Last week while sitting down and watching the NFL Network’s A Football Life: The Many Faces of Tim Tebow, I couldn’t help but say out loud to myself hey, I have to write something on this program and this guy I just have to. Like many of the NFL Network’s programs it was a terrific watch for approximately one hour (minus the commercials) I was glued to the television and couldn’t wait for the next segment to come on the ridiculous ads to go away.
Five former quarterbacks (Joe Namath, Doug Flutie, Roger Staubach, Kordell Stewart and Steve Young) sat in front of a camera shared experiences and stories which had happened in their careers and related to some of the things that Tebow is currently enduring during his time in the NFL. I don’t really get too caught up in the Tebow Mania but this was a helluva show, seriously and as it continued I figured out in what context I would create this piece.
Will Tim Tebow ever become a good quarterback in the National Football League, he’s already a good football player as said by everyone who appeared on the show but could he truly become a good starting signal caller in the league?
The two players who comments really stood out to me the most were Stewart and Young. Stewart because Tebow reminds most of him more than any of the others. They both have tremendous athletic ability, both were/are asked to play multiple positions and line up just about about anywhere on the field, but both wanted/want and had/have the burning desire and passion to play just the quarterback position in the NFL.
Young’s comments really made me take notice because he truly was speaking to Tebow and believes that one day he can become a starting quarterback in the league as he long as he is willing to work on a few things. First and foremost the Hall-of-Famer said that Tebow must improve his footwork because that is his major issue above all else. Young credited his growth as a quarterback to being able to sit behind fellow Hall-of-Famer Joe Montana on the San Francisco 49ers bench for several seasons. Young said that learning from Montana and head coach Bill Walsh (inventor of the West Coast offense) was the ideal situation for him. Now unfortunately for Tebow, Mark Sanchez is no Joe Montana and Rex Ryan is a defensive genius not an offensive one so Tebow doesn’t have that same perfect storm to help him grow. Young ended the show by saying “Tim I believe in you” which has to be good to hear if you are Tebow.
After the program ended I dove into the numbers to compare Tebow and Young; after all they are both left-handed quarterbacks, who have the ability to run well with the football and are tremendous athletes. So here they are.
Steve Young (19 games) 267-501 3,211 passing yards, 11 touchdowns, 22 interceptions and a completion percentage of 53%
Tim Tebow (23 games) 167-353 2,383 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, 9 interceptions and a completion percentage of 47%
After their first two seasons in the NFL aren’t too different with Young having the edge in some categories and Tebow having it in others, but once Young left the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and went to the 49ers things got better for him the same can’t be said so far with Tebow leaving the Denver Broncos and heading to the New York Jets. So in the end I still don’t have an answer its just too small of a sample size of playing time for Tebow to give even an educated guess.
I will say this if after the 1986 season (Young’s second in the NFL) if you asked me based on what he had done so far if he would have eventually he would set and hold the record for most touchdown passes in Super Bowl history, been named Super Bowl MVP, been named a two-time MVP (1992 and 1994), been a four-time 1st team All-Pro QB, been selected to seven consecutive Pro Bowl (1992-98) and been inducted into the Pro Football Hall-of-Fame I probably would have laughed and said it was completely impossible.
So on that note Mr. Tebow, in the words of Kevin Garnett; anything is possible!!!!!