In the NFL, no player has produced the media frenzy and public scrutiny like Tim Tebow has when he is on a team’s roster. In the NFL world today, you either love or hate the play of one of the most polarizing athletes of this generation.
A first-round pick from the University of Florida, Tebow had all of the hype in the world, despite having one of the more stranger journeys in the league.
The 6-foot-3, 245-pound quarterback has an 8-6 record for his career and a 7-4 record as a full- time starter with the Denver Broncos back in 2011. In Denver, Tebow completed 47 percent of his passes, recorded 12 touchdowns and six interceptions in relief of Kyle Orton, who led the Broncos to a 1-4 record.
While these are paltry stats for the average starting quarterback, the Broncos utilized the
power-option run game with Tebow and running back Willis McGahee, finishing with the best rushing attack in the NFL that season. However, as for the passing game, Denver ranked 31st.
For what it is worth, Tim Tebow had a knack for leading his team back when they were down. As seen in the above highlight, Tebow had the magic when it counted. In 2011, he finished third in the league in comeback victories and recorded six game winning drives, a stat that was better then some of the premier quarterbacks in the league such as Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Tony Romo that season.
Following that season, the Makati City, Philippines native began to deal with drama. He was traded to the New York Jets during the 2012 offseason but was never given a chance to shine behind incumbent starter Mark Sanchez. Then, in June 2013, Tebow spent a short stint with the New England Patriots, marking the last season Tebow was on a regular season roster.
Now, the Philadelphia Eagles are the latest team to sign the former Florida Gator, hoping he can make an impact behind Mark Sanchez and newcomer Sam Bradford.
Why can’t Tebow get a chance?
In the NFL today, it is not common anymore to see a quarterback who is willing to run on nearly every drive of a game. Michael Vick paved the way for the modern-day Cam Newton or Russell Wilson, but this kind of play only works if the quarterback can also throw the ball- which Tebow has not been able to do.
With the New England Patriots, Tebow showed the same characteristics that made him undesirable. An elongated throwing motion and a slow release, both traits that great quarterbacks do not have. Romo, Brady and Manning, just to name a few, have throwing motions in which they release the ball and they do not telegraph a pass being made.
Tebow has the tendency to run when things break down on the field. In his two years with the Broncos, he rushed for an average of seven times per game, an average higher than Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Colin Kaepernick in their respective careers.
Some wanted Tebow to convert to another position. Terrelle Pryor is making that transition now to wide receiver after being a quarterback for the Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks and the Cincinnati Bengals. Collin Klein was a candidate for the Heisman Trophy coming out of Kansas State in the 2013 NFL Draft, but failed to make a training camp roster. Denard Robinson was an explosive runner at the quarterback position, but he opted to switch positions to ensure a spot with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
This brings me to a question. How successful would Tim Tebow be at this point in his career playing another position?
Tim Tebow is one of the most athletic quarterbacks currently on an NFL roster , rivaled by the likes of Cam Newton, Ryan Tannehill (a converted receiver while at Texas A&M), Colin Kaepernick and now Marcus Mariota. If Tim Tebow could throw accurately on a consistent basis, he could be a top-10 quarterback simply off talent alone.
If he had to choose a position, I think he would fit best as a tight end. With his height, he has the ability to stand over most cornerbacks and some linebackers in the league. In terms of his weight, he could hold his own in a blocking assignment at the line of scrimmage.
Although he would not be like Rob Gronkowski, Tebow would create an impact on the field. He has shown the mental fortitude to handle anything thrown at him. If he isn’t willing to make a position change in this upcoming offseason, it may be the last time he takes the field for an NFL team.
What can Tebow do to stay on the Philadelphia Eagles’ roster?
He will need to show that he has worked on his throwing motion for the past few offseasons. This includes showing a shorter, tighter zip on the ball and his accuracy.
For his career, Tebow has a completion percentage of 48 percent. This is not acceptable, even in the preseason. With receivers like Riley Cooper, Miles Austin and Jordan Matthews, he will have his work cut out for him. He will have to throw to receivers who are not accustomed to getting true separation from cornerbacks. Meaning, Tebow will have to make his receivers better and showcase that he can be an accurate quarterback.
Finally, Tebow will have to show that he is not a distraction. He cannot control the media frenzy that follows him, but it will be best if he learns to show that the media is not important to him. The players in that locker room need to believe in him.
Tim Tebow is a polarizing figure because of his collegiate success and his stint with the Denver Broncos. A position change to tight end could save his career. However, if he wants to remain at the quarterback position, his work is cut out for him.