Back Nine: Tebow to tight end?
Published: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at 8:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, June 24, 2013 at 5:14 p.m.
The Back Nine comes at you after a weekend where I watched an amazing amount of college football. I know, it's kind of sad that I would watch that many replayed games, but I can feel college football season coming.
10. If I have been asked this question once, I have been asked it 100 times in the last week — “So, do you think Tim Tebow will be the new tight end in New England?” I'm always hesitant to say, “No way” about anything anymore, but I do know that it's not the plan for New England or for Tebow. The plan is to have Tebow spend the next year or two learning from QB Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick. Down the road if the quarterback thing doesn't happen, might the Pats switch Tebow to H-back?
Sure, anything is possible. But New England is a great opportunity for Tebow, who still wants to be a quarterback. The Patriots have shut down the circus, and Tebow can just work on his game while there are no fans screaming to put him in and he's not doing daily pressers. That's reason No. 1 why he won't be playing tight end. The second reason is that the Patriots count on their tight ends playing at a high level in their offense, not running into guardrails with a learner's permit. And it's not like there are no experienced tight ends available. New England has four already on the roster besides Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.
11. While I was on vacation last week, I was asked by a dozen different radio shows to come on and talk about Aaron Hernandez. I told them all the same thing, “He always seemed to have an edge while he was at Florida.” I think it stemmed from losing his father in 2006 before he enrolled at UF. I know coach Urban Meyer worked very hard to get Hernandez headed down the right path. This is not meant to condemn the former Florida player. Just an observation that hasn't changed with the developments of the last week. In the book I just completed that will be out in August, I picked a new All-Time Gator team and Hernandez was the tight end and it was really a no-brainer. The guy has had an amazing career and has squeezed a lot of life into 23 years. Someone asked me the other day if I felt bad for him. “No, I feel bad for Odin Lloyd.” I also found it interesting that on Ahmad Black's Twitter page his avatar is a picture of Hernandez with “Pray4Chico” at the bottom.
12. And then on the other end of the spectrum we have a guy like Mike Peterson, the former Gator linebacker who is once again giving back to his community. Saturday is Peterson's annual Family Fun Day in Alachua, which is free to the public. On top of that, anyone who brings a can of food to donate to the homeless receives free ice cream. Mike Pete has never forgotten his roots and is truly one of the best guys who has come through UF during the time I've been covering the Gators.
13. One thing is for certain, we now understand why Texas A&M made Johnny Manziel off limits to the media last year. The guy is a loose cannon and obviously isn't mature enough to handle his celebrity status. Johnny Football? I'm changing his name to Johnny Twitter. He caused another stir last week with a tweet about wanting to get out of College Station and how he wished we could all walk in his shoes. You'd think he is the first player ever to win a Heisman Trophy. Or be a big man on campus. To me, the most interesting thing about this upcoming football season will be to see how Johnny Twitter handles everything with the target on his back. So far, it hasn't gone well.
14. Coaches deal with it in all sports at the college level. Players transfer for a variety of reasons, but the main one is playing time. Florida baseball has lost four players to transfer since the end of the season including outfielder Christian Dicks. It's hardly uncommon in baseball with its partial scholarships. Think about this — your family is paying a majority of the costs for you to attend college and you're not playing much. It's a real juggling act for a baseball coach to keep his roster in good shape.
15. Which brings me to my second college baseball point. I know that it's ESPN's world and we're all just living in it. But in a sport struggling to find viewership, doesn't it kill momentum to have a College World Series where there is action every day and then suddenly slam on the brakes and nobody plays for two days? I know why they do it that way, but I don't have to like it. Still, I will watch in part because I'm a sports nut and this is the most dead time of the year. Don't worry, though. We're only three weeks away from SEC Media Days, the unofficial start of the college football season.
16. While I was gone, the Miami Heat won their second straight NBA championship. Good for Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem. But count me as someone who doesn't buy into the Big Three nickname. I don't watch a lot of NBA games, but I do watch the playoffs. Chris Bosh is not an elite player. He's very good, but he's not elite. It's the Big Two, and with Dwyane Wade hobbling it was really the Big 1 1/2. My wife even got interested in this final because she liked the way the Spurs played the game. It's surprising that more teams don't try it. And speaking of basketball, how about a shout out to Taurean Green, who was named the guard of the year in the Italian Legadue. Green may have been the least-heralded of the Oh-Fours, but that team would not have been the same without him managing the floor. Green averaged 12.4 points a game and 4.7 assists in Italy.
17. The Tweet of the Week comes from Bubba Watson, who saw a two-shot lead turn into a one-shot deficit on the 16th hole Sunday. ``Picked the wrong club on the 16th hole. But it was still a great week. Thanks to the fans & Travelers for another great tourney!” That may seem like an innocuous tweet, but you have to understand what happened to lead to the triple bogey. Watson hit one shot in the water and another over the green. After the latter, he turned to his caddy and said, “So you're telling me that's the right yardage?” He questioned whether his caddie should have even showed up. Now, this was childish behavior, but if you're going to like Watson for his emotions on the course (and I do), you have to accept that he's going to fly off the handle every once in awhile.
18. So we bought a new car, or to put it another way, my wife bought a new car that I get to ride in on occasion. It has a great sound system so every iPod and iPhone has been in play mode. Try these downloads — “Can You Get To That” by Mavis Staples, and thanks for the suggestion Allison. “Water Wheel” by Steven Gunn, and for you old-timers “Hey You” by Bachman Turner Overdrive.
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