December 13, 2011
Two for Tuesday: All about the Tebow Express
What was once a game of "find a way to criticize Tim Tebow" has turned into "who can praise the Denver Broncos quarterback first."
From his head coach and team vice president to NFL analysts on ESPN and media members who were self-named "non-believers," it seems everyone is coming around to Tebow these days.
Denver VP John Elway, who previously said he was not any closer to finding a long-term quarterback when Tebow started playing well, recently told FOX Sports that he "could have done a better job answering that question" because his reply was "a little too blunt. "I should have said, 'We're not talking about the future. We're talking about right now. Tim Tebow is definitely our guy.'"
ESPN NFL analyst Merril Hoge, perhaps Tebow's No. 1 critic at this point in time, rescinded many of the comments he made at the start of the season. "I've been wrong on a lot of levels with him," he said. "The opportunity now is to shed light on what an amazing story on how he has worked, persevered, changed, his diligence. [...]
"You have a certain skill set. Will you work hard on that skill set and will you give it all you have? You can look in the mirror [and say], 'I gave it all I had, and I don't have anything to be ashamed about or embarrassed by.' That to me is what I see in the Denver Broncos and in Tim Tebow. I've been wrong on a lot of levels, and I've become now a huge fan in watching not only the Broncos play but Tim Tebow play."
Of course there is also head coach John Fox, who once shied away from giving Tebow any credit but was seen Sunday hugging him like Tebow was a long lost son back from the war.
At 7-1 as a starter this season with five come-from-behind victories and two overtime wins, Tebow is winning over some of his staunchest critics quicker than anyone could have expected.
With the 2011-12 NBA season getting underway in about two weeks, 10 former Gators (on nine total teams) are preparing for action, though three may not be able to decide their own fate as teams continue to trade and waive players heading into the first game.
Forward Mike Miller of the Miami Heat, who recently had hernia surgery and could miss up to two months, was considered a possibility to be waived under the league's new amnesty provision, though it looks like he will be sticking around as long as he can get healthy. He was supposed to have a major impact with the Heat last season but only played in 41 regular season games due to a variety of injuries.
The Philadelphia 76ers and Dallas Mavericks are each considering trading their Gators - center Marreese Speights and F Corey Brewer, respectively.
Speights has played in 205 games with just four starts over three seasons with the 76ers but may be pursued by the Denver Nuggets if the team is unable to keep star Nene Hilario. Philadelphia already has Spencer Hawes and Nikola Vucevic at center, so the 76ers see Speights as expendable for the right price.
After bouncing around from the Minnesota Timberwolves to the New York Knicks to Dallas last year, Brewer wound up playing in a total of 19 games with the third club (including six in the playoffs) as the Mavericks headed for the organization's first NBA title. He did not play a major role in the title run but was seen as a player with a bright future; however, Dallas is trying to be aggressive in the off-season (already having made two trades) and could deal Brewer in order to clear cap space.
He could very well wind up donning a fourth uniform in just over one year's time.
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