Tebow has long been criticized for having a long, loopy throwing motion and atypical mechanics for an NFL quarterback. But all that has changed this offseason, Clarkson said in an interview with Newsday.
Clarkson has a long history of success with NFL quarterbacks, including Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Leinart and potential first-round prospect Matt Barkley. Now, he’s seeing some positive results with Tebow, too, which he says all starts with his footwork.
“The footwork is essentially what caused a lot of his looping motion,” Clarkson said. “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.
“We worked a lot on slowing the game down for him in terms of on the field, but also speeding up the game for him in terms of mechanics,” he added. “Most of what people have talked about in his throwing motion were really based on his footwork.”
Clarkson did focus on some of the positives about Tebow’s game as well, and he believes that the improved mechanics will only serve to improve the quarterback’s ability.
“He sees the field extremely well. He anticipates where things are going to happen, but his relationship with his feet going to his arm didn’t mesh. He would look like he was throwing into coverage. He was throwing into the right spot, but he was just late because he couldn’t transfer his weight properly.”
Tebow, 25, struggled to find the field last season with the Jets, throwing just eight passes in 12 games. He led the Denver Broncos to the divisional playoffs just one season before, but teams — even the Jets — are still hesitant to give Tebow a shot at their starting job.
Clarkson suggested recently that Tebow’s trade to the Jets was made with malicious intent from the Broncos. He hypothesized that the Broncos planned to “kill two birds with one stone” with the deal, crushing incumbent starter Mark Sanchez‘s confidence while all but eliminating Tebow.
But the well-renowned instructor hopes that the adjustments he and Tebow have worked on this offseason will change that reality.
“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. “I think the guy can still play.”
There doesn’t seem to be much of a market for Tebow right now, and even the Jets don’t appear interested in keeping him around. But, if what Clarkson says is true, then most teams would be smart to at least give him a chance.