GAINESVILLE -- I thought it was a benign question. Tim Tebow apparently thought otherwise.
On Monday, UF's quarterback seemed to take offense to a question I asked him about the dropped touchdown passes by receiver Riley Cooper. Tebow and Cooper are roommates, so I asked Tebow on Monday, "When you got back to the apartment, what's the conversation like between you and Riley after he dropped those couple passes? Did y'all talk about that?"
Tebow, breaking the silence with something between a groan and a laugh, said, "You know, I think Riley is a great receiver, he came up big for us in the game, had a bunch of big plays. A few of those passes, I should have put more on them and we just got to go out there and work and constantly get better and we'll continue to do that and I'll make more accurate throws to him and he's been a great receiver for us all year and we're extremely close and I appreciate how hard he has worked for us this year."
Cooper caught a slant pass from Tebow and raced for a 68-yard touchdown play during UF's first offensive possession. Cooper finished the game with three receptions for 112 yards but dropped two would-be touchdown passes from Tebow. Some people in the press box seemed to think that the first pass was overthrown. I disagree. Cooper misjudged it, or, as the saying goes, he "alligator armed it."
Tebow and a few of the Gators receivers put in some extra work on Sunday night inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. When asked, Tebow said receiver David Nelson and tight end Aaron Hernandez participated in a mini-workout with Tebow on Sunday. Tebow said the workout was not to improve timing or work on anything technical, but rather "honestly, we were just trying to get lose, just throwing around, running a little bit, nothing super intense."
Florida's offensive coordinator Steve Addazio appeared to open things up a bit on Saturday against South Carolina. Tebow attempted 25 passes, which is the most passes Tebow has attempted since the Arkansas game (26). Tebow also had two throws of 30 yards or more on Saturday. Before Saturday, Tebow had only completed three passes of 30 yards or more in SEC play.
Off the top of my head, I can count six would-be touchdown passes that have been dropped this season by UF receivers, but there might be more. I'm certain that Deonte has dropped at least one. Brandon James has dropped two. Riley Cooper has dropped three passes that should have been touchdowns. Yeah, it's probably a touchy subject for Tebow.
Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry. "Tebow SMASH!"