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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, March 4, 2010

A change Tebow couldn't pass on

By Ferd Lewis

It took a little over two years, but Tim Tebow has admitted that June Jones was right about him all along.

Not in so many words, but in more telling ways, Tebow acknowledged that Jones hit the bull's-eye with his Dec. 2007 assessments.

Comments, you might remember, in which the then-University of Hawai'i coach labeled the then-Florida sophomore a "system" quarterback and expressed doubts about whether he was a "natural" passer who could make all the necessary throws.

Jones stirred a good portion of the state of Florida to a boil and sent Gator Nation to the internet message boards with a righteous fury when he dared to insinuate to a national TV audience that Tebow might be just short of, well, perfect.

Jones said it the day the Warriors were picked to play in the 2008 Sugar Bowl, and you'd have thought he'd taken aim at the Florida citrus industry from the shrieks of indignation from a place where they are sure Tebow walks on the Gulf of Mexico.

But when Tebow's agents recently released to ESPN word of their guy with a new throwing motion and video surfaced, it backed up Jones' contentions. So, too, did Tebow's comments to ESPN. "...So I'm changing where I hold the ball, I'm changing how I get to my release point."

Not that Jones acknowledged any surprise the other day. "Anybody that knew football knew what I was saying was true," Jones said.

Which apparently did not include some ESPN commentators, one of whom had pointedly said, "I really think some of these (Florida) ESPN games aren't getting over to Hawai'i."

The back-to-the-drawing-board approach for Tebow comes after his Senior Bowl performance sent perceptions of his stock for next month's NFL Draft plummeting. So much so that some are saying he'll be no better than a third-round pick as a quarterback.

Between something of a sidearm delivery and how long it could take for him to release the ball with a windup, Tebow has hardly looked like the prototypical NFL quarterback, as Jones had noted.

The impetus for Jones' comments, days before the Heisman Trophy finalists were to be picked, was to get his quarterback, Colt Brennan, a trip to New York for the announcement show.

In retrospect, it looks like Jones was 2-for-2.