Tebow armed with new throwing motion
Advertiser News Services
Tim Tebow was the first big-name quarterback to take the NFL's stage yesterday at Indianapolis.
He's hoping the draft goes down the same way.
The man with one Heisman Trophy, two national titles and may be the most intriguing pro prospect since Michael Vick, came to the league's annual scouting combine with a new look he hopes will improve his draft stock.
"It's not necessarily changing the whole (throwing) motion, it's where I'm holding the ball," Tebow said. "I'm holding it higher and not having that loop in there. My release point isn't different at all."
The combine seems like old hat for Tebow, too.
He walked to the podium with that charismatic smile and trademark personality, then was introduced as "Some guy named Tebow is at podium C." A few moments later, a reporter asked Tebow to autograph a notebook.
But this week is not about impressing the media or his loyal fans.
Nope, Tebow needs to wow the scouts who think it could take up to two years for him to make the transition from combination college quarterback to prototypical pocket passer. Others argue his success in college, his passion for the game and his work ethic will make the transition easier than it now appears.
Tebow, as usual, has tossed aside conventional wisdom in an effort to show NFL executives what kind of player he is.
"I talked to a lot of different quarterbacks coaches and a lot of people who said, 'Wait till after the draft (to change the motion),' " Tebow said. "But I'm not afraid of what anybody thinks. If I need to change it, then I'm going to do it now."
Meanwhile, NFL executives will scramble to answer questions about the other high-profile quarterbacks presumably ahead of Tebow on this year's draft boards.
Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen is still recovering from toe surgery. Oklahoma's Sam Bradford, the 2008 Heisman winner, missed all but three games last season with a shoulder injury. Texas' Colt McCoy couldn't finish the national championship game because of an injury to his throwing arm.
All three missed their scheduled media interviews yesterday, which in past years has been an indication that players are undergoing additional medical checks. NFL officials could not confirm that happened yesterday, saying only that the quarterbacks had "other obligations."
TEAM PLANS TO TENDER CAMPBELL
Mike Shanahan said that Washington plans to tender Jason Campbell, its starting quarterback the past 3 1/2 seasons, before free agency begins March 5.
But Shanahan wouldn't commit to Campbell as his starter. Shanahan said he's still evaluating Campbell, whom Redskins owner Dan Snyder tried to replace in failed attempts to acquire Jay Cutler and Mark Sanchez last offseason.
Shanahan spoke to the media from the scouting combine in Indianapolis for the first time in the 51 days since his introductory press conference as Redskins coach.
Shanahan didn't rule out taking a quarterback with the fourth overall pick in April's draft despite major needs on the offensive line which he called "a battered group."
Former University of Hawai'i quarterback Colt Brennan also is on the roster, but spent all of last season on injured reserve.
The Redskins were 4-12 in 2009, which prompted Snyder to fire coach Jim Zorn.
REPORT: RB SPROLES WON'T BE TENDERED
First LaDainian Tomlinson, and now Darren Sproles.
San Diego has decided not to tender a contract to Sproles, allowing the speedy running back to test the free agent market, a person with knowledge of the situation said yesterday.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team hasn't made an official announcement.
The move came four days after the team released Tomlinson, who ranks eighth on the all-time rushing list with 12,490 yards.
If the Chargers wanted to keep Sproles, they'd have to make him an offer of about $7.3 million.
The Chargers have always valued Sproles as a multiple threat. While they can still talk with Sproles about a long-term deal, other teams might want to give him a shot as a featured back.
Sproles has said he believes he can be an every-down back. The Chargers have used him as a backup running back, return man and as a receiver out of the backfield.
He made about $6.6 million last season after being tagged as a franchise player. Tomlinson made about $6 million. Still, the Chargers' running game ranked second-to-last in the league.
QBS ANDERSON OR QUINN LIKELY TO GO
Cleveland president Mike Holmgren has already declared there will be no competition this season between Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson.
Yesterday, Holmgren went a step further. He said it was unlikely both quarterbacks would be back, although he did leave himself a little wiggle room.
"I think it's a long shot, but never say never," Holmgren said at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
The calendar leaves Holmgren little time to make what he called "a huge decision." The NFL trading period opens March 5, along with free agency. Anderson is due a reported $2 million roster bonus March 19 and also carries a $7.45 million salary for next season.
Anderson, 16-18 as a starter with a career 69.7 passer rating, presumably has little trade value despite his big arm. The Browns might be forced to renegotiate his deal or release him.
Quinn has made only 12 starts. He's compiled a 3-9 record and a 66.8 career rating.
DE UMENYIORA NEEDS TO PROVE SELF
Tom Coughlin isn't going to hand Osi Umenyiora a starting job to keep the two-time Pro Bowl defensive end happy.
Speaking at the NFL combine yesterday, Coughlin said he has talked with Umenyiora since the season ended, but he was also a little disappointed the veteran said he wanted to either be traded or retire if he does not start next season.
Umenyiora, who missed the 2008 season after a major knee injury in the preseason, lost his starting job to Mathias Kiwanuka roughly halfway through last season and barely played in the final weeks.
Coughlin is not going to guarantee Umenyiora a starting job.
"I don't know how you do that," Coughlin said. "Our field is a field and competition is good; just like we tell to everybody, 'Go earn it.' "
Perry Fewell has replaced the fired Bill Sheridan as defensive coordinator so Umenyiora is getting a fresh start.