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Broncos’ Tebow working on mechanics at UCLA camp

By Scott M. Reid, The Orange County Register –

LOS ANGELES — Jim Mora was walking around the UCLA campus Thursday when he came across Venus and Serena Williams hitting with each other at the campus tennis center.

“It’s like where am I?” Mora said.

Only yards away another unlikely scene was taking place at Spaulding Field, the UCLA football practice field, where Denver Broncos quarterback/cultural sensation Tim Tebow was playing catch with San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers.

“A little Tebowmania going on on the UCLA campus,” Mora said.

Tebow has been working on his mechanics twice a day this week with new Bruins offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone and his son Taylor at UCLA. Tebow has been joined in working with the Mazzones by Rivers and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder.

The Mazzones having been working with Tebow on his much talked about throwing motion as well as other technical issues.

“Just working on mechanics like every quarterback coach in the country works on,” Noel Mazzone, hired by UCLA away from Arizona State in December, said of his sessions with Tebow.

Tebow’s mechanics became a sort of national talking point as the country became captivated last fall by Tebowmania and the Broncos unlikely march to the NFL playoffs.

Tebow ranked No. 27 in the NFL in quarterback rating (72.9) and completed just 46.5 percent of his passes for 12 touchdowns with six interceptions.

“I think what’s pretty cool is he’s taken an interest and understands what he needs to work on,” Noel Mazzone said.

Mazzone first began working with Tebow before the Heisman Trophy winner’s pro day at Florida before the 2010 NFL draft.

“And we just struck up a relationship,” Mazzone said.

Noel and Taylor Mazzone, an ASU grad assistant last season, are credited with former Florida State quarterback Ponder’s surprise move up to the No. 12 pick overall in the 2011 draft. The father and son team worked with Ponder for four months as he prepared for the Senior Bowl, his private workouts and the NFL combine.

Ponder, however, like Tebow struggled with his throwing in 2011. The Vikings rookie was No. 30 in the NFL in QB rating (70.1), completing 54.3 percent of his passes for 1,853 yards and 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

Rivers goes back with Noel Mazzone 2003 at North Carolina State where Mazzone was the Wolfpack offensive coordinator.

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