Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Where Tim Tebow Should Go

After Peyton Manning signed with the Denver Broncos the next question was obviously what should happen with Tim Tebow? The two most popular landing spots in the media have him in either Jacksonville or New England; not surprisingly those who believe that these two spots are the leaders in the proverbial clubhouse have abandoned logic. So why are these two teams wrong for Tim Tebow?

The Jacksonville angle has been played up as ‘Hometown Hero Tim Tebow returns to Florida where his “god-like” status will revitalize a disinterested public making them care about the Jaguars through buying tickets and merchandize in droves and saving their team from moving to Los Angeles’. While there is strong reason to believe that in the interim such a scenario will play out successfully, this belief has a long-term problem. The fact is that Tim Tebow is not a quality quarterback and barring a miracle he has a long way to go before becoming a quality quarterback, if he ever becomes one. Therefore, while residence of Jacksonville may get caught up in Tebowmania when he first arrives, unless he CONSISTENTLY wins their excitement and allegiance will not last. So what is the probability of success when adding a below average quarterback to a team that has an above average running back with below average everything else?

The simple fact is that if Tim Tebow has to compete for the job with Chad Henne and the competition is fair Chad Henne should best Tebow. The argument that Tebow will somehow make people compete or bring a sense of ‘toughness’ is perplexing because how can a below-average quarterback apply pressure to anyone in a motivational construct? Also the Tebow-toughness corollary is based on nothing but his competitive drive, which can only go so far and has a very limited track record for any type of influence. Thus probability dictates that for Tebow to even be the starter in Jacksonville he has to be handed the job outright. In some context the situation would be similar to Denver just with less talented players on both offense and defense.

The New England angle has been played up as ‘Short-yardage wizard Tim Tebow joins Super Genius Hall of Famer Bill Belichick for a plethora of touchdowns.’ The problem with this scenario is two-fold. First, Tim Tebow has not been quiet about the subject of his position. He wants to be a starting quarterback not a back-up quarterback, not a situational quarterback that takes 10 snaps a game, not a half-back, not a fullback, not a tight-end, etc. With Tom Brady as the starting quarterback on New England Tim Tebow will have no reasonable expectation at becoming a starting quarterback anytime soon especially with Brain Hoyer as a backup with more experience and talent. Second there is nothing special about the New England offense that can augment Tebow’s skill set making him a more effective situational player. Thus how is the New England situation any different or even better than the current situation in Denver?

The team that actually should be pursuing Tim Tebow, yet is never mentioned is the Buffalo Bills. Ryan Fitzpatrick can be released from his currently insane and hastily offered contract extension freeing up a spot for Tim Tebow to compete for the starting job against Brad Smith and Tyler Thigpen. Fred Jackson is a better version of Willis MaGahee and Steve Johnson is thought to be better than any receiver he had in Denver. The offense can be converted to a system more comfortable to his tastes and with the young and talented defensive line the general theme of play for the Bills can be controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. With sporadic threats of possibly moving more home games to Toronto the addition of Tim Tebow should spark enough fan interest to belay further exodus. Add to the fact that the Buffalo Bills have not been to the playoffs since 1999 expectations for Tim Tebow will be quite low (Jacksonville was last in the playoffs in 2007).

While Buffalo seems to be the best place for Tim Tebow, the real question teams have to ask themselves is what is the purpose of attracting Tebow? The problem with Tebow is that no reasonable person would suggest that a team can win a Superbowl with him as their starting quarterback and based on his current rate of progression there is no reason to believe that Superbowl appearances or victories are in his future.

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