Why Tim Tebow Fits Well On Offensively Inept Teams

Why Tebow fits well on offensively inept teams

8/29/12 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Nov 17, 2011; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow (15) reacts after scoring a 20 yard touchdown to win the game late in the the fourth quarter against New York Jets at Sports Authority Field. The Broncos defeated the Jets 17-13. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIREIf you took every quarterback in the league, put them out on a turf field in nothing but shorts and a t-shirt, lined up 10 targets from 30 yards away, and gave them all a shot at each target, there's little doubt in my mind that Tim Tebow would finish outside of the top 30. So how did Tebow turn around the struggling Broncos and make it to the second round of the playoffs last year?

Does Blaine Gabbert, a superstar at no-pads practices, make the playoffs with that Broncos team? Let's be real - no way. Even a guy like Carson Palmer? I doubt it, and that's coming from a Raider fan.

Tebow is just a good fit on offenses that are terrible. There are a few reasons for this.

I'll get this one out of the way quick - he has exceptional intangibles and leadership skills. I'm sorry, I know this has been pounded into your skull like you're a third grader learning times tables, but it's true. We live in an age where it's common for players to take plays off and assume that the other ten guys will make something happen while they rest. That doesn't happen when Tebow's on the team. Players respect Tebow, they're inspired by Tebow, and that causes them to never want to let him down. They see the effort he puts in, and by watching how hard he works, they'd feel bad not putting in the same effort. Champ Bailey said himself that the whole defense feels like if they can just keep it close, Tebow will eventually make something happen. The defense works harder because they trust Tebow and don't want to let him down. He has an effect on more than just the offensive side of the ball.

Alright, now here's the lesser publicized reason that Tebow can make things happen on an inept offensive team. Tebow plays schoolyard football. Deception and broken plays. Tebow's bread and butter, the shotgun read option, forces the defense into a guessing game when the play is executed well behind a big offensive line. This causes Tebow and whoever may take the handoff to end up in open field with room to make plays. Any running back good enough to play in the NFL is good enough to make something happen when they get that much space. After watching the read option dismantle my Raiders' defense, I know good and well how often the defense guesses wrong.


Aug 26, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow (15) looks up at the replay screen after being intercepted by Carolina Panthers safety Reggie Smith (not pictured) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Panthers defeated the Jets 17-12.  Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIREOn an offense like the Packers or the Patriots, Tebow could never find success. Those teams are loaded with offensive weapons that run good routes. Plays rely on timely, accurate passes to receivers who have the ability to get themselves open. With the Broncos, however, Tebow didn't have receivers like that. The way Broncos' receivers got open last season was often due to broken plays, which are impossible for defenses to prepare for. Tebow is just about as good at throwing on the run as he is at throwing from a set stance, so when he starts roaming around the pocket with deceptive speed and agility, he can make the throw to a receiver as soon as the defender leaves him.

Just to clarify, I'm not saying that Tebow gives bad offenses a better shot at success than the elite quarterbacks, but he can make more happen with little talent than the mediocre passers in the NFL who would be better than Tebow if they had good blocking and good receivers to throw to.

Tebow now finds himself on a Jets team with a cornerback as their second best receiver, a running back who runs straight forward and nothing more, and a depleted offensive line. This is the kind of offense that Tebow could make more successful. I understand that he's had, quite frankly, disgraceful numbers in the preseason, but the team has yet to run the wildcat, read option, or any shotgun passing plays with him, and those are where he finds his success.

I can't see the Jets' offense being very good this year, regardless of who starts behind center, but Tebow gives them the better shot at winning due to the talent - or lack thereof - they have around him.
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8/30/12   |   mcleodglen   |   32 respect

Tebow's really doing well now, even better than i'd expected.