I like Tim Tebow. He's a gamer, he's tough, he's a winner. Sure, I often rooted against him in college -- I mean, it is Florida after all -- but I always admired his attitude, grit and uncanny ability to write entire Bible passages on his eye black. The guy was a true champion, a great college quarterback.
So when I read a story on this very site yesterday, where a sports agent said Tim Tebow would be a first-round pick Thursday night, I wondered if the agent had been hit in the head too many times by Tiger Wood's wife. (Right, Tiger just fell asleep at the end of the driveway.)
First round for Timmy T? No way, no how. That's crazy talk. And then the draft happened, and the agent was right. Sure enough, the Denver Broncos took the bait. Why do I refer to him as "bait"? Because everybody's All-American Tim Tebow is enticing. He has the history, the championships, the looks, the pedigree.
But it was a bad pick by a franchise lost at sea. The Broncos have essentially imploded the last few seasons with disastrous hirings (unproven Josh McDaniels) and bone-headed trades (gave away Jay Cutler, gave away Brandon Marshall, brought in Busty Quinn, I mean Brady Quinn).
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But why, Mike? Why are you being so harsh? Why don't you like Tim Tebow?
Well, Mr. Devil's Advocate, I will give you five damn good reasons why the Denver Broncos just used the 25th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft on a guy who should have went in the 4th round.
1. Tim Tebow doesn't have an NFL arm. Sorry, it's true. Can he pass? Yes. Downfield, on a line, like a howitzer? No. That wasn't what he had to do in Urban "don't quote my players correctly" Meyer's offense. He's a scrambler, a guy who gets outside the pocket and looks to make a play. He won't make those same plays in the NFL.
2. Being "athletic" isn't a big deal -- everybody in the league is athletic down to the punters, who used to be scrawny, one-bar facemask dudes and now look like MMA champs. Everybody says he's a great athlete -- and it's true. Tim Tebow is a great athlete. Unfortunately, he's not playing against Vandy anymore. See those three linebackers on the Ravens who want to break your legs? They are all amazing athletes as well.
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3. Running quarterbacks just don't work in the NFL. Defenders are simply too fast and punishing for a quarterback to withstand repeated hits. Michael Vick, who was more athletic than Tebow, had some amazing runs, but never transformed himself into a solid quarterback because he liked to shoot dogs in his backyard. Tim Tebow isn't as gifted as Vick in the running department and -- again -- doesn't possess nearly the same arm strength.
4. College "winners" often don't translate into NFL "winners."Let's look at a few examples of some quarterbacks who had great success in college:
Darian Hagan of Colorado -- Led the Buffs to a national championship in 1990. Ran for more than 1,000 yards and passed for more than 1,000 yards in one season, which only five other players had ever done. The only thing he ever did on Sunday was go to church.
Matt Leinart of USC -- Leinart was a much better passer than Tebow in college. He could pass with amazing touch -- and pop. He won the Heisman and a national championship. Besides carrying a clipboard in Phoenix, the only thing he plays right now is tonsil hockey with starlets.
Brad Smith at Missouri -- Same size as Tebow. Good strength. Fast. Finding success with the NY Jets. Just not at quarterback.
Dennis Dixon at Oregon -- Was in the Heisman hunt for awhile. Had the Ducks poised to win the National Championship. Getting some back-up playing time in Pittsburgh. Too fragile, not good enough passer.
5. The John Elway Curse -- The Broncos obviously made a deal with the Sports Devil circa 1997. They went to him and said: You give us back-to-back Super Bowl championships with John Elway, we'll suck for the next 20 years. And the Devil accepted this deal. So, after Elway retired on top of the football mountain, the Broncos have been cursed at quarterback. I give you this sad parade of play callers: Brian Griese, Jake Plummer, Gus Frerotte, Jay Cutler, Kyle Orton, Brady Quinn and now... nothing personal, Tim Tebow.