New York Jets 2012: Would Tim Tebow Fit on Defense for the Jets?

Matt BarbatoCorrespondent IAugust 15, 2012

CORTLAND, NY - JULY 27:  Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Jets walks off the field after Jets Training Camp at SUNY Cortland on July 27, 2012 in Cortland, New York.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

We all know Tim Tebow as the energetic and resilient quarterback who led the Denver Broncos to a playoff upset of the Pittsburgh Steelers last January. 

Tebow is now challenging Mark Sanchez for the starting job in one of the largest media outlets in the country in  New York. Tebow has polarized his coaches and teammates with his leadership and thirst for improvement in training camp, but could Tebow's most useful role be on the other side of the football?

Tebow's skills and mechanics as a quarterback have been widely criticized by the media as well as former players and coaches. But there are some who say that Tebow should be a starter simply because all he does is win. But let's face it, despite Tebow's ability to run and his even greater ability in getting the job done in crunch time, the Jets do not have the offensive weapons to support Tebow that the Broncos had. The Jets offensive line is in shambles, Shonn Greene is not Willis McGahee and the Jets wide receivers are average at best. Even Tim Tebow cannot find a way to pull out the W with this supporting cast.

Maybe defensive guru Rex Ryan could find a spot for Tebow to play on his side of the ball.

I know that Tebow probably hasn't played a snap on defense since maybe high school. But why not give it a shot? If Antonio Cromartie can practice with the wide receivers at Jets camp, why can't Tebow get some reps with the defense? If the Jets are willing to put Tebow at punt protector, they clearly wouldn't be afraid to utilize him on defense.

Tebow's size and weight are also right along the border of a typical outside linebacker in the NFL. Tebow is 6'3", 236 pounds and he has bulked up during the offseason. Tebow is only an inch shorter and about 30 pounds lighter than current Jets right outside linebacker Calvin Pace. Tebow also has great speed along with his physical prowess, which could be lethal in third and long passing situations. Rex Ryan loves to blitz, and Tebow could be a great pass rusher off the edge. The Jets only sacked the quarterback 35 times last season, and in a defensive system like Ryan's, the pass rush is vital.

But wait, this isn't high school. You can't just take a quarterback and say "We would like you to play defense as well."What NFL player would stand for that treatment?

Tim Tebow would.

The best quality of Tebow is his selflessness when it comes to the team. Tebow will be a punt protector, he will run the wildcat offense, he will even sell concessions if it means he is helping his team. Rex Ryan has a very strong personality and could easily convince Tebow to try his side of the line of scrimmage.

This idea is something that we most likely won't ever actually see on the field. But the best argument I can present is, why not? Tim Tebow isn't a quarterback, he isn't a fullback, he isn't a tight end, he is a football player. He is one of the few physical specimens that can fit numerous positions on the field, and he is one of the rare players who has the positive attitude to do what he is asked and play where he is put. He has the body frame and he's got the attitude to move to linebacker. All the Jets have to do is teach him some schemes and give him a shot.

Who knows, maybe Tim Tebow is a better pass rusher than he is a quarterback. The thing is, you never know with Tim Tebow.