Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Ex-Cowboys assistant to work with Tebow
By Dan Graziano
In case you somehow missed it, former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow is the biggest story from this week's Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. Former Redskins/Texans general manager Charley Casserly, now with CBS, told the Miami Herald that he's spoken with two teams that think Tebow is a first-rounder. But it seems like most scouts around the league see Tebow going in the third round.
Our Todd McShay thinks that Tebow will be "overdrafted," which would likely place him in the second round. Fortunately for Tebow, he'll be working with Dolphins quarterbacks coach David Lee this week during Senior Bowl workouts. Lee brought the Wild Hog formation to Arkansas as the offensive coordinator under Houston Nutt and then he used it (Wildcat) to help Tony Sparano and the Dolphins reach the playoffs in '08.
But Lee won't be focused on teaching Tebow the Wildcat this week. He'll take a look at a throwing delivery that will be dissected by scouts from all 32 teams in the league and every so-called draft expert in the country. In 2003, Lee encountered an undrafted rookie from Eastern Illinois with uncanny footwork, but a highly questionable delivery. Bill Parcells took one look at Tony Romo's delivery and informed Lee, an offensive assistant at the time, that all of his passes would be batted down.
Lee was hesitant to completely overhaul a three-quarter delivery that had served Romo well since middle school, but the young quarterback begged him to make the changes. Lee helped Romo change his release point, making it much higher. In the summer of '03, Romo would call Lee's house at 9 p.m. and ask the coach to meet him up at the practice facility to play catch. Those sessions helped form the foundation for Romo's shocking rise to fame in 2006.
But Lee won't have three or four years to work with Tebow. He'll have to give him some pointers this week on shortening his windup and improving his footwork. Tebow's reputation as one of the greatest college quarterbacks of the past 50 years will be good and bad for him.
That big-time pedigree will probably allow him to go higher in the draft than most quarterbacks of his skill level. But he'll also be under a tremendous amount of scrutiny as he tries to transition into a pro-style offense. It's hard to believe now, but Romo spent his first three years in the league basically learning his craft in private.
Here's the one thing I know: Tebow's very fortunate to spend at least one week with Lee. By this Saturday, he'll have a much better understanding of the challenges ahead.
If you'd like to hear Lee explain the Wildcat, check out the Shutdown Corner blog. And here's a report from McShay saying that Tebow really struggled with his footwork on the first day of Senior Bowl workouts. McShay called it an "erratic" day.