The Case for Tim Tebow as an NFL Quarterback

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David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Tim Tebow appeared on Good Morning America this morning, and while that was awesome to see, I still have a problem with Tim Tebow not being on a NFL roster.  In this post, I will describe why I believe Tim Tebow should still be in the NFL.

To begin, I ease us into my piece on this debate today, by giving you three quotes, from one of the greatest and most revered coaches in NFL history, and that is the man with his name on the trophy, Vince Lombardi.

Quotes:

“If winning isn’t everything, why do they keep score?”

“Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”

“Winning isn’t everything, but the will to win is everything.”

I wont harp too much on those quotes, but I just want to point out, that one of the biggest things you will hear Tebow supporters throw out there is that Tebow is a winner, and that he has an incredible will to win.

Now, people don’t always understand the importance of these claims.  They just take it at the words of the people, but they don’t evaluate these claims, they just say yeah but this or that, and they don’t think of how extremely important it is to be a winner, and they will also then go on to debate that he’s not a winner, which will lead us to our first point

Against Tebow: 1. “He just got lucky in Denver”

Associated Press

Associated Press

This is such a stretch in my opinion, it’s not really even funny, and this claim is quite illogical.  Ok, he just got lucky?  If Tim had played a game, or two games, and played well, you’d be in a great position to be able to say this.  We see flukes in the NFL all the time that have a few good games, and then wind up not being anything close to what he was in the first two.  But, when you talk about this you can’t account luck to a whole football season, in my opinion.

Also, I think what people don’t realize when you say this about Tim Tebow, you have to be able to apply the statement to multiply teams and players.  So, if you can apply the same statement to everything, and there’s nothing to stop you from making a statement on any team and saying, oh well they just got lucky, while the NFL does sometimes appear to have some luck, luck cannot account for 13 games worth of work.  My point here, is if it applies in one situation, it must apply in all situations relevant, and so any team that had a surprisingly good season would pretty much have to also be susceptible to this claim.  It’s just hard then to imagine an NFL without any rational way to turn a team around, or win games, without “being lucky”.

Also, might I add, luck does not tell me anything about what goes on on the field, and like I said, I agree, it may be a factor in some plays or games, but for you to say a whole season was lucky is pretty crazy.  The only Luck that can be applicable to an entire season of success, would be the guy currently playing quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts currently.

Against Tebow: 2. “It was the defense”

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America

Many people will claim that it was the defense that was the reason that they won the games in Denver, and saw a resurgence in wins. Ok, it seems reasonable at first glance, but when we examine this claim more in depth, it has some serious problems.

First, this totally undermines any affect Tebow had off the field.  Now, when you look at this team the defense definitely did get better, but for you to say that Tebow didn’t help the defense at all is a bit of a stretch.  Now, it may sound a bit crazy to say a quarterback can help a defense, but if we evaluate it, he really did.

First off the field, Tebow was a motivational leader for this team, and it would be hard to refute that Tim Tebow is a natural born leader, as he has shown us these qualities all throughout his football career, that’s from pee wee, to high school, to college and into the NFL.  When you have a motivational leader step into play, it adds motivation to the defense, and that added motivation can be that thing that pushes a team in the right direction, as we have seen time and time again, no matter how talented a team or player is, without motivation, they will falter time and time again.

Also, just the addition of a new quarterback, with proven previous success can motivate a team.  Kyle Orton obviously wasn’t getting anything done, we knew this, Kyle Orton knew that, John Fox knew that, and the defense knew that as well.  When you see the starter then, lose his job and get replaced by a guy with the fire, proven will to win, and passion that Tebow has, it’s an instant emotional spark for the team, and then the emotional spark, sparks the physical differences, and when mixing those, you get increased success on the field.  Both of these situations, while not directly related to Tebow, Tebow still plays a role here, which means you cannot consider the defense to be the reason why they made the playoffs, because for the defense to play well, Tebow seemingly had to take over.

Now, I can make that bold assessment here because of what Denver did earlier in the year.  The fact that Tim Tebow didn’t play the complete season, but rather took over for another established starter works in my favor here.  If this defense was so exceedingly talented and was the reason why this team was winning games with Tim Tebow, then why were they not winning games when Kyle Orton was at quarterback?  If they were already winning games with defense when Orton was there, then that would make sense, but when you have the old starter unsuccessful, and then another takes over, it becomes extremely hard to be able to say that the consistent piece of the team throughout the change is the reason for a team to win games, and not the player that, when taking over, changed the direction of the team.  This could be the case if this defense wasn’t consistent throughout the change, say if they traded for an outstanding player, but they did not do this, so therefore you have to then give credit to the transitional piece that made this possible, not the piece that stayed virtually, the same.

Also, the defense actually wasn’t as good as they may have appeared to be.  When you look at this defense statistically, they aren’t as good as they may have seemed.  This defense was 24th in the league in points against, 20th in the league in yards against, and 28th in the league in turnovers forced.  When we look at these stats, it once again becomes pretty hard to say that the defense was the reason for the wins.

Against Tebow: 3. “It was the kicker”

USS Presswire

USS Presswire

The kicker?  Come on, are we really going to use the kicker as the reason why this team won games.  It’s funny how people will come up with this as the reason for Tebow’s success, but never put any thought into any other kickers as the reason for a team to win games.  This is what makes this a horrible reason, and it just seems like a way for people to try to go against Tebow even more than they already do.  It seems quite irrational to me, that this even needs addressing but here I go anyways.

First, for you to say that it’s the kicker that is the reason why we win games, you have to say that he is doing something crazy, that is winning this game, considering he’s hardly ever on the field.  Matt Prater hit some nice field goals, but first off, to hit a long field goal with the wind factor and the air in Mile High Stadium isn’t as impressive, because of those environmental factors.

Also, for Matt Prater to be in position to kick those field goals, the offense would have had to get down the field to get to field goal range.  For a field goal kicker to kick, he has to be put in position to kick.

Against Tebow: 4. “His Total QBR and passer rating shows that he sucks”

Rick Wilking/Reuters

Rick Wilking/Reuters

When you make a claim that he sucks because of these stats, you are very flawed in your statement.  First off, if you say he sucks in this one stat, it once again has to be applicable to all stats.  “Tim Tebow sucks because he has a low passer rating”, that then makes it so that any quarterback with a low passer rating must suck.

Then, this must mean that we can apply passer rating to any NFL quarterback, from one season, and deem that his season sucked, because he had a low passer rating.

If we can do this, then lets take a look at it, a little bit more in depth, and I will share two points with you. Andrew Lucks passer rating in his rookie season was only about 4 points above Tebow’s, so therefore you would have to say that Andrew Luck’s rookie season was pretty bad.

Also, in 2012, when Calvin Johnson broke the receiving record, his quarterback, Matthew Stafford’s quarterback rating was only about 5 points ahead of Tebow’s in 2011.  This means that Stafford’s season would also have to be considered bad.

Now, my second point here, is if you say he sucks because of one of these stats, then you have to further evaluate the stat and the meaning of it.  First off, you can’t look at either of these stats, and say that they show definitively what a guy can do on the field.  When we look at stats that are solely on the field stats, we can use them more lightly in comparisons, because we can compare the ability of one person to do one specific thing on the field than another, but it can’t be used as the end all be all in a debate.  I cant say oh well, player A had more yards than player B, therefore player A is the better player because we can use other, directly on the field stats to combat that, say touchdowns for just one simple example.

On the contrary, QBR and passer rating serve to be the end all be all for quarterback stats, and supposedly take into account all facets of the game, making it then possible for us to use it to compare two players without any argument.  This would be the case if it was in fact a perfect stat that perfectly tells us how good a quarterback is, but instead it assumes that role, without being able to properly hold weight in a situation.

Also, let me point out that when you say Tebow sucks because of this stat, you must also then say, it is because you compared Tebow’s stat to the rest of the league, and said that it was bad, if Tebow had the same numbers, and everyone else was below him, you would say he was good at it, so the only reason you say hes bad, is because he’s lower at it than most people. With a stat like this, this is also a problem.  Because, by nature you have to look at each persons performance on this point scale relatively by nature (looking at it, with comparisons to other, to draw conclusions) it grants the assumption that we can compare two players by this stat, to tell us who the better quarterback is.

If it is a stat to show the entirety of the quarterback’s skills, and how good he is, and then is also only determined by comparison, you can look at any two quarterbacks, and say the one with the higher QBR or passer rating is the better quarterback.  Now, since I’ve already used my point from passer rating, I will look at QBR, and let you decide if you think this stat can sustain what it sets out to accomplish, especially in relation to this claim.

First, if I was to ask you which quarterback had the best year this year, you would most likely conclude Peyton Manning.  If you were to ask QBR, you wouldn’t get Peyton Manning, even further, you wouldn’t get a Drew Brees or Tom Brady type guy either, but rather you would have your answer to the question of the NFL’s best quarterback be Josh McCown.

Second, this question is slightly more difficult.  Who had a better season, Ben Roethlisberger or Matthew Stafford?  Now I don’t care too much about your answer, because my problem with this question is, that no matter which one you choose, if we depend on QBR to hold its weight, we would have to say that Ryan Fitzpatrick was better than both of them.

Here, I discussed the passer rating and QBR topics, and how they aren’t as accurate as we think, and we can’t use this as the main judge of an argument about Tim Tebow.

Against Tebow: 6. No Team Wants Him

Mel Evans/AP

Mel Evans/AP

This is a bit irrelevant here.  I mean its obvious, and we know this, and that is my whole point in arguing for Tebow.  If a team had him on their roster and wanted him, I wouldn’t have to make this argument, so all your basically doing is helping to prove my reason for doing this debate, so thanks.

For Tebow: 1. Success in First 16 games

Joe Amon/The Denver Post

Joe Amon/The Denver Post

Tebow has only started 16 games in his career.  That is about the number for a rookie, and while Tebow wasn’t a rookie when he played most of his 16, it was still his “rookie series of starts”.  Tebow had some success as a quarterback in 2011 and 2010, and when we compare this success to some other great quarterbacks, we see that Tebow, was just as good, if not better than most in his first 16.

Most quarterbacks play bad there rookie year, and then they say oh well it was only 16 games, we have to give him a chance to improve and learn, and get better.  Tebow was the opposite, comparatively, he had a great first 16 games, and yet no one after that gave him a true opportunity to grow as a player and actually play.  He was neglected that chance, to improve on an already great first 16 games, and a great foundation.

Tebowsfirst16.com gives us a good place to review his stats in his first 16 games.  It took a large number of quarterbacks, and lets us evaluate Tebow’s first sixteen starts compared to the NFL’s all time greats, and also includes some of the greats of today.

In TD’s, Tebow recorded 28 in his first 16, which was only bested by Matthew Stafford who had 31.  Aaron Rodgers, was also tied with Tebow with 28 touchdowns.  To name some notables, this puts Tebow ahead of Joe Montana, Peyton Manning, Joe Namath, Brett Favre, and Tom Brady.  Like I said, these guys all got their shots to improve, Tebow was better in his first 16 games, yet got no shot to improve and play.

Tebow ranks 20th in what some would say was his most flawed stat, completion percentage.  This still however ranks Tebow ahead of guys like Terry Bradshaw, Joe Namath and John Elway.  I wouldn’t necessarily say this was bad for Tebow however, when you consider the names above him on this list.

Yardage wise, Tebow ranks 14th.  Once again, this puts him ahead of some very talented players, including Steve Young, Johnny Unitas, Troy Aikman, and John Elway.

When we look at interceptions, Tebow comes in first place, with only 9 interceptions thrown in his first 16 starts.  Numbers 13-25 on this list all recorded over 20 interceptions in the same amount of time, and for Tebow to have not even hit ten is quite remarkable.

Next, Tim Tebow’s 9-7 record was only bested by Tom Brady who had a 12-4 record in his first season out of the players collected.  I would say that’s pretty remarkable.  Tim Tebow compared to many greats, in their first 16, is the second best in winning games.

In conclusion this just shows to me, that Tim Tebow does have the stats on his side.  It all comes down to the fact that he saw so much success in his first 16 games, and he never got any real chance afterwards.  With such success early on, given the chance to improve, who knows what Tim Tebow could of done!

For Tebow: 2. Not only good passer, but great runner

AP

AP

Now, there are a lot of NFL teams that don’t have very good running attacks, and the same could have been said for Denver until Tebow took over.  Lance Ball and Willis McGahee lead this rushing attack.

Tim Tebow is very skilled at running.  First, outside the redzone, Tim is superb.  Not only is he good, but the system that you would install with Tebow’s installment as a starter also, positively impacts your running game.  You move to an offense that relies on the run more, and the defense has to account for two running threats out of the backfield.

Tebow lead the Broncos to the number one rushing attack in the NFL is 2011 and if he could do that with lower talent running backs, imagine what he could do with good running backs.  When you buy into the guy and his system, it will make for one of the most effective run games in football.

Tebow also is a very effective runner in the red zone.  Time and time again, we saw the same play run to perfection, scoring touchdowns.  Some refer to it as the bulldog QB power.  This is where the team is in a heavy set, and Tebow takes the direct snap, the opposite guard pulls and Tebow bulldozes his way into the end zone.

With this ability it allows for teams to be far more effective in the red zone, and especially in goal line situations.  You make that play call on the goal line or anywhere within the five, and Tebow is practically money in the back.  Conversions in the red zone are important, especially when your closer in in the red zone, and Tebow would help this out in a magnificent way.

For Tebow: 3rd and final. Tebow is a Winner

Ric Tapia/NFL

Ric Tapia/NFL

Whatever you want to say, and however you want to spin it, Tebow is a winner, and there’s no way to rationally attempt to refute that, especially when you look at his 2011 season.

Tebow took an improbably 1-4 team to 7-4 and to a playoff game.  No one expected that to happen, NO ONE, and whats funny is even after all of that, when Denver went up against Pittsburgh in the playoffs, people still didn’t think he had any chance.  Tim Tebow came up victorious once again, and silenced the haters.

Tebow had a record breaking performance that year against the Steelers in the playoffs, and wound up throwing for 316 yards, the most ever against the Steelers that season in the process.  One of the most electrifying games I’ve ever witnessed, and the sad part is that that might be the only time, that year may be the only time Tim Tebow will ever have a chance to play in the playoffs, unless some team steps up, and brings in Tim Tebow.  I can promise you if someone does that, they will have a winner, and a man who can turn a franchise around.

Tebow has the will to win that Lombardi was talking about in his quotes that I mentioned earlier.  This guy has the fire power.  He’s clutch, and he wins games.  As Herm Edwards made popular, “You play to win the game”.  You do, and Tim deserves to be in the NFL for this very reason, and when we look at his first 16 stats, and how successful he was statistically, and in his game success, as far as wins go, we see a player that deserves to not only be in the NFL, but to start in the NFL.

Wrap Up

1215_teebow-prayer1-624x421

AP

Give me Tebow.  He’s a winner, and a proven winner.  I’ve heard it all to often, Tebow should quit, Tebow sucks, Tebow’s done and that’s why I’ve wrote this post, to come to the defense of Tim Tebow once again.

Why am I doing this? I don’t know, maybe I feel obligated too.  Maybe, but consider this.  While Tim Tebow was on that field, the one thing he constantly did, was quiet the haters with his play.  Right now, he’s not given any opportunities to do that, and as we wait to see what will unfold of Tebow’s career, I guess I did this as a way to fend off the haters, until Tebow returns to the NFL and silences the haters once again.

Thanks for reading.  Feel free to follow me on Twitter @JohnMiceli15, or comment your thoughts below.

By John Miceli

 

 

 

 

 

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9 Responses to “The Case for Tim Tebow as an NFL Quarterback”

  1. bubbaelvis says:

    Great solid case built for Tebow. He was not given a chance to develop. The Jets abused him and basically wasted a year for him. New England gave him a fair chance but had too many other needs to keep 3 QB’s.I would love to hear or read Belichick’s evaluation of him. If only GM’s would wake up and quit listening to the anti-Tebow crowd. I have a hard time believing that all his hard work this year is not going to pay off. It is quiet right now on the Tebow front but I still feel like someone is going to give him a shot. I’m thinking New England or Cleveland with a outside chance of a surprise team like Houston. Whoever gets him will reap a big reward.

    • sage says:

      I like your optimism, bubbaelvis. Bob McNair in Houston disappointed me with the rude way he fired Gary Kubiak, the only coach who ever won games for that team. Not sure if McNair has the vision to appreciate Tebow’s skll and character, but it’s possible.

      The game against Houston was one of the few where Tebow as allowed to air it out, and the result was electric. Tebow can win NFL games with an “interim” runningbacks coach acting as HC.

      You’d think some owner, coach or GM would want to capitalize on that. But group-think and the desire to conform are powerful emotions.

  2. Bigfan says:

    Good stuff right there. God bless Timmy!

  3. steftebowfan says:

    Now Yes John Meceli is an accurate and trusted reporter whom I follow on Twitter (you should too). He is an all sports guy who is a Tebow man not because he likes him (I think he does that too) but because he believes Tebow is a great and exciting football player. If he gets any news, he will tell you. If not, he will write stories and explain why Tebow needs to be playing. So wait for the green light from John and then it will be a go !!! Go Tebow!!! We haven’t given up yet NFL, A11, Arena or any kind of football team that will grab him!! We will be watching .

  4. David Oliver says:

    The NFL $$ CONTROLLERS DO KNOW ALL THESE FACTS, Just presented, BUT – INSTEAD of Seeing That Tim Tebow has an opportunity for a fair chance to compete for an NFL Team QB Job –>

    They have in lieu of that “PROPER” effort – effectively “BLACKBALLED” Tim Tebow FROM – having any Real, Fair opportunity to compete for a position as a starting QB in the NFL!

    (BECAUSE THE UNSAID TRUTH IS THAT – HE IS TOO CHRISTIAN FOR THEM – HE HAS EXCEEDED THEIR PERMISSIBLE “CHRISTIAN VISIBILITY” LIMITS!)

    If that TT NFL” BLACKBALL” STATUS – remains a reality for the 2014/2015 NFL Season, I think fair minded folk and Especially those who are NOT ASHAMED OF JESUS CHRIST – SHOULD:

    TAKE THEIR INTERESTS AND $$ ELSEWHERE – THIS COMING SEASON AND BOYCOTT THE NFL – UNTIL THIS TRAVESTY of JUSTICE IS RESOLVED!

    THOSE NON – “SECRET SERVICE CHRISTIANS” PLEASE –
    STAND UP and Be Counted!

  5. andrea says:

    As usual – I agree with everything David Oliver wrote.

    Last year after Tebow was released by the Pats, No ESPN watching for me. No NFL merchandise bought. I didn’t watch a football game on TV until my brother called me at halftime of the Super Bowl and said Peyton Manning was an embarrassment. I tuned in for the second half just to laugh at and glory in Elway’s humiliation.

  6. ck says:

    AGREED!!!

  7. steftebowfan says:

    One cannot deny the great fans waiting to watch Tim Tebow. We aren’t waiting because he is a nice guy (but that is cool too) We are waiting because we think he is a good exciting player that makes a football team and game more fun to watch. Plain and simple if he was bad and boring we wouldn’t be making a fuss!

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