Where would I begin with a friend who says Tebow is "terrible?"
To me, those who are negatively critical of Tim Tebow are like a bunch of overbearing and judgemental future in-laws who will never be happy with the man that their daughter has picked.
For whatever reason in their minds, he is not their "ideal" notion of the "perfect" man for their daughter. Frankly, they just feel like she can do better.
This reminds me of my uncomfortable meeting with my future in-laws. Eighteen years ago (when I was Tebow's age), I didn't exactly look so good on paper. I didn't have pedigree and/or style to speak of or display to them. I think they wanted someone a bit more polished, probably from a different religion, and definitely capable of making bigger (financial) plays. To say the least, I was definitely raw and somewhat odd in my delivery. But I believed I was the right man for the job. o how did I convince them? I remember it like it was yesterday. I told them that I was a solid guy, a hard worker, that I was a winner, and that over time, they would come to accept me and see that I was worthy.
This leads me to the great Tebow debate:
The quarterback position is undeniably the most scrutinized position in all of sports. But the biggest travesty is when those great warriors of the position are never given the opportunity to perform at the NFL level -- not due to interceptions, but to perceptions. For decades, many African-American quarterbacks were not given the same opportunity in the NFL due to a variety of negatively charged racial perceptions that had many in NFL management believing they were incapable.
Former Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward was a brilliant quarterback who was forced to choose the NBA when he learned that all doors to quarterbacking in the NFL would more than likely be closed. Former Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie had to go to Canada to play quarterback because he was perceived at 5'10" to be too short.
Hey Man, nobody's perfect. Have you ever seen Tom Brady try to run? In fact, I believe Mr. Brady received the lowest time recorded at the NFL Combine for his foot speed. Tom, by the way, was also blatantly overlooked by dozens of NFL teams in the draft coming out of college.
Let it first be said that Tim Tebow is a winner, a National Champion, and a guy who plays with guts and glory, with a knack for late game heroics. He is tough as nails, passionate, and a leader. These are call intangibles. They also happen to be the difference makers between the average athletes and the legendary greats. You can't teach this quality. It's rare and special. It's the magical "X" Factor that causes the game and one's pulse to slow down and focus in the clutch.
Believe me, it's a far bigger deal than a slightly weird throwing motion.
Secondly, Tim Tebow is 6'3" and 240 pounds. Can't teach that either. Please remember that Hall of Fame running back John Riggins punished lineman with his down field running style for a decade at 6'2, 230 lbs. To those that say that quarterbacks who run often won't survive in the NFL because of injury, like a Michael Vick for example (who is incidentally a small man) simply don't realize Tebows tremendous size, strength and toughness.
I've seen Tebow take vicious hits, but I don't recall him ever being injured. (Unlike Matt Lienhart, who couldn't survive one NFL game). Tim Tebow is built like a massive locomotive, and I don't see that train breaking down any time soon.
Now to the stats. Everybody loves to break down stats and numbers crunch. I just hope they're crunching the right numbers. More games in the NFL are lost instead of won. Read that statement again aloud and this time think about it. Tebow has simply not made mistakes. Albeit, he runs a low-risk offense, but he doesn't put the ball on the ground, and he doesn't throw inceptions. He's actually playing pretty good football and showing recent improvement with each week. Look at the stats on winning the turnover game.
In the NFL, the team that turns the ball over the least overwhelmingly wins. Tebow has also controlled the time of possession in most of his starts; another key ingredient towards celebrating a win.
The quarterback position in the NFL takes time to excel at a high level (Don't get me started on Mr. Elway or Mr. Aikmen's first full seasons). The Tebow experiment...Is it pretty? Not really. s it working? Pretty much. If it wasn't, we wouldn't even be having this discussion and Mr. Tebow would be just another former Heisman winner out of the league in a few years.
Just remember that for years, people used to bash the forward pass. The run game was deemed all that was needed to win championships. Years later, that notion has been turned on its head. Nowadays, passing in the NFL is king. However, football is still a game. Strategy is key. Having the right game plan and calling the right play at the right time is the reason why I love sports.
A screen pass might not seem sexy, but if executed correctly during a full out blitz, it can be a game changer. Implementing the right system with the right pieces is the way to win. For right now, Tim Tebow is the right piece to lead Denver, and he's got the team and all of Denver believing in him.
There is more than one way to skin a cat, or in other words, march one's team down the football field. I credit the Denver coaching staff for making the right offensive adjustments and for playing the hand they were dealt. Nobody was probably more shocked than the coaches when they realized that it was actually a winning hand. I credit the strong Broncos defense as well. The bottom line: when everyone fulfills their roles and does their job, good things will happen (like a winning streak).
Part of me feels robbed that I never got to see more of the Flutie winning magic in the NFL, and I often think how I missed out on enjoying Charlie Ward behind center taking snaps on Sundays. Sad, in a way, and all because they didn't fit the "mold" of our perceptions of what an NFL quarterback should be.
Don't be like my in-laws, who incidentally love me now. Let's give Mr. Tebow the time to develop and see how he evolves. Like everyone, I believe he needs the NFL experience to improve upon his accuracy and his reads. That can and will be learned. It might be "unconventional," and it might not "look pretty." But let's just give him a chance.
After all, I mean, Jesus, have a little faith...All the man does is win!