Tim Tebow: Why Jets Signal-Caller Isn't the Most Intriguing Backup QB in NFL

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 21: Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Jets completes drills before a game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on October 21, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Do you remember Tebowmania? Do you remember when Tim Tebow was the most interesting mediocre quarterback in the world? Do you remember when he somehow managed to lead the Denver Broncos into the playoffs, then actually pulled off a playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers?

That's right, all of those things actually happened. It seems like a long time ago, mostly because Tebow has been utterly irrelevant in his tenure as the backup quarterback for the New York Jets.

Now, I don't say this to insult Tebow in any way. Truly, he's done nothing wrong. He's just a backup quarterback, after all.

But given all of the hype about how Rex Ryan and the Jets would use him in the Wildcat, how he would surely take over for Mark Sanchez at some point, how sportswriters continue to write about him and fans continue to type his name into Google just to see what his favorite flavor of ice cream is, the perception that somehow Tebow is an intriguing and compelling figure continues to manifest.

But this year, he's not. He's just a backup quarterback, folks. And he's not even the most compelling backup quarterback in the NFL these days.

Consider Nick Foles, for example. As the Philadelphia Eagles continue to crash and burn amid a miserable four-game losing streak, it's become apparent that at some point Foles will probably be given a chance to play this year.

So is the rookie who so impressed during the preseason ready to make an impact if he gets his shot? Is he ready to run a complex offense while remaining upright behind an offensive line that has more holes than a game of skeeball? And when will the Eagles finally give up on the season and be willing to find out?

I nicknamed him "Foles Gold" during the preseason, because folks around Philadelphia were very excited over a player who hadn't yet proven he was the real deal. Now, even I'm growing curious to see if this kid's glitter is actually gold.

What about Colin Kaepernick? He may not be taking over for Alex Smith anytime soon, but he has managed to do one thing Tebow and the Jets haven't this year—successfully run the Wildcat offense.

Kaepernick has rushed 13 times for 111 yards and two touchdowns this season. On those 13 attempts, six of them have given the San Francisco 49ers a first down. 

If running the Wildcat makes a backup quarterback interesting, Kaepernick trumps Tebow—who has rushed 23 times for 78 yards, no touchdowns and six first downs—in a big way.

The Arizona Cardinals have two backup quarterbacks in Kevin Kolb and John Skelton, but they've been left with no choice but to start one of them. The thing is, when Kolb comes back from injury, will he automatically earn his job back?

Kolb has been the better of the two, throwing for 1,169 yards, eight touchdowns, three interceptions and a 59.6 completion percentage in six games. Skelton has struggled, throwing for 1,052 yards, two touchdowns, five interceptions and a 55.8 completion percent this season. 

Oh, and since taking over as quarterback again, the Cardinals have gone 0-4 after starting the season 4-1.

So I guess Kolb will get his job back, unless Skelton can somehow turn things around. I may not find either one of these quarterbacks particularly compelling, but the snarky side in me finds the abundance of mediocrity at the position in Arizona to be quite entertaining.

For what it's worth, I feel the same about the quarterbacks for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Kansas City Chiefs

Anybody remember Matt Flynn, the backup for the Seattle Seahawks who signed a big contract in the offseason, theoretically to become the starter for the Seahawks? I mean, what must be going through that guy's mind right now? 

Other than, "Well, at least I'm getting $10 million in guaranteed money out of the deal." Let's hear what's on his mind rather than being subjected to more talk about how Tebow might make an impact with the Jets offense for the 10th straight week.

Heck, I even find the 37-year-old Matt Hasselbeck more intriguing than Tebow right now. Since taking over for an injured Jake Locker, the ageless wonder hasn't been spectacular, but he certainly hasn't been awful, either.

His 1,361 passing yards, seven touchdowns, five interceptions, 62.7 completion percentage and 2-4 record as the starting quarterback aren't going to win him any awards, but he did reach the 200-touchdown plateau this season, and I'm pretty sure he's still a better pure passer than Tebow.

If somebody can find me a fresh Tebow storyline or talking point, I'd be willing to listen. I'd love to re-enter Tebow's name into the "relevant football topics" group. I think he's a good guy that has been swallowed whole by the hype monster and likely won't be spit out anytime soon.

He's just a backup quarterback, everyone. And honestly, he's not even the most compelling backup quarterback in the NFL right now.


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