Tebow goes from hero to NFL outcast

By Mark Cannizzaro

September 28, 2013 | 3:59pm



Mark Cannizzaro

Mark Cannizzaro

A year ago, even though he was playing only a little and producing even less, Tim Tebow was all the rage with the Jets. Based on his rabid following, he was perceived to be the most interesting backup quarterback in the world.

Two years ago, he was helping lead the Broncos into the playoffs and upsetting the Steelers in a playoff game. He was one of the darlings of the league, an improbable story, a marketer’s dream.

Today, Tebow is out of football, working out on his own and staring at phones that are not ringing.

The last thing we heard publicly from Tebow came in the form of an Aug. 31 tweet he posted after the Patriots cut him. The tweet, from @TimTebow, read: “I would like to thank Mr. [Robert] Kraft, Coach [Bill] Belichick, [offensive coordinator Josh] McDaniels and the entire Patriots organization for giving me the opportunity … ’’

According to his Twitter account, the tweet was posted at 3:16 p.m. that day (of course it was).

Since then, Tebow has been a quarterback without a team (reports have said not even the Canadian League is interested), and that’s a development that saddens former Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde, who helped school Tebow on mechanics in the spring.

“He’s as hard a worker as I’ve ever been around,’’ Testaverde told The Post on Friday. “He’s focused, he’s dedicated and he is everything what you want in a player. As far a work ethic and dedication and being a great teammate, he is the poster boy for all that. Unfortunately, he just needs to continue to work on his quarterback skills if he wants to be a quarterback in the NFL.’’

Testaverde said he’s surprised Tebow is not on an NFL roster at all, but he said he does not “know all the dynamics.’’

“I feel bad for him, but I don’t know what he’s told other teams — whether he is saying, ‘I just want to be a quarterback,’ or if he is open to playing other positions,” Testaverde said. “ My feeling on it is, tell anybody and everybody that you’ll do whatever it takes to make the team, whether it’s returning kicks or being a personal protector on the punt team. Then, once you’re there on a team, you can work on your quarterbacking. Get on a team first, learn the offense, do what they ask you, and then whether you stay after practice or sneak into quarterback meeting rooms [is up to you].

“You do what it takes. Unfortunately for him, he’s not on a team, and at this point he just needs to go somewhere and play football and work on his craft.’’

Testaverde, who was recommended to Tebow through mutual acquaintances, helped him with his footwork and reading defenses for a few weeks in the spring.

He, like many, thought the Patriots were the perfect landing spot for Tebow because of Belichick. Testaverde said he thinks if Belichick had not encountered so many question marks on the team because of injury, he “probably would have kept Tim and helped him develop into a nice quarterback.’’

“But Bill lost his tight ends, and [receiver] Wes Welker is not there, so he’s missing some pieces trying to groom new guys, and it’s hard to keep somebody that can’t help you right now on your team,’’ he said. “I think Tim is a victim of that in New England.’’

Rex Ryan, Tebow’s coach with the Jets, who released him in the offseason, said he “thought he’d get picked up’’ after the Patriots cut him.

“As a personal punt protector, what he did for us flew under the radar a bit,’’ Ryan said. “We did fake three or four punts, and we were successful on every one of them. He’s a good football player. Is he a stand back, drop-back, five-to-seven-step guy? No. But he’s got certain skill sets that he can do certain things.’’

Jets guard Willie Colon, who was on the Steelers team Tebow upset in the playoffs two years ago, said, “I think Tebow has to just stop playing quarterback and invest in another position. Be willing to do that.’’

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17 Responses to “Tebow goes from hero to NFL outcast”

  1. Lynn says:

    That is absolutely a hoot that Tim sent those tweets at 3:16 p.m. I had not noticed that. It was actually five tweets, so 12 seconds each to type and send five within a minute… they all five say 3:16 p.m., he surely must have typed them ahead and waited for the clock to click on to 3:16 to paste and send them. Pretty cool. Amazing that Tim thought of that or that someone in the press noticed it! If someday we find out it was a “coincidence” like the 316s in the Steeler’s game it will utterly blow my mind.

    For all that happened with the Jets it was never my perception that Rex had anything against Tim or that he did not want to play him more. I believe he was hindered by others (i.e. Tannenbaum and Sparano) and I respect him for speaking well of Tim to the media at this point.

  2. jason says:

    Rex has the problem of not having much interest in offense, he really needs to be a DC again. Sparano wasn’t going to change the offense and no one was gonna make him. Tim should’ve picked going to the jags not the jets. I know a year after the fact he said they didn’t give him a choice but when it happened every report out of tim’s camp said he did and it sounded like he was trying to revise history instead of just saying he made a mistake in picking the jets.
    The jets were just unprepared as for as what to do with him after sparano wasn’t gonna run a system for tebow. I don’t think any coach or GM dislikes tim they just don’t trust what he does will work long term for a team given what they all see of his fundamemtals and skill set.
    Plus rex is OCD about performance in practise so that really caused the issue for rex. It’s also why this year rex has had much of the offense taken from him and the jets are a joke anyway and have been for years.

    • Sage says:

      Very early on Tim said it was not a “choice” the way Elway described. This was a soon as the ink was dry on the contract.

      I’ve watched the way Elway needs to control the media narrative, and I don’t find him credible.

      • jason says:

        People on radio and tv that aren’t part of elway and the broncos said from tebow’s camp it was the best move for tebow’s brand and that his brother pushed for the jets over jax.

      • jason says:

        And the jags offered more for him so why wouldn’t elway take more for him if elway didn’t give him a choice and go by it? Why take less for him. …its cause he did listen to what tebow and his camp wanted to do.

        • Sage says:

          Your questions raise fair inferences, but I don’t find Elway to be credible. Too many self-serving leaks to Silver, Riley, etc.

  3. jason says:

    Lynn talking about your posts on the other article if you noticed it’s now that he’s too christian for the NFL when before it was he was just christian. Ray lewis talked about god and his faith more than tim did but no one blackballed him or is trying to with russel wilson or rg3. Rg3 is also a conservative who votes againat liberals and democrats which for that side means he isn’t down for the struggle, maybe next tim will be too white and the NFL hates white people. It’s not tim’s faith or all the other things people wanna dream up. It’s been his skill set, fundamentals and fit to a team since most teams aren’t gonna completely change their offense for him. Tim won’t do well in the “tradition” offense. What’s the worst is that he knows and has been told what his issues are and is working on them but just like the blind haters of tim the blind lovers of tim won’t see it for what it really is and projection takes over.
    Craig james has an easy win lawsuit if that’s why he was fired but the question is how much of it is lies like the way he lied about mike leech. Odds are he didn’t fit the show and direction fox wanted but people tend to grab other things as a reason when they don’t make it in something and lash out.
    It’s too much massive bias both ways about tim when the facts and truth show its somewhere in the middle of things for him and his future in the NFL, none of which haters and blind lovers of him are helping.

  4. Larry says:

    ITA, jason.

    FWIW, I still suspect Ray is guilty of the murders. But I also think his conversion might be real.

    For anyone who hasn’t seen the Ray Lewis NFL Films documenary, here it is (part 1):


    • Lynn says:

      Thanks Larry! I watched Ray Lewis – A Football Life Sunday evening.

      For myself, I usually get in trouble when I assume I know things I do not really know. I surely do not know what happened the night of that murder.

      Ray Lewis cooperating with the authorities is no small matter. To just think he made a deal to benefit himself is to not see the entire picture.

      At the end of the day, even with Lewis’ testimony, they were not able to convict the others guys. So whatever did happen there was apparently little evidence left.

      Again, for myself, I would say in this life, things are not always fair, God says vengeance and justice belong to him and in the end there will be justice, so I am way ahead to leave it to Him.

      Another thing about justice, I tend to want it for others, but for myself I want mercy. I am thankful that because of Jesus, I will not pay the penalty of my sin and I would be a fool to demand that others do pay.

    • Lynn says:

      Wow! Here is another Ray Lewis documentary I just watched. It’s about his childhood and his relationship with his father. This one is a bit of a tearjerker and may cause his critics to think a little more kindly toward him.

      Amazing guy.

      Unfortunately, his faith is not a big part of the documentary, but it undoubtedly is an important part of the story. It’s only 27 minutes long.


    • Tisa says:

      Larry, if you believe he is guilty of the murders and that his conversion experience is real, I think the Lord would lead him to confess before the authorities. God tells us in scripture that we are to obey the law. I actually know nothing about this but, as a hypothetical, I think the Holy Spirit would drive the murderer to confess and accept responsibility. I know that He drives me to keep my horizontal relationships in accordance with his will so that my vertical relationship with God will be what it should be.

  5. Tisa says:

    Jason, you can say all you want to about Tim’s “skill set” but the fact of the matter is that we watch NFL teams every week that have QB’s that consistently throw interceptions, fumble or just can’t get it done for one reason or another. I even see QBs with as much of a loopy throw as Timmy used to have, yet coaches and GMs are willing to invest the time and energy to develop these players in the position, and more importantly, give them time to grow and mature. I listen to the experts on TV talk about QBs having the same issues that Tebow does ( supposedly not seeing the field, holding the ball too long, telegraphing his plans to throw, etc,etc.)but they always say, “The QB will get better over time”. For whatever reason, Tim has never been given the chance to do this. As far as I am concerned, there are 32 teams in the NFL and only 6 to 8 of them are worth watching. Reading comments on ESPN and elsewhere, I read how fans of these other teams are just frustrated and disappointed. You’d think someone would invest a little time and energy in Tebow and see what happens. I guess more teams will be giving away beer to get butts in seats instead of providing a quality product.

    • Tisa says:

      P.S. Jason, since you say you are such a student of the game and just like to see it played well across the board, I would think you would have bigger issues than Tim Tebow. After all, he isn’t even playing. I would imagine anyone who really knew and appreciated a well played football game would be completely discouraged with what is out there now. It is ridiculously easy to predict who is going to win the games. Where is the competition? Do you have any idea how many people are saying they would rather watch college ball?

      • jason says:

        If the jags were mine i’d have signed tebow and work to develope him but i’m not them. I’m not saying i agree with why they won’t take him but understand their reasons and what they look for. They all want the next brady, manning or rodgers and most will never get it but thats what they do. They see tim’s potenial as being a bit above what he’s done, i can see their arguement based on what they want, i don’t agree with it but i understand it. I don’t believe in making up reasons that have no backing is all when it comes to tim or anyone.
        I’d go with him but i don’t GM or coach a team so it’s not my call. Once he improves those fundamentals and gets better from the pocket he’s bound to get his next chance and develope. At the end of the day he has to play their way or he won’t play.
        Where tim compared to the bad QBs in the league he is better than most of them but not in the system those teams wanna use. I say change up some but most aren’t gonna do that. Its not cause he’s too christian or the NFL hates christians or anything like that. It’s just like belichick isn’t some idiot because he didn’t wanna keep tim, the jets sure but not one belichick who is one of the greatest coaches in history nor some of the other great coaches and GMs that have passed on tim.
        Tim should get another shot cause he showed more than enough raw talent with denver but i completely understand the flaws that so many in the NFL see in his game. Thats the main point. I say bring him on and give him tim to improve but can see why passing on him is justifiable as well. The ‘he’s great and no one understands’ just doesn’t work cause he’s shown enough that it can go both ways with why you’d want him and why people have valid reasons not to.

        And i do greatly have problems with other QBs in the league cause plenty of them need to get off their lazy *** and improve their skill set so they produce better. I want all players to do that who aren’t doing all they can to progress.

    • Larry says:

      Tisa, I agree. Gabbert & Henne alone have had how many years? I do think the increased scrutiny inherent w/Tim (b/c of the media/fanbase) has caused many wimps in the NFL to shy away from Tim. It’s not fair at all.

      • jason says:

        Thats another factor too larry and its because of the media which gets driven by his diehard fanbase that are both for and against him because the haters drive it just as much and none of it helps him. The media just goes with what sales like most every industry. If people didn’t eat up tebow stories the media would follow him less but getting all the clicks just drives their ship. Thats why i come here for any tebow news so i don’t help feed the monster.

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