Debunking the Tim Tebow Myth

If you missed this past Sunday’s game, Tim Tebow was sacked as many times as he completed passes. New England’s defense was too disciplined and too fast for the Broncos read option. So this means Tebow can’t play QB in the NFL? I think it’s too early to tell. But let’s see why he is such a polarizing figure and maybe you will understand why I think he’ll make it.

1.) Tebowing offends the fans and his opponents.
Really? This one’s kind of weak. Numerous QBs point to the sky after throwing a TD pass. Many players do similiar acts after scoring TDs. Do you think they’re stargazing? This is also ridiculous because we have receivers doing the River Dance and other exotic dances after scoring. Aaron Rodgers’ TD dance is straight out of professional wrestling. Clay Matthews flexes his muscles after sacks. In short, there are a lot more potentially offensive celebrations out there than a Christian thanking God after scoring.

2.) He believes the Broncos win by divine intervention.
I don’t think so. He thanks God for his victories because he believes God gave him his gifts and talents, and has put him where he is to best utlize those skills while giving him a platform to proclaim his faith. His steadfast devotion in the face of ridicule and scorn should be celebrated, not hated. He doesn’t claim God intervenes to help him win. He believes God gave him and his teammates their talents and put them together, therefore putting them in position to win. Notable difference.

3.) He’s a devout Christian.
In a world where atheism is becoming more common and religion is looked down upon, this could be a problem. But think about it. Players gather together to pray before games, even on opposite teams. He’s also not the first. Reggie White was an ordained minister. LeRoy Butler became a minister upon retiring. There are numerous believers around the NFL. Tebow just happens to be more vocal of his belief, but he doesn’t force it upon others. He just expresses his beliefs as his constitutional rights allow him to do. I see nothing wrong with that.

4.) He doesn’t have an NFL arm.
He played at Florida with one of the fastest group of players ever assembled. Yet he frequently hit those receivers in stride down the field For example there is this collection of highlights. The long passes are towards the last 7 minutes unfortunately but there is also a variety of passes where he fires into tight coverage and puts the ball where only his receiver can catch it. he can throw at least 50 yards in the air, making him at least on par with Drew Brees.

5.) He has an ugly throwing motion.
Ok, you got me on this one. He has a big windup and a hitch in his throw. He releases the ball somewhere around his head and drops down sidearm way too much too. Despite lots of work in this area, he still can’t help himself and falls back into old habits. First of all, I’d give him kudos for trying to fix his delivery. But let’s face it. You can count the number of QBs with a perfect throwing motion on one hand. Phillip Rivers looks like he’s launching a shotput. Brees is 6′ and throws sidearm a lot, meaning his release point is the same as mine despite him being 3 inches taller. Cameron Newton throws sidearm frequently, giving him the same release point as Tebow normally. In short, he can still play in the NFL.

6.) the Broncos won in spite of him and the defense was the reason they went 7-4 down the stretch.
Hmm….easy to point out since his numbers (126 of 271 for 1729 yards, 12 TDs, 6 ints. 122 carries for 660 yards, 6 TDs, sacked 33 times and lost 6 fumbles) are hardly awe-inspiring. I could mention he’s still learning, but I’ll save that for next. Instead I’ll point out that although Orton had 19 fewer attempts, he threw 3 more ints, and three less TDs. Meanwhile, in Orton’s 6 starts, the defense gave up 385 yards/game and quite a bit of points, the team was 1-4 and had shipped out their no. 1 WR, Brandon Lloyd. After Tebow took over, the defense would end the season giving up only 257 yards/game. Obviously Tebow doesn’t tackle, so what did he do? How abot not turning the ball over and keeping the defense off the field? Note the defense struggled when he wasn’t having success running and when he turned the ball over. That’s not a coincidence.

7.) He can’t read defenses and lacks accuracy.
He’s a 2nd year QB who made his 16th start this season. He was also learning a whole new offense on the fly since there wasn’t any offseason programs and not much training camp. He is also still learning how to read the defense while dropping back from center as opposed to from shotgun. For all intents and purposes, like all spread option QBs, he’s still learning how an offense really works, with multiple reads and adjusting on the go to what the defense does. This can only come with time and reps. Note how Cameron Newton struggled reading defenses, and both Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy took steps back this year. And both Bradord and Mccoy were from infinitely more complex offenses than Tebow’s at Florida. Note how long it’s taken Alex Smith to show he’s an NFL QB, and he comes from the same system as Tebow.

8.) The spread option will never work in the NFL.
First, I’m not a huge fan of the spread option. I think it inflates numbers, making players in the system look better than they really are. But the idea that it can’t work in the NFL will get tested as the number of spread option QBs hitting the pros increases. Considering how prolific these offenses are at the high school and colleges, that test is coming soon. With that said, to make it work, you need a QB who is both a legit threat to run and pass teamed with a running back who is both capable of picking up short yardage and take the handoff for a TD. Tebow needs to improve as a passer and the Broncos need a big back with speed for it to work for them. Moreno and McGahee have the size but lack the speed. Lance Ball lacks the size. For now, I’ll go with the critics, in part because they’re right, and because I’m one of them on this one.

9.) Lastly, Tim Tebow is cocky and is not a leader.
This is more from his Florida days but I’ve heard it a few times. I don’t really get this one. He spent his summers at Florida in the Phillipines helping people build houses while sharing the gospel. That doesn’t sound too cocky to me. After a loss to Ole Miss, Tim could’ve blamed his runners for fumbling twice. He could’ve blamed his defense for giving up long TD passes. Instead, he declared,”You have never seen any player in the entire country play as hard as I will play the rest of this season and you’ll never see someone push the rest of the team as hard as I will push everybody the rest of this season, and you’ll never see a team play harder than we will the rest of this season.” He was true to his word. The Gators wouldn’t lose a game the rest of the season, and he was phenomenal the rest of the way. He always talks about hard work and dedication. I think there are a few QBs around the NFL, a certain Panther QB comes to mind, who could learn a thing or two about taking responsibility for mistakes and leadership.

I think Tebow will make it. There are worse QBs in the NFL, several of which start. He is dedicated, he’s a hard worker, and has talent. Having better receivers around him certainly wouldn’t hurt. And to be honest I didn’t like the Florida Gators, they seemed to be trying to be the new century’s Miami Hurricanes with all the arrests and trash talking, and I’m not a fan of the Denver Broncos. But I have become a fan of Tim Tebow.

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