Tim Tebow Needs His Own System, Not a New Position
How time can change things.
Jacksonville's newly appointed general manager Dave Caldwell told reporters on Thursday that he has no plans to acquire the third-year quarterback and Florida native.
Caldwell, who was the director of player personnel for the 13-3 Atlanta Falcons this season, obviously knows a thing or two about what makes a good football player.
He's probably inherited some insight from Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff, who has made a living in the NFL in New England and Atlanta by going after players that fit a system rather than big names. Obviously, that philosophy works.
Contrasting Caldwell's apparent mindset would be the mindset of Jacksonville fans and the national media, who have both asserted that bringing Tebow, a former Heisman Trophy winner and national champion as a Florida Gator, would help sell tickets for the suffering Jacksonville franchise.
It's quite obvious that Caldwell is more interested in building a football team than humoring rhetoric.
No NFL team has humored the rhetoric like the New York Jets, who have been in the center of a media circus since the arrival of head coach Rex Ryan.
The Jets' most hilarious stunt of the 2012 season was the fact they brought in Tim Tebow, causing a media explosion, only to let him throw eight passes for the entire season.
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New York had to keep its trust in the miserably bad arm of Mark Sanchez, thanks to guaranteed money in his contract that meant a benching would mean embarrassing management.
However, more hilarity ensued when the Jets finally went with another quarterback, Greg McElroy. It was more than obvious that the Jets didn't like what they were seeing from Tebow as a quarterback.
It took until a Jan. 9 report in USA Today to find out that Tebow was apparently brought in to play running back—something that was never said in the offseason when he was competing for the starting job.
It's probably not advised to take anything from a Jets conference seriously. It's hard to take the personnel decisions seriously when a team plays a running back at cornerback and the running back insists he can't.
Tim Tebow got suckered into the center of the world in New York before realizing he had made the mistake of joining one of the most poorly operated and unprofessional franchises in the league.
The notion that he would have a significant role as a tail or H-back is absurd.
Look, this is the NFL. The NFL gets its players from a wealthy pool of specialized athletes. If a David Caldwell wants a tailback, or an H-back, he's going to draft or sign a guy who has played tailback or H-back.
If he wants a quarterback, he's going to sign a guy that can play quarterback. Now, Denver fans can attest to the fact Tebow might still have some potential. He did ignite the Broncos' season last year and even threw a game-winning touchdown pass to beat Pittsburgh in the playoffs.
Caldwell may not want Tebow in Jacksonville, but that's not to say Tebow's options as an NFL player are over. It's also not to say that he needs to play another position.
Once Tebow gets out of New York, which he should focus on doing if he has any dignity left, he could find a home somewhere else.
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Arizona would be a good fit. There are other options as well.
Now it would come down to finding a way to make him successful. What makes Tim Tebow work?
As already stated, making a quarterback play another position is something that's not okay or justified at the professional level.
Someone, whichever team it is, should take Tebow and try to build the offense around him.
That's right. Mock the system he ran in Florida. Bring it to the NFL. Let him run it.
Just a few years ago that statement would immediately be rendered malarkey (no pun intended for Jaguar fans that are reading this).
But Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick all proved in 2012 that the spread offense can come into the NFL and work. All three of those quarterbacks have performed amazingly for rookies, and there's no doubt the fact their head coaches tweaked the offense to their liking contributed. That's an understatement.
Wilson was too short. Kaepernick threw funny. But it hasn't stopped them yet. Both of those guys are starting in playoff games this weekend.
All the way back in 2009 I wrote that Tim Tebow, within a system built to his skill set, was a great player. I also was sure he wouldn't fit into the NFL.
But what if an NFL team reverses the field and tries to fit around him? What if the Urban Meyer offense was implemented? Is there reason to think it wouldn't work? It worked against SEC defenses, which means tons of NFL talent and NFL-style defensive systems.
Tim Tebow's NFL career isn't over.
He was disrespected by a poorly run Jets organization that seemingly lured him for media relevance instead of scheme and then tried to make excuses for why he wasn't seeing the field.
A team that respects Tebow and follows the movement of trading in convention for synergy could, in the end, revive his standing as not only a great player, but also a winner.
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