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September 14, 2012
MORE FLORIDA FOOTBALL: Speak Up: Four former players talk Florida football | Gators in great shape for former Rivals100 member | UF wants to make Tennessee one-dimensional | 10 Questions: Florida-Tennessee | Freshman Morrison ready to start | Four-star's mother favors Florida UF-A&M Breakdown - A tale of two halves | Florida defense looking to expose Bray | Coveted 2014 corner still interested in Florida | 2014 commit Valentine plans return trip to Florida | Impact Analysis: Injuries pile up | Pease Notebook: Line a team strength | Driskel wants to play smarter | Florida bitten by injury bug | Following the Future: Week 2 (free) | Scenes from Saturday (85 free photos from UF-A&M game) | Post game uncensored sound off (free)
In order to make sure Florida Gators-related news stories don't fall through the cracks, once or twice a week The Silver Lining will take on a "news and notes" format to keep you up-to-date with the latest goings on in the world of University of Florida athletics.
Looking to stir up controversy rather than report something meaningful, the New York Daily News posted a story late Wednesday night that cited an anonymous source who said that New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow is expected to request a trade if he is not made the starter at some point before the 2013 season begins. However the source, which is neither listed as being close to Tebow or the team in particular, explains that it came up with this concept simply based on Tebow's "football-aholic" attitude and the fact that he would not ruffle the team's feathers in-season because he is "the quintessential team player." Tebow obviously wants to start at quarterback in the NFL and should most definitely seek out that opportunity any time he has the chance. But to suggest he has grand plans of requesting a trade just one game into the season is simply incorrect.
In an interview with NBA.com, Houston Rockets forward Chandler Parsons talked about how hard he has been working throughout the summer to try to make a major leap in his second year as a professional basketball player. Parsons, who played quite well as a rookie but only managed to shoot .452 from the field and .551 from the line, equated those low percentages with getting tired during games. "I had a tendency to shoot the ball almost as if I was aiming it, which would cause it to be flat because I wasn't using my legs," he said. "So first and foremost, I've definitely been emphasizing getting my legs stronger - which they are stronger now. I want to shoot the ball high and soft, especially at the free throw line."
NFL teams are obviously learning what Florida fans knew during Urban Meyer's tenure with the Gators - there is plenty of speed coming out of Gainesville, FL. That is why there are now three former Florida football players currently serving as starting kick returners in the league after the Baltimore Ravens promoted undrafted free agent rookie wide receiver Deonte Thompson to that role this week. Thompson joins Minnesota Vikings WR Percy Harvin and fellow rookie RB/WR Chris Rainey of the Pittsburgh Steelers as Gators who are returning kicks for their respective teams this season. (If New England Patriots rookie RB Jeff Demps was not placed on injured reserve by his team, he would be, too.) Harvin and Rainey will also help out in the punt game as did Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden on occasion last season.
Instead of building on his solid first game with the Browns this season, Haden will be forced to sit out the next four contests after the NFL threw down the hammer on him for testing positive for a banned substance (Adderall) while taking a random drug test in the offseason. Haden, who appealed the suspension but had said appeal denied by the NFL, apologized to his teammates on Sunday. According to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, Cleveland is being very supportive of Haden and the teammates all have his back. "Joe's a hard guy to replace," Browns linebacker Scott Fujita told the paper. "I think he's one of the top five or six cover corners in the league right now. He's so competitive. He challenges every single throw. It's going to be tough on him and tough on us."
Not everyone in and around Knoxville, TN is a Tennessee fan, which is why some notable Florida fans got a bit of extra publicity recently from WBIR NBC 10. One of them, mailman Eric Oakes, makes sure to wear his Gators hat every time the two teams square off and has been given plenty of grief for doing so by former coaches Johnny Majors and Bruce Pearl. Another, TJ Weston, explained that the expectation of winning and therefore lack of gloating from Florida fans in the area is what bothers Tennessee the most. "When you win, you don't have to gloat," he said. "People expect you to, and I think it bothers them more when you don't say anything."
Gators soccer and volleyball will both open up Southeastern Conference play this weekend with a pair of matches. No. 22 soccer (3-2-1) will try to brush off some early season disappointments by tackling a pair of road contests against Kentucky on Friday and Auburn on Sunday. No. 13/15 volleyball (6-2) will also hit the road for two matches as they are set to face Arkansas on Friday and Kentucky on Sunday (both games will be aired live locally on ESPN 850 radio). Also competing this weekend is cross country in the Mountain Dew Invitational and men's tennis in the Bedford Cup; both events are being held in Gainesville, FL.