Friday, November 18, 2011

Myths about Tim Tebow

I'm coming around on Tim Tebow as the quarterback of the Broncos after last night's miracle win vs the Jets. While the jury is still out on whether Tebow can be a consistent winner long term, I'm hearing some "myths" that are predicting his downfall:

1. You can't let your quarterback take as many hits as Tebow does. He's going to get hurt and won't last an entire NFL season.

Tebow is built like a fullback, not like your typical quarterback. Do you ever hear statements like "Adrian Peterson can't last a full NFL season, he can't take the pounding?" for Peterson or any star NFL running back? No. Think of Tebow as the same way. Sure any player can get hurt, but Tebow is no more susceptible to injury than any other player.

2. Tebow is an inaccurate passer. From his work in the NFL so far, this is a true statement (Tim had a 50% completion percentage in 2010 and 45% in 2011 so far). But in college Tebow was much better - with a 66% career passing percentage. I'm seeing Tebow miss open receivers he was hitting in college, so I'm thinking as he gets more comfortable with the pro game his completion percentage will rise. I also hope the Broncos allow Tebow to go back to his natural throwing motion instead of tinkering with it like Josh McDaniels tried to do.

3. The passing lanes in the NFL are tighter than in college, Tebow's passing doesn't fit the NFL game. The passing lanes are tighter and the defensive backs are better in the NFL than in college, for a traditional in the pocket quarterback. However, much of Tebow's value is in his scrambling ability. By extending the play with his feet Tebow often has receivers break open. Opposing defenses are so focused on the run when Tebow is quarterback that this also creates pass opportunities. There was another Bronco QB of the past good at extending the play with his scrambling: John Elway. In fact some of John's biggest completions were to wide open receivers after an Elway scramble.

I say give Tebow the rest of 2011, a full off season of workouts (which he didn't have last year), AND next year as the starter. By then we should know if Tim is the long term answer. The Broncos can use some shoring up at other positions in the draft this year. Unless a quarterback value falls in their laps I hope they use their draft choices for non-quarterbacks, taking the best player available at each selection, and forget about using an early pick for a qb. I do think adding a running quarterback as Tebow's backup would be a good move.

The New York papers were singing a different tune before and after the game, too:

Cartoon by Drew Litton

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