As far as Steve Clarkson is concerned, there is still hope for Tim Tebow as an NFL quarterback. Now all Tebow needs is a team willing to give him another chance.
"I would hope wherever he ends up, they give him an opportunity to play, because if they do, they'll be pleasantly surprised," Clarkson said on Tuesday. "I think the guy can still play."
Clarkson is in better position to know than most, especially after the independent quarterbacks coach spent three days with Tebow in early February in Arizona. And if Clarkson is right about what he did in tinkering with Tebow's throwing motion, then maybe, just maybe, there's still a place for Tebow in the NFL.
Will it be with the Jets? Tebow is still under contract with them for the 2013 season, and he was the first to report early Monday morning to the team's offseason conditioning program. And general manager John Idzik offered no indication Wednesday about what will happen with Tebow.
But Clarkson believes his work with Tebow will address what NFL coaches consider the major flaw in his game: an awkward throwing motion that limits his accuracy. Clarkson said he believes Tebow has corrected the problem, which actually has more to do with his feet than his arm. When the coach worked with Tebow, he noticed the quarterback would have his feet pointed out when he completed his dropback and prepared to throw. That led to an inability to get his hips around quickly, and contributed to the looping motion Tebow has been criticized for. That motion slowed down his eventual release.
"The footwork is essentially what caused a lot of his looping motion," said Clarkson, who also has worked with NFL quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Leinart and draft-eligible quarterback Matt Barkley of USC. "A lot of what was happening with his throwing motion and why it was elongated was because of the way he placed his feet at the end of his drop. Right before he'd make his throw, his hips would stop at mid-motion, and the ball would come off in funny places. So that was one thing that we really honed in on, was trying to tie his feet up."