Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tebow Mania Begins Now

By BE Coleman
College Football News
Posted Jul 24, 2008

By: BE Coleman

Hoover, AL - The scene is the Hoover Hotel, the event is the annual SEC Media Days. The chaos is fighting 850 some odd media reps to get a word in with the dozen coaches in attendance. Words cannot begin to describe the standing room only shuffle. It is a Hollywood affair complete with carpeting and the trimmings.

The Ted Nugent adage "Free For All,” is aptly correct this week as the feeding frenzy is well underway without haste. The first coach to speak was Urban Meyer of Florida.

In his fourth season in Gainesville, Meyer said that he "has a real clear picture of what it takes to compete in this conference and what it takes to be successful at the University of Florida." With Georgia expected to be the higher ranked team and a Tennessee team that may be better than advertised, is a vivid image.

Meyer spoke last season that it was very tough for him to walk in the shadow of former, “Mr. All Everything Florida,” in Steve Spurrier. Making no mistake that it is an important attribute for Meyer to beat Spurrier annually without saying the words.

Questions immediately tuned to Gator QB Tim Tebow as Meyer fielded questions.

Tebow Mania Going Strong

If you thought the media purported Danica Mania was bad, then the Tim Tebow love affair will set new standards this fall. The Indy league will sit in the dust and take a back seat row for college footballs brightest and biggest star.

Tebow was the one person that everyone wanted to speak with and that took over center stage on the first day. Flanked by security guards who would not allow him to walk through the forty or so Gator fans, Tebow saw what SEC royalty was all about.

On the popularity of Tebow; Meyer had this to inject to the crowd," he deserves the attention - he deserves it. He's a helluva guy!” The last player that the SEC Media adorned with such flavor was Peyton Manning. Tebow experienced that firsthand on this day with elevated status.

Tebow was more than overwhelmed with photographers and videographers asking for one more take, one more sound bite. Tim, one more, Tim - Tim, one more….Hey Tim over here! Tebow smiled and posed graciously with the polished shine of a man on his way.

Meyer insisted there is no better leader in the SEC than Tebow, he injected – “ask anybody in here,” that question. After his record setting performance last season as a sophomore, there is little doubt he is Mr. SEC.

Questions upon how some of Tebow’s discovered traits were called out. One item noticed by film reviewing media analysts were in finding Tebow is able to fake a toss to himself convincingly.

"We started it at Utah with Alex Smith. - It actually goes further back than this," noted Meyer who may have been a little surprised to hear the question.

Talent On Offense

Meyer said there are more options to his spread offense, (still a version of UT's single wing offense) and he has, "two very good tight ends - you'll see two tight ends in the game at the same time quite often."

A beefier Percy Harvin, Cornelius Ingram, Keystan Moore, Chris Rainey, Mike Pouncey, Phil Trautwein and speedster Brandon James all return in form to compliment Tebow.

“If Rainey becomes a very good player, he'll take maybe a couple carries away from him (Tebow). Just a couple carries coach?

Fan Reality Cant Be Controlled

The Gators coach said keeping fan expectations within the realm of reality, "is not going to happen…in an era to even concern yourself with that, you're wasting brain.”

Meyer said he is very comfortable with his offensive line strength and there is little more to add as three of them will play in the NFL, and the depth is good behind his starters.

Tennessee Running Back Coaches

Losing running back coach Stan Drayton to Tennessee due to the failure to use the position in the spread offense. Meyer went to Vanderbilt and hired the ‘Dores running back coach Kenny Carter. "He's doing a very nice job. Glad he's with us," noted Meyer.

It was a defense mode reaction after Drayton let it be known that Florida was doing nothing in real terms of a running game the previous two seasons. Vandy finished 7th in the conference rushing the football last season.

Working On It

After having measured two-minute drill issues fall apart last season Meyer said this, "we've worked hard on it. That's all you can do. We have worked at it." Got it?

Meyer said he is looking for LB Brandon Spikes to be a leader on defense as Tebow is on the offense. Spikes finished last season with 131 tackles behind Tennessee's SEC Leader in Jerod Mayo. Spikes will be leaned upon in 08 heavily.

Nine Coaches - 9

Meyer said he feels there are, "nine coaches who feel they can win the SEC Title." The Gators are one of those teams with great consideration having the deep talent and in having Tebow alone. What other 10 players are needed? Sit back and watch Tebow pass deep to himself, maybe hit himself on a hot route

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