Does Tebow Need to Improve Mechanics for Jets to Reach the Postseason?

Ryan AlfieriCorrespondent IIIAugust 2, 2012

CORTLAND, NY - JULY 27:  Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Jets works out in front of Tom Cavanaugh, quarterbacks coach at Jets Training Camp at SUNY Cortland on July 27, 2012 in Cortland, New York.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

There is no question that Tim Tebow is a great athlete with NFL-caliber arm strength.  However, his maddeningly-slow release has sparked nationwide about Tebow ever since he became draft-eligable as a junior at Florida. 

Draft experts spent countless hours leading up to the 2010 draft trying to determine if Tebow could ever improve his mechanics, how long it would take if he was able to fix said mechanics and whether or not he could survive in the NFL in the meantime. 

After making 23 appearances in the NFL, the answers to all of those questions are still up for debate. 

What we do know is that Tebow has be effective—at least sometimes—working in college-type offense in which proper mechanics and conventional wisdom regarding quarterback play is virtually thrown out the window—exactly why the Jets brought Tebow to New York in the first place. 

Ideally, the Jets want Sanchez to return to his more-efficient self with fewer turnovers in a run-first offense, while Tebow comes in to give the unit a spark every now and then, especially when the Jets get around the goal line. 


Therefore, if Tebow comes in exclusively as a wildcat option, then no, Tebow will not have to make any adjustments to his throwing motion to push the Jets over the top. 

However, that is speaking in a realm of a perfect world, where everything goes according to plan in the NFL, which, as we all know, is simply impossible. 

While unlikely, there is a slight chance that Sanchez could completely fall off the map and force the Jets to make Tebow the starter. Should this situation become a reality, there is no doubt that the Jets will need Tebow to improve as a thrower if they want any chance of making the playoffs. 

Yes, Tebow was able to provide a spark for the Broncos and back into the playoffs. The Broncos did it by a) not turning the ball over, b) playing good defense and c) getting really really lucky.

We know the Jets are going to have the defense, but they still cannot rely on luck and uncanny ball security to get them into the playoffs and to adopt the Broncos' 2011 formula directly.

If Mario Barber stays in bounds, Matt Prater misses a field goal or Jim Leonhard wraps up Eddie Royal in the end zone for a safety, we are talking about the Broncos' "experiment" as a cute and creative attempt at offense, as opposed to a legitimate way to play for 16 games. 

Even discounting the existence of luck, the Patriots, who stand firmly in the way of the Jets' hopes of getting a home playoff game, dismantled Tebow's crew in the 2011 Divisional Playoffs.

Why should the Jets expect different results?

As a result, the Jets will need to play something closer to a conventional offense than what Tebow ran in Denver, if he is going to be a full-time player. As we saw in the Broncos 45-10 loss to the Lions, throwing Tebow into a full-blown conventional offense with his given throwing ability is not going to work. 

So yes, if Tebow wants to succeed in the long-term in the NFL, he will have to improve his mechanics and accuracy. Not only is Tebow's option package not conducive to long-term health with the amount of hits he takes, but it is simply not reliable enough. 

Nevertheless, for the 2012 Jets, what Tebow brings to table is enough as a passer.

Because of his running threat, Tebow is not required to make the same difficult throws that conventional quarterbacks make. His simplistic offense creates elementary reads with big throwing lanes, simply since he is not going to see a whole lot of six-man boxes. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, Rex Ryan views Tebow as a better version of Brad Smith, especially as a thrower:

When you bring in a guy like Tim, as much as I love Brad, Brad can't bring you the inside game that Tim can give you, and Tim can throw the ball a little better than Brad. 

As long as the other pieces of the offense fall into place, Tebow will be just fine with the elongated throwing motion that makes scouts want to throw their remotes at the television.