The Corch and the GPOOE: pick a story, guys.

This whole Tebow’s-delivery-isn’t-NFL-ready story gets more enjoyable by the day, at least if you’re not a fan of the Florida program.

To recap briefly:

  • As every school child in America knows, Tim Tebow has a funky throwing delivery.
  • Despite that, Tebow went on to have one of the most celebrated careers in college football history.
  • Despite that, Urban Meyer felt the need to tinker with Tebow’s delivery, to the extent that he hired a quarterbacks coach to help change Tebow’s mechanics for the express purpose of better preparing him to play in the NFL.
  • Despite that, Tebow’s delivery remained unchanged in 2009.
  • In announcing that his delivery is being changed in anticipation of his NFL pro day workout, Tebow says that “I’ve never been asked to shorten or quicken my release and not have a loop in it.”

Okay, fine.  It’s apparent there’s a lack of consistency in that story line.  The question is who’s making stuff up there.

Mike Bianchi says a change was never in the cards.

… Why do you think UF didn’t reconstruct Tebow’s motion to begin with? It’s not like Loeffler doesn’t know what it takes to be an NFL quarterback. While at Michigan, he tutored three future NFL starters — Brian Griese, Chad Henne and, oh by the way, Tom Brady.

But Loeffler knew it would take a lot of time and there would be no guarantees if he rebuilt Tebow’s motion. Maybe Tebow would become a better passer, but maybe he would become a worse passer, too.

“I’ve never liked to tinker with a quarterback’s throwing motion especially in this phase of their career,” says Jay Gruden, head coach of the UFL’s Orlando Tuskers and a respected tutor of quarterbacks. “Personally, I’ve never really had great results doing that. It’s OK if you’re just trying to help them get rid of the ball a little quicker and change a little bit, but if he’s trying to change the whole way he goes about his drops and his release point, that’s going to be difficult to do.”

Bottom line is this: The Gators do not pay Meyer $4 million a year to sacrifice wins in an attempt to turn players into great NFL prospects.

Ah, right.  And, honestly, it’s hard to argue with Bianchi’s logic there.  Except Meyer’s the guy who hired Loeffler in the first place and instructed him to tinker with Tebow’s release. Minor detail, that.

But here’s where the fun really takes off.  Ben Volin, who covers the Gators for the Palm Beach Post, has a lengthy blog post criticizing the criticism about changing Tebow’s delivery.  You should read it in its entirety, but the short version puts the blame on the GPOOE™ – sacrilege, I know – rather than Corch Meyers.

So to recap everything:

1) Tebow’s poor mechanics were diagnosed by UF’s Biometrics and Motion Analysis Lab in June 2006, before he even played a down at UF, and he continued to work in the lab throughout his freshmen and sophomore years (and probably his last two years, too).

2) Tebow’s quote Monday that “I’ve never been asked to shorten or quicken my release and not have a loop in it” is total PR spin and completely throws his UF coaches under the bus.

3) When Tebow’s coach (Mullen) left for Mississippi State, the Gators made sure to specifically hire a pro-style quarterbacks coach (Loeffler), who has a history of working with NFL quarterbacks (Brady, Henne, Brian Griese).

4) After four years of coaching and tweaking and having every advantage available to him, Tebow’s throwing motion is still a mess.

5) Despite his faulty throwing motion, Meyer helped Tebow become one of the most statistically accomplished quarterbacks in NCAA history.

At some point, shouldn’t the onus to improve be on the player rather than the coach?

That, my friends, is teh awesome.  A few more days of this, and we’re going to be in the land of full-blown damage control.  I can’t wait for that steely look to cross Meyer’s face when some media hack asks him who’s responsible for Tebow’s failure to improve his throwing mechanics in four years in Gainesville.

The absolute best part of Volin’s post (and it’s worth asking where he got all this inside info, by the way) is this:

2) NCAA rules prohibited Tebow from putting in the necessary work to improve his mechanics.

– First, the NCAA limits the number of hours a player can practice each week to 20. So it’s not like Tebow could spend 8-10 hour days working on his mechanics, like he’s doing now as a professional.

– Second, the NCAA prohibits coaches (head coach and position coach) from having any contact with their players during the offseason, outside of the five-week window allowed for spring practice. Tebow technically wasn’t supposed to be working out with Loeffler that day last February. They broke the rules, anyway, to help Tebow improve. [Emphasis added.]

RichRod wept.  When can we expect the NCAA to come calling?

*************************************************************************

UPDATE: Year2 provides a well-written Bianchi-esque perspective, pointing out in this post that it’s not Meyer’s primary concern to develop NFL-ready quarterbacks.  And I agree with that, at least as far as it goes.

But I have to take issue with something inferred from this passage:

… That’s why it’s stupid to say that if Tebow becomes a bust like Smith was, then top quarterback recruits will shy away from playing at Florida.

I get the feeling that this isn’t really about Urban Meyer’s, or more accurately Dan Mullen’s, ability to groom an NFL quarterback. Guys go into the league every year with substandard mechanics. I think a lot of this is yet another repudiation of Meyer’s spread option offense, something that NFL supremacist types have been panning for years…

While he’s right that it may be a stupid proposition to assert, and while he may be entirely correct about why the assertion is made in the first place, it’s still going to be made.  And it’s going to be made ever more insistently if Tebow’s mechanical flaws can’t be overcome on the next level.

Meyer knows this.  Like I said, whatever you think of his salesmanship, he’s a very smart cookie.  And this kind of talk is a pain in the arse to deal with on the recruiting trail.  Was he trying to walk a fine line between putting on a show for his critics and not screwing up his franchise player going into a year when the program was the favorite to win another national title?  Probably.  Will it work?  Stay tuned.

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32 Comments

Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, The Blogosphere, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

32 responses to “The Corch and the GPOOE: pick a story, guys.

  1. baltimore dawg

    how long before the tebow backers analogize to jim furyk?

  2. Mike

    Hey Senator, this just in; Tebow does not play for Florida anymore and can no longer torment your beloved Bulldogs.

    But I guess your point is that Meyer still coaches the Gators and will undoubtedly continue to torment your beloved Bulldogs

  3. Charles D.

    UF’s Biometrics and Motion Analysis Lab

    What the hell is that? Do we have one? Can we get one? Is it merely a function of Gatorade money?

    I need some answers on this.

  4. NCT

    Why not blame the high school coaches? Or maybe it goes all the way back to home-schooling.

  5. Another Florida writer thinks Tebow got the short end of the stick in the deal.

    My prediction now: if Tebow is no better than a third round pick in the NFL draft, this will be the topic du jour at SEC Media Days this year.

  6. Richt-Flair

    Just curious — did Timmy take a single snap under center last yr?

    • I remember seeing one in the Mississipi State game on a short yardage 3rd or 4th down situation that he handed off and Florida got the first down. To my knowledge that was the only time they did it, but I also only caught Florida games that weren’t conflicting with Georgia games.

  7. A) Never listen to Mike Bianchi. About anything. Ever.

    B) Meyer tried to do Tebow a favor by getting his mechanics worked out. It didn’t take. Meyer moved on. It’s pretty much as simple as that.

  8. The Realist

    As much as I want this to blow up and be a huge story, I don’t really see this as Meyer’s fault.

    Tebow’s mechanics actually got worse over his four years at Florida (another reason we don’t need a Biometrics BS lab) as shown by some fancy video production by ESPN. And, when it comes gametime, I have no doubt that he’ll revert back to what is comfortable for him. That’s why I think tinkering with his motion will fail miserably long-term.

    Meyer’s job is to win games, which he has done pretty well. It’s not exactly a big secret that his offense is not designed to make quarterbacks NFL-ready. If QB’s decide to go to Florida with some mistaken belief that their experience will translate well into the NFL, then that is on them… kinda like how Meyer gobbles through elite running back prospects like pez, yet they still sign ‘em every year.

    • Again, let me make this clear: the “fault” issue per se is inconsequential. It’s the media spin and how that plays into recruiting (which is why I believe Meyer went down this road in the first place) that’s noteworthy.

  9. Ubiquitous GA Alum

    Has there been one QB to play for Corch that went on to success in the NFL?

    Thanks, I’ll hang up & listen.

    • Hackerdog

      Alex Smith is Corch’s only real NFL prodigee at QB. He’s not a success, but given how he played in the last half of last year, I wouldn’t call him a failure. He certainly didn’t deserve being the #1 draft pick, but after four years in the pros, injuries, and four different offensive coordinators, he played fairly well toward the end of 2009.

      I think a similar career arc is the best Tebow can hope for in terms of being a full-time QB. It will take him years to learn how to read defenses from under center, retool his throwing motion, and not rely on running over linebackers for first downs.

      • “… and not rely on running over linebackers for first downs.”

        *Ray Lewis licks chops.*

      • Hogbody Spradlin

        prodigee=prodigy+protege?

      • 69Dawg

        With the possible exception of the JAX franchise no GM in his right mind would draft TT in the first 2 rounds. JAX needs a circus freak to stay in business so all bets are off on those guys.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          If someone tries to turn Tebow into a pocket passer that will fail miserably. If someone tries to make Tebow a “Wild Hog” QB he won’t make it through the 6th game without serious injury in the NFL. No NFL career here apparently. Maybe tight end or 3rd down specialist RB/H-back. I actually feel sorry for the guy. The Emperor has no clothes and will soon be exposed (no pun intended).

  10. Hogbody Spradlin

    Scott Leoffler is a rent-a-coach the same as George Edwards. Call ‘em recruiting coordinators or PR coordinatoers, but they look like rent-a-coaches.

  11. we say they didn’t work on it, but I seem to remember the big hubbub in 2008 about Tebow “going to the Lab” and watching ESPN pieces on the ‘science of correcting Tebow’ in the off-season…..and that in the 2009 Spring Game, Florida did a lot of empty formations, highlighting Tebow’s “new throwing form”…

    seriously….nobody else remembers this?

    And then I remember watching the 2009 Season, and wondering where all that went to?

    So, I’m not sure that anyone can really say “why didn’t they do something?”.
    Its clear they did.
    Why didn’t it change?
    ….who’s to say?

    Does it NEED to change?
    ….grounds for even more debate

    • Aligator

      where it all went to is the new offensive coordinator was such an idiot, that at times UF was playing street ball just to win games. Timmy was ball hogin’ away …