« UF forward Allan Chaney to transfer | Main | Florida Gators coach Urban Meyer says Percy Harvin 'has got to be in the right place' »

Behind the scenes, Florida Gators' QB Tim Tebow working overtime to prepare for the NFL

For a story on the rise of Aaron Hernandez ... CLICK ME!
For a story on the vexing Matt Patchan ... CLICK ME!

GAINESVILLE -- Quarterback Tim Tebow's most important lessons this spring aren't coming during the Florida Gators' regularly scheduled practice dates. Behind the scenes, Tebow is working with quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler to improve his mechanics and learn the footwork of an NFL passer.

This past weekend, Gator Clause received a rare insider's look at the one-on-one interaction between Tebow and Loeffler. Not only did I get a chance to observe Loeffler working with Tebow on the footwork, arm action and timing for myriad combinations of drop-back, roll-out and play-action passes, I also had the opportunity to compare Tebow's skills to NFL quarterbacks.

Detroit Lions quarterbacks Drew Henson and Drew Stanton flew to Gainesville last Friday to work with Loeffler, who coached them last season in Detroit. The Lions' mini-camp begins next week and Henson and Stanton wanted to polish their skills before battling with each other for a spot on the depth chart. It will be a competitive mini-camp in Allen Park, Mich., considering Daunte Culpepper apparently dropped 30 pounds this offseason to position himself as the team's starter. Of course, things will get even more interesting if the Lions draft former Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford with the No.1-overall pick.

ANYWAY, Tebow practiced with Henson and Stanton on Friday evening inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Florida receivers Frankie Hammond Jr., Aaron Hernandez and Carl Moore caught the passes. Loeffler walked Henson, Stanton and Tebow through dozens of scenarios from 10-yard outs, to 20-yard comebacks, to 25-yard sideline throws. To an untrained eye, Tebow still has plenty of work to do but his arm strength on Friday appeared on par with the abilities of Henson and Stanton.

The intricate footwork of an NFL quarterback is important and Loeffler stressed the mechanics of the fluid, deliberate and exacting movements needed when taking a snap from under center. From what I observed, Loeffler wasn't concerned with changing Tebow's arm motion. (On deep routes you could tell the difference between Stanton's quick delivery and Tebow's slightly slower arm motion.) Instead of tinkering with Tebow's throws, Loeffler was teaching Tebow how to get into the proper position to complete a perfect pass: simplifying and streamlining the movements, reducing time-consuming and unnecessary body motions, etc...

Loeffler counted out the steps of Tebow's transition of taking the snap to pump faking, to faking a hand off, to dropping back in the pocket. Imagine a dance choreographer walking a dance troupe through the motions of a new routine. "One, TWO ... three, FOUR ... pump fake ... five, SIX ... seven, PASS."

The most important thing to take away from this post is the fact that Tebow is working every day with a quarterbacks coach who is so highly regarded that his former players fly thousands of miles just for a quick tune-up. Henson, who played at Michigan under Loeffler, told me on Friday that Loeffler is the best at what he does. Loeffler also coached Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in college. Tebow is in good hands.

-jo-

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I like that you post links to the other UF-related articles on the Herald at the top. A suggestion if I may: Make little blurb blog posts when new stories are posted on the rest of the Web site that way the viewers of your blog will know to go read them.

One thing I think you may have a little wrong in the blog post - Loeffler DID change Tebow's arm mechanics. I believe I read that he raised his arm when throwing the ball from like 9:30 to 10:00. I read it a few times in articles that interviewed Brantley and Tebow about Loeffler.

Great info though.

Loeffler working with Shebow on being a Pro-Style QB is the equivalent of Hank Haney working with Charles Barkley in golf.

Loeffler wasn't concerned with Tebow's arm motion? Does that include the enormous wind-up Tim does?

Regardless of that, I bet we see real time results in college football from Loeffler. Namely GATOR college football. Hopefully Loeffler is around long enough to put and already improving Brantley near the top of his peers as well.

I think we are going to see an amazing product on the field in 09. I'm starting to see the RB's as being the missing piece to the offensive juggernaut puzzle. I know the question marks are WR and OL, but the WR's seem to be coming along very nicely and you have to believe that Addz will get the OL clicking. It's the RB's that I want to see create the coverage problems for the opposition. A power running game between the tackles goes a long way towards that. Go Moody. Go....Chris Scott? Everybody that has seen Scott raves about him.

Goody? What is your take on Christopher Scott? Will he be a fan favorite in the mold of Chris Doering?

LMAO @ "Shebow."

Gotta give the hater credit for trying. I laughed. Is there a more absurd description of Tim anywhere?

I smirked, I'll admit it. Pathetic though.

The key with Loeffler is what he's doing for Brantley and what he will bring in terms of recruits wanting to come to UF and play QB with such a successful coach.

Is there a more absurd description of Tim anywhere?

Posted by: 13-1LiftTheTrophy | April 13, 2009 at 03:48 PM

I don't know, NFL QB comes to mind!

No, that would be the absurd description of Ken Dorsey.

Loeffler is not changing Tebow's arm motion all that much. Just telling you guys what I've been told.

-jo-

O-SENTINEL: "Tebow has downplayed any changes to his throwing motion, saying new quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler — who has worked with Tom Brady, Brian Griese and Chad Henne at Michigan — has him focusing on footwork.

But Loeffler said he's working to get the Gators senior at a "10 o'clock" motion, less sidearm.

Teammates have noticed improvement already."

So far so good from Scott Loeffler.

We're splitting hairs here, Adam. Loeffler is not overhauling Tebow's arm motion. Raise his arm, lower his arm, whatever. He's still going to bulldoze linebackers and throw a wobbly spiral at 100 mph.

-jo-

I agree, we're splitting hairs. I was just explaining to you that I heard the opposite. Also....

"This spring, his delivery has been noticeably more overhand. He seems to be throwing more spirals, and his accuracy has been good."

"He's throwing a lot tighter spirals," wide receiver Carl Moore said. "I can tell he's throwing more over the top than sidearm.

Said backup quarterback John Brantley: "It's coming out a lot smoother. It looks a lot different, especially on tape. Quicker."

I disagree. I've been watching him all spring. Been to every practice. Watched every pass.

-jo-

great info. jo....really appreciate this article...I hope Loeffler can get Tebow prepared to play in the NFL....have you observed Tebow doing much work from under center during practice?

Note to The Wizard...Beware of the Lizard! Do you call yourself The Wiz for "short" (get it?) or is that just what you spew...

Fair enough. Was just explaining what I read...and what the players said.

The comments to this entry are closed.