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Tim Hasselbeck: " Tebows Mechanics Aren't Good"

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 05:40 PM



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While Tim Tebow and the Jets believe they have seen improvement in the quarterback’s mechanics during training camp, ESPN’s Tim Hasselbeck says it’s the old Tebow from 2011 season.

Tim Tebow’s problems with holding on to the ball have long been documented.

From the 33 sacks in 2011 —when he played only 14 games — to the buzzer drills in practice, Tebow needs to get the ball to his receivers more quickly.

But while Tebow and the Jets believe they have seen improvement in the quarterback’s mechanics during training camp, one ESPN analyst says Tebow hasn’t demonstrated a ton of improvement from last season.

“No, not really,” said ESPN analyst and former NFL quarterback Tim Hasselbeck. “Just watching in Cincinnati, he’s doing the things we’re used to seeing him do.”

In team drills over four practices in Cortland, the Daily News clocked Tebow at an unofficial average of 2.93 seconds (over 39 throws) between the moment the ball was snapped and the moment of release. Mark Sanchez, by comparison, got the ball in out in 2.78 seconds (over 49 throws) over the same period. Every hundreth of a second counts when a Jason Pierre-Paul or a Mario Williams is bearing down on the quarterback.

But Tebow’s extra time may come from somewhere few would expect: the snap.

“There are times where I see him and I can say, he didn’t get that snap cleanly,” Hasselbeck said . “When you watch him under center, everybody’s moving except for him. It’s a split-second, but that matters.”

In the latest preseason game against the Giants, Hasselbeck’s revelation held up as the complete truth. Tebow under center looks like a glitch in a video game; he remains still and crouched over while the other 21 players on the field spring to life. An instant later, Tebow moves, but he already may be too late.

To be fair to Tebow (which Hasselbeck pointed out), he has had to deal with multiple centers this preseason, most of whom have not been named Nick Mangold. “I obviously feel more comfortable with some centers, because that’s who you usually go with,” Tebow said.

With the Jets’ woes on the offensive line, Tebow’s snap delay may be exacerbated should his role extend beyond that of a Wildcat passer.

“(With) the elongated motion, we’ve been so critical of him,” Hasselbeck said. “You look around the National Football League, there’s a handful of guys that have the same issue. But maybe they’re anticipating more than him, or are a little bit more accurate than him.”

The Jets, however, say they’ve seen progress in Tebow’s mechanics .

“I think his footwork is really the thing that I’ve been most impressed with,” said offensive coordinator Tony Sparano. ‘When I’m watching him out there on the field, more and more throws.

. . . he’s starting to understand his footwork. And this is all different for him. That’s not an indictment on him. . . . It’s just all different.”

There are flashes of what Sparano wants to see out of Tebow. The backup QB’s first pass in the preseason, against Cincinnati, was one of them.

“That was a three-step rhythm throw and that ball had to come out. And he threw that ball on time, right behind a linebacker’s ear and right to Stephen (Hill) there in a small window. That ball had to come out fast,” said Sparano. “Guys with real slow arms and slow mechanics, they can’t make throw.”

Tebow, too, has said he thinks he’s become better at being traditional passer. Asked last week if he felt like he was getting the ball out more quickly, Tebow said he believes he

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