Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tim Tebow's Hail Marys by Gregory Gee

After engineering a string of impressive come from the behind fourth quarter victories, Tim Tebow supporters think he is on the road to NFL success.

His infant NFL career is currently succeeding, as reflected by his team turn around winning record(7-1 with him starting, 1-4 without), once he became the starting quarterback. Tebow’s current success has surprised and shocked most (I haven’t heard any say they expected this) NFL experts.


He is not your conventional pocket passing, accurate NFL quarterback. His footwork is flawed. His throws are consistently off-target. And he has trouble with the most basic of football plays - the center to quarterback snap - after spending most of his football career playing out of the shotgun.

As a starter, Tebow began 1-1 and unable to grasp the Broncos offense. Now, this erratic passer runs a college type spread option offense that would get most NFL quarterback killed. So, why did Denver’s head coach John Fox install a quarterback suicide offense for his quarterback? But the bigger question, how does Tebow continue to progress and succeed from week to week?

Denver Broncos head coach John Fox did not have a “eureka!” moment to start Tebow, but the circumstances and a boisturous fan base allowed for Tebow to start. Let’s go back to training camp. Fox had an open quarterback competition for a future quarterback because then starting quarterback Kyle Orton was on the trading block. The Broncos tried to trade Orton but negotiations with Miami broke down and Orton outright won the quarterback competition. Orton (no longer a Bronco) started the season 1-4 and Fox was forced to start fan favorite Tebow.

"We haven't gotten it done as a football team,” Fox said. “It's not one guy. It's not all Kyle Orton's fault. But we do have to make adjustments, we have to change and we have to do something to win football games."

Adjustments were made and Tebow is now 7-1 as a starter.

So, who gets the credit for the Tebow’s success? The team, of course, because football is a team sport: the defense has allowed only 16.7 points in Tebow’s victories and have forced game changing turnovers in six of seven Tebow’s victories. Not to be overlooked, Tebow has been Mr. Clutch in the fourth quarter (only Aaron Rogers has a higher fourth quarter rating). The Big D keeps it close while Tebow delivers the fourth quarter and overtime victories.

Next in line, coach (Fox), who is more committed than any other coach to the run, deserves credit as well. Fox admitted Tebow is screwed (his word) running a pro style offense so Fox and staff decided to implement a simplified offense that highlighted Tebow’s talents. The result is a “ho-hum” that does not make mistakes and does just enough to win (think Trent Dilfer during the Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl run).

Some have suggested that Denver’s defense and John Fox deserve the lion's share of the credit for the team’s current success. Maybe, but I’m not assigning the bulk of credit to any one component — only the teammates can do that. I do not believe the Bronco's formula (solid defense for 4 quarters and Tebow great for only fourth quarter) is sustainable for long term success. The current spread offense is seen as gimmick offense on the NFL level. Gimmicks are usually good for one season before coaches, via game film, figure ways to nuetralize them.

Currently, Tebow is good, not great. Great would be to score points almost at will and keep the opponent’s defense on it’s heels (ala Green Bay, New Orleans, and New England teams). Tebow, a work in progress, has temporary success and to get better, he will and has to learn how to be a NFL quarterback.

Finally, a huge factor in Tebow’s success is his faith. I do not believe there is divine intervention to tip the scales in Tebow’s favor but strong faith (and hard work) puts all us in positions of accomplishing great things. These are called blessings. And it is up to us on how we use them - Tebow has definitely used his.

Since his entrance into the NFL, Tebow’s future as a quarterback looked bleak: a sub par, dismal rookie season and he began the season as the third string quarterback. Add to the fact that some NFL experts suggested he change position before he even entered the league.

Tebow's faith didn’t waiver.


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