Tebow: Can he make an NFL comeback?

by Jeff Weisinger

  • Even while he prepares for his current job as an analyst on ESPN’s SEC network, current free-agent quarterback Tim Tebow is making headlines again.

On Monday, Tebow told USA Today that he still works out six days a week and throws four days a week, keeping himself ready for his next shot in the NFL.  He also says that he’s “by far” a better quarterback today than a year ago.

“I don’t know what the future holds,” Tebow said.  “You never know.  I know that I’m super happy doing this.  I know I love training, I love playing ball, but this is a great opportunity.”

That’s not to say he really was ever a bad quarterback, but he wasn’t necessarily great either.  However, he showed some signs of the potential to develop into the position.

The one mistake in Tebow’s career was not that he never fully developed as a passer, despite his potential to become an NFL passer, but that he never fully had to opportunity to develop as an NFL quarterback.


In his 2010 rookie year, under then-head coach Josh McDaniels, Tebow started the last three games for the Denver Broncos, throwing for 651 yards in those last three starts with five touchdowns and three picks.  He threw for 308 yards against the Texans in Week 15 of that season, following that performance with a pair of passing touchdowns and with 94 yards rushing and a touchdown in the finale against the Chargers.

But just as Tebow was beginning to learn how to be an NFL quarterback under McDaniels, McDaniels was fired and John Fox came into Denver, changing everything, including the offense.

Tebow took over as the starter against Miami, leading them to win seven of his first eight starts, including six comeback wins on their way to the playoffs.

He threw for 1,730 yards in 2011 with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions and led the Broncos to another come from behind win against the Steelers in the AFC Wild Card game, throwing for 316 yards with two touchdowns and a rushing touchdown.

Dec 30, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow (15) passes the ball before the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

And then came the trade to the Jets, marking the end of his career thus far.

The sad part about Tebow’s story is that his downfall in New York is remembered more than what he did in his two years in Denver, where he was slowly progressing.  The best part about Tebow in Denver was him being in a winning environment.  The Jets were anything but a winning environment and used Tebow as everything but a quarterback.

There are several teams in the NFL that could use Tebow’s services as a backup quarterback and he would be a solid backup to several teams, while also developing as a better passer.

While he doesn’t have a high career completion percentage, he’s a more efficient quarterback thank other backups out there.



For example, the Miami Dolphins brought in Rex Grossman (who signed with Cleveland on Tuesday), John Skelton and Brady Quinn to workout for the backup quarterback spot after the Dolphins lost Matt Moore to injury and released Pat Devlin.

If you toss Tebow into the list of quarterbacks the Dolphins worked out, he would be the only quarterback with more touchdowns than interceptions in his career.  (For the record, Quinn was Tebow’s backup in Denver in 2011.)

Other teams that could use Tebow as a solid backup would be San Francisco, the New York Giants, Detroit and the aforementioned Miami Dolphins.

Can Tebow make a comeback?  If someone gives him an opportunity, yes.  The question of “will he make the comeback” depends on whether he gets an opportunity.

The quarterback who became known for coming back late in games, now has to come back in his playing career.


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7 Responses to “Tebow: Can he make an NFL comeback?”

  1. Sage says:

    Nice article, but Tebow played last 3 games in 2010 not under McDaniels, but interim HC Eric Studesville, a running backs coach who is unlikely ever again to reach the helm.

    Tebow played rather brilliantly under Studesville and–as I am told–he led the league during that period in fantasy points. That is, he was quite productive prior to the point when john fox all but precluded him from throwing on first and second downs.

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