Dec. 30, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow (15) walks off the field after a game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY SportsWell, its official. The Super Bowl is over which means the NFL season is also over. For once in many long years, Chargers fans have a renewed reason for optimism. Head Coach Norv Turner is gone. General Manager AJ Smith is gone. New, young, fresh faces take their places in the 40 year olds; new Head Coach Mike McCoy and new General Manager Tom Telesco. The pedigrees of both speak for themselves and their hires to fill out the coaching staff have to thrill Charger Nation and grab the attention of teams who wrote off the Chargers long ago as a rag tag group of underachievers. Ken Whisenhunt was Head Coach in the Super Bowl five seasons ago and will be the new offensive shotcaller. Frank Reich is new quarterbacks coach. Here in the first day of the offseason, the real work begins. Getting the Chargers back into the AFC’s elite is the task and lots of names are floating out there in free agency and the draft. With McCoy, the Denver offensive coordinator who was the sexy pick for head coach stalked my multiple teams this postseason, he will have many big choices to make. A name is floating out there that needs to be shot down. Or should it?
That name is Tim Tebow.
The question has been broached on these pages before but the discussion warrants a devil’s advocate. Anyone who has spoken with me or followed my twitter feed knows The Greg One thinks Tim Tebow is the worst thing to happen to the quarterback position since David Carr, Gino Toretta, Danny Wuerffel and Jamarcus Russell COMBINED. As a confessed despiser of the Broncos, seeing the name Tebow during my sunday afternoon football makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little. However, friends and countrymen, this is football. The bottom line is winning. Until Tebow lands somewhere other than America’s finest city, the link between Tebow and his former offensive coordinator McCoy will hover above the organization like a thundercloud. McCoy is the only coach aside from Urban Meyer smart enough to figure out what to do with Tebow’s skill set, changing his whole offensive philosophy IN MIDSEASON, after Tebow took over as starter. The rest is history. The Broncos got into the playoffs and with Tebow as quarterback and beat the heavily favored STEELERS in the playoffs, which is a hell of a lot more than the Chargers can say they’ve done in the last three years. McCoy should get the Nobel Prize for pulling off that achievement alone!
Here is why no thought should be given to having Tim Tebow anywhere near this roster:
1. A quarterback should be able to throw a nice forward pass. Tebow hasn’t shown he can do that. Its a miracle the wounded ducks he throws aren’t intercepted by the bushel. Tebow would have a better completion percentage if he threw a basketball.
2. A quarterback should be able to read a defense and make timely throws BEFORE a play breaks down. Tebow makes his best plays when he’s running all over the field like a decapitated chicken with the defense bearing down on him. We’ve seen enough broken plays in San Diego over the last three seasons. If we wanted sandlot football we’d buy a ticket to the Arena League.
3.Not to sound like a heathen, but the same way there is a separation of church and state in the Constitution, there should be a separation of church and FOOTBALL. You’re a good, clean cut, God-fearing man. We get it. Just leave the pulpit in the car when you get to the stadium. That goes for the rest of them as well. (Looking at you Ray Lewis…) If you could pray your team to a win, everyone would do it. The rest of us who are HOME on Sunday instead of at church don’t need to hear the sermon after the game. That was my pulpit speech, but it does lead to the main reason this is a bad idea.
4. With Tebow comes the Tebow zealots and the Tebow haters. That circus rolls into town and it distracts everyone in its path. The storm of Tebowmania may have died in New York but it would regain strength in a new city. It would bring attention from all corners of the states. Media would have a field day overanalyzing the move. Does the new brass need all those extra prying eyes and annoying media questions? Does the team need the distraction? Every player would be asked their opinion of having him on the team and the one ‘anonymous’ player who has a negative reaction would have his words posted on newspapers, all over talk radio and on the bottom line on ESPN for days.
5.The team has much bigger fish to fry than worrying about who will be the backup quarterback. Hopefully Norv or AJ left Billy Volek’s number in the Rolodex on their way out. Clipboard Charlie is still here. Getting an offensive line should be the all-consuming goal of the new management above all things. With the new powers that be, I have a feeling they already know that.
That being said, meet the devil’s advocate. Ironic turn of phrase in the middle of a Tebow article don’t you think? But I digress…
Here is why Tim Tebow SHOULD be brought to San Diego:
1. McCoy actually knows what to do with him, which is more that can be said for the coaches in New York. McCoy turned Jake Delhomme into a Pro Bowl quarterback. Not saying he’ll do that with Tebow but for a few minutes McCoy’s offense turned Tebow into a national hero. As a University of Maryland quarterback Frank Reich had at one point led the biggest college comeback in NCAA football against the Miami Hurricanes and followed that up by leading the biggest playoff comeback as quarterback for the Bills against the Oilers 20 years ago. Between McCoy and Reich, Tebow could learn how to be a serviceable backup.
2. McCoy could get Tebow to finally move to a different position. We all agree the man would be much better as a fullback or halfback than he ever will be as a quarterback. One of the many Achilles heels of this team has been at the running back position. Tebow is built like a running back and is more than capable of making plays with his legs, a lot more so than with his arm. Tebow is a bulky, bruising runner with awkward, plodding speed. Teach him blitz pickup and he can open holes for the fleet footed running back that will eventually land in San Diego. I’m sure he’ll take that over playing special teams in New York.
3. With the read option all the rage in the NFL at the moment, who better to come in and run that type of package than Tim Tebow? The read option is all Tim Tebow ran at Florida. Check for the pitch, if the play isn’t there, take off running. Its different from the Wildcat because the read option evens the sides. In the Wildcat the running back/quarterback takes himself out of the play when the ball is pitched. In the read option both the quarterback and runner are moving and both are advancing toward the line and there is the threat of the pass. McCoy could definitely tailor a version of the read option for Tebow.
4. The Tebowmania buzz would be considerably quieter because everyone knows there is no chance he’ll be the starter. In New York, Mark Sanchez is bad enough to lose his job to Tebow so that speculation didn’t die until the final weeks of the season in New York. This is Philip Rivers’ team and that isn’t going to change. Players may have to answer a few questions immediately after he comes to town but aside from him being integrated into the offense on more than a complimentary level, he won’t be that big a distraction.
5. Nobody wants Tebow. NOBODY. The Jets have said they’re going to hold onto Tebow in hopes of trading him. Helen Keller can see Tebow is going to be cut. His best chance at being anything but a backup, Jacksonville, has already said there is no way he will wear a Jaguars uniform. The Jets did themselves no favors by playing Tebow on special teams. In all, Tebow was on the field for 73 plays this past season. If you want to try to trade your backup quarterback for something, letting him play would have been a good idea…No one is going to give the Jets a pick or a player. Tebow is going to cost his next team nothing more than the minimum. He’ll be thrilled to land on a team and not have to cover kickoffs.
6. Could Tebow be a positive influence in the locker room? Everyone in Denver’s locker room sang his praises like they were in a bad informercial. No doubt the man is the most polarizing figure in football, unless he’s on your team. Florida’s record during the Tebow era can’t be denied. Denver’s playoff run two seasons ago with Tebow can’t be denied. Tebow is leaving the most toxic locker room in the NFL with the Jets to the clean air of the Chargers locker room. Tebow could be a more positive influence off the field than on it with his teammates. What affect would it have on Rivers? Either Rivers will love the guy or it will piss him off so much he’ll go out and break Drew Brees’ passing record next season. Either way, a good thing.
In closing, The Greg One is starting to break out in hives at the idea of Tebow in lightning bolts. Even after advocating for both sides, The Greg One would probably cry for a few days after hearing Tebow is coming to town. The reality of the situation is that it is the ultimate LOW risk, potentially high reward situation. It would cost next to nothing to add a piece that adds yet another wrinkle into the new offense. Tebow could turn into a utility player, catching balls out of the backfield, running the read option or bowling over defenders as a blocking back. Maybe Antonio Gates helps school him on running routes as a tight end. If Tebow plans on extending his career, lobbing McCoy a call is his best option.
What side are YOU on Boltbeat?