Rashomon in cleats

From the People-See-What-They-Want-To-See Department:  compare Year2’s retrospective look at Tim Tebow in Florida’s passing game last season…

Perhaps more than anything else, the issue was the way that Tim Tebow tended to get laser-locked on to Riley Cooper and Aaron Hernandez to the exclusion of his other receivers. If they weren’t open, more often than not he’d take off and run. In the past when that happened it was with Percy Harvin, and that tended to work well enough. That’s because it was Percy Harvin.

This kind of thing was all too common last season after Tebow’s concussion. He didn’t get it while scrambling, but rather while standing in the pocket. He never was quite comfortable in the pocket again (understandably) until the Sugar Bowl, and his lock-on syndrome with Cooper and Hernandez only got worse. Florida’s offense was still effective enough to win all but one after the concussion, but it never had a chance to live up to its preseason billing.

… with the way Denver Post sportswriter Woody Paige sees that same player’s ability to read the field:

A good friend of mine is a college football coach who recently went to a clinic held by former Florida Gators offensive coordinator Dan Mullen. He said Tim Tebow is a great leader, a great physical talent, but just can’t process information quickly. That doesn’t sound too good — seeing that the NFL is all about reading defenses and processing information very quickly. Do you have any inside info regarding Tebow’s ability to read defenses at the snap of the ball?

— Alex, St. George, Utah

Woody Paige: Thanks, Alex. Great question. Josh McDaniels told me months ago that one of the major attributes Tebow possessed that impressed the coach was his ability to read defensive linemen and linebackers. Scott Loeffler, the quarterbacks coach at Florida (who formerly was in the NFL), agreed with that assessment.

McDaniels said he questioned Tebow about various alignments and defenses, and Tebow unquestionably knew how to read defenses.

I genuinely believe McDaniels in this case. He wouldn’t have put so much stock in Tebow if he didn’t believe the rookie was capable of recognizing defenses at the snap of the ball.

After Mullen left Florida to become the Mississippi State head coach, he was quoted as saying that Tebow was the best in the country at moving the ball “but won’t beat you with the big play” after the loss of Percy Harvin and a couple of other Gators who left the previous year.

I have gone back and studied the statistics, and the Gators had the 10th-most sacks allowed in the Southeastern Conference during the regular season. I think most people remember the big sack in the Kentucky game that resulted in a Tebow concussion, but the defender was on top of him from the blind side before he could react. Honestly, he didn’t get much pass protection last year at Florida and ended up much of the time just taking off and running.

Obviously, some of this is driven by the narrative you need at the moment – Tebow is in every Gator fan’s rear view mirror now, while he’s become the great hope in Denver – but I would think anyone who watched SEC football last season without a fan’s perspective on the matter would recognize Year2’s analysis as being more reality based.


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Strategery And Mechanics

27 responses to “Rashomon in cleats

  1. NebraskaDawg

    Tebow is Old Testament Messiah. Brantley is New Testament Messiah.

  2. UFTimmy

    During the NC game against Oklahoma it was really obvious he only read half the field.

    Percy Harvin had a quote when he was asked about playing with Favre. It basically said he wasn’t used to having passes thrown to him when he was on the side of the field the ball wasn’t designed to go to.

    I think his accuracy and his arm strength were down played while he was at UF. But from what I saw, making reads on where to go with the ball wasn’t his strength.

    That doesn’t mean he couldn’t read the defense at the snap. It just means he couldn’t make progressive reads during the play.

    • Mike

      I agree with Timmy. Last year it was 1st read, 2nd read, run.

      Tebow is a great player. He is the best player in Florida history and perhaps in SEC history. But in spite of being the GPOOE, he wasn’t perfect.

      This is one reason why many Gator fans are looking forward to Brantley. We will all miss Tebow, but we are excited to see a different style of offense

    • Sincere question with regard to reading half the field: is that a deficiency of Tebow’s or is that how Meyer’s offense is designed to flow?

      • Mike

        Fair question

        If the spring game was any indicator, the passing game is a total field offense. Brantley, on several occassions, initially looked to one side of the field and then threw to another. It remains to be seen if this will translate into real game situations, both from standpoint of Brantley’s ability and the purpose of the offense.

        Last year, I noticed several times the third receiver was running wide open. Usually it was Deonte Thompson. Tebow rarely threw him the ball.

        • rbubp

          These tendencies of Tebow’s are too nuanced and subtle to make into a competent game plan. Smart DC’s just didn’t have a chance, and then some got fired and sent to Oklahoma over it.

          I’m just sick over the unfairness of it all.

  3. Hogbody Spradlin

    Nevertheless, a 67% completion percentage is pretty spiffy.

  4. Go Dawgs!

    Woody Paige says that the Kentucky hit that caused Timmy’s concussion came from the blind side? Uh… no, Woody, it didn’t. The dude hit him squarely in the chest, not his back.

    • Zdawg

      Yep. Exactly.

    • Maybe Woody forgot that Tebow is left-handed.

    • The Realist

      Nope. I think Woody had it right all along. Tebow was blind-sided. If the rusher didn’t attack from his three-inch wide cone of vision that basically encompassed Aaron Hernandez streaking downfield, then Tebow didn’t see you. Poor feller.

      /Woody Paige is a moron

      • Mike

        I think the point is that Tebow as not looking at the DE crashing down.

        • rbubp

          Watching this clip anew, I sincerely hope Tim Tebow never gets hurt again in his life.

          I also hope he gets hit with soul-crushing force at least five times a game in the NFL.

        • The Realist

          Which sorta relates to my point. Ordinarily, a quarterback’s blindside is from behind. Tebow’s was outside of a three-inch cone of vision determined solely by Riley or Hernandez’s route.

          And, Woody Paige is a moron. This is without dispute.

          • rbubp

            Have we considered that Woody may have been correct all along, subtly asserting Tebow’s “blind side” to be in places not traditionally considered?

            Like, pretty much all over him?

  5. Hobnail_Boot

    This Broncos fan is still sick to his stomach over the draft from hell.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Whoever is making the decisions for the Broncos these days is a fool. This is textbook “How To Destroy an NFL Team.” Run off QB #1, then run off QB#2, start a retread and waste your high draft pick on an H-Back when you desperately need a QB.

  6. Richt-Flair

    Reading this stuff just makes me angrier at the defense we put on the field 08 and 09.

  7. Of course, Year2 did watch last year’s Florida games with a fan’s perspective–he’s a diehard Gator.

    And, amazingly, he can still be less biased than Paige.

  8. Dog in Fla

    Wait until Woody figures out that Tim can also pull moyel duty

  9. Chadwick

    It’ll be interesting if Tebow can pull of the reading of the defense on the fly while changing his throwing delivery. It was always interesting to me the coaching comments on the chaning of his motion. Many of them just made blanket statments that it would be easy to correct, but in game stituations players tend to fall back on habits. Add to the mix a new offense and reads ont the fly and it will be a heady order. It will be interesting to watch how this story plays out.

  10. 69Dawg

    I think the key here is that Timmy can read the formation. Big deal, in the Pros they are really very good at disguising what is going to happen when the ball is snapped. McDaniel was one of about 3 NFL coaches with a man-crush on Tebow. Unfortunately for him he traded up to get him and will likely survive on how well Tebow progresses. Beside he traded away 50% of their O when he dumped the WR. I like Denver because of Champ but they are so screwed this year.