Packers Weekly Report: Tebow in Green Bay? Could Work but Don't Hold Your Breath
ESPN Wisconsin's Jason Wilde set off a bit of a Twitter storm Tuesday when he had the audacity to suggest that soon-to-be-former New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow might have found a better fit as a backup in Green Bay than he did in New York.
OK, so that probably cost some of you a monitor, as you spit your coffee all over it and short-circuited the screen.
However, let's keep two things in perspective.
First, this isn't happening. Second, it would actually work.
Tackling the first item, we can have a hypothetical conversation where you keep listening past the words "Tebow."
This isn't happening. It's not happening chiefly because Tebow still—and I think this is a safe assumption—believes he is a starter.
The Packers do not, at least not in his current iteration.
It's not even about money, because if someone handed Tebow the keys to a franchise, he would probably take less money to do it. I really think for him, proving himself is of paramount importance.
I also believe the Packers would not go out of their way to bring him in. They have Aaron Rodgers; they believe in Graham Harrell and B.J. Coleman as prospects.
There's no room at the inn for Tebow.
So, relax, it's not happening.
We can talk about hypotheticals, though, and since Wilde cracked the seal on this, I say why not. Let's talk about how it could very well work—and perhaps be the best possible solution for Tebow.
First of all, if you're worried about the "distraction factor," I wouldn't be. Sure, it's there, but two things mitigate it.
While the "Cult of Tebow" people worry about were in full force in Denver, they were absent, for the most part, in New York. It's been reduced further, as the Jets have pretty much ruined whatever value he had, and won't gain momentum in a smaller market like Green Bay.
And yes, they remain a smaller TV and news market despite having one of the best teams in the NFL. That means less publicity and less press and less chaos.
The other factor is that Green Bay is a franchise that has weathered much worse controversy. Anyone remember a cat named Brett Favre?
If the Packers can hold it together during the Favre fallout, they can withstand some Tebow Time with little disruption.
Frankly, Tebow would benefit a little from watching Rodgers, who is a quietly dedicated Christian quarterback.
All that is periphery stuff, though. Let's get to the meat of the issue—why is Tebow a good fit?
The reality is, there is more for Tebow here than the reverse. Again, you have Rodgers. You're not looking to make Tebow a starter. He's a project.
I do think he would give the Packers an interesting option in terms of running the spread they love so much, putting aside the fact that Tebow is not a great passer—he improved in Denver, but likely has regressed in New York through atrophy due to lack of use. Even the improvement he showed for the Broncos wasn't all that great.
However, it was an improvement. Now consider a few things before we move on.
When Aaron Rodgers came into the league, he wasn't polished. In fact, even when he took over for Voldemort (I have been asked by Packer fans to stop using "His" name) in 2008, the early returns had people worried. Week 4 against Tampa Bay, a three-turnover loss, was a trigger.
Now, Rodgers was/is/forever shall be better than Tebow. Despite some very rough similarities—unconventional throwing motion, mobility, comfort in a spread offense—Rodgers has more talent in his little finger than Tebow in his whole body.
Back in 2010, head coach Mike McCarthy was asked about Tebow being a Packer and acknowledged there would be work to do.
"The way we do it in our quarterback school, we address areas of fundamentals that we feel are a must, that we feel we need to address and try to fix immediately," McCarthy said.
More than anything, I think that's been the biggest problem—tweaking his release. I can't think of a better place to fix it than in the Packers Quarterback School, and it sounded to me that McCarthy felt they could work with what Tebow could do.
I do believe that Tebow has the raw skill to be a solid backup, and given the even minor similarities to the problems Rodgers had coming into the league, I can't think of a guy better suited to developing Tebow than McCarthy.
Tebow needs patience, time and a coach willing to both work with what he can do already, as well as around what he can't do. To help him improve without wiping out all that he does well. To massage his technique and get the most out of what can't be changed.
This is what the staff did with Rodgers. Again, they had far more to work with, but that doesn't preclude success in Tebow's case.
Especially with a coach who, at least at the time, was intrigued by the prospect.
"I know a lot's being said about his mechanics. Just the way he approaches the game of football, I think he'll do everything he needs to do to improve. You look for football players, and his record in college I think speaks for itself. I'd love the opportunity to work with a Tim Tebow," McCarthy added.
In fact, given Tebow's work ethic and determination, I believe that "fixing" him would be very possible.
Again, my barometer here is making Tebow a good and reliable backup with some upside. He's not ever going to be Rodgers.
In Green Bay, I honestly believe he could reach his potential.
It won't happen, even if Mike McCarthy had some kind words about him during the draft. Everything I've heard through the grapevine is that even if McCarthy liked Tebow, much of the organization wouldn't be on board.
So it's not happening.
But that certainly doesn't mean it wouldn't work.
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