Tebow Gearing up to Face Former Coach

The Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow talked to the media during the Monday morning press conference. He answered questions about his relationship with his former offensive coordinator Dan Mullen, who is now the head coach at Mississippi State, and the offensive problems during the Arkansas game. Here is the transcript of the conference.

Media: Will it be strange going against coach Dan Mullen?

Tebow: "Yeah, it will be strange. It will be strange seeing him on the other sideline. He is going to have a great game plan because he is a very intelligent coach has been coaching for a long time. He knows what we do, and we obviously know a lot of he does, so it will be two similar schemes going at each other."

Media: How close were you (and Mullen), and how tough was it when he left?

Tebow: "We were close. I don't think it was that tough. It was because we missed him and wanted him here, but at the same time, I knew that he wanted a head coaching job, not that he didn't like being here, but he wanted that next goal, next task, that next thing he could go out there and accomplish. That was being a head coach. If anything I was happy for him to get it because he earned it with his coaching here and his reputation."

Media: Do you have to change the way you think and the way you approach the offensive game plan?

Tebow: "Obviously, he knows the weaknesses of protections, the weaknesses of plays, if they do this, where I'm suppose to look. Some of it may be a little different because coach (Scott) Loeffler and stuff, but a lot of it is still the same because it is the same offense, same philosophies. I'm sure he'll do a lot of the things me and him together didn't like seeing when defenses ran it, but everything has a strength and everything has a weakness playing football, you just have to find that out. It is a scheme every week."

Media: When you hold the ball too long, is it because you are waiting for Riley (Cooper) or Aaron (Hernandez) to get open because you don't have as much confidence in those other guys?

Tebow: "I don't think so. More so in some of those situations, it's me trying to make a play instead of throwing it away. I don't think it's not having confidence in some of the players at all. I have complete confidence in those guys out there playing in David (Nelson), DT (Deonte Thompson) and (Jeff) Demps and (Chris) Rainey and obviously Aaron and Coop."

Media: Describe how Riley Cooper's style of play is what you like about football?

Tebow: "He's a competitor. He might not look the prettiest, he might not look like the best looking receiver, but he's a warrior. He's going to go out there, and he's going to fight. He's going to block and he's going to hit you in the face and he's going to push you and he's going to keep fighting you, and DBs are going to get sick of it and get mad at him. I don't think a lot of DBs look forward to going against him."

Media: Talk about how your relationship with coach Mullen grew.

Tebow: "Coming in, my relationship with coach Mullen grew especially throughout the years. In my sophomore year, going through all the ups and downs, then my junior year, winning a national title, it doesn't really get much better than that. There were definitely a lot of highs and lows, but it was a relationship that took three years to build."

Media: How's life different for you with Dan gone?

Tebow: "Obviously, a little bit, but because coach Loeffler is a different person and has a different way of doing things. It's different but it's exciting, because it's a new way of looking at things, new way at approaching some films things, new ways of approaching football life, too. Some of philosophies might be a little different and some of the football fundamentals, too, but it's exciting for me because I'm learning new football, learning more tactics, learning a different philosophy."

Media: Were there times when it was a difficult transition?

Tebow: "I don't think it would be as easy with coach Mullen because you know what he's going to do, but it's exciting have a new routine or seeing a new coach going through the film breakdown or going through our individual time out at practice working together."

Media: Do you feel like a quarterback of a struggling offense?

Tebow: "I feel like a quarterback of a team that's 6-0, and I'm pretty excited about that. That's all you can ask for."

Media: What did you see after watching film of the Arkansas game?

Tebow: "I saw an offense that moved the ball in some cases really, really well, and we didn't hold on to it well. We had a few plays here and there we could have capitalized on, and just hold onto the ball and putting it in in the red zone a little better. If we do that, we have a really good offensive game."

Media: What else is the problem in the red zone besides turnovers?

Tebow: "We got to execute better. We got to put ourselves in better situations. Our first drive in the red zone, we drove down there and had a great drive, and we got down there and had a little read play on 2nd and 10 and they call a blitz we couldn't pick up and I got hit and the free safety tipped it away, and then its 3rd and 10. We are getting ourselves in situations like that where it is 3rd and 10, and we need to be in 3rd and 4 because then we are converting, then we are getting 1st and 10, 1st and goal. We just need to stay on schedule a little more."

Media: What is the difference between this team and the last couple of years' teams that is keeping it from having less off-the-field problems?

Tebow: "This is team is very accountable, and they don't won't to let each other down. They don't want to make each other look bad. They want to do the right thing. That's something we preach, the coaches preach: doing the right thing and doing it for your teammates."

Media: What led to the sacks Saturday?

Tebow: "It was a mix of a lot of things. They had some good schemes, they had some good players. There were a few times, they had good coverage, and I should have thrown it away. A few times, they had some good pressures, so it was just a mix of a lot of things. I just need to get out of the pocket and throw it away a little quicker."

Media: Do your receivers ever get on you for scrambling so much?

Tebow: "No. Not when they see the guys running at me. If anything, they love it because Coop gets crack blocks and gets in the game. They love that because that's opportunities they get to hit DBs, and they enjoy that."

Media: How much do you work with coach Loeffler going through all your progressions?

Tebow: "We work on it a lot, going through the progressions. Not only that, but when you do scramble, working a scramble drill and finding guys open and having receivers work towards you or work from you, finding ways to get open. We are getting a lot better at that with scrambling and trying to make plays and having receivers not just stand there but work with you and get open."

Media: Can you keep running the ball 25 times a game for the rest of the season?

Tebow: "If it means that we are going to win, absolutely."

Media: Do you ever think about things the way coach Mullen would have?

Tebow: "Yeah, sometimes because that's how I am engrained. It's not really his words, it's my words because that's how I've been coached. And now coach Loeffler teaches me a new way of looking at something, and obviously I want to know that. I want to know more football in general and know the right way. Obviously, I am going to do it how I am coached now with coach Loeffler. He's a great coach and has the background to prove it, and he has been doing been a great job here, too."

Media: Would you rather lead a team back late or win in a blowout?

Tebow: "Blowout. It's a little stressful, and it's a little less praying."

Media: Does it bother you at all that Alabama was voted ahead of you in the recent AP poll?

Tebow: "I don't care to be honest. It doesn't matter. All we have to do is keep playing, winning, and hopefully get a shot at an SEC championship. We don't care what the pollsters think or where they rank us. It doesn't matter. All that matters is what we think in this room when our team is in here, and believing in each other."

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