With the Peyton Manning free agency debacle over and done with we can all go back to focusing on other sports that are actually still running. The NBA is getting near playoff time and so is the NHL, and both leagues are offering exciting action night in and night out. However, just when you thought you were done hearing about the NFL for a while, a story line emerges: What’s to happen with Tebow?
Last season everyone across the country, fan or hater, became a follower of Tim Tebow. A two-time National Championship winner (and Heisman Winner) during his collegiate days with Florida, Tebow was one of the most scrutinized NFL prospects of this generation, often because of his unorthodox style of play. Scouts liked to point out his poor throwing mechanics and lack of experience in a pro-style offense, but despite these things, Tebow was just as unworldly as his time with Florida. His plethora of awards speak for themselves and Tebow’s play last season (which was just his second as a pro) only took his legend status to a new level. The phenomenon surrounding the man has already been documented extensively so I will not retell his tale, but in short, he had a season that should have guaranteed him a shot at being the franchise quarterback. Scouts, experts and whoever the hell else wants to throw in their opinion can argue with me all day about the guys inability to do damage through the air, or his lack of field vision which results in poor throws at times, but you can’t argue the guys heart or his dedication to peak physical conditioning. In all my years of watching pro sports I’ve never seen a player invest more into winning than Tim Tebow. For instance, how many other Quarterbacks in the league will run the ball 20+ times in a game, knowingly risking injury on many of those carries? The answer is near zero, because no one else plays like Tebow. It’s hard to accept that his style of play is effective, but it is just that.
At the end of last season The Denver Bronco’s VP John Elway said Tebow would be the team’s starter heading into training camp, but quite frankly he lied to all of us. It’s fine to lie to reporters and to the media, but this lie seemed like one that was aimed at Tim Tebow himself. It makes me question the character of Elway, a QB I always respected for his guts and determination when he was driving the Broncos to championships in the 90’s. However after this whole ordeal, it’s hard to not feel a bit let down that the Denver organization would abandon such a promising starter for instant satisfaction; despite the fact that the replacement may be the greatest to ever play the position. I understand that Denver wants to win championships, but who’s to say Tebow couldn’t have gotten them there? In just his first season as starter he led the team to a gutsy playoff win over a Pittsburgh team that many believed had championship hopes. Tebow may not make the game look pretty, but he gets results and he gets wins; that’s the bottom line. The signing of Peyton Manning is sure to improve Denver in the short term, but try to remember that Manning is getting older and he’s coming off some extensive surgical work which, rightfully so, has everyone wondering if he’s still the real Peyton Manning or if he is just willing himself to play. Peyton is my favorite player of all-time, and it pained me to see him leave Indy, but it almost pained me as much to hear that he was going to end the Tebow show before it even really had a chance to work.
It would be a great storyline if Tebow can find another team, but that seems uncertain because of the type of player he is. Teams seem unwilling to commit to Tebow, much like the Broncos were heading into last season…and look where he took that very mediocre team. A lot of that success can be directly attributed to how much of a match-up nightmare Tebow is, being one of the hardest players to account for because of his speed and strength. His ability to hit like a tough running back makes him a problem to bring down and because he runs options, pitches and draws so often the throwing game is often open for big play possibilities (take a look at his performance against the Steelers in the playoffs; that’s Tebow at his finest). I for one hope Tebow finds a new suitor and gets a chance to prove that he can be a full time starter in this league, because critics will always be around trying to dispel players for not fitting into the norm. Tebow is far from the norm, but he is very effective and very smart, and he will be an important player (if even just for “trick” plays) for whatever team is lucky enough to sign him.
What is Tebow’s Trade Value? Would You Want Him As Your Starter? Thoughts?