Tim Tebow: Not done with NFL despite ESPN job

Tim Tebow will continue chasing his goal to be a NFL

quarterback, even after signing on to help ESPN launch the SEC

Network this fall.

The former Florida Gator said Tuesday he trains five days a week

for a return to the league.

”I feel like I’m the best that I’ve ever been as a quarterback

right now. I hope I get the opportunity to show that,” he said.

”But I’m also looking forward to being part of `SEC Nation’ and

part of ESPN.”

The 26-year-old Heisman Trophy winner signed on Monday to be on

the SEC Network’s pregame show starting in August. He’ll be part of

the crew that will travel to Southeastern Conference schools in

advance of SEC games on the fledgling network.

Tebow’s first ”SEC Nation” show will be on Aug. 28 before

Texas A&M opens the season at South Carolina, a game that will

be shown exclusively on the SEC Network. Tebow and the show then

head to Auburn on Aug. 30 where the Tigers will take on

Arkansas.

That is, of course, if Tebow doesn’t get a call from the NFL

that has him tied up that weekend.

”I’m not sure what’s ahead of me,” Tebow said. ”I’m very

excited to have this opportunity at ESPN, but who knows what the

next few months will hold.”

Tebow has bounced around the NFL since leaving Florida as part

of two national champions.

He was a first-round selection by Denver and then head coach

Josh McDaniels in 2010. He took over as starting quarterback

mid-season in 2011 became one of the NFL’s biggest stories as he

went 7-1 in his first eight starts in 2011 then threw an 80-yard

touchdown pass on the first play of overtime to give the Broncos a

29-23 playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

But there were still doubts about his passing ability, and

Denver traded him that offseason to the New York Jets after

acquiring Peyton Manning.

He languished on the bench while coach Rex Ryan ignored fans’

calls for Tebow to replace a struggling Mark Sanchez. Tebow threw

just eight passes, ran only 32 times and was cut last April 29.

For six weeks no team wanted him until the Patriots signed him

to a low-risk, two-year contract with no guaranteed money.

”I don’t have any regrets” about the NFL, Tebow said. ”I’ve

just tried to focus on being a better quarterback, being a better

athlete and being ready whenever a team gave me a call.”

Tebow said he’s spoken with several friends who are analysts,

including his former coach at Florida in Urban Meyer, who worked

for ESPN between his time with the Gators and his current position

as Ohio State head coach.

Justin Connolly, ESPN senior vice president for college networks

programming, said Tebow was important enough to ESPN that the

network accepted he might not be finished with the NFL.

”In terms of specific situations, I don’t want to get ahead of

ourselves and comment on any particular eventuality or scenario

that you could put together,” Connolly said. ”But that’s a key

piece of this relationship and we’re going to honor that and

respect it.”

Connolly was asked on Tuesday’s conference call if Tebow’s faith

– he’s a noted speaker who’s gained followers and critics for

sharing his religious beliefs – might enter into his analysis.

Connolly stressed Tebow was hired for his inside knowledge of

football and the SEC.

”That’s what the audience expects from him,” Connolly

said.