Can Tim Tebow Succeed in the NFL? Well, Maybe Not as a Quarterback

Alex Peterman@Alex_PetermanCorrespondent IIIJanuary 26, 2013

ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 30: Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Jets looks on from the sideline during an NFL game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on December 30, 2012 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Can Tim Tebow be successful in the NFL?

I know this is a very controversial topic, and that there are many fierce advocates for Tebow. I also realize there is a large number of fans who doubt his abilities to play at a high level.

As a quarterback, Tebow led the Denver Broncos to a playoff berth in 2011, beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs.

However, he had everything on that team going for him: a strong defense, a solid running game and exceptional receivers. (It’s essentially the same team that Peyton Manning led to a No. 1 seed this past season.) The following week in the divisional round, Tom Brady exposed the Broncos defense, and Tim Tebow just didn’t have an answer for the Patriots' offensive onslaught.

After being traded to the New York Jets, Tebow was placed in a special Wildcat package that ran about ten plays a game, sometimes fewer. It depended on the defense and the situation.

After Sanchez was taken out of the game, many fans were excited to see Tebow take over as starting quarterback. However, Greg McElroy was named the starter to finish the season, and football fans across the NFL were immediately angered—especially Jet fans who had seen the “magic” Tebow had worked in Denver the year before.


But is Tebow really an NFL-caliber starting quarterback?


Before I give you my answer, let me say this. I am a University of Florida undergraduate. I spent my middle and high school years pulling for Tebow and the Gators.


I love the guy as a person. However, I wouldn’t want him as my starting quarterback.

He excelled at the college level, specifically because of his style of playing. He ran a mixture of the spread option, read option and even the triple option. That’s a style of playing that many thought would work only in college. Defenses in the NFL were assumed to be too fast and too physical to use the option as your main offensive formation.

They’ll just stack seven or eight players in the box every time.

Which is fine, since RG3, Russell Wilson, and Colin Kaepernick can throw the ball as well. However, that's where Florida's former star has trouble: passing accuracy.

While Tebow may never wildly succeed as a starting quarterback, that’s not to say he can’t perform well in another position.

Couldn’t he easily make the switch to running back? When he runs the Wildcat, everyone in the stadium knows he’s going to run. Yet, he still gains five yards every play. That says something about his footwork, speed and ability to break tackles.

As a featured running back, those skills would allow him to make a fairly simple adjustment after some repetitions at the position.

How about as a tight end? His strength and physical ability would help him in mismatches against linebackers. The position would be a bit more difficult to adjust to, but it’s certainly an option. He can even try playing H-back, which is basically a combination of a running back, fullback and a tight end.

Any of those three positions might allow Tebow to better use his skill set and athleticism.

If he chooses to keep these options open, who knows? He might not have to sit on the bench all game.