5 Reasons Why the St. Louis Rams Should Sign Tim Tebow
Should the St. Louis Rams Pursue Tim Tebow?
The St. Louis Rams suffered a potentially devastating loss on Sunday, as quarterback Sam Bradford was injured late in the team's loss to the Carolina Panthers. Carolina safety Mike Mitchell knocked Bradford out of bounds and pushed him over on the sidelines, causing him to land awkwardly. He had to be carted off the field, and reports are surfacing that Bradford suffered a torn ACL, though the Rams probably won't officially confirm the injury until this afternoon.
The Rams' only other quarterback at the moment is 30-year-old Kellen Clemens, who has 12 starts over his eight-year career. Clemens is said to know the offense well and is a good teammate, but the Rams certainly couldn't have expected that he would end up being their starter for more than half the season. At bare minimum, the Rams will need to sign another quarterback to run their scout team this week, but if possible, it would be smart for them to find a quarterback who gives them a better chance at winning than Clemens.
NFL.com's Mike Silver reported on Sunday that the Rams have discussed signing free agent quarterback Tim Tebow. While he said it's an unlikely possibility, even the mention of Tebow joining the Rams should get a rise out of fans across the nation.
Here are five reasons that the Rams should take a gamble and sign the former Florida quarterback.
5. He'll Boost Fan Interest
Following the Rams' rough start, fans are beginning to fall off the bandwagon. It doesn't help that with a group of fans that only has a limited amount of disposable income, the city has the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series and the St. Louis Blues performing as well as any team in the NHL.
The Rams meet up with the Seattle Seahawks next Monday night, and the game is not yet sold out. With that matchup scheduled to coincide with Game 5 of the World Series in St. Louis, it seems like getting fans to show up for the national cameras will be a difficult task for the Rams. However, if they sign Tebow and plug him into the lineup right away, it would undoubtedly pique the interest of fans enough that the Rams could sell some extra tickets. It seems like a shallow tactic, but with a team that is pretty much in shambles already, why not do everything you can to avoid embarrassing yourself on national TV?
4. He'd Learn the Offense Quickly
It's easy to forget that in the months prior to Tebow being taken in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, he was projected by many scouts to be a mid-round developmental project or even an undrafted free agent. One of the big factors which caused him to move up was his performance in his interviews with teams. He was able to adequately convince teams that his ability to work hard and learn how to operate an offense would enable him to succeed as a pro.
Tebow proved in 2011 that he was able to adapt quickly, as the Broncos significantly changed their offense following his ascension to the starting role before Denver's sixth game. The Broncos transitioned to an option-run scheme, and Tebow seemed to have little trouble with grasping the concepts as he led Denver to a playoff berth.
If the Rams signed Tebow, he would probably be able to pick up the offense quickly, allowing them to at least consider him as a starting option sooner than later.
3. There's No Significantly Better Option
A few weeks ago, the free agent corps were stocked with quarterbacks who could at least stand in as starters. Now that Josh Freeman, Matt Flynn, and Thaddeus Lewis have all signed with NFL teams, the options are much more limited. Unless the Rams make a trade, the most attractive free agent options next to Tebow seem to be last season's third-stringer Austin Davis, Oakland Raiders' fourth-rounder Tyler Wilson, former Washington Redskins player Pat White, and journeyman backups David Carr and Tyler Thigpen.
Davis, Wilson and White have never started in the NFL, and neither Carr or Thigpen has had success as a starter. Tebow may be inaccurate and performs poorly in practice, but at least he's been a winner as a pro.
2. He's Better than Kellen Clemens
Kellen Clemens has many good qualities: he's a good teammate, he's a strong family man, and he's good at picking up an offense. Unfortunately, as was evidenced by his 48.9 completion percentage and four interceptions thrown during the 2013 preseason, he's not very good at playing quarterback. He has a few positive attributes, as he can throw a decent deep ball and is surprisingly mobile, but he's not a guy that any team should feel comfortable with as their starter for nine games. After all, he's 4-8 as a starter.
Meanwhile, Tebow has an 8-6 record as a starter, and he's won a playoff game. Though he too is an underwhelming passer and has a 47.9 career completion percentage, his mobility provides a nice edge to his game, and he would add an extra element to the Rams' run-based attack.
1. He Has a Winning Record as a Starter
Tebow's most redeeming quality is his ability to miraculously win games. Despite his less-than-stellar numbers as a starter during the 2011 season, he went 7-4 and led the Broncos to a first-round playoff upset of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Though he may not be a great quarterback fundamentally, Tebow makes things exciting, which is just what the Rams need in a season where they've fallen way short of expectations.
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