Tebow trying to show he's a pro-quality QB

Former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow was part of two National Championships, but he is finding it harder to prove himself to pro scouts and the critical eyes in the NFL media. Is he worthy of consideration for the Vikings' first-round pick? He talks, we analyze.

Tim Tebow was the charmed quarterback at the Senior Bowl last week.

Cameras followed him everywhere. When he talked following practices, he was surrounded by reporters. Kids came running after him looking for an autograph. And Florida Gators faithful lined the fences shouting words of encouragement.

But all of that attention couldn't quite detract from the fact that Tebow wasn't even the best quarterback on the field during the week of practices and Saturday's game. That honor probably belonged to West Virginia's Jarrett Brown, but Tebow and even his faithful fans had to admit that he has some work to do on his release and other mechanical issues.

"I've been working on it. It's to really work on taking snaps from a center because you don't know who your center is or anything like that. Every center is a little bit different," Tebow said. "I don't really think that's the most important thing, taking a snap. I have been working on fundamentals a lot.

"I've worked on them. I've tried to work on my mechanics. I don't think I've changed too much."

But he's been trying. He has been working with former NFL coaches Marc Trestman, Sam Wyche and Zeke Bradkowski.

So what does all the Tebow hype have to do with the Vikings? The team needs to solve its long-term future at quarterback and some mock drafts have Minnesota selecting Tebow with its pick at the end of the first round, 30th overall, in April's draft.

Before that would happen, Tebow needs to answer several questions between now and then. First, he will need to continue making progress in taking a snap under center and dropping back. In his first practices in Mobile, Ala., Tebow dropped several snaps.

As for his release, one former NFL safety said Tebow's long throwing motion, in which he lowers the ball down near his hip, is something defensive backs love, giving them more time to react to the throw in an attempt to intercept a pass.

So why did Tebow opt to play in the Senior Bowl? He's received high marks for his character and work ethic, and his answer to that question shows why.

"I think, one, I love playing football and, two, I love competing," he said. "I think those are the most important things. I'm not worried about coming out here and failing in any way because I'm just coming out here and being myself. That's all there is to it."

Tebow is well aware of the criticisms, but his personality allows him to handle it. He takes on all questions in stride, smiles and answers them. A recurring one last week was whether he is open to trying another position at the NFL level, a popular line of thinking with his non-traditional throwing style.

For now, he says, he wants to make it as a quarterback.

Whether or not that translates into a first-round quarterback or a Vikings selection remains to be seen, but he has almost three months to continue working on his technique and trying to impress scouts at his pro day and the NFL Scouting Combine later this month.

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