Thursday, February 25, 2010
It's Not Urban Meyer's Job to Get Tim Tebow NFL-Ready
There has been a lot of stink going around about how Tim Tebow is tweaking his quarterback motions in preparation for the NFL's scouting combine. The blame has been thrown at the feet of University of Florida head football coach Urban Meyer and his coaching staff. People want to know why they didn't get Tebow NFL-ready.
Why? It's not his job.
First off, the NFL doesn't pay Meyer. Will he get a cut of Tebow's contract when it is signed? No. No college coach owes anything to the NFL.
The university (ahem, the taxpayers) pay him. He owes his job to them and they want a winner. Do you think Gator Nation would rather win a couple of National Championships ... or have Tim Tebow ready for the NFL? It's quite obvious.
I'm sure Meyer goes into recruits' homes and tells them that going to Florida is a pipeline to the NFL. They all say that. Ever talk to a military recruiter before? They'll tell you all about the training, skills and opportunities available if you enlist ... but that doesn't mean every one will have a cushy job waiting for them when they are discharged and it certainly glosses over what you'd have to do to get there. Do you think a drill instructor is going to make sure you are ready for battle in the armed forces or that he rather make sure you were a pretty good engineer when you get out?
Maybe that's apples to oranges, but it does show my point. Meyer is hired by the university to win games. Despite what people really believe, college football isn't the NFL's minor leagues. In the minors, teams can create workouts and training that can further develop players. That isn't the case with college sports.
Sure, if you were a high school quarterback you'd have to weigh in the fact that Florida really doesn't develop NFL quarterbacks. Aside from Miami in the 1980s and maybe USC of the 2000s, who really has a great stretch of putting out NFL star QBs? Was Peyton Manning's success in the NFL due to what he learned at Tennessee? No.
In college basketball, I can see the argument a bit better. In college basketball, top recruits want a showcase for NBA scouts. They want to go to North Carolina or Kentucky so they can play at a high level and on national television a ton of times. Exposure. And while John Calipari may work with John Wall to make him a better player, he isn't going to revamp the kid's game in order to make him more NBA ready. Let Wall be Wall and guide him. Star recruits see that and are willing to come to his school which creates more wins.
College football is much more of a team game where a college star rarely steps right in and can dominate. And it is difficult to pull one guy to the side and make him NFL ready in spite of the team. I always think of former NC State head coach Chuck D'Amato. He helped get Mario Williams NFL-ready and the top pick in the draft ... then was fired for not winning enough.
So where should these coaches' loyalties lie?