November 18, 2011 by MarkHanrahan20
I guarantee everyone reading this had their Twitter and Facebook feeds absolutely blown up with Tebow talk last night. Well, that and Twilight, but I’m not going to blog about that…yet. The sports world is talking Tebow, but what I find fascinating is the hypocrisy and blindness surrounding everything Tebow. Just about every NFL game you watch, you will hear the color commentator say, “This is the National Football League, if you can get your hands on the ball, you have to catch it.” Funny thing is, I didn’t hear a whole lot of that during the Kansas City and Jets games. Tebow was 2-8 passing against Kansas City. In that game, 7 of his 8 passes hit the receivers in the hands, three being flat out drops, and the other two being 50-50 balls with the defensive back. During the Jets game you saw receivers dropping balls, unable to make the sliding grab and catching a case of alligator arms across the middle…but that’s all on Tebow. Thing is, it’s not the receivers fault either; they really shouldn’t be starting on an NFL team. Would guys like Eddie Royal or Eric Decker be starting for ANY other team in the NFL? I know I wouldn’t want them on my Bears and we have enough problems at that position. It doesn’t get any better at running back or tight end, two positions that can be very valuable to a young NFL quarterback.
It’s become a running joke, that Head Coach John Fox and VP of Football Ops John Elway don’t want Tebow to succeed. They are hoping to throw him out there to fall flat on his face, but as hard as they try, it isn’t happening. There was plenty of evidence in the Jets game alone that Fox wanted to both win the game and make Tebow look like a fool. The Broncos came out fast, in a 10 play, 59 yard drive mixing in the read option, traditional option, and getting Tebow out of the pocket to make some passes in space. Tebow finished that drive 3-3 passing for 43 yards, not too bad but what happened to this philosophy the rest of the game? Did the Jets make adjustments? It didn’t appear that way to me. It seemed like Fox was content to use the rest of the game to show the world how bad Tebow and his offense where. The Broncos completely abandoned the option game and stuck to designed run plays between the tackles, an area the Jets had stacked, with nowhere to run. So the box is stacked with defenders, they obviously went back to rolling Tebow out with run/pass options, right? Nope, that didn’t happen either. The Broncos were keeping Tebow in the pocket, hoping his inept receivers would somehow find a way to get open against one of the best defensive backfields in the NFL… Seems like a good strategy.
Frankly, I’m not sure why an NFL coach wouldn’t want to build an NFL offense around a guy like Tim Tebow, especially if he already had a good defense on the field. This is the same NFL that is still all about ball control, working the clock, and not turning the ball over, right? Well, as poor as Tebow has been throwing the ball, he still isn’t throwing it to the other team. He throws the ball where only his receivers can catch it and passes that would probably be getting caught a whole lot more if he had a single receiver that would see time on any other team. Tebow has shown to make solid decisions; he gets out of the pocket, holds on to the ball, throws it away when nothing is there and doesn’t turn it over. These are all things coaches want, right?
I guess the question is, what do the Broncos do going forward? Obviously, they have a decision to make; do they keep Tebow and build around him or draft a QB and build a new offense? Frankly, I would be on the side of keeping Tebow. Denverhas struggled for years with their defense and they are finally starting to show a little grit. Rookie, Von Miller has been a beast the last few games, terrorizing quarterbacks like Derrick Thomas used to… If you keep Tebow, you can use that high first round pick on another defensive player and continue to build one of the better defenses in the AFC West. Unless you can find a playmaking Tight End in the first round, there really isn’t anything available this year that will greatly improve the offense. You don’t need big time wide receivers in a Tebow led offense, but you do need a couple of very good Tight Ends which can probably be found in free agency and a good, versatile speed back that can catch balls, line up in the slot, and run from anywhere on the field. Off the top of my head, I can think of two such backs that could probably be acquired with a very low draft pick, both who know Tebow well… former UF teammates Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey. Another issue that is often brought up is that a QB can’t last long in this system, they will get injured. First of all, Tebow isn’t built like most NFL QB’s, he’s solid and is often on the offensive end of the hit, not defenseless. There are a number of very good Quarterbacks that could make a serviceable backup to Tebow… How about Pat White? Current Kansas State Quarterback Collin Klein is almost a Tebow clone and would be a great late round draft pick or free agent signing.
If you choose to go the other way and draft a “franchise quarterback” you are going to have to put weapons around him and protect him. A guy like Andrew Luck or Matt Barkley isn’t going to come into Denver and light the world on fire with receivers that can’t get open and even when they do get open, have a 50-50 shot of actually making the catch. Without the option to run, you are going to have to invest big money in a pass protecting OL, or two. These are not pieces that can easily be assembled in a year, or even two. Do Broncos fans have the patience to wait for years, ignore their needs on defense and hope to win with their next franchise QB? I’m not a Broncos fan, but I would roll the dice with Tebow, give him the pieces he needs on offense then build a defense that can dominate the AFC.