Sunday, December 19, 2010
Two-time Heisman winner Tim Tebow will be making his first NFL start tomorrow at Oakland. Welcome to the NFL, kid. Oakland is known for having one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL along with Green Bay and Minnesota; this will be a much bigger challenge for Tebow than going into the Georgia dome or Jordan-Hare stadium.
Tim Tebow was a rock star at Florida, where he broke multiple records in both rushing and passing. Tebow is considered by many to be the best college quarterback to ever play the game, but this isn't college anymore. In the NFL the defenses are far more complex, and the players really are faster. Only the best of the best get to play in the NFL, and that means he is getting hit harder, quicker, and more often.
Allow me to be blunt, Tebow is not ready to start in the NFL. When he was drafted (surprisingly) in the first round of last year's draft, he was taken with the intent of grooming him into an NFL quarterback, not starting him his rookie year. Though I believe that Tebow will never be a top of the line starter in the NFL, I concede that he may be a serviceable backup for teams that wish to run the wishbone offense on special occasions.
I love what Tebow represents, the guy who may not be the strongest or the fastest, but he outworks everybody else in the locker room. It is a great story, Disney quality really, but these stories do not translate to the NFL; in reality it is more of a fairy tale. The great quarterbacks in the NFL today are Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, and Aaron Rodgers. What do these guys have in common? They all came from a college that ran a pro-style offense. They all have the arm strength to get the ball where it needs to go quickly, and the accuracy to fit it into any window. They all look to pass first, second, and third. They all had great quarterback coaches. Tim Tebow came from a college where they run the spread offense, he does not have great arm strength or accuracy, he looks to run when things go bad, and his coach has been fired before the end of his first season.
I wish you the best Tim Tebow, I really do. I know that you will give it your all come Sunday, you will leave it all on the field. Just try not to get hurt doing so.