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Monday, September 9, 2013

Please Hire Tim Tebow - Week 1

I don't know if this will turn into a series, but with some glaringly suspect QB play in week 1 of the 2013 NFL season, it just might.

NCAA National Titles, Heisman Trophy, NFL playoff victory...unemployed?

On September 3, 2013 Tim Tebow was released by the New England Patriots. Everyone involved said the right things and then the sports media immediately jumped on the, "Will Tim Tebow ever play again in the NFL?" bandwagon. Everyone, it seems, has an opinion on Tim Tebow - me included. Leaving aside the man's Christian faith and the fact that some people find it irksome, let's look at Tim's prospects against the would-be NFL quarterback play we saw this weekend.

I know it's not fair but I'm starting with the low-hanging fruit right off the bat. Back in May, some Jacksonville Jaguars fans petitioned the Obama White House in an effort to pressure new team owner Shah Khan and general manager Dave Caldwell to sign Tebow after he was released by the Jets. Seriously? I mean I like the idea but the President can't even decide on his own to attack Syria..but I digress.

Back in January, Caldwell told reporters, "I can't imagine a scenario in which he'll be a Jacksonville Jaguar—even if he's released."

How's that working out for you, Dave?

Gabbert did not shine on Sunday

Starting QB Blaine Gabbert was a pedestrian 16 of 35 (45%) for 107 yards. No touchdowns, no interceptions. Tebow's last game in the NFL (so far) was the Patriots' final preseason game in which he played the second half and went 6 of 11 (54%) with 2 TDs and 1 pick. He also had 6 rushes for 30 yards. In a half; playing with the third stringers. Did I mention the Pats won?

I'm not saying that Tim Tebow is Alex Smith - not even close - but if he can duplicate the stats above against the Chiefs (assuming the Jags have some third-stringers on their team), we're in the neighborhood of 28 points and the game becomes a lot more interesting for Jaguars fans.

No. It's not fair to blame Gabbert for the loss to the Chiefs but that's the way it is in the NFL. Most of the time if you're the QB, you get the glory for the win and you're the goat when you lose. That's why you get paid the big bucks. In the five previous NFL seasons, the Jaguars have zero winning records. They scraped to a meager 8-8 mark in 2010 but last year only won two games. Come on Dave - if Tebow is not the answer to the, "Can you imagine a scenario in which he'll be a Jacksonville Jaguar," question, what is the question?

So, what else happened in the rarefied atmosphere of elite NFL quarterbacking this weekend? Leaving aside tonight's two Monday Night Football games featuring RG III vs. Michael Vick and Philip Rivers vs. Matt Schaub - quarterbacks who have pretty much established their bona fides - let's take a quick peak:

  • Baltimore vs. Denver: Never mind; St. Peyton of Manning was too busy walking on water to answer requests for an interview.
  • New England vs. Buffalo: This is a game I'll admit I was expecting to highlight in Tebow's favor. Not that Brady - next in line for sainthood - would be in any trouble, but I expected the Bills' E.J. Manuel to fold like a soggy deck of cards. No surprise, the Bills still lost but after some shaky opening play, Manuel looked pretty stable.
  • Seattle vs. Carolina: Cam Newton and Russell Wilson are two of the hottest young QBs in the game. But this game was a yawner. Nothing to see here...move along.
I could go on down the list but you would just get bored and I would lose my mind. Honestly, if you review the rosters of every team in the league, the majority have an established starter who is a quality quarterback. None of us have time to drill down to the backup slots but let's be frank with each other, Tebow needs to be the starter, wherever he goes. Thinking of the New York Jets I can only hear Yoda chastising Luke, "The cave, remember your failure at the cave!"

" an intoxicated Jawa, Gabbert was, yes..."

So, if not the Jaguars, then who? Two options stand out and one - the Raiders - would be like Jesus playing for the Devil's team and we already know He didn't do that. That brings us to option B: the Cleveland Browns. Interestingly, Cleveland matches the Jaguars in recent futility, suffering through five consecutive losing seasons. In fact, the Browns are monotonously poor, never winning more than five games in a season over that span. 

Yesterday, Cleveland's starting QB Brandon Weeden went 26 of 53 for 289 passing yards and a touchdown. That sounds pretty good. But then there were three interceptions. Oh, and a fumble. And Weeden had zero rushing attempts. And four sacks. In fact, the Browns only had two rushing first downs in the entire game despite the presence of bruising tailback Trent Richardson in the backfield. It's like the Dolphins dared the Browns to beat them through the air.

But wait, you say, wouldn't Tebow be the worst choice to replace Weeden? He struggles with short to intermediate routes and has not shown a quick grasp of reading defensive tendencies or following his progressions. All true. But what Tebow does bring to the table are things like a never-say-die attitude, the ability to run - outside or between the tackles, a very nice touch on longer throws, and the most important trait - he is a winner. 

I would think that for either the Browns or the Jaguars - who I may be picking on mercilessly if yesterday's results continue through the season - winning is something they might consider taking a chance on, seeing as neither has done much of that for the last five seasons.

C'mon guys; it's time to Tebow.


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