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Don't tread on Tebow: QB defends Meyer against coaching criticism

INDIANAPOLIS -- Anyone criticizing Urban Meyer evidently must go through Tim Tebow.

The Florida quarterback vigorously defended his college coach Sunday at the NFL Scouting Combine amid rumblings that Meyer chose winning over adjusting Tebow's throwing motion to make it NFL-ready.

"To defend coach Meyer and to defend Florida, he has taught his players over the past six, eight years the best of any coach in the country," Tebow said on the NFL Network set, his voice passionately raised. "You look at his players once they actually get on a team, they know football. We teach football, we teach schemes, we teach concepts that relate for the next level. So to defend coach Meyer, he does a great job of teaching guys to learn football, learn concepts and be able to translate when they get to the next level."

Tebow's throwing motion, which some talent evaluators had criticized as elongated, has been heavily scrutinized since he struggled at the Senior Bowl last month. Tebow revealed earlier this week that he was tweaking his delivery, leading to some Internet and radio chatter that Meyer didn't coach him well enough at Florida.

However, NFL Network analyst Charles Davis said before Tebow's TV appearance that he knows "for a fact" Meyer tried to make changes.

"They tried to work on that two years ago when Dan Mullen was the quarterbacks coach," Davis said. "They had Tim in there … and tried to work it, work it, and then everything reverted back when you got to game speed.

"Florida's trying to win football games," Davis added. "Do we mess him up now or do we continue to go on? That becomes the question. You continue to go on because for Urban Meyer and his staff, the bottom line is winning the football game."

Florida did plenty of that with Tebow, dominating the Southeastern Conference for most of his tenure and claiming two BCS national championships. Tebow won the Heisman Trophy as college football's best player in 2007 and was a finalist the next two years.

Tebow didn't throw at the combine, opting to wait until Florida's March 17 pro day, and he didn't lift weights, but he performed well in every other drill. He was first among quarterbacks -- and fourth among all skill-position players -- with a 6.66-second three-cone drill run, and he was first in the vertical jump (38½ inches). He also finished second among quarterbacks in the broad jump (9 feet, 7 inches) and fourth in the 40-yard dash (4.72 seconds).'s Gil Brandt reported Sunday that Tebow has wowed teams in one-on-one interviews, backing the quarterback's assertion that Florida players know their stuff. Now Tebow is just waiting to show those teams his revamped throwing motion.

"It's not totally changing my throwing motion," he said. "It's holding the ball a little higher, getting the ball out a little bit quicker. It's not changing everything. It's working on my footwork, so there's things that I'm working on, but it's not changing who I am. ... So I know we say that we're making changes when we are, but I'm still the same football player."

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