MOBILE, Ala. — Back in 1992, when I first saw Danny Wuerffel on the Florida practice field, I quickly formed an opinion about the true freshman quarterback. My thought was: this kid can’t play. His throwing motion was short and awkward. His passes fluttered off target. He didn’t look like much of a prospect at all.
Then a few days later, the Gators scrimmaged — and the real Danny Wuerffel emerged. When it meant something, he elevated his game to another level. His passes were crisp and on target. He moved the offense up and down the field.Wuerffel didn’t always look good in practice, but when it was game time, he transformed himself into Mr. Perfect.
I bring this up now because it seems to me Tim Tebow is going through a similar thing this week at the Senior Bowl. He hasn’t looked all that great in practice, something that has brought the wrath of the talking heads, many of whom have trashedTebow for his mechanics and the way he’s thrown the ball this week. I have a feeling those same guys who ripped Tebow earlier in the week will be stunned by what they see in today’s game.
Like Wuerffel, his boyhood hero, Tebow has a way of elevating his game when the lights come on and it’s time to play the game. He’s done it throughout his Florida career. There’s no reason for me to believe it won’t happen again in the Senior Bowl.
I’ve talked to Tebow every day this week, and every time he’s brought up the point that he is a very self-motivated person, and he will be motivated for this game. Believe me, he’s heard some of the critical comments that have been made about him. Many of those critics left town after Wednesday’s practice. If they had hung around for one more practice (on Thursday), they would have seen the same TimTebow I’ve seen for the last four years. Obviously more comfortable in the offense than he was earlier in the week, Tebow looked like, well, an NFL quarterback the way he moved the offense in the two-minute drill. He was in command, leading and getting his teammates lined up right and firing off the plays. He threw tight spirals that were right on target.
I know there are a lot of Tebow doubters out there, but he has a chance to change some minds with his performance Saturday. And I think he will.
That’s my final prediction for the football season.