If you want to question Urban Meyer's decision to kick a late field goal against Miami, that's fine with Tim Tebow. He can accept that. But never, ever, question Meyer's character. Tebow's got Meyer's back on that.
It certainly was the case Monday, when the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback quickly came to the Florida coach's defense with an emotional response to some remarks made by Miami coach Randy Shannon insinuating Meyer was not a good person for tacking on that late field goal in the Gators' 26-3 victory Saturday night.
"I did see (Shannon's comments) this morning," Tebow said.
"The only part that really offended me was when he questioned Coach Meyer, and I have his back on anything. To say something like that about Coach Meyer isn't true at all."
"He's one of the best coaches in the game. That's why I came to the University of Florida, to play for Coach Meyer, to play for the type of person he is. If you want to talk about him, you should definitely talk about a lot of other coaches before Coach Meyer."
His voice rising as he talked, Tebow was clearly fired up about the issue. He seemed almost angry.
"I don't know," Tebow said when asked if he was angry.
"You can talk about running up the score. I don't care. They're paid to stop us and Coach Mullen (offensive coordinator Dan Mullen) is paid to score. If they don't do that, oh well."
"But you don't have to talk about Coach Meyer as a person. That's not necessary at all. What did Coach Meyer do besides recruit good guys, try to keep guys out of jail and have them doing the right thing, try to work guys into being better people on the field and off."
"He never says anything bad about anybody. He always tries to do the right thing, he tries to take young boys and make them into men. We play with character, strength and honor on the field and off."
In his comments Sunday about the late field goal, Shannon never mentioned Meyer's name. But it was obvious who he was talking about when he said
"sometimes, when you do things and people see what type of person that you really are, you turn a lot of people off."
Tebow not only defended Meyer's honor Monday, he said he agreed with Meyer's decision to kick a field goal with only 30 seconds left in the game.
"We're going to try to score the whole game. That's our job," Tebow said.
"We're going to try and score and we're going to shake their hands (after the game) and be men. We're not going to try not to score."
"I don't think that has anything to do with the type of person you are. I believe in Coach Meyer as a coach and as a person."
"I believe what he did was right. Everything here is done with class and respect. And that's it."