GAINESVILLE -- Florida quarterback Tim Tebow said on Thursday that he plans to work extensively with new UF quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler this offseason to improve his mechanics as a quarterback to better prepare himself for the 2010 NFL Draft.
"I feel we have a great quarterback coach in here who really knows a lot about the next level and knows a lot about quarterback play, so I'm going to spend practically every second with him, trying to work on different things and try to prepare myself for the next level but even more importantly, prepare my team to be successful this next year," Tebow said.
Tebow recently received the Manning Award, given to the nation's top quarterback. It is the only individual postseason award for quarterbacks which takes into account the bowl season. Tebow led the Gators to a 24-14 win against Oklahoma in the BCS national championship game.
Tebow is still recuperating from surgery on his right shoulder. The procedure was performed days after the national championship game to remove bone spurs in his non-throwing shoulder.
"I haven't really had an opportunity to work on anything after the game because of my surgery," Tebow said. "I haven't had an opportunity to get out there and throw. Right now I'm just trying to get back healthy."
Tebow plans to be fully healed by spring practice. This offseason he said he wil focus his efforts on improving his throwing mechanics: "footwork, balance, keeping everything real tight and just working on all those things," he said.
On his return for his senior season, Tebow said, "There were a lot of things going into it, but when it came down to it, I just wanted to be loyal to Coach [Urban] Meyer and the University of Florida. I just love being here. It has been a joy for me. I just wanted to finish what I started. I'm enjoying it and I'll have a lot of time to do other things once this is done."
ARCHIE MANNING ON TEBOW
Former college and professional quarterback Archie Manning said on Thursday that Tebow is "one of the best football players I've ever seen. Of course, Tim has developed every year. I've seen him play a lot since his freshman year. He has developed so much as a player, as a quarterback and, of course, as a passer. I'm sure he'll admit, there's been greater passers, there's been greater runners but when you talk about just overall football player and the ability to lead his team and will his team to wins, I just don't think I've seen anyone do it any better."
Manning, father current NFL quarterbacks Payton and Eli Manning, said that that Tebow's image a pocket passer might suffer "a little bit" because of Florida's offensive system. Given time to work as a pro-style quarterback, Manning said he has no doubt "that [Tebow] will be able to make those adjustments and be an outstanding player in pro football."
Archie Manning of Tebow's decision to return for his senior season: "I think it's a great decision. I think Tim will find this out next year, there are so many special things about being a senior. Tim is just establishing such a legacy there at Florida. People would understand if he left, but I assure you that when people think a little bit more in the long run they'll remember the loyalty he has shown the Gator Nation. It's a tough decision but one I think he'll appreciate many, many years from now."
A few other notes: Tebow said he is taking a full class load this semester and is on track to graduate early. Tebow said his platform off the field as the senior quarterback at the University of Florida was one of the reasons for his return. "We have some different charity things lined up that I'm trying to get together — different things in the community and in other places I'm working on. I think my platform is great here and I think my opportunity to help others and help kids and those who are not as fortunate. I think there's something about being a Gator."