Before you make any assumptions about this article, lets get this straight. This is not going to be your average Tebow article. It seems that much Tebow news nowadays is either negative or positive to the extreme, and there are few people that can speak of both his good and bad qualities.I’m not going to blow his story out of proportion, and I’m not here to obsess over him like SportsCenter does (sorry SC, it’s true). That said, this isn’t going to be a very negative article either.
I’m not a Tebow fan nor a Tebow hater. I’m here to tell the truth.
When Tim Tebow was released by the Jets on Monday morning, the general public opinion on him was that he’s just not an NFL caliber quarterback, and he’s destined to play in the CFL. But just a little over a year ago, many thought of Tebow as a great quarterback. So how did a playoff level quarterback become such a hopeless player without even playing 80 offensive snaps during the season?
Tim Tebow was overrated with the Broncos. The Broncos were 8-8 with Tebow, and won one preseason game. Tebow often could not connect with receivers Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas. He led many great fourth quarter drives to win games, and owes much of his success in with the Broncos to his kicker, Matt Prater. He was an average quarterback who had the ability to lead great fourth quarter drives. The hype around him was exaggerated. Because of all the media hype and the “Tebowing” craze that was going around, he was thought of to be much better than he really is. He wasn’t that good, but he wasn’t bad either.
Then, the Broncos acquired Peyton Manning. With the elite quarterback now on their roster, they had no more use for Tebow. He had the choice of going to either the Jets or the Jaguars. The rest of the story is well known. He went to the Jets, played few offensive snaps, failed in the wildcat, and served as Mark Sanchez’s backup. Now, a year after the Jets signed him, the Jets have released him, and he is a free agent with little chances of ever being a starting quarterback again.
Rex Ryan refused to start Tim Tebow, and always believed that Mark Sanchez gave them the best chance to win. This hurt Tebow’s reputation, and his level of play was widely believed to have gone down, even though there was nothing to prove it. In only a single season, Tebow’s reputation was killed, not by bad play, but by the media. There was a wide debate about whether Tebow deserved to start for the New York Jets, and some people started hating Tebow because they got tired of seeing his name.
You may not believe me, but Tebow is now underrated. There’s no reason that Tebow should get all this bad media. Nothing has changed since the 2011 season. There aren’t any indications that he has gotten any worse. Tebow is marketed as being worse than people like Mark Sanchez and John Skelton, but he’s won two NCAA National Championships, the Heisman Trophy, and he’s won a playoff game in his sophomore season. Even still, teams stay away from him now because of all the media hype about him being a “bad quarterback”.
So where can he go now?
There are only a few realistic possibilities. Tebow’s days as a starting quarterback in the NFL are probably over. He’s too inaccurate and his mechanics are too wacky to be coachable. Tebow has to accept that he has to embrace his other skill sets, like running. Tebow is an excellent rusher, and was able to escape pressure in the pocket at Denver and at UF. Any team that has him could run an effective wildcat offense with good coaching (which the Jets didn’t have). Tebow could line up in the backfield and catch passes, carry the ball, or throw. Tebow could also line up out wide, although this didn’t prove to be very effective for the Jets.
Tebow would have much success at the New England Patriots. There’s no way he could compete for a starting job with Tom Brady at the helm, but he could bring some interesting wildcat packages. The Patriots may have a pure offense, but they’re always open to new things, especially if those things confuse opposing defenses. Josh McDaniels, the Patriots’ Offensive Coordinator, was the Head Coach of the Broncos when they drafted Tebow in the first round, so he could use Tebow in different ways. And the Patriots don’t have to be afraid of the media hype, because No one is bigger than the team in New England, and no player is bigger than Tom Brady.
The New Orleans Saints could also have use for Tebow. The Saints are in dire need of a backup quarterback, as Chase Daniels went to the Chiefs in free agency. Tebow could also bolster the Saints’ nonexistent running game by getting carries out of the backfield, and he could occasionally pass the ball after taking the handoff. This could confuse defenses, as the other team has to be prepared for both the pass and the run when Tebow is in the backfield, and they wouldn’t find out what type of play they are running until after Tebow gets the handoff. The Saints are currently short in the running game, and with Tebow getting carries, it would make Drew Brees’ life much easier.
These are the best two options for Tebow, but he would have to swallow some pride to be successful again. He has to accept the fact that he probably won’t get a starting quarterback job again, and he has to be willing to catch passes or take handoffs. Tebow isn’t the best player, but he has a talent for playing football. His recent failure in the NFL was mainly due to bad coaching and media obsessiveness. If Tebow goes to a winning team and makes some good plays, his career could come back. It’ll be a hard road ahead for Tebow, but he has to keep his head up and make the right decisions to be successful.