Tim Tebow; Love him or Hate him?
Enter Tim Tebow . The Denver Broncos, and more specifically, Josh McDaniels took a big chance and drafted Tim Tebow in the 1st round of the 2010 NFL draft. Many teams took a pass on Tebow and didn't think he had what it took to be an NFL quarterback. Fast forward to week 15 of the NFL season and Tim Tebow took over as the starting quarterback for the 3-10 Denver Broncos. The team was going nowhere fast and fans wanted to see if Tebow was the future of the team. Was he going to get a chance without Josh McDaniels coaching him? Was he worth the 1st round pick (and the 2nd, 3rd and 4th round picks the Broncos traded) in order to get him? It was time for everyone to find out what exactly the Broncos had in Tim Tebow.
A little background:
Tim Tebow is one of the biggest names in sports in recent years. He won multiple National Championships while the quarterback at the University of Florida (2006 & 2008). Tebow won the Heisman Trophy as college football's best player in 2007 and finished 3rd in Heisman voting in 2008. He was a 3-time winner of the SEC Conference Player of the Year Award. He set the record for career rushing touchdowns in the SEC with 57. I could go on and on here, but you can check out his complete college stats below.
Hate Him: This is where the Tim Tebow story gets really interesting. Having accomplished more than most quarterbacks that have played college football could ever imagine, Tebow was not seen as a legitimate prospect to play quarterback in the NFL. According to longtime NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr., "I don't think he can be a fulltime quarterback. I don't think he can be the quarterback of the future for you."
Many draft experts thought Tebow could not be a throwing quarterback, and there was no place for a guy that could only run. It was widely thought that Tebow had a throwing motion that would be impossible to change, and would not work in the NFL. Tim Tebow could not read defenses and could not comprehend route progression on passing plays. Oh, and Tim Tebow was a man among boys in college -- certainly the NFL players would be too big, too fast and too smart for Tebow to be effective as a quarterback -- especially for a quarterback that could only run. People that hate Tim Tebow can be found anywhere. For every person that is a fan, there's another person that will tell you why Tebow is no good, or why they don't like him, or why he can't and won't succeed in the NFL.
Love Him: Tim Tebow fans are some of the most passionate fans in all of sports. Just like Tebow, his fans seem to have an excitement level that is uncommon, especially in professional sports. Tebow has a very strong belief in his Christian faith, and he has no problem talking about it. He has a strong work ethic and a desire to prove people wrong that have doubted him his entire life. Jon Gruden, the former Super Bowl winning coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is one NFL guy that actually liked what he saw of Tebow before the 2010 draft. According to Gruden, "Tim Tebow is 250 pounds, and he's the strongest human being that's ever played the position. He can throw well enough at any level."
Tony Dungy, another Super Bowl winning coach from the Indianapolis Colts is also a fan of Tebow. Dungy said, "I would pick Tebow with a top 10 pick, and would take him over any quarterback in the 2010 draft."
Those are strong words from men who know quite a bit about what it takes to win in the NFL. While the list of supporters among NFL executives, coaches and players is relatively small, Tim Tebow has more fans than probably any other football player in the world. This is evidenced by the fact the Tim Tebow jersey is the #1 seller out of all NFL jerseys.
So what exactly is the deal with Tim Tebow? Is he just a hyped up running back that could throw a little and run over smaller guys in college? Is he a franchise quarterback that simply needs time to learn and grow? Will he be an average quarterback in the NFL? There are more opinions about Tim Tebow than there are days in a year, and that makes this discussion a hot topic.
I personally think Tebow has EVERYTHING necessary to be a GREAT NFL quarterback. He has the size, arm strength, leadership skills, work ethic and motivational skills that all great quarterbacks tend to have. He is far from a polished quarterback, and he'd be the first to tell you that. He needs to vastly improve his footwork, decision making and pocket presence to become a great quarterback. Tebow has a lot to learn about NFL defenses and the ways opposing teams will try to take away his best assets -- his legs, mobility and outstanding athleticism. The thing for me is that I have confidence in Tebow to improve in all of these things. People talk about him like he's incapable of breaking the mold of what he was in college. I find this laughable. A guy with an unparalleled work ethic, desire to succeed and more heart than 99% of people should not be told they can't do something. Tim Tebow can and will be the franchise quarterback of the Denver Broncos.
I do believe it will be a two or three year process for Tebow to be comfortable as a pocket passer. The great thing is the Broncos showed in the win over the Houston Texans yesterday that game planning around the current skill set of Tim Tebow can make defending the Broncos difficult. There's still a lot of work to do, but Tim Tebow will be up to the challenge. I can't wait to look back in five years and read some of the quotes made by analysts, experts and other NFL executives that counted out Tim Tebow.