At the time I started writing this six-part column series looking at NFL Quarterbacks trying to qualify for elite (aka Championship) status, the player I’ve selected for the last installment didn’t even cross my mind. Now I can’t turn ESPN on for ten-minutes without hearing the name Tim Tebow.
Growing up in southeastern Wyoming, being a two-hour drive from Denver meant I (a Packers fan) grew up in Broncos territory. At the beginning of the year my best friend from back home was using phrases like “rebuilding” and “high draft picks” to describe the Broncos season. Now he’s texting me things like “even the Jets defense can’t stop Jesus” after Tebow pulled yet another fourth quarter miracle out of his… offering plate.
In other installments for this series, I’ve used a lot of stats to make my arguments. The only numbers you need to know about Tebow this season is 10 touchdowns, 1 interception, 87.9 quarterback rating, 6-1 record as a starter, and John 3:16.
Tebow may not be able to get to his second and third reads very well, but neither can Mark Sanchez, Josh Freeman or Joe Flacco. And all those guys are in their third year of the league, have better wide receiving cores, and weren’t told by 90 percent of NFL scouts that they’d never be good professional quarterbacks.
Of course, none of those guys put their head down like Jim Brown when they take off to run—Tebow does—the guy is a prehistoric quarterback revolution; the anti-Tom Brady.
What he’s done to the Mile High City is nothing short of miraculous. General manager (and all-time Bronco favorite) John Elway doesn’t know whether to pull his hair out or break one of his glass knees doing a victory dance.
You better believe that Elway, one of the all-time great quarterbacks, wants to be the first person to say you can’t win in the NFL completing 2-8 passes for 69 yards. But it turns out in this “pass happy” NFL era it can still be done (Week 10, 17-10 against Kansas City). Actually, it could only be done by Tebow, whose second completion of the game was a perfect long-ball to Eric Decker for the game-winning touchdown.
There’s no rating on Madden for work ethic, leading by example, the ability to form healthy relationships and selflessness.
I think a big reason NFL scouts were so hesitant to take a chance on Tebow is because it would’ve been admitting their system has had a big flaw in it for a long time. It would’ve been admitting that a guy who can throw 80 yards from his knees (first-overall 2007 draft pick JaMarcus Russell) is nothing compared to a guy who gets on his knees before every game (Tebow).
He might have more flaws in his mechanics than there are yoga pants in Pullman, but you can’t find many flaws in his character. That is why Tebow has as good a chance as any quarterback in my series at making it to the elite-level.
For that to happen a few things need to be done. One: give him two-years of game experience and intense film study and people might actually use the words “Tebow” and “pass-threat” in the same sentence. Two: give the Broncos organization some time to build a team around him and let him build chemistry with a core of players. Three: draft a premier tight-end. Tebow loved Aaron Hernandez at Florida, and having a big, reliable target makes a quarterback like Tebow ten times more comfortable.
Do that and anyone whose not yet a “Tebow-liever” will be writing bible-verse references on band-aids and sticking them under their eyes.