I may be acting a bit prematurely here, but I’m thinking that Tim Tebow jersey I got last year was a bad decision. I’m not saying Tebow is a bad guy or a bad quarterback, it’s just that he’s got no shot with the Broncos. In the second preseason game of the year, Brady Quinn jumped Tebow as the backup quarterback to Kyle Orton and proceeded to perform well. I actually left the tag on the jersey though, what other player is worth taking it back for???
In my view, this really isn’t about Tim Tebow, this is about Josh McDaniels. John Elway and John Fox are doing everything in their power to make a clean break from that debacle; a revert back to the 4-3 defense, a more conservative offense, and even a change of the name of the stadium! (Ok, not really on that last one). Tim Tebow is that one big awkward elephant in the room, the odd draft decision by McDaniels which is a constant reminder to the suits of McDaniels’s infamous legacy.
What’s really crazy about this is that this system being brought in by Fox is ideal for Tebow with its emphasis on running the ball and playing defense. It’s not like Tebow would be expected to drop back and throw the ball 30 times a game. He’d just need to hand the ball off, do a few play action passes, run a few bootlegs, sprint for a first down here and there, and make smart decisions. Yes, Orton is a better quarterback talent wise, so perhaps is Quinn, but I don’t get why the Broncos are basically throwing in the towel on Tebow. I mean, come on, 3 pass attempts at the end of a meaningless game with the guys who won’t even make the next round of cuts?
It’s not like Tebow has totally bombed in his NFL career so far. Sure he was 1-2 in his starts last year, didn’t have a great completion percentage, and threw some bad interceptions but his victory was an exciting come from behind win followed by another rally that just fell short. And in the first preseason game, with all the controversy and doubts flying, Tebow goes 6-7 with a QB rating of 118.8! Is he going to be the next Dan Marino or Peyton Manning, no way, but he does remind me of another short, running QB.
The other NFL jersey I have hanging in my closet is a Doug Flutie Buffalo Bills # 7. After initially failing to catch on in the NFL out of college, Flutie went to the CFL where he was a huge success. Getting a second chance with the Bills, Flutie managed to lead them to the playoffs after an 0-3 start from other QB Rob Johnson and another trip to the playoffs the next year (in which he was unceremoniously replaced for one Rob Johnson in a last second “Music City Miracle” to the Titans.). Flutie was a winner, what he lacked in physical prowess, he more than made up for, he had the proverbial “it.” I think Tebow has “it” too. The NFL is in love with the physical gifted QB’s, having talent doesn’t always amount to success, just look at Jeff George, Ryan Leaf, previously mentioned Rob Johnson, and of course JaMarcus Russell. Given the right system, I could envision Tim Tebow succeeding. And yes, the system and talent around the QB matter, even Peyton Manning struggled in his early years with the Colts until the improved the product around him. Mark Sanchez also show having talent around the QB can make up for a few rookie mistakes.
Forget all the talent vs. “it” stuff, forget how the Broncos clearly want him gone, for whatever reason. The biggest reason Tebow needs to stay in the NFL and why the NFL needs Tebow is because of who he is off the field. And no, I’m not gushing over his evangelical Christianity or super testimony; Tim Tebow is a stand up guy in a league full of scum bags. Whether or not one agrees with his theology isn’t the point. He took a ton of heat for starring in a Focus on the Family Super Bowl commercial last year, but at least he stood up for something he believed in. When Arizona passed their ridiculous (yes, ridiculous and probably more appropriately racist) anti-immigration law, folks were calling on the MLB to move the All-Star game from Phoenix. Of course they didn’t. And when it came time for the actual game, guess how many athletes had the guts to stand up and say something about the law? Yep, no one, despite the fact that many of the athletes competing are immigrants themselves.
I am rooting for Tim Tebow to succeed, not because he’s a Christian or believes in the Bible or whatever. I root for Tim Tebow because in this selfish, materialistic, afraid to take a stand for anything celebrity culture, Tebow has been willing to take a stand for something. Better than that, he actually practices what he preaches, imagine that! We could use more players like that in the NFL today, because whether we like it or not, kids look up to these guys and whether I agree with his theology or not, I wouldn’t mind my son looking up to Tim Tebow.