Is Tim Tebow one the greatest college players of all time or is he just a "product of the system"? Urban Meyer without a doubt has produced one of college football’s top offenses since he was promoted to head coach at Bowling Green in 2001. In just his second season at Utah, his team went undefeated and produced the number one pick in the NFL draft Alex Smith. Early on many labeled Smith a bust, because of his great college success many wondered, "Product of a system"? Unlike Smith, Tebow is already considered a product of the system without ever having to take an NFL snap. Tim Tebow in control of Meyers complex spread option became a Heisman winning National Champ and a Florida hero. Well the Saints called and said that all sounds too familiar and they are not going to be fooled again with another Heisman Gator quarter back. Apparently the entire NFL is a little sensitive on the subject of Gator QB’s, something to do with a "Fun-N-Gun" and a guy named Steve. I don’t know I wasn’t really listening. So I decided to do some research on these Steve and Urban fellows and figure out why the NFL is blaming them for losing millions of dollars. At first, my heart was torn. Could our superman really be just an Iron Man protected by his fancy weapons around him? At first it hurt to see the possible truth but then I realized why would this product of a system be such a terrible thing after all, it worked out well for that Steve guy… is Tebow just a Shane Mathews on steroids and our Wuerffel has yet to come.
Urban Meyer started his career as a head coach at Bowling Green. His first quarterback was Josh Harris.
"Classic gunslinger who operated mostly from the shotgun formation...Blessed with the size of a lineman and the quickness of a receiver, Josh was a one-man show for the Falcons, who enjoyed their most success under his helm than any other quarterback in school history," USA TODAY.
Woa! Why does that remind me of someone? Meyer would bring success to Bowling they hadn’t had since 1985 under his complex spread option. Unlike Tebow, Harris did not have a strong work ethic but he didn’t have a problem working under Meyer’s new offense.
"Bowling Green quarterback Josh Harris has put more points on the scoreboard (23.7 average) this season(2002) than any other player in Division I-A. Quite an accomplishment for a player who once questioned his commitment to football and to a team that finished 2-9 in 2000," NY TIMES.
Here is something you might of heard Meyer say about Tebow.
''Our No. 1 goal as an offense is to have the defense defend the entire field,'' Meyer said. ''When you got a guy like Josh Harris running your offense, it forces a defense to play honest and respect his ability to both run and throw, and it opens things up,'' NY TIMES.
Josh Harris was drafted in the 6th round by the Ravens in 2004 and was released by the Giants in 2006. This last quote is just kind of Ironic.
''We are who we are,'' he said. ''We're a good team in a bad program. We don't have the budget of a Florida. We know exactly who we are," NY TIMES.
Urban then left BG to coach Utah in 2003. You should know by now who his QB was.
"Smith was not only the NCAA's second-most-efficient passer, completing 66.1% of his throws for 2,624 yards and 28 touchdowns, but also a dangerous threat as a runner, piling up 563 yards and 10 TDs. "Without Alex, we're not the same team," says departing coach Urban Meyer," Sports Illusrated.
Not quite the 2007 Tebow numbers, but very similar I noticed. Another thing I noticed was why some of the NFL coaches loved Smith.
"I believe the man who will make the pick, rookie 49ers coach Mike Nolan, loves Smith's intangibles. He might think Aaron Rodgers is a better football player (and I don't know that, but it wouldn't surprise me), but he feels Smith is going to be a better man for his team long-term,"Peter King.
Nice guess by Mr. King, Peter not Stephen. Maybe I am reaching, but It sounds like the 49ers shouldn’t have chose the right man but the better player instead (Rodgers). Also to be able to succeed in Meyers offense you have to be smart, and willing to learn a lot!
"Alex Smith began to devour the massive playbook for the coach's explosive spread-option attack. He became the starter three games into the 2003 season and led the Utes to a 9--1 finish, throwing for 15 touchdowns. "By this summer," says Smith, "the game had really started to slow down for me," SI.
The jury is still out on Smith because his last season he looked like he might be able to turn it around finally but as of right now let’s just say it like it is; 69 QB rating/37 TD to 43 INTS. Not so great for a number one pick 4 years in, but if I told you he was just a 2 star dual threat recruit out of High School you wouldn’t even expected that…But Meyer expected more.
"In my mind he's the best quarterback in the nation," Meyer-SI.
Tim Tebow was not a 2 star recruit. If there were such a thing as a 6 star recruit, Tebow would have been the first one to become one. There’s no need to go into the Tebow story because everyone knows it. The obvious is; Tim’s pinky finger has more talent than Harris and Smith combined so anything other than greatness would have been a tragic ripple in the world of logic. Even with all that talent and success, Tim faces the same problem Harris and Smith have found, the NFL doesn’t care what happened in college.
BLANK overcame the skepticism of suspicious voters, wary of inflated offensive statistics in college football's modern era, who produced an explanation for BLANK’S success. He was a product of the System, an effective quarterback with the delivery of a shot-putter who became a beneficiary of Coach BLANK’S bold, complex offensive strategy. For $200 name that quarter back! Danny Wuerffel's pass-efficiency rating of 170.61 made him the first quarterback to exceed 170 in consecutive seasons. He set an S.E.C. record with 3,625 passing yards. He led the nation with 39 touchdown passes. If the Gators first hero Danny didn’t come from a product of a system would Steve Spurrier and the 90’s Gators been so great? Sure I would love to have both, a extremely successful college team that produced hall of fame QB’s. But would you sacrifice your team’s success for that NFL pro to be Brett Favre?
If you don’t respect what Steve Spurrier did for the Gators you are either 10 years old or an idiot. Prior to Spurrier the Gators never accomplished anything in their existence except one Heisman trophy….oh wait. Spurrier compiled a staggering 122-27-1 (.817) record during 12 seasons at Florida (1990-2001), winning six SEC championships and one national title. In 15 seasons with the Gators and at Duke (1987-89), his teams finished in the top 10 nationally in passing offense 12 times and the top 10 in total offense nine times. Every single starting QB at UF who played under Spurrier made it to the NFL except for one. Noah Brindise. Otherwise in order from start to finish Shane Mathews, Danny Wuerffel, Doug Johnson, Jesse Palmer, Rex Grossman all made it and played in the NFL for several seasons if not more. Only problem is not one of them ever made a pro bowl. So respect Spurrier’s talent for being able to recruit top ranked kids to play in his system, but for the most part I would thank Spurriers "Fun-N-Gun". That is what made the old ball coach so successful, his offensive system that may have produced many quality NFL backups into looking like Joe Montana. The late 80’s the Gators wasn’t pulling in #1 recruiting titles left in right. So Spurrier needed his system because it was clear the past 70 years or however long of basic college formations wasn’t working for the Gators.
Spurrier's innovative playbook puts his receivers in position to get open, and his expert quarterback tutelage has turned lightly regarded prospects such as Shane Matthews, Danny Wuerrfel and Rex Grossman into adept passers who can instinctively locate and hit the right man. His offense stretches the field and keeps defenses from creeping up, while the presence of a solid running game prevents them from focusing exclusively on pass coverage. "The first key is pass protection -- giving the quarterback enough time," says Spurrier. "After that, it's getting guys open. The QB has to know where the receivers are going, how the defenses cover them. You need a smart guy who will make smart decisions 95 percent of the time."In fact, it's the threat of the run that helps open up his preferred passing game, which involves "pitching" the ball all over the field. "It's a style of offense that uses a lot of draw plays and play-action off that," says Spurrier," SI.
To bad USC can’t pull quality NFL backup recruits for his system to work there.
So finally to reach my point in this long post if Urban Meyer’s system can continue to bring success that the Gators have had in the last 5 seasons then I am sorry, I am a Gator fan first, Tebow fan second.
I don’t think Alex Smith or Harris could do what Tim did at UF. If it took Smith 4 seasons to excel in the NFL, maybe it will only take Tebow one or two. (It kills the Tebow fan in me to suggest he isn't the next Vince Young without the drama)but...I can’t honestly say Tim Tebow is not a product of a system. I can honestly say Tim Tebow was one of the greatest of all time college players. Show me any all time great and I will show you an ERA or system that utilized his potential. Put those players in a different ERA or different style of play and they may still have been great but I doubt their potential would have been reached like Tebow at Florida. But was Urban Meyer’s system perfectly matched and could it not excel any higher unless it is under the control of Tim?
Meyer's offense can be more taxing on a quarterback than a 250-pound linebacker with 4.4-second speed. Meyer's complex system requires a quarterback to make multiple reads at the line of scrimmage before the football is snapped. Once the quarterback gets the snap from center, he must read the defensive end and then make a split-second decision -- whether to run with the football, hand it to a running back or shovel to a wide receiver in motion. The quarterback can audible out of any play by moving receivers and running backs to exploit gaps in the defense's alignment.
I give you John Brantley!
6-foot-3, 192-pounder, who has committed to Florida, is rated Florida's No. 1 quarterback and the nation's No. 25 overall recruit in the Class of 2007 by RISE.
After all, his father was a quarterback at Florida from 1975-79 and started for the Gators in 1978, while his uncle, Scot, starred at linebacker for Florida from 1976-79 and played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1980-87.
Brantley's dad coached him throughout youth football and on Trinity Catholic's JV team as a freshman. The hard work the two put in together translated into a quarterback who was advanced for his age, both physically and mentally, and was ready to handle varsity coach Kerwin Bell's advanced offensive attack by the time Brantley entered his sophomore season.
Bell, who became Trinity Catholic's first head coach when the program started in 2002, installed a pro-style offense predicated on timing and quick decisions. Anyone learning the offense would need time to study it before being thrown into the fire. Still, Brantley was far too valuable to just be carrying a clipboard on the sidelines.
Bell played quarterback at Florida. Bell finished his collegiate career with then-SEC records of 7,585 yards passing and 56 touchdown passes and went on to play 13 years of pro football in the NFL, CFL and World League
In fact, Brantley's mother, Karen, even graduated from Florida's school of nursing.
"There's three qualities to being a great quarterback," says Bell. "You've got to have great feet, the ability to make all the throws and all the intangibles. A lot of times you get one out of three or maybe two out of three. This guy has all three. As he matures, I think he has the physical abilities, if he continues to work hard and progresses, to be a John Elway-type of player. I only say that because he has those three qualities," SI.
THAT WOULD BE AMAZING, JOHN ELWAY IN MEYERS SPREAD OPTION! We love yah Tim, but it’s Go Gators not Go Tim.