Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Team of coaches give Tebow a makeover
By Tim Graham
Tim Tebow won't throw at the NFL scouting combine this week, but the coaching quartet trying to salvage the University of Florida star's quarterbacking future claims he's making significant progress as a pro-style passer.
In case you haven't noticed, all four of the contractors brought in for "Home Makeover: Tebow Edition" have AFC East ties.
The men trying to renovate Tebow's throwing mechanics are former offensive coordinator Zeke Bratkowski, Arizona State offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone, retired coach Sam Wyche and Montreal Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman.
|Tim Tebow has a team of coaches preparing him for the NFL.|
Bratkowski served on the New York Jets' staff from 1985 through 1989 and again in 1995 and '96 as offensive coordinator. Mazzone was the Jets' receivers coach from 2006 through 2008. Wyche coached the Buffalo Bills quarterbacks in 2004 and '05. Trestman was the Miami Dolphins' offensive coordinator in 2004.
ESPN's Adam Schefter wrote a feature on the reclamation project. He noted Bratkowski is focusing on an improved, over-the-top delivery.
Tebow's footwork also is a concern because the Gators were a shotgun-exclusive team. He must learn how to master the center-quarterback exchange and the type of dropbacks he must be comfortable with as a pro.
The coaches sound like they're happy with how their project is coming along.
"You're not looking at the same quarterback," Bratkowski said in Schefter's feature. "To say we're there 100 percent where we want to be, no. But we'll be more improved come pro day than we are at this point in time now."
Wyche told Bengals.com reporter Geoff Hobson that Tebow's mechanical flaws are minor and could be corrected within a week once he gets into an NFL program.
"If you don't think he can line up at quarterback in the NFL, then you don't know about lining up in the NFL," Wyche told Hobson. "The last thing I told him when I left was not to change how accurate he is and his touch. The two things you have to have in a quarterback are accuracy and intelligence. If you don't, you're going to be finding another one pretty quickly. And [Tebow] is as smart as a whip."
Trestman cited Tebow's mind as his greatest asset to helping him make the transition.
"His intelligence level is as high as any quarterback I've encountered coming out of college," Trestman said in Schefter's feature. "His intelligence is off the charts. After spending time with Tim, it was evident that he learned a lot of football in his four years at Florida -- a lot.
"As a result he has been able to quickly adapt and make corrections in his throwing motion and footwork that will allow him to get the ball out faster and improve his accuracy. He has more than enough arm strength and shown he can make all the throws at the next level. He has only been at it for a few weeks. So I can only anticipate he will continue to improve."