see how anyone can blame him for that. It’s not his fault these guys have a hard-on for him. Leave him alone, and let him do his thing. I’m pretty sure he would appreciate it…and most of the rest of us would appreciate not hearing about Tebow this and Tebow that. Let him play some football, and let’s see what he can do. I mean, the extra pressure on this kid with the media circus that surrounds him? It has to be astronomical.


  • February 28, 2010  - Johnfromfairfax says:

    I was also referring to legitimate criticism. Despite your beliefs if criticizing a kid for having religious beliefs and convictions is the best you can come up with then you have a pretty lame argument. That’s like criticizing somebody for being an eagle scout. I agree with Mad Chief that it speaks more to the need to find something negative to report.




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