Is Tebow the real deal?

Why I Like Tim Tebow


One of the hot topics from the NFL these past few weeks has been the legitimacy (or lack thereof) of Tim Tebow at the quarterback position. Since we’re on a bye week and Steeler news is thin, I thought I’d venture out in to the world for a minute. As it happens, Tebow’s world is striking similar to what we’ve experienced here in Steeler Nation. There are tons of reasons half the world wants Tebow to fail and the other half are believers, and I’ll give you my two cents on why, at this time, I’m on the band wagon.

As we’ve seen from Tebow since his entering the NFL after winning two National Championships and the Heisman trophy at Florida, changing your mechanics to fit the NFL is no easy task. Tebow entered the NFL with sketchy footwork and a release longer than Byron Leftwhich’s. His mechanics really haven’t changed all that much, but since nabbing the starting position from the always ineffective Kyle Orton, Tebow is 4-1.

No one will deny (I don’t think) that Tebow is a very skilled athlete. His ability to run the ball, take a beating, and get in to the end zone as a runner is impressive. Inspiring, even. It is Tebow’s quarterbacking ability that is in question (not his religious affiliation, mind you), and unfortunately there is more to being behind center than a motivational speech, a prayer, and a couple nice runs. You have to throw the ball. This is where Tebow has trouble. Two games ago the Broncos won on Tebow’s 2 for 9 passing. Granted, one of those passes was a beautiful ball to E. Decker for a 44 yard TD. Last Thursday night, Tebow went 9-20 passing, and manned a 95 yard drive to come back and finish the Jets within the last couple minutes of the game.

In terms of passing, those numbers just won’t work no matter how you slice it. This is a passing league, and in order to be an effective offense, the quarterback needs to be able to throw for a high completion percentage (Rogers is throwing at a record high 75% right now, Big Ben usually hovers around the mid-low sixties). Less than 50% probably isn’t going to cut it. Like I said above, changing your fundamental mechanics, the same mechanics you’ve been winning championships with since you were in college, is no small task. Tebow has lots and lots of work cut out for him if he wants to be considered a legitimate pass threat.

All that being said, winning is winning. Everybody in the world wants to fix something that really isn’t broken. The broncos are winning. For some reason, somehow, they are winning. They’re not just winning, they’re winning because of Tim Tebow. Before Tebow the Broncos were pitiful. It’s almost like they’re still pitiful, they’ve just started to believe that they can win, and that counts for something. Tebow has showed his team that when the game is on the line he can be called on to usher a 95 yard drive, or throw a 44 yd TD pass. His team is beginning to believe that whatever it is that is inside of Tebow, besides Jesus, “IT” means they’re never out of the game.

Powerful stuff, and not so unlike the situation Steeler fans have going on in Pittsburgh. Big Ben has always been criticized for his unorthodox play. He doesn’t have the same fundamental problems Tebow has, but he has the same knack for winning games in the clutch. In 2005, Roethlisberger wasn’t much to write home about statistically speaking. He was a good quarterback behind center, and had some pretty great games that year (championship game against the Broncos for one…), but for the most part, the Steelers were still a running team, leaning heavily on the legs of Fast Willie Parker and The Bus. Roethlisberger didn’t throw as much as he is able to now, effectively, but he was able to make the big plays when the Steelers needed him the most.

Of course, we all know that he has developed in to one of the leagues best quarterbacks, and is now one of the better passers in the league in general. But still, he holds the ball too long, he takes too many hits, there’s some off the field stuff that has been problematic…No so unlike Tebow.

Let me be clear here. Being outspoken about your religion and talking about it to reporters is nothing new. Athletes (see Reggie White, Deon Sanders etc), Actors (See Tom Cruise), and other celebrities (See President George W. Bush), have never been shy about their religions, whatever they practice. This is nothing new, and although it could be annoying for some, it’s not the thing that is up for debate here. Tebow has managed to polarize the football world with his talks of Jesus, and his Bible verses etched in to his eye black stickers. Get over it. This game is about winning, and only about winning. That’s what’s in question and that’s what’s at stake here. Nothing else.

There are some who say Tebow’s style of play just isn’t sustainable, and there are others that just want to believe that what they’re seeing isn’t just some fluke. Remember, the Steelers went to the Super Bowl and won it on the arm of a still developing, albeit at times electrifying, quarterback in Big Ben.

Personally, I’ve always been a believer. It’s fun to believe in something that seems improbable. It seems as though the entire world is against Tebow, yet he comes through in the clutch, again and again. When he was still in college, I remember all the debate about Tebow. His mechanics suck, he’ll never make it in the NFL, no one should draft him, he’s not going to do well, we’ve seen it time and time again with other college stars who can’t succeed in the NFL…Blah de frickin blah. Well, I said it then: He’s a winner. He’s a winner, he’s a winner, he’s a winner. Who the hell cares what the stats look like if you win games? He may never be a fantasy play, but as long as he can run the ball in from 20 yards out to beat what was supposed to be a Super Bowl caliber team this season, why the hell try to fix it?

I will say this: the jury is clearly still out on this guy. There is a relatively small sample size of work to look at, and Tebow has plenty of time to develop in to a passer. In the mean time, it’s fun to root for someone who is such an underdog in the eyes of Sports Media. Sometimes I wonder how these NFL analysts lost their awe of the game. Anyone with a shred of love for the game has to see how beautiful a story this is, and how fun it is to root for his success.

Best of luck to Tebow moving forward. I hope he shuts everyone up in a big way. Unless he’s playing the Steelers.

Follow me on Twitter at @AdamMeckler, I tweet a lot.

Next Steelers Game View full schedule »
Thursday, Aug 2121 Aug7:30at Philadelphia EaglesBuy Tickets

  • Pingback: Why I Like Tim Tebow » County Lawyer's Blog

  • craig.gottschalk

    He may have ‘mastered’ that 95 yard drive to beat the Jets (with almost 6 minutes on the clock), but I’d hate to be the Broncos if they were down 6 points with 1:45 to go on the clock and only one or two timeouts.

    Brisco from CBS tweeted that Denver actually had Tebow listed as the third running back during that game.

  • HektorHawkins

    @AdamMeckler interesting read. Not a tebow fan, but I like underdogs. I think the real convo should be about the Broncos D…

  • HektorHawkins

    @AdamMeckler I think they have allowed 1 rush Td all year. Broncos are making a college game plan work in NFL on offense. It’s interesting

  • Pingback: Why I Like Tim Tebow – Nice Pick, Cowher | DirectUSATV.com

  • AdamMeckler

    @HektorHawkins interesting thought. You’re right man, should be another article all together.

  • jdarling

    Hey Add – nice article. I thought it was a pretty fair assessment of Tebow. I’m still a little sore that no one seems to point out the vast number of drops on the part of Broncos receivers since he’s taken over as starter. At least 5 a game by my count, sometimes more, and last night was no exception. He’s also been great at throwing the ball away, which count as incompletions. When you calculate those in, he’s an decent 60%-ish. I don’t think he’s anywhere near as innaccurate as everyone makes him out to be and his college stats back that up. I think those are worthwhile points anyway…

    and ps – it was 56 yard strike to Decker last week, no 44 ;)

  • jdarling

    Add = Adam :)

  • ChristopherKrier

    Great article. The team has been playing better since Tebow became the starting quarterback. The defense seems like a completely new unit, they have been winning the special teams and the turnover battles, and Tebow has made the plays when he’s had to. For the long term, who knows? But for now it is a lot of fun to watch. Winning is better than the alternative.

    Chris Krier

    Predominantlyorange.com

    Broncos Fansided Site

  • booman2391

    If anybody has a problem with Tebow believing in Jesus they are bigots, plain and simple.

  • John Doe

    If anybody has a problem with Tebow believing in Jesus they are bigots.

  • craig.gottschalk

    He may have ‘mastered’ that 95 yard drive to beat the Jets (with almost 6 minutes on the clock), but I’d hate to be the Broncos if they were down 6 points with 1:45 to go on the clock and only one or two timeouts.

    Brisco from CBS tweeted that Denver actually had Tebow listed as the third running back during that game.

  • HektorHawkins

    @AdamMeckler interesting read. Not a tebow fan, but I like underdogs. I think the real convo should be about the Broncos D…

  • HektorHawkins

    @AdamMeckler I think they have allowed 1 rush Td all year. Broncos are making a college game plan work in NFL on offense. It’s interesting

  • AdamMeckler

    @HektorHawkins interesting thought. You’re right man, should be another article all together.

  • jdarling

    Hey Add – nice article. I thought it was a pretty fair assessment of Tebow. I’m still a little sore that no one seems to point out the vast number of drops on the part of Broncos receivers since he’s taken over as starter. At least 5 a game by my count, sometimes more, and last night was no exception. He’s also been great at throwing the ball away, which count as incompletions. When you calculate those in, he’s an decent 60%-ish. I don’t think he’s anywhere near as innaccurate as everyone makes him out to be and his college stats back that up. I think those are worthwhile points anyway…

    and ps – it was 56 yard strike to Decker last week, no 44 ;)

  • jdarling

    Add = Adam :)

  • ChristopherKrier

    Great article. The team has been playing better since Tebow became the starting quarterback. The defense seems like a completely new unit, they have been winning the special teams and the turnover battles, and Tebow has made the plays when he’s had to. For the long term, who knows? But for now it is a lot of fun to watch. Winning is better than the alternative.

    Chris Krier

    Predominantlyorange.com

    Broncos Fansided Site

  • John Doe

    If anybody has a problem with Tebow believing in Jesus they are bigots, plain and simple.

  • John Doe

    If anybody has a problem with Tebow believing in Jesus they are bigots, plain and simple.

  • John Doe

    If anybody has a problem with Tebow believing in Jesus they are bigots.

  • AdamMeckler

    @jdarling Right, 56! Thanks, sorry I messed up that stat! You’re totally right about the drops, and something I didn’t talk about has been his ability to take care of the ball. Minimizing the mistakes young QBs usually make in the form of INTs and fumbles has been a huge upside to Tebow’s game.

  • AdamMeckler

    @craig.gottschalk Well, then he’d just have to throw another one of those strikes to Decker. Decker is a beast of a WR, just don’t get to see it very often.

  • AdamMeckler

    @ChristopherKrier Right, long term is the thing that is in question, but the only way to know is ride it out and see. For a moment at least, Broncos fans get to feel that same burning feeling I always feel when Big Ben gets the ball inside the ten with 3 minutes left needing a score. Deep down, I know the game is still winable, and that’s a great feeling.

    Thanks for reading!

  • jdarling

    @AdamMeckler@jdarling The best part of the pregame was when the panel brought on John Elway and threw up his stats from his 1st 7 games against Tebow’s. It was an embarrassment. Tebow had him creamed in every single category. The look on Elways face was priceless. I couldn’t believe it. A few weeks back Kurt Warner threw up a similar statistic comparing Tebow’s stats to Eli Mannings in their first few games. Again no contest – Tebow had him beat handily in every category. If the Broncos get some better receivers it will really be amazing to see what happens. I just can’t believe no article anywhere talks about the drops and throwaways, it’s mind-boggling. Even some of the really “bad” throws seem intentionally thrown in the dirt to avoid a pick. But honestly, I’ve never ever seen a player so scrutinized on EVERY pass (except of course drops)

  • AdamMeckler

    @jdarling Right, 56! Thanks, sorry I messed up that stat! You’re totally right about the drops, and something I didn’t talk about has been his ability to take care of the ball. Minimizing the mistakes young QBs usually make in the form of INTs and fumbles has been a huge upside to Tebow’s game.

  • AdamMeckler

    @craig.gottschalk Well, then he’d just have to throw another one of those strikes to Decker. Decker is a beast of a WR, just don’t get to see it very often.

  • AdamMeckler

    @ChristopherKrier Right, long term is the thing that is in question, but the only way to know is ride it out and see. For a moment at least, Broncos fans get to feel that same burning feeling I always feel when Big Ben gets the ball inside the ten with 3 minutes left needing a score. Deep down, I know the game is still winable, and that’s a great feeling.

    Thanks for reading!

  • jdarling

    @AdamMeckler@jdarling The best part of the pregame was when the panel brought on John Elway and threw up his stats from his 1st 7 games against Tebow’s. It was an embarrassment. Tebow had him creamed in every single category. The look on Elways face was priceless. I couldn’t believe it. A few weeks back Kurt Warner threw up a similar statistic comparing Tebow’s stats to Eli Mannings in their first few games. Again no contest – Tebow had him beat handily in every category. If the Broncos get some better receivers it will really be amazing to see what happens. I just can’t believe no article anywhere talks about the drops and throwaways, it’s mind-boggling. Even some of the really “bad” throws seem intentionally thrown in the dirt to avoid a pick. But honestly, I’ve never ever seen a player so scrutinized on EVERY pass (except of course drops)

  • GunnyBradley

    @HektorHawkins I think the Denver D is doing better because of Tebow – look at the last 3 games of last season. The TEAM improves w/ Tebow!

  • GunnyBradley

    @HektorHawkins I think the Denver D is doing better because of Tebow – look at the last 3 games of last season. The TEAM improves w/ Tebow!

  • RedCrusader1

    @AdamMeckler mate that was a great read! Keep up the good work. If Tebow succeeds where others have failed… will teams think differently?

  • AdamMeckler

    @RedCrusader1 thanks man! I think they will, but it’s a passing league first, and those will be the QBs that get the first look.

  • RedCrusader1

    @AdamMeckler mate that was a great read! Keep up the good work. If Tebow succeeds where others have failed… will teams think differently?

  • AdamMeckler

    @RedCrusader1 thanks man! I think they will, but it’s a passing league first, and those will be the QBs that get the first look.

  • WhattheHellBook

    Tebow is a proven winner and a natural leader. He has high character and he flat out makes plays when he needs to make them. His passing % will get better with time and his running game will always be near unstoppable. He’s 4-1 with an average team at best. I’d take him as my starter any day of the week. Oh yeah, he also takes care of the ball with only 1 INT since taking over.

    http://www.whatthehellbook.com/the-book/

  • WhattheHellBook

    Tebow is a proven winner and a natural leader. He has high character and he flat out makes plays when he needs to make them. His passing % will get better with time and his running game will always be near unstoppable. He’s 4-1 with an average team at best. I’d take him as my starter any day of the week. Oh yeah, he also takes care of the ball with only 1 INT since taking over.

    http://www.whatthehellbook.com/the-book/