Cimini: Practice report: Tebow shines, Hill drops
CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Tim Tebow was a rock star Sunday at practice. He had a small cheering section in the bleachers, with one female fan holding a banner that said: "Tim, you put the stud in bible study."
Tebow didn't disappoint his admirers, enjoying one of his better practices. In team drills, he 9-for-12 (two drops), plus a 25-yard TD run on a designed rollout from under center. He did, however, make a couple of mental errors in a "Gotta-have-it" drill at the end of practice.
On a fourth-down play in the red zone, with the game clock winding down, Tebow completed a ball to WR Patrick Turner, but it was well short of the end zone. He got an earful from coordinator Tony Sparano.
QB Mark Sanchez struggled a bit with his accuracy (7-for-15, one drop), especially in a two-minute drill. On a fourth-down player, Sanchez was intercepted by nickel back Kyle Wilson (his second of the day). The ball was intended for rookie WR Jordan White, and there may have been a miscommunication.
KIDDIE CORPS: It was a tough day for rookie WR Stephen Hill, who had a key third-down drop in the preseason opener. This time, he dropped a fourth-and-5 pass from Sanchez, a blantant case of a receiver trying to run before he caught the ball. In that situation, he needed to show better awareness. Possession was more important than yards-after-catch. On the very next play, Hill ran the wrong route on an audible by Sanchez.
This is some of the stuff that happens when you're dealing with an experienced receiving corps. Hill had a nice moment in a 7-on-7 drill, hauling in a 50-yard TD pass from Tebow. But he beat LB Josh Mauga on the play, so don't get too giddy.
INJURY REPORT: WR Santonio Holmes (rib), NT Sione Pouha (head/back), WR Chaz Schilens (ankle), LB Ricky Sapp (ankle) and RT Stephon Heyer (undisclosed) didn't practice. Curiously, Pouha wasn't even on the field. A team spokesman said his absence was injury related, but he declined to say whether it was due to the stitches he received in his forehead about 10 days ago.
WR Jeremy Kerley, who admitted afterward that he's recovering from a slight hamstring tear, was on the field to field punts, but that was it.
WOE IS JOE: Tough camp for RB Joe McKnight. He got in a fight, suffered food poisoning after eating at a local restaurant and sustained a stinger in one practice. On Sunday, he left practice with an apparent ankle injury. He rolled his ankle while cutting into a hole. He limped off the field and received attention from the training staff. No word on his status.
WAYNE'S WORLD: RT Wayne Hunter (lower back) returned to practice after missing a few days. He shared reps with Austin Howard, but Hunter was limited because of the injury.
ODDS AND ENDS: Nice practice for DT Marcus Dixon (two sacks) ... Two interceptions for Wilson, who caught one off the hands of RB Bilal Powell ... This might have been QB Greg McElroy's best practice of camp. He hit WR Wes Kemp on a 47-yard post route (beautiful throw) and he showed good arm strength on a nice sideline completion to Powell, who beat LB Demario Davis ... WR Dexter Jackson dropped a well-thrown deep ball by Tebow ... WR Eron Riley beat CB Ryan Steed for a 60-yard TD, a nice throw by McElroy ... A lot of the practice was devoted to situational stuff -- fourth downs, red zone and two-minute.