The Enigma That Is Tim Tebow

Tim Tebow

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

No one can argue the character, integrity and intangibles that Tim Tebow brings to any locker room. A league in dire need of players that uphold the high standards Roger Goodell has set, the NFL loves the image Tebow portrays.

With two BCS National Championships and a Heisman trophy, Tebow’s resume is arguably the best that CFB has ever seen. He’s a leader and dynamic playmaker at the collegiate level. If there was a play to be made for the Florida Gators, Tebow was clutch. Tebow took the SEC by storm and took the Gators to new heights under former head coach Urban Meyer.

Tebow stirred up controversy across the football world when Josh McDaniels, then head coach of the Denver Broncos, took Tebow in the first-round with the 25th pick in the 2010 draft. Beloved at the collegiate level, Tebow quickly became a polarizing figure as a professional. Interestingly enough, many analysts and former players didn’t believe Tebow would be taken earlier than the third-round let alone the first-round. It left the league divided, but many gave Tebow the benefit of the doubt that they hadn’t given previous players in the past that possessed a similar skill set.

Tebow was not the first great running quarterback to come out of college. Players like Tommy FrazierEric Crouch and Pat White were equally as productive as Tebow with similar, if not better, throwing ability, only to never be given the support or patience to develop as an NFL quarterback. Players like Michael Robinson of the Seattle SeahawksBrad Smith of the Buffalo BillsArmanti Edwards of the Carolina PanthersDenard Robinson of the Jacksonville Jaguars and many others weren’t given a chance to play quarterback in the NFL after having productive college careers at quarterback.

Since when was someone drafted strictly for their intangibles rather than their ability? Tebow was never a first-round talent, which was obvious for most to see, yet he was given a pass, a pass that is still received with skepticism. Even if his intangibles were off the charts, the NFL is a talent acquisition league. If you are not supremely talented, no one respects your opinion, thus leaving you powerless in a leadership role. Intangibles do not work from the bench. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning can’t lead a team holding a clipboard.

Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson were far more accomplished passers at the collegiate level than Tebow and far better athletes. They both possess a lot more speed and agility, yet never garnered attention for first-round consideration. What is it about Tebow that makes people forget quarterbacks have to complete passes on a consistent basis to win at the NFL level?

After being traded by the Broncos to the New York Jets, prompted by the signing of Manning, Rex Ryan began to see everyday what John Fox had seen; a quarterback who didn’t have the ability to throw the ball accurately. As bad as Mark Sanchez played for the Jets, Ryan realized putting Tebow in for Sanchez was a slap in the face to the other players on the squad. His ineptitude at practice was overtly apparent and Ryan may have risked losing the team by starting Tebow.

Released by the Jets in the offseason, Tebow is now reunited with the man that drafted him. McDaniels is in his second stint as the offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots. McDaniels was probably the only person who believed Tebow’s intangibles warranted him being chosen in the first-round of the NFL draft. It looks as if Tebow has been given another lifeline, even as CFL and AFL coaches went on record stating Tebow didn’t throw the ball well enough to start on their squads.

It is an interesting dilemma; Tebow has become a divisive figure across the country, praised for his work ethic and character, chastised for his inaccuracy and understanding as a passer. As supporters look for him to get an opportunity, naysayers wish he would just change his position to fullback. He is built more like Peyton Hillis than Aaron Rodgers anyways; it would be a simple and seamless transition.

While there is no doubt in my mind that Tebow will make the Patriots roster, I do have doubts on whether it should be at the quarterback position.

Tyronne Pruitt is a Soccer writer for Follow him on Twitter @TPruitt_454846, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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  • Kurt Boyer

    In 2011, the Broncos used Tebow in a traditional hand-off or pocket-pass offense. He played so bad that the Lions beat them 45-10 and mocked the Broncos in the papers after the game. Then they switched to a spread “college” offense like the one he ran at Florida, ran the option and threw deep. Tebow went 6-0 in the next six games and had the #1 ground game in the league. People laughed anyway, because they’re tied in to the dogma that passing is more important than running and you could probably go 60-0 and never convince them.

    This preseason, the Pats used Tebow in a spread “college” offense in the first game and he ran the option and threw deep. He drove the team to one touchdown, had no interceptions and nearly completed a 50-yard bomb for another touchdown. People laughed anyway, because they’re still tied in to the dogma that passing is more important than running, and the Pats probably could have scored 5 touchdowns with Tebow’s preferred playbook and never convinced anyone.

    The second game, the Pats used Tebow in a traditional hand-off or pocket-pass offense. He went 1 for 7 with an interception.

    Any questions?

  • Kurt Boyer

    PS Tell your webmaster who makes the html tags, unless the Patriots invented a new machine to make breakfast with, it’s “Enigmatic,” not “Egnimatic.”

  • Nicki

    Tim Tebow was the second most accurate passer in College history. Sam Bradford was first.

  • Walter Tillis

    My question would be: What the hell is a Soccer writer doing writing about a football player? Will stupidity never cease at RantSports? This is the height of ignorance. You need to go back and look at the stats for best quarterbacks in college. You’ll find Tim Tebow at the top in nearly every category. Tebow looked absolutely terrible against the Buc’s, but that’s not the final word in his playing ability. Personally, I believe he was told not to try to look to good out there. He’s their secret weapon. Just wait and see. And Tyronne, you really need to stick with writing about girls soccer. You know nothing about the subject with which you filled your column on this post. You’re an idiot, working out of your depth. And you need to go back to school until you figure out the proper use and meaning of words as used in American English. Pitiful you. :)

  • captaindandan

    Dear Sir: I agree that Tim Tebow isn’t throwing as well as he did in college.I have suggested on occasion that TIM may have ripped his left rotator cuff (on his throwing arm/shoulder).
    I hope Tim gets an MRI because I know from personal experience that a rotator injury can cause the ball to flutter upon release and to be off target.
    I had R.C. surgery and the problem went away.
    But I never made it to the pros like Mr. Tebow.

    As far as him being a polarizing figure: TOUGH! He loves the LORD and will praise Jesus when he loses and when he wins.

    So If the public doesn’t “like that” just imagine he’s a Muslim saying ” Oh praise Allah and All akbaar.” etc… I believe the public would LIKE those statements and claim 1st amendment freedom of speech for the Muslim if the guy was criticized.
    One LAST thing; go to and see what this incredible man has done and is doing all over the world. You’ll be surprised.