NFL – WILL THE REAL TIM TEBOW PLEASE STEP FORWARD?

Is he the guy behind door #1?  This Tebow had a terrific college record, but his style of play will not translate well to the NFL.  Not ever.

Is he behind door #2?  This Tebow can make it in the NFL if a team realizes that his passion and leadership skills along with his proven ability to win football games equal legitimacy, despite his deficiencies.

Or, is he behind door #3? This Tebow will succeed only if a team commits to him, is willing to build a team around him, and helps him to improve his flaws.

Based on the statistics, I think the real Tebow right now is behind door #2 and can probably help a team win games.   But, he really should advance to #3.

Let’s look at Tebow’s tenure with the 2011 Denver Broncos.  The team was 7-4 when he started (3 of those games won in overtime), his interception percentage was low (2.2%), and he did it all with a low completion percentage (46.5%).  He took over the team’s reigns as quarterback when the team was 1-4, they won 6 games straight (from weeks 9-14), and they went to the playoffs.  Further, Tebow had 5 fourth quarter wins.  In fact, he is currently rated 10th on the list of quarterbacks with all-time 4th quarter wins. And, his completion percentage and quarterback ratings rose in the fourth quarter.

Compare those statistics to Kyle Orton who was the original starter of the Broncos that yea r (2011).  Earlier in that season, it seemed popular convention that he was the better more solid quarterback than Tebow, technically speaking.  But, the team was 3-5 when Orton started, even with his better completion rate than Tebow (59.5%) and he had a higher interception rate with less games (3.6%).

On paper, Tebow was the better quarterback and did a fine job with the Denver Broncos in 2011.  Still, the team did not see their future with him and decided to bring on Peyton Manning as their long-term captain.   He was then traded to the New York Jets earlier in 2012.

You can say anything you want about Tebow’s style of play (or lack thereof), but why on earth is he now standing on the sideline for the Jets?  Either he should replace Mark Sanchez for the remainder of the season, or move on to a team that really could use him.  And, what exactly is the Jets reluctance to finally replace Sanchez with Tebow all about, anyway? Do they wish to just stay with Sanchez and hope for the best?

Currently, the Jets are 3-5 with Sanchez at the helm.  And, while he has a 52.9% completion rate and a relatively low 2.9 interception rate, the team seems to be spiraling downward.  It is true that during Sanchez’s college career as quarterback for USC in 2008, he finished 1st in NCAA Pass Completion Percentage, Passing Yards, Passing Yards Per Attempt, and Passing Touchdowns.  But, since 2009, Sanchez’s completion rate in the NFL is at an all-time low.  He’s getting worse in this area, not improving.  That kind of puts him on the same level with Tebow, in my opinion.  If teams think Tebow’s style of play cannot translate into the NFL, he at least has shown he can lead teams to victory even with seemingly awkward technical skills. On the other hand, Sanchez’s style of play may translate well into the NFL, but he’s not proven that he is a good leader.  For instance, in 2011, the Jets could never get on a roll and were plagued by inconsistency.  They won 3 times in a row from weeks (6-9), but followed it up with 2 losses, then 3 wins, and then 3 losses again to end the season without going to the playoffs.   This year, the team is win, loss, win, loss, loss, win, loss, loss.

The 2012 NFL Trade Deadline has come and gone.  That means Tebow will be staying put on a team where he won’t be utilized properly, or even given a chance to exhibit what leadership skills and a true deep passion for playing football can do.  We saw moments of it when he was with the Broncos.  Maybe the pros and management can see something we can’t, but on paper, he has shown that he can get the job done even with deep flaws in his game.  Imagine what a team could do with him that was fully committed?

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