Why Tim Tebow has a place in the NFL( Buzzy Says: Pretty much Tell It All.)

 

The debate has died down recently. Johnny Manziel has become the new one man reality show of the NFL. Ray Rice punching his fiancé in the face and Adrian Peterson whacking his son with a tree branch, along with Roger Goodell’s responses to those incidents, have become the new hot button topics of the NFL.

I’m talking about Tim Tebow, of course. You may remember him as the guy who led Florida to a national championship in 2008 and played a key role in another one two years earlier. You may remember him for being the first to lift up the Heisman Trophy- with a Florida blue cast on his right arm, no less- as an underclassman. You may remember him for his speeches, such as the bone chilling halftime rampage in the national championship game, or the somber but determined pledge to outwork everybody else in the country after the puzzling loss to Mississippi a few months before that. And more recently, you may remember him as the guy who starting the whole “Tebowing” trend.

This article is about none of that. What Tebow did in college, on and off the field, is irrelevant. His devout Christian faith and Tebowing gesture are irrelevant. And most importantly, the wonderful person he is off the field is (for this particular topic) irrelevant.

This past weekend, I watched more pro football than I’ve watched all year. First I watched some of Jacksonville-Tennessee, followed by the two Saturday games (Philadelphia-Washington and San Diego-San Francisco). Then I enlisted in the help of NFL Red Zone to watch all the Sunday games at once, which was followed by the Sunday Night Football battle between the Seahawks and the Cardinals. Finally, I capped my NFL weekend by watching the end of the Broncos and Bengals.

From this extensive weekend of studying various NFL teams, the conclusion was easy to make: Tim Tebow absolutely has a place in the NFL.

Before I explain why, though, we need to be real with ourselves. Tim Tebow will never be a Hall of Fame QB. He is not, nor will he ever be, a better QB than Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers or even Ben Roethlisberger. Anybody who still believes that he is needs to let go of that. I am not arguing this, and anybody who does is plain silly.

But to say that Tebow doesn’t belong in the NFL at all, even as a backup, is also silly. I watched some QB’s this past weekend who had no business being on a practice field, let alone the NFL. And watching them made me more certain than ever that Tebow belongs in the NFL. Somewhere.

Look around the NFL. Are you going to tell me that Josh McCown is better than Tim Tebow? Are you going to tell me that Ryan Lindley is more deserving of an NFL roster spot than Tebow? Do you honestly believe that Mark Sanchez belongs in the NFL more than Tebow? How about Kyle Orton? Geno Smith? Jimmy Clausen? Johnny Manziel? Zach Mettenberger? Shaun Hill? Case Keenum? Brian Hoyer? Can you tell me with a straight face that each and every one of these QB’s deserves to be playing professional football and Tim Tebow doesn’t?

The mechanics of a QB are important, yes. I’m not in any way ignoring them, and I will address them later in the article. But the ultimate goal for a franchise is to win games. Not be the sexiest, not be the most exciting, not even necessarily to be the most talented. It’s to win games. And despite the fact that Tebow does have anywhere near the talent of the great NFL QB’s, he can win games as well as any of them.

As an NFL starting QB, Tim Tebow is 9-6 (60%), and has won a playoff game. Here is the complete list of current NFL quarterbacks with better win percentages than Tebow and two or more playoff wins: Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick. Yep, that’s it. Tim Tebow really does have a better winning percentage than Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Matt Ryan and Tony Romo. Tebow really does have more playoff wins than Andy Dalton, Cam Newton and Nick Foles, and as many as Tony Romo, Andrew Luck and Matt Ryan. Does that shock you? It shouldn’t.

Yes, I acknowledge the fact that Tebow only started in 15 games, and that Eli Manning and Drew Brees play more than that every season- and that they’ve each started every game of every season (or most, anyway). Tebow played for most of one season and the tail end of a second, while Manning and Brees have been stuck on teams with few pieces surrounding them to help them out. I get that. Without Victor Cruz and an offensive line, Eli is left to win games with O’Dell Beckham Jr. (who he’s only had for a little more than half the season) and a young Andre Williams. Meanwhile, Brees quarterbacks the team with the most horrendous defense in an NFC South that’s filled with them. Even two-win Tampa has allowed fewer points per game than New Orleans. Again, I totally understand that this is not the QB’s faults.

But Tebow wasn’t exactly playing with a Pro Bowl team in Denver either. That Broncos defense got trashed for 40+ points more than I’ve ever seen from a division winning team. You can sort of expect it from Green Bay (49 points) and from New England (twice- 45 and 41), but certainly not from a Ryan Fitzpatrick led Buffalo team (40) or Detroit (45). And giving up 32 and 29 to Minnesota and San Diego teams that totaled 11 wins that year is nothing to be proud of, either. Offensively, the Broncos were just as limited. Eric Decker makes a decent third or fourth option, yet he was the Broncos’ best receiver in 2011. And only having one running back (Willis McGahee) who can run for more yards than Tebow, is not exactly the best recipe for offensive success. Blame some of this on Tebow if you want, but note that the third leading rusher on that team was Lance Ball, who totaled 404 yards… compared to Tebow’s 660. And that’s despite Tebow not playing the first four and a half games.

The fact of the matter is, Tebow took over a 1-4 team with major weaknesses on both sides of the ball, and won them their division plus a Wild Card playoff game. That’s certainly not grounds for hailing him as the best QB ever, but doesn’t that make you as a GM of a random four win team intrigued enough to want to see more? That’s the entire premise of this article. Not that he should kick Tom Brady out of his starting job, but merely that he deserves a roster spot on a team with no proven better options.

Of course, Tebow has lots of work to do if he wants to be a successful NFL quarterback. His mechanics need to be retooled. He still has a tendency to drop the ball too low on his windup. His release point needs to be adjusted. That’s what scares teams off. Some teams have a right to not consider him because of this. You know. The perennial powerhouses with star QB’s. The playoff teams who already have a QB that’s not necessarily a star, but has cemented himself as the team’s leader- like Baltimore with Joe Flacco. The so-so teams who have star QB’s, or promising young ones. But there are 32 teams in the NFL, and several of them- more specifically, several GM’s- don’t have a reason like that not to take Tebow. Yes, I’m talking to you, GM’s of terrible teams. You know who you are, too: Tampa, Tennessee, Cleveland, Houston, Oakland, the Jets (even though, again, he’ll never go back there) and St. Louis are the obvious ones, and you could make the argument that Jacksonville, Arizona, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Washington and San Francisco wouldn’t be hurting themselves by signing him to a backup role. Tebow’s negatives are fixable through good coaching and Tebow’s reputable work ethic.

Objectively assessing Tebow’s career, I would currently categorize his worth as an NFL QB somewhere between fair and good. That’s not exactly a glowing endorsement, but that’s certainly more positive than any objective assessment of Josh McCown’s NFL career, or Ryan Lindley’s, or Shaun Hill’s, or even Zach Mettenberger’s. Yet those guys, and others of similarly modest respectability, currently have jobs in the NFL and Tebow doesn’t. Some of that may be by choice, as being an SEC analyst may appeal to Tebow more than being a third string QB, but there are teams out there who don’t have a single QB who’s proven himself to be better than Tebow on their active rosters, like Tennessee, Tampa or even the Jets (even though he’d never go back there).

Why teams who have struggled mightily did not take a chance on him this year is beyond me. Yes, he currently has a job as an analyst, but there is a clause in his contract that allows him to leave with little to no notice for a job in the NFL. Does Tampa Bay really believe that Josh McCown is more fit to lead the franchise than Tebow? Their failure to even give Tebow a tryout says that they do. Whatever, that’s why you’re 2-13. Or is that on purposes they can get a top draft pick? But see, that’s the real problem. Nobody is even willing to give Tebow a job on a short term basis. They would rather struggle with whoever they have and lose games than take a chance on Tebow and see what happens. That may come off as rather biting and sarcastic, but that is what the league wide refusal to sign Tim Tebow is saying about the NFL’s worst teams.

He deserves another shot. That’s all I’m saying. His 9-6 record on a Denver team that was far worse overall than they were perceived to be has earned him another shot on an NFL roster, and that’s putting aside the fact that some of the QB’s who currently have jobs are actually worse mechanically than he is. Now add that back in the equation, plus the fact that Tebow is a proven leader with off the charts intangibles, and he is more than deserving of an opportunity of an NFL roster spot.

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14 Responses to “Why Tim Tebow has a place in the NFL( Buzzy Says: Pretty much Tell It All.)”

  1. Shaztah says:

    All the same stuff that all of us have been saying. Honestly I am glad that Tim was not considered to come in and play a game or 2 for a team at the end of the year because it takes time to learn a system and if he would have been signed by a team and not done well because he did not know the system well enough that would have hurt his chances badly. We are just going to have to wait to see what new head coaches get hired and hopefully he will get his shot to enter a training camp and learn the system from the beginning. I still say that Tim has had many offers and has turned them down but you don’t see that in print like you saw Rex Grossman turned down the Brown’s.

  2. andrea says:

    I have to place part of the blame on the fans of the forever going nowhere teams. How can any fan who pays actual money to go to a NFL game not raise the roof when their team wins 2 or 3 games a year for a decade?

    Is any one surprise with how the football standings are this year? The same teams end up in the playoffs and the same teams occupy the bottom year after year.

    Talked to my brother the other day. The tickets he has for the Ravens are 90.00 a game and he sits in the nose-bleed section of the upper deck.

    • Sage says:

      Although I haven’t been involved in the financial markets for quite awhile, that is the place where I’ve observed the most competiveness and the most creativity in the quest for victory. The NFL and its fans aren’t even close.

      Recently listened to Gladwell’s ‘David and Goliath.’ The first chapter shows vividly how the phenomenon we’ve observed (backs turning on Tebow) is one that recurs throughout history. People are desperate for conventionality and fearful of what is different and original and risky.

  3. David says:

    Tim Tebow scored 34 times in 15.5 games and 13 situational plays. With one game left in the 2014 season only 3 QBs have scored more than Tim Tebow’s 34 times. Look at the TD column.
    http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?tabSeq=0&season=2014&seasonType=REG&d-447263-n=1&d-447263-o=2&d-447263-p=1&statisticCategory=PASSING&conference=null&d-447263-s=PASSING_TOUCHDOWNS

  4. Sage says:

    I disagree that Tebow could never be a Hall of Fame player. In 16 games he dominated the country’s attention. Between high school and college he won 3 championships in 4 seasons. In less than 60 minutes he obilterated the Broncos’ record for longest run by a quarterback, after fans marveled at Elway’s Houdini act for 16 seasons. In one playoff game he set the all-time QBR record.

    If Tebow could get back in the league and play, I anticipate he would show his HOF readiness within about 4 more seasons, each of which would almost certainly be unforgettable.

    • Brandi says:

      🙂

      There it is. Maybe this writer believes it himself. But to say if anyone else believes it is “silly” is absurd on the surface. Absolutely NOBODY knows. And if anyone says they know he “would be” or “can’t be” they’re lying. Sorry everyone. That is a lie even on the surface.

      The “silly” part of the lie is to assume there’s more reason to believe he couldn’t than that he could. He’s a College Hall of Fame QB. There can’t be any question about that. As a Pro, he’s done more with less help and support than the vast majority of QBs. Including the vast majority of Starting QBs.

      BUT, we have the “experts” who say it was all just one lucky bounce of a (typically) bad Tebow Pass that he Won Games. What amazes me is that anyone would even care what those who want to dismiss the wins thinks. Let alone anyone saying they think he should be getting a shot at playing. If those who don’t want Tim playing again have sown anything about themselves, it’s that there is no level to which they won’t stoop. The Jaguars might as well have gone out and posted a billboard that said no Fans of Tim Tebow aloud, as they have done everything short of making those who have done that employees of their Marketing Department. Is there a level lower that someone can stoop?

      So why try to placate even in the slightest.

  5. David says:

    Tebow was playing an aggressive passing game and scoring often.Consider these facts.
    Tebow, in his first 16 games over two seasons, threw 19 TDs in 177 pass completions for 2699 yards. Earlier this year, Luck was leading the league with 19 TDs in 199 completions for 2331 yards. Luck averaged 11.7 yards per catch and Tebow averaged 15.3 yards per catch.
    Tebow averaged a TD every 9.3 completions which would place him 2nd behind Aaron Rodgers for TDs per completion among the 2011 starters. Rodgers averaged a TD every 7.6 completions, a career best. Brees would be third averaging a TD every 10.1 completions. Tebow averaged 15.3 yards per completion which is higher than all of the starters in 2011. He would place 8th for TDs per pass attempt which factors in the completion percentage.
    Yes, you heard right. Tebow had the lowest completion percentage in the NFL and, when compared to the 2011 starters, it only lowered him to 8th for TDs per pass attempt because he was throwing the ball farther than everybody and scored more often per catch than everybody except Aaron Rodgers.
    ALL of the QBs in 2011 that threw 20 or 21 TDs also needed over 500 pass attempts to do it. Tebow threw 19 TDs in 374 attempts. Not surprisingly, he set records in the playoffs for throwing long passes. And he has run for 15 scores and 1052 yards.
    In their first 16 games,
    Tebow threw 19 TDs in 374 attempts with 9 interceptions with 47.3%
    Brady threw 18 TDs in 483 attempts with 13 interceptions with 63.9% and won the superbowl in 2001.
    How did Tebow score more TDs with fewer interceptions in 109 fewer pass attempts?
    Brady averaged 10.98 yards per completion and Tebow averaged 15.3 yards per completion. Tebow threw it farther with greater accuracy and scored more often per catch. He threw short passes in NY with a 75% completion percentage. The short passers have great pass percentages. The long passers score more TDs with fewer interceptions. With the new rules that prevent illegal contact, Tebow would be scoring even more with the long pass.
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1021135-tim-tebow-by-the-numbers-breaking-passing-records-vs-the-pittsburgh-steelers
    http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-films-sound-efx/09000d5d825ea1a2/Sound-FX-Steelers-vs-Broncos
    This NFL passing record stood since 1979. Tebow broke it in his 15th start
    Highest Average Gain, Game (20 attempts)
    15.05 Tim Tebow, AFC-FR: Denver vs. Pittsburgh, 2011 (21-316)
    14.71 Terry Bradshaw, SB: Pittsburgh vs. Los Angeles, 1979 (21-309)
    14.50 Peyton Manning, AFC-FR: Indianapolis vs. Denver, 2003
    (26-377)

  6. Brandi says:

    Demaryius Thomas just set Broncos Season Record for Completion yards. (Old Record was 1602 by Rod Smith.) Expect a whole lot of “Good thing he’s got Peyton and not Tebow”.

    BUT, long forgotten…when DT did his “Tebow Rant”, the next day USA Today Sports did a ‘not so fast Demaryius’ article where they calculated Thomas’s injury outages and that, maintaining his numbers with Tim, he would have led the NFL in Receiving Yards (1703…which also would have been a Broncos Record BTW) Yards per Catch (21.3) and would have been tied for 6th in Receptions and Targets. They also noted that his one drop for every 5.3 Catches was one of the highest in the league and he did little to help his own cause.

    It was right after this article that DT did his backtracking saying he’d love to still have Tim and all would be fine.

    Of course, NONE of that was “remembered”….read, conveniently forgotten as usual.

    • Sage says:

      The way Broncos teammates turned their back on Tebow was really disgusting to me, and helped me to realize that all of this “team spirit” stuff is B.S.

      As much as I love Tebow, there was something that caught my attention on one of his highlight films, where he was “mic’d up.” Man, he didn’t just praise the Lord. He did it incessantly. That had to get annoying for teammates.

      In the end, I think it is the disrespectful treatment of Tebow by Fox that has done the most harm to Tim’s career. It was a signal to others that he could be treated like a step-child, and that he somehow lacked talent.

      None of this is changed by the Fox video where he tells the media that Tim had instructions to “beach it.” Compared to the mistreatment, this was only a thimble-full of support.

      • Brandi says:

        I don’t have a major problem with Foxy. My issue was with Joe Ellis. For Pat Bowlen to say “That was a good Season. I wanted a great one.”?? Coming off the Season with the most losses in Denver Broncos history. Elway comes in and says 3 to 5 years. 3 to 5 YEARS. That wasn’t just a great Season, it was historic.

        John was new in that job. He had a huge plateful. Joe needed to be the steady hand. He wasn’t. This AFTER calling Tim one of his “3 Game Changers.”. That Season began with Denver Media filled with stories and commentary that Pat didn’t have enough money to hang onto the Franchise and was probably going to be forced to sell it to someone with deeper pockets. That all changed almost instantly with Tim.

        When Ellis called Tim one of his “Game Changers” he wasn’t just talking about the Team. He was talking about the direction the Broncos Franchise was headed. A direction that was going to cost his (and John & Foxy’s) Boss Ownership of the Team.

        When Broncos Execs say they owe Tim Tebow, there is no way they can say how much they owe him. They owe him their maintaining control of the Broncos Franchise instead of taking their chances with whoever would have ended up buying it.

        So it’s Joe I’m disappointed in.

        • Sage says:

          The only reason I don’t blame Bowlen is his bona fide senility.

          In fact, I like to think that the Pat Bowlen of the 1980s or 1990s would have been brash enough to buck consensus and enlist Tebow with enthusiasm.

          Perhaps the things that make Joe Ellis a loyal servant to Pat Bowlen are the things that prevent him from seeing the greatness of the world’s best under-pressure performer, Tebow.

          • brandi says:

            I don’t blame Pat either. I don’t actually blame any of them. Peyton has as much or more to do with Tim’s not having been staying with the Broncos and finding ways to work him in as he also seasoned.

            When the trade was taking place, Elways said then you never know. Tim could be back. But it was best to let him go somewhere where he’d actually play. I really think the Broncos were more surprised than anyone with the way the Jets totally messed it all up. The following Combines they were saying the Jets messed up and would have won Games with Tim. The league could have slapped the heck out of them for that. They didn’t because nobody knows more than Roger Goodell what a total foul-up the way these Teams have handled Tim and his Fans really is. Idiots working for Teams energized by an NFL Media so pathetic they called the Option 1950s Army Football and after weeks of hammering Tim and the Broncos then were dumb enough to say they looked forward to the Jets Game because they’d finally get a chance to watch them Play.

            This has become a trait that has permeated from the Commissioner’s Office all the way down to Players and Media. Spit nonsense first, realize later they’re 100% wrong…hope nobody noticed. Do it again…and again…and again.

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