ST. LOUIS -- At the Edward Jones Dome this weekend the single most polarizing figure in all of sports will be on the field. Well, actually, he may not. And that’s what makes talking (or writing) about him so polarizing.
Tim Tebow had arguably the greatest collegiate career ever for a quarterback during his time at Florida. He won a Heisman Trophy. He passed for 88 touchdowns and ran for 57 more while in Gainesville. Tebow was completely unstoppable.
Well, not all college stars’ talent translates to the National Football League. Some just aren’t big enough, some aren’t fast enough, some aren’t strong enough. Some, simply, don’t fit into a position like they did in college. It happens every year.
Basically, what makes some of these guys great in college won’t make them great in the NFL.
And that’s precisely the case with Tebow. He’s a running quarterback. He uses his legs first to set up the passing game. It worked at Florida. Lots of QBs have been able to do that - not as well as Tebow did but relatively close.
The NFL is different. Defenders are so big, strong and fast that they gobble up run first quarterbacks. You HAVE to be passing first, running second at this level. Otherwise you don’t stand a chance.
This is the issue with Tebow. He’s a borderline horrendous passing quarterback. He could hide that weakness in college because he’d just run by everyone. But you can’t hide that in the NFL.
In 14 games last year for Denver (during a season in which he led the Broncos to the playoffs) Tim Tebow completed just 46.5 percent of his passes, threw for just 1729 yards, had 12 TDs to 6 INTs and ended up with a terrible 29.9 QBR (a rating system for quarterbacks on a scale of 1-100 with 100 being perfect and 50 as average).
Yet because he was such a dominant player in college and is widely known as an outstanding leader people continue to believe he’s a legitimate pro quarterback. And that’s just not the case.
Having intangibles that are off the charts and being a terrific runner are good secondary qualities to have. You need them, for sure. If you’re a bad leader and have no mobility at all it’s much more difficult to be a good QB. But it’s not impossible.
If you can’t pass, you can’t play. It’s that simple. I don’t care what else you do well. It won’t matter. This is a passing league that has seen guys like Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger win Super Bowls in the last decade.
All elite passers.
When the Jets play the Rams on Sunday in the Edward Jones Dome, you won’t see much of Tim Tebow. He’ll be the guy on the sidelines holding a clip board backing up Mark Sanchez.
There’s a reason for that.