Tim Tebow has decided to accept an invitation to the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, making him the most decorated college player to ever compete in the annual event which serves as a yardstick for measuring how well many young players are able to learn new things in short amounts of time, how well they respond to coaching from a pro staff, and how well they prepare and play when surrounded by an unfamiliar situation.
“I’m very excited,” Tebow said of playing in the Senior Bowl. “It’s something where I get an opportunity to play with a lot of great players and get coached by a lot of great coaches in the NFL and an opportunity to work in an NFL system and do things that a lot of people haven’t seen me do like go under center and take the drops and be in a pro style system.”
Players of Tebow's caliber don't often take a chance on the extra reps offered by the Senior Bowl, on the premise that every rep is a chance for a major injury setback. Also, if you have a stellar resume, playing more adds little, but could cost a lot if a player didn't perform well. Still, Tebow's competitiveness is refreshing, despite a resume that is quite impressive, starting with being the first sophomore to ever win the Heisman Trophy Award, a two-time winner of the Maxwell Award (Collegiate Player of the Year) and the owner of numerous NCAA, SEC and school records. His trophy case is filled with every major college football award in existence---Heisman (2007), Maxwell (2007, 2008), Manning (2008) and O’Brien (2007) and he is the only player in NCAA history to ever rush and pass for more than 20 TDs in a single season (2007).:
“One of my reasons to play (in the Senior Bowl) was because I love competing and I love what it takes to be a football player. There are a lot of things in training that you do but you are not playing football. This (the Senior Bowl) is the only thing where you are playing football and showing football skills. That’s why I think something like the Senior Bowl is very important,” Tebow said.
Of interest is that he will be getting coached in the Senior Bowl by Tony Sparano and his Miami Dolphins staff, the same Dolphins that brought the wildcat offense back into the NFL spotlight.
But what will be of even more interest to most observers is whether Tebow can run the bread and butter of the NFL passing attack, the standard dropback. The Senior Bowl could provide an opportunity to address some perceived issues such as his long release, and his ability to read the field quickly and deliver the ball to the right target. For me, the latter will be the most important skill I would like to see him demonstrate. He has the accuracy to place the ball well, and working on his mechanics will help there, but if he makes poor decisions when dropping back, he simply won't last long in the NFL.
- As a senior, Tebow was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Year, the SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year and a first team All-SEC selection (AP & Coaches) after throwing for 2,895 yards and 21 touchdowns. He added another 910 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground. He was a second team All- American (AP, Walter Camp, Sporting News) and for the third consecutive year a Heisman Trophy finalist. He also took home the William V. Campbell Trophy (formerly known as the Draddy Trophy), which goes to college football’s top scholar-athlete. For his illustrious career, the left-handed quarterback threw for 8,803 yards and 85 TDs and rushed for an additional 2,947 yards and 57 touchdowns. He helped the Gators win two SEC championships and was part of the winningest senior class in conference history.
- The 2010 Senior Bowl Week begins January 25th, and continues through the week, with kickoff scheduled for 2pm MST on January 30th.