GAINESVILLE, FLA. – Steeler coach Mike Tomlin was in Florida, but it wasn’t for a vacation. Instead he was scouting players at Florida’s Pro day and according to a source from the University had his eye on two players.
One was a linebacker (more on that Friday) and the other being quarterback Tim Tebow who after choosing not to throw at the NFL combine, showed his new throwing motion on a cool morning in what Gator fans fondly call the ‘Swamp’.
Tebow has come under much scrutiny as to whether or not he can be a good NFL quarterback, one worthy of a first round pick or a player who will be converted to an H-back slot and go later in the draft.
Although he is arguably the greatest NCAA player of all-time and has leadership skills and poise beyond his age questions were flying as to whether he could cut it as a pro because he had a strange delivery of the ball.
Part of the problem was the fact he had trouble under center at the Senior Bowl. But since that time he has worked with guys like Sam Wyche on mechanics and he looked great throwing the ball in three and five step drops.
“Its amazing when people say well I’m not sure he cant’ play in the NFL.The people I talk to, the people who count the coaches and those kind of people all know he can.” Florida coach Urban Meyer said of Tebow. ” As a matter of fact he’s going to be a great player. Unless he gets stuck on a really bad team, he won’t be as good as Tom Brady, but there is no doubt in my mind unless the job description has changed in the pros – the college game we expect them to take care of the football and compete at a very high level and I know Tim can play.”
Tebow threw for 9,285 yards and 88 touchdowns during his career. Last season, he had 2,896 yards passing and 21 touchdowns via the air. He also had 14 rushing. For his career on the ground, he broke Herschel Walker’s SEC mark and finished his career with 57.
When asked about the pressure and expectations that have been put on him the past few months, like a seasoned NFL veteran, Tebow answered with poise.
“There is definatly a lot of pressure, but thankfully I’ve been in a lot of situations where there is pressure, so I think that has helped me,” Tebow said. “The great thing after a day like this, is there are still more times to throw for teams. I just tried to come out and have fun and that is what I always try to do and I enjoyed it.”
As for how he felt throwing the ball, Tebow was pleased with the results that not only Wyche has helped with but also former NFL qb Zeke Bratkowski and Montreal Alouttes head coach Marc Trestman.
“It felt pretty good, I was pretty happy with it,” Tebow said. ” I think there are a lot of things I can improve on, but I think I made a lot of strides. I think I get more and more comfortable every day, it becomes mroe comfortable for me. for the most part it felt comfortable, it looked comfortable and thats what I think they could notice.”
Tebow was asked about the entire pre-draft experience and had some interesting thoughts.
” This is a unique experience, and somthing that will be memorable, its been a rollercoaster, a lot of people supporting me and a lot of critics,” he said. “But that is great I relish that and everything about it The people supporting me moves me, and the critics add a lot to it. I’m a very self motivated person, so to have an opportunity to come out and throw for all those Gm’s coaches and scouts and be myself, that is great.”