In an unnamed NFL Draft not too long ago, there was a quarterback prospect who put up incredible numbers during his collegiate career. For now, we'll call him QB1. Despite his outstanding college run, NFL Scouts and NFL General Managers questioned his lack of arm strength and his unorthodox side-arm throwing motion. He ended up being drafted in the first round, but started no games as a rookie (while throwing a few passes including one that went for a score). Sitting on the bench and down the depth chart behind a veteran putting up Pro Bowl numbers, there were a lot of questions and rumors going around about the fate of QB1.
Before we continue the story of QB1, let us first move on to QB2. Said quarterback entered a different NFL Draft, often acclaimed to be the most Pro-Ready quarterback of his draft class, with many mocks having him going in the top 10 selections.
Alas, he fell into the second round before being drafted by an unnamed team. He didn't start the season as his team's starter, but after the team's starter suffered a concussion, he got his first chance to play, and two weeks later, was named the starting quarterback. Over the next three weeks, QB2 completed only 47% of his throws, threw three interceptions and one touchdown while fumbling seven times, earning him a 52.2 passer rating.
This quarterback, who had so much hype of becoming a great NFL quarterback, was thrust into the starting role for a struggling team with a dismal defense and with a lot of pressure on him to succeed. He was benched after three starts, only to be promoted to starter again three weeks later. Over his next four starts, he was sacked 14 times and threw three interceptions while throwing no touchdown passes. As a result of all this, his confidence is all but lost and NFL scouts who have seen him play say he has regressed from the experience. His footwork is off because he's constantly facing a pass rush that's in his face and his decision-making gets worse as the pressure, and losses, mount.
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That's all we'll note on QB2, now we move on to our final quarterback -- QB3, who very closely resembles QB1 in a variety of ways. This quarterback entered an unnamed NFL Draft with a lot of talent and unimagineable college numbers. Despite his performance at the collegiate football level, scouts questioned his quarterback intangibles (such as footwork and throwing motion), and many believed he wouldn't be drafted before the 3rd round of the draft. He ended up going in the first however, and like QB1, he sat on the bench behind a quarterback who was putting up nice numbers in all but a few games of the season. To many fans' dismay, QB3 may not get to start one game as a rookie -- something QB1 didn't do until his 3rd year in the NFL.
If you haven't figured it out by now, QB1 is none other than San Diego's Phillip Rivers, QB2 is Carolina's Jimmy Clausen and QB3 is the one and only Tim Tebow.
To summarize it all, in 2004 the Chargers drafted Rivers (looking over his unconventional throwing motion knowing he could be groomed into a good quarterback with time), the Denver Broncos drafted Tim Tebow in 2010 with the same mindset, and the Panthers drafted Jimmy Clausen the same year.
The moral of the story of this; starting a rookie quarterback who isn't ready (or in some cases, like Clausen's case, thought to be ready but really isn't), is not always the best solution. Starting Tebow now could prove to be detrimental to his career, and though many will argue with this, Kyle Orton is not the problem. Yes, he is not the solution, but having one of the worst defenses and rushing attacks in the NFL certainly aren't helping him, and definitely wouldn't help Tebow out at all.
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So before you join the ranks of Bronco fans who have boycotted the Broncos until Tebow starts, consider first that Aaron Rogers, Phillip Rivers and Tom Brady all sat out their rookie seasons under veteran quarterbacks, watching and learning.