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BC coach Steve Addazio on Tim Tebow: ‘He can win’

06.12.13 at 11:40 am ET
By
Steve Addazio

Steve Addazio

Boston College coach and former Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio joined Dennis & Callahan Wednesday morning to talk about new Patriot Tim Tebow.

Addazio, who coached Tebow during his Heisman Trophy-winning season at Florida, said he thinks Tebow can be a successful quarterback in the NFL.

“I would say to you that a lot of pro teams are going to read zone, different styles of play a lot of which we ran at Florida,” Addazio said. “It’s kind of running rampant right now. He has a great ability level with that style. But Tim was a very good overall quarterback — throwing quarterback in the SEC. He went against some of the best corners that were first-round draft picks in the NFL. I mean, that was the most pro-like league at that time.

“So my point would be that it’s not like he didn’t play against great — those are the best defenses in America, in the SEC. He went against the top pass-rushers, the top corners, not only in who he played, but every day in practice. Joe Haden and all those guys and Reggie Nelson, so I have seen him against great competition play great.”

Addazio said he thinks critics judge Tim’s performance on the wrong scale, because Tebow is not a typical pocket passer. Instead, critics should be looking at his ability to win games.

“His game has got a lot to do with the ability to run with the football, throw the football, improvise on the run, so I think he gets measured all the time against pure pocket passers, but as we all know there are a lot of ways to be productive on offense,” Addazio said. “Really, to me, I’ve said this a lot and I’m going to say it again — the measurement for a quarterback is winning. It’s winning and winning championships. Leading your team. It starts there.

“At the end of the day there are a lot of beautiful throwers out there that can’t win. And it’s about winning. I know one thing: That guy right there? He can win. And he can lead and he is tough. And if you pick a guy and you say I want that guy on my team and someone tells me that, I want that guy on my team. I may not be some quarterback guru or expert, but I know that.”

Addazio also responded to a report that Tebow was not adept at diagnosing coverages and pressure before the snap, which led to him getting sacked and concussed at Florida.

“To make a statement that that one play defined where he was in terms of reading defenses — that is ridiculous,” Addazio said. “It’s kind of like the Teddy Roosevelt quote, ‘It’s the man in the arena that counts.’ You’re doing it every snap, you’re doing it every down, are there ever mistakes made? Absolutely. All of a sudden now that means that you no longer can read a [defense] — I just think it’s overevaluated. We are just overgrinding this, overevaluating this. Picking at every little thing. Someone can ask me, I’ll stand by my statement. Pick a guy, and I want him on my team.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

On Tebow’s competitveness: “One of the great stories to me about Tim was when he reported mid-semester of his senior year — he came to school early — and we were doing morning workouts in the Florida gym — and they were really those tough mat drills, just different things in the winter when you’re getting up at 5 in the morning and you’re trying to create a tough environment and toughness. And here comes Tim and we are competing at the end of the morning and we are doing these rat races where you go line, back, line, back, line — you know, a basketball drill. He is just a guy that’s competing to win every time. So he is doing the drill, doing the drill, and at the finish line, he is diving in the air and skinning his arms the last 10 yards in an effort to try to win. And what I knew then was this was one of the most competitive guys I have ever been around in my career.”

On Tebow’s football IQ: “I have never been around a guy that worked at football harder than he did. He was up in our offices every day. He knew that offense inside and out and he knew defenses and he knew coverages. So — I mean, again — you hear a lot of stuff. I’m not here to comment on being an expert on all the intricacies of a certain offense or quarterback mechanics. But does he know football? Without a doubt. Does he know defenses? Without a doubt. Does he study and work harder than anybody I have ever been around? Without a doubt. You’ve got great work ethic, great passion for the game, great physical skills, tremendous leadership capability and highly, highly, highly competitive. Somehow I’m guessing you can find a way to make that work. Unless I don’t know football anymore.”

On Tebow signing with the Patriots: “I’m really thrilled that he is here in Boston, he is with the Patriots, that he is with coach [Bill] Belichick. I mean he is arguably with one of the very finest coaches in the NFL with one of the very finest organizations, he is with Josh McDaniels, who believed in him and understands him and knows him. And he is in a passionate fan base and I’m just as a fan and as a Boston guy, I’m thrilled that he is up here. And any way that he can help that team or that program, that would be Tim’s approach. And I have all the confidence in the world that that organization will bring the best out of Tim in any capacity they want him.”

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