Florida quarterback Tim Tebow is reportedly opting out of participating in any of the physical drills at the NFL Combine this week. The Heisman trophy-winning quarterback already said he wasn't going to throw for scouts, joining quarterbacks Colt McCoy, Jimmy Claussen and Sam Bradford, but now it seems he won't do anything -- passing on running the 40-yard dash, the bench press, the vertical jump and shuttle drill -- other than interview with teams in preparation for the NFL Draft.
Tebow has a somewhat legitimate excuse for not throwing. He's reportedly revamping his entire throwing motion, a process that should take months, if not years. But his decision not to participate in any of the drills came as a bit of a surprise. It could be seen as a sign that he committed to playing quarterback and only quarterback in the NFL, at least for now. Some general managers were hoping he might catch a few passes and run the 40, simply to gauge how he might look as an H-Back or a tight end.
Tebow remains one of the most polarizing prospects in the draft, and has been projected everywhere from the middle of the first round all the way into the third round.
He remains, however, a hot topic for the media and for NFL personnel. Will he be a wildcat quarterback in the NFL? Will he move to another position? We he be given a chance to fail or succeed at quarterback before he's asked to move? Can his awkward release even be fixed? Those questions were getting thrown around plenty today inside Lucas Oil Stadium.
"I think his resume speaks for itself," said Lions head coach Jim Schwartz. "There are not many guys who dominated college football the way he did. I think if you look at Philip Rivers, a lot of people didn't think he could be successful because of his release. The same is true of Kerry Collins. They've both been very good. So maybe a little too much is being made of that."
"You can't lose sight of his intangibles," said 49ers general manager Scott McCloughan. "I see no reason why he can't be successful. If you look at Philip Rivers, everyone made fun of his release and he's done pretty well."
Although NFL GMs were reluctant to criticize Tebow for his decision to skip workouts at the combine, it was clear it didn't thrill a few of them. Scott Pioli of the Chiefs shrugged his shoulders and shook his head when asked what he thought about Tebow.
"If you're good, you're good," Pioli said. "I like to see guys who want to compete."
Does a decision to skip workouts at the combine ever factor into the way a player gets evaluated?
"For me, it does," Pioli said. "I think for other teams it doesn't. But for me it does. I understand the reasons that some of the agents and some of the players feel that players shouldn't compete here, but to me, if you're a competitor, if you're good then you're going to be good."