Monday, October 10, 2011

Thoughts on Tim Tebow 2.0

Several weeks back I wrote a piece on Tim Tebow and this perhaps would be a follow up after his performance in last Sunday’s loss in which he played the entire 2nd half.
In watching the 1st half of the Broncos game, I was completely bored and uninspired by the Broncos offense.  They managed a measly 3 points.  I was however pleasantly surprised at their ability to run the ball and by the performance of the defense.  That being said, I was tempted to turn off the TV and do some schoolwork until Tim Tebow started the 2nd half.
Upon entry, Tebow led 3 drives that went nowhere with a couple of almost spectacular plays that just missed (pass to Decker being one).  Again, I was thinking about turning it off until all of a sudden McGahee rips of a run of 23, Tebow scrambles for 11, and next thing I know Tebow is in the end zone after a 12 yard run!   I run to the store and come back to find the Broncos within 2 but the Chargers driving.   The D was able to hold for a field goal, and Tebow leads the Broncos down the field thanks to an amazing catch by Lloyd for one shot in the end zone.  Yes, the pass fell incomplete, but for Broncos fans, it was definitely a moral victory.  Tim Tebow has taken quite a bit of criticism as of late, let me explain.
First, let’s get the Christianity issue off the table; the criticism of Tim Tebow has NOTHING to do with his religious convictions, despite the theories of some.  The NFL and America LOVED Kurt Warner and he is perhaps more outspoken than Tebow in regards to his Christian beliefs.  Also, Roger Goodell must be praying for Tebow to become a star; Goodell has been very strict in his expectation of respectable off-the-field behavior, coming down hard on players like Ben Roethlisberger, Pacman Jones, and Vincent Jackson for violating the “Personal Conduct Policy.” Goodell wants the league and its players to be more family friendly and stay off the tabloids – Tebow must be a dream come true.
Second, Tebow isn’t the only quarterback to be criticized for his style of play.  Remember all the hassles Michael Vick had to go through (besides the dog-fighting) regarding his functionality as an NFL QB?   He is still being doubted regarding his ability to perform.  Kordell Steward faced similar questions.   This is not a new phenomenon.
Third, some folks just can’t think outside the box.  ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer seems to make a living disparaging Tebow as do many others.   Dilfer ranted tonight on Monday Night Countdown about how limited an offense would be with Tebow at the helm while Steve Young tried (and failed) to convince him that the offense could actually do well under Tebow if tweaked to Tebow’s strengths.    The NFL is a copycat league, coaches and executives see a model that works (Brady, Manning) and think that’s the only way to do it.  Considering the average NFL head coach lasts 2 ½ years, there isn’t a lot of leeway to develop a whole new system.  If we consider how much the game has changed from 20 years ago, perhaps coaches would be more willing to take risks.  Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly, in the Buffalo Bills 4 Super Bowl years averaged roughly 220 passing yards a game, and they has a “vaunted” offense for their time.  This year, Aaron Rodgers is averaging nearly 350 passing yards a game!
The Broncos have been competitive in every game Tebow has played significant time in.  Last year at Oakland wasn’t as close, but that was followed by a come from behind win vs. Houston, a Hail Mary throw vs. San Diego, and another Hail Mary vs. the Chargers again.  No, he doesn’t do it in the conventional way, but he seems to give the team when he plays a pretty good shot to win.  There’s no reason why the Broncos couldn’t develop an offense that was run first, pass second, and encouraged Tebow to run when available.  Ten yards is a first down whether the QB throws for it or runs for it. 
So I’m hoping the Broncos give Tebow a shot the rest of the way, and win or lose I know that he will always play hard, give it his best, and put the Broncos in a chance to win.  He deserves a shot to show what he can do! 
(And if he can’t do it, that’s ok; we can still admire his ethic, determination, hard-work, and dedication.)

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