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
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
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