Denver Broncos: 5 Ways Tim Tebow Can Become an Elite Quarterback in 2012
Broncos QB Tim Tebow had quite a roller coaster season in 2011.
Tebow took over the Broncos after a horrendous 1-4 start to the season led by Kyle Orton. Tebow led the Broncos to a win, a loss, six more wins, three more losses, a playoff shocker and a playoff blowout loss.
Add that to an unconventional college offense with a celebrity playing quarterback, and you have a universally tracked season.
The Broncos announced that they are bringing in new quarterbacks to push Tebow, but vice president of football operations and former Bronco legend John Elway recently endorsed Tebow. The Broncos' starting signal-caller is going to be the starter—at least until the inception of training camp.
Tebow has all the potential and talent to be a starter, but has many steps to take until he is considered elite.
No. 5: More Pass Protection
The Broncos need to boost their offensive line. Center JD Walton was decent this season, but the Broncos need a top-tier interior linemen.
LT Ryan Clady is a solid starter, meanwhile OG's Zane Beadle and Chris Kuper are very talented. RT Orlando Frank was effective this season, also.
The Broncos, however, need more depth at that category. Kuper went down late with a grotesque leg/ankle injury, and Denver needs to be prepared for a long, gradual return.
The Broncos also need to utilize running backs and tight ends to block for Tebow. Many times Tebow had no time to sit back and rip a pass.
When Tebow has time to throw, he is normally successful. The Broncos should use a running back—whether that be a tailback or fullback—on nearly every passing play to block a pass-rusher.
Tebow will be able to make smart decisions, get the ball downfield and stay healthy if the Broncos add a pass-blocker or two.
No. 4: Solidified Defense
What does the Broncos defense have to do with Tebow?
During the Broncos' six-win streak last season, the Denver defense was lights-out. The pass-rush was clicking, and the Broncos were phenomenal.
The Broncos are faced with a lot of questions defensively this season, however.
Safety Brian Dawkins may be headed to retirement, and the Broncos have defensive needs across the board. They would benefit from a defensive tackle, defensive end, middle linebacker, cornerback and safety.
If the Broncos solidify their defense for the long-term future, they can focus on building on their foundation. They could then start working on their offense, and develop a conventional system for Tebow to be successful in.
No. 3: Quarterback Competition
I'm not saying that the Broncos have to draft QB Brandon Weeden (pictured) but I am saying that they need to go out an draft and/or sign a quarterback worth a chance to start in the NFL.
I am all over Weeden. If he wasn't 28 years old, he would be a first-round quarterback.
But he is 28 years old.
Age is a big red flag for Weeden. The former baseball player is so old for the draft. Most players his ago are six- or seven-year veterans.
A team could probably get six solid years out of him, but nothing more than that.
Anyhow, the Broncos should take a look at him, Kirk Cousins, Nick Foles and Brock Osweiler to draft this April. Any of those could be a Plan B if Tebow suffers a career collapse.
The Broncos could also turn to the free agent market to look for a quarterback to back up Timmy Tebow.
Vince Young, Dennis Dixon and Josh Johnson are all fast quarterbacks who fit the option scheme. VY is an intriguing option, as is Johnson. Dixon really stands out to me, however.
Dixon was a fantastic quarterback while playing for the Oregon Ducks before suffering an ACL injury. He has backed up Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger for a number of years, but showed flashes of potential when he got playing time.
Dixon would back up Tebow, but would give Tebow enough push to boost his play into at least par level.
No. 2: Bolstered Offense
To bring Tebow to the class of elites, he needs elite targets around him.
Willis McGahee, Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas are solid offensive players, but they lack a big-time receiver and, on top of that, they need another running back.
The Broncos must have had their eyes on Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe (scheduled to be a free agent), but the Chiefs signed CB Stanford Routt, which means they don't have to re-sign CB Brandon Carr, which lets them use their franchise tag on Bowe.
The free agent class of wide receivers is fantastic this offseason. Vincent Jackson, Marques Colston or DeSean Jackson would all be great acquisitions for Denver. Tebow would immediately get a threat to throw to.
There are also great running backs in this year's draft. (For a Top 10 list, click here.) The Broncos had the league's best running attack last season, but RB Willis McGahee only managed a measly four touchdowns.
The Broncos should take a look at Chris Polk and Doug Martin. Those are two backs that could be effective in both the passing and running game and take some load off Tebow.
The Broncos need to build around Tebow to make him a successful quarterback. They need more targets and weapons around him.
No. 1: Less Run, More Pass
Let the man throw the ball.
Last year, John Fox—who largely should be credited for the Broncos' resurgence—kept calling shotgun tailback draw plays and singleback dives over and over and over again. When Tebow got a chance to throw the ball deep, he was very successful.
Tebow may not be able to complete 50 percent of his passes, but if he gets to throw the ball 25 times a game, he'll be much better off down the stretch. If he keeps that pace up the entire season, he could be up to 55 percent or even 60 percent. Each throw Tebow improves and gets a better sense of what the NFL is really like.
Also, when Tebow is running he normally takes hard hits. If he gets to sit back in the pocket and fires some passes, he'll get to play in the NFL for an extra two or three years.
Tebow needs to throw passes and improve on a play-by-play basis. If he gets 350 pass attempts this season, his improvement will be evident by the end of the season.
There are a lot of steps that Tebow and the Broncos need to take into developing him into a successful, conventional quarterback, but it is possible. If Denver commits to Tebow, he could be great.