It’s Tebow Time
Yesterday, Denver Broncos Head Coach John Fox announced Tim Tebow as the team’s starting Quarterback for their next game against the Miami Dolphins. This moves gives Broncos fans what they’ve been waiting for all season long as it is now officially Tebow time in Denver.
While this move has been inevitable due to Tebow’s popularity among Broncos fans and Kyle Orton’s less than spectacular play all season, it could lead to more questions than answers for the 1-4 Broncos.
Ever since the Broncos drafted Tebow with the 25th overall pick in the 2010 Draft, Broncos fans have been waiting for Tebow to be given an opportunity to start. Last season, fans saw brief glimpses of Tebow throughout the season in goal line and short yardage situations. This all changed after the firing of Head Coach Josh McDaniels and starting Quarterback Kyle Orton got hurt after week14. Tebow started the final three games of the season and led the Broncos to victory over the Houston Texans and played in losing efforts against the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers respectively.
Tebow finished his rookie season playing in nine games and had 11 total Touchdowns (5 Passing, 6 Rushing). After the season, many expected Tebow to be named the Broncos starting Quarterback and Kyle Orton to be traded but things didn’t turn out as planned.
After the Broncos hired a new Head Coach in John Fox and hired former Super Bowl winning Quarterback John Elway to become Executive Vice President of Football Operations, the Broncos looked set for “Tebow Time” as Kyle Orton was offered to other teams in a potential trade.
However, after a trade to the Miami Dolphins failed to materialize, the Broncos decided to stick with Orton as their starting Quarterback for the upcoming season. After Week5 the Broncos are1-4 and Kyle Orton’s play has been just about average for a starting NFL QB having thrown for 8 touchdowns and 979 yards with 7 interceptions. Although the stats aren’t awful, it’s the losing record that has forced the Broncos into making this change at QB.
In last week’s game against the San Diego Chargers, the Broncos were trailing 26-10 at halftime and with Orton completing a mediocre 6 passes for 38 yards and an interception, Orton was benched with Tim Tebow leading out the Broncos for the second half. Tebow provided a much needed spark for the Broncos Offense and almost led the Broncos to a come from behind victory. The Chargers held on to win 29-24 but with Tebow providing a Touchdown on the ground and through the air, it was clear it should be Tebow time in Denver.
Now that Tebow has been named starting QB, the Broncos have a full week to prepare Tebow to start against the Miami Dolphins in Week7, as they have a bye this week. Now that Tebow is starting for the Broncos, the question is: Can he really be a starting Quarterback in the NFL?
Before I state my case for Tebow being given this opportunity to start, I feel as though I must acknowledge that there is an “elephant in the room”. Let’s face it, Tim Tebow is not going to be an effective pocket passer in the NFL. He has serious issues with throwing from the pocket and too often shows a lack of accuracy on throws that a starting NFL Quarterback is expected to make. Despite these fundamental problems, I believe Tim Tebow deserves this chance to start based on what cannot be measured, his incredible intangibles. What he lacks in the prototypical NFL Quarterback skills, he more than makes up for with his leadership ability, work ethic and most importantly his desire to succeed.
Ever since Tebow came into the NFL there have been people saying that he simply cannot succeed. While I have always understood the questions people have asked about his game, I have always wondered how it can be widely accepted that he cannot play Quarterback in the NFL and yet he’s never been given a real opportunity to start. This is Tebow’s opportunity.
For both Tebow and the Broncos to be successful moving forward this season, the Broncos must install an Offense that will suit Tebow’s style of play. Expect to see plenty of rushing from Running Backs Willis McGahee and Knowshon Moreno. The Broncos should also operate mainly in the shotgun formation on passing downs, until Tebow becomes accustomed to being the full time starter. If the Broncos do this and have Tebow rolling out of the pocket to set up the screen game, teams could struggle to contain Tebow and the Broncos in the early stages of his starting reign.
However, after a few games, I can see teams around the league adapting to Tebow’s style of play. At this point the question will be asked, can Tebow be a full time starter or will he forever be a Backup Quarterback who can step in on short yardage and goal line plays?
Only time will tell if Tebow can succeed as a starting QB and “Tebow time” begins in Week7 when the Broncos face the Miami Dolphins in Miami. Ironically, Tebow and the 2008 National Champion Florida Gators will be honored at half time in Sun Life Stadium, which was the venue for the team’s 2008 triumph.