After a brief conversation with Bills Hall of Famer Jim Kelly Saturday in Orchard Park, I was amused by a recent report in Profootballtalk.com by Mike Florio stating that at least one NFL scout was upset because Kelly was apparently urging the Bills to draft Florida quarterback Tim Tebow.
Said a high-level scout in response, "Guys like me that have committed our lives to our craft thank you, seriously. We desert our families and work our butts off to have clowns like this make a mockery of what we do."
Uh, "clowns"? Pretty strong talk for a scout who isn't giving his name.
Usually, I think Florio and Profootballtalk.com have a lot to offer, and not a day goes by I don't check the site to see what's happening. But Florio and the unnamed scout simply don't have their facts straight. Not even close, really.
Yes, Kelly told me he enjoyed his dinner with Tebow last week at a popular downtown steakhouse, adding he was quite impressed with the fact Tebow asked a lot of questions about all aspects of the Bills operation and living in the area as well. Kelly also told me Tebow was a "class act", and seemed to be quite confident in his demeanor. Kelly would know all about that, because confidence STILL oozes from the now 50-year old Kelly.
But is Kelly urging the Bills to draft Tebow as a quarterback? Not at all. Kelly told me that before he would recommend Tebow or any other quarterback, he would have to see them workout personally. He would want to see how Tebow makes all the throws; the outs, the deep patterns, the short passes. He would want to see the footwork, and the release, and other things that probably only another successful NFL quarterback would look for.
Kelly is not a scout for the Bills, even though he is one of their biggest ambassadors of good will. It isn't that they haven't asked him -- they have -- but Kelly has told them he's simply too busy with his Hunter's Hope and Kelly Foundation, not to mention his love of hunting, to hit the road and look at players.
Still, I had the impression he would have enjoyed watching Tebow workout, had he been asked, which he wasn't.
Kelly said he didn't think the Bills would use their 9th pick overall in the first round to select Tebow, even though he feels they are very interested in the former Heisman Trophy winner. Still, he told me it wouldn't shock him to see the Bills try to move up to a late first round or early second round position to take Tebow.
But is Kelly recommending the Bills do that? No.
For Kelly, Tebow passed the verbal "test", but the physical testing is still up to the Bills scouts, thank you very much.