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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Just Say No to Tebow

I haven't seen or heard a Tim Tebow story in about 37 minutes, so I figured I better do something about that.  Actually, this post is a reader request.  And, Wild Banshee aims to please.


Last year, Tebowmania was everywhere.  "Tebwowing" actually became an accepted word in the English language.  But, when Broncos GM John Elway signed Peyton Manning, Tebow Time ended in Denver.  Shortly thereafter, the New York Jets completed a trade to bring Tebow to the Big Apple.

This is not a move Wild Banshee would have made.

Lest there be any confusion, I am not a Tebow hater.  Quite the opposite really.  I enjoyed the Tebow phenomenon as much as anyone last year, and I rooted hard for the Broncos during their playoff run.

But, putting Tim Tebow on your team needs to be an all-or-nothing proposition.  The reason that things went so well in Denver after Tebow was installed as QB1 is that the Broncos completely ditched the conventional offense they had at the start of the year and switched to a shotgun spread option offense similar to what Tebow ran as a Florida Gator.  This offense is hugely popular in college football.  But, it requires the quarterback to do a lot of running and take a lot of punishment.  It also requires a receiving corps that accepts that they will be doing a lot of blocking and not a lot of pass catching.  So, if you are going to have Tim Tebow on your team, you need to commit to making him the starter and tailor your team accordingly.  Also, if you are going to go with Tebow behind center, the back-up quarterback needs to have a similar skill set so that you do not need to change your entire scheme if Tebow gets hurt.

Barry Gutierrez/AP/File
As far was we know, the Jets are not planning on a complete offensive overhaul.  The Jets have stated that Mark Sanchez will continue to be the starter and Tim Tebow will be the back-up.  But, the role of the back-up is to be ready to step in and replace the starter if he gets hurt.  Tim Tebow is not a suitable back-up for the Jets.  He does not have the skill set to step into an offense designed for Mark Sanchez.  Thus far in his career, Tebow has not shown any signs that he can succeed in a conventional NFL offense.  His ability to anticipate when and where a receiver will come open is downright poor, and his definition of "open" is far different than even middle-of-the-road starting QBs in the league.  So, instead of bringing in a solid back-up who can replace Sanchez in case of injury, the Jets have brought in the largest media personality in the league.  Mark Sanchez, a quarterback who already receives a lot of criticism, does not need to see Tebowmania every time he looks over his shoulder.

But, it's not the critic who counts.  I actually have some constructive suggestions for the Jets.  The first thing I would do is sign another, more traditional back-up QB.  Someone like Kyle Boller or A.J. Feeley.  Then I would tell Tim Tebow that he must learn play H-back.  I know that's not what Tebow really wants, but only 46 players can be active on Sundays.  Tebow would be a third quarterback, but it would not be a wasted roster spot.  And this is a way to get Tebow on the field more often.  Then I'd tell offensive coordinator Tony Sparano to go ahead and use Tebow in the wildcat package a few times a game just like he did so successfully in Miami with Ronnie Brown.  In this way, the Jets can take advantage of Tim Tebow's physical gifts without creating a crisis of confidence for Mark Sanchez.