One of the most polarizing figures in sports is back on the NFL scene. With the Eagles first pre-season game approaching, it is time to fire up the Tim Tebow train. This time, he is going to be competing for the third string quarterback job with Matt Barkley. Yes, the Matt Barkley that was supposed to continue the great tradition of USC football and be a great NFL quarterback. That is, before he decided to return to school, costing himself around 20 million guaranteed dollars. So if you wanted to say that this will be the most covered third string battle ever you would be correct! If Tim Tebow can win this “battle,” can he ever get to starting quarterback status? With Chip Kelly’s offense, he could not be in a better situation.
Before going any further in this article, by no means am I a Tim Tebow lover or hater (some may say I am a hater at the end). But to be able to judge players you cannot have any bias.
Let’s go way back to the years 2006-2009. Crazy to think the start of Tebow’s college career is nearing a decade old. But Tim Tebow may be the greatest quarterback college football has ever seen. It is hard to argue against a man who won a Heisman trophy and led a team to two national championships. He also received countless other awrads from first team All-American honors to the AP player of the year, the list goes on and on. He also set the SEC record for passing efficiency and total rushing touchdowns all-time. The thing that Tebow did best, that you could not find in a stat book, was lead a football team. No one was more motivated or more emotional on the field than Tebow. Who could forget his speech after losing to Ole Miss? Tebow then entered the draft and immediately faced scrutiny. The criticism was always about one thing, throwing mechanics. Let’s face it, Tim Tebow had terrible throwing mechanics coming out of college. It is a major risk to put the fate of your franchise on a guy that does not throw “properly.” However, that did not stop the Denver Broncos from selecting him with the 25th pick in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft.
The 2010-2011 NFL season did not begin ideally for the Denver Broncos losing four of their first five matchups. That is when John Fox decided to go with Tim Tebow as the team’s starter. Tebow led the Broncos to a 7-4 record the rest of the way, capturing a AFC West title. During this time, Tebow was talked about everywhere. He dominated the headlines on both sports networks and other channels. This run also spawned the “Tebowing” phenomenon. The legend of Tebow grew bigger when the Denver Broncos defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers on a game-winning pass from Tebow to Demaryius Thomas. The Tim Tebow era in Denver would soon come to an end as they traded him to the New York Jets when they signed Peyton Manning. Some people were shocked that Tebow was not starting in New York after leading Denver to a playoff win. So, let’s take a closer look Tebow did in his time with Denver. Since Tebow was not the starter all year it would be unfair to look at stats such as touchdowns and passing yards. Let’s take a look at passer rating. Tebow had a underwhelming 72.9 passer rating which was good for 27th in the NFL. He ranked behimd the likes of Colt McCoy, Josh Freeman, and Tavaris Jackson. Perhaps the most important stat for a quarterback is completion percentage. Tebow’s completition percentage was 46.5 percent, worst among qualified players. The man was simply inaccurate and not worthy to be an NFL starter. If that was Tebow auditioning, that is no where near good enough to be an NFL starter. Why would a general manager or coach want to put their jobs on the line for a 46.5 percent passer? Also, isn’t it most telling that Bill Belichick, a coach who seems to make anyone better, didn’t even want him as a third string quarterback?
Let’s fast forward to today. We are two days away from Tebow returning to NFL action for the first time in two seasons. This time, with new mechanics. As I said at the beginning, Tebow could not be in a better situation to revitalize his NFL career. Chip Kelly seems to be this quarterback whisperer who makes quarterbacks play better. Just take a look at what he did to Nick Foles. How did that guy throw for 27 touchdowns and 2 interceptions in a season? He also made Mark Sanchez look like a real quarterback when comparing it to his Jets days. Whether Tebow can even make the team or not there is one thing that is for certain; he is must see TV.